Daily WOD

Food for thought?

Greek Yogurt

Traditional Greek yogurt is made by straining the whey out of regular yogurt. Whey is the liquid that remains after milk has curdled. The straining gives Greek yogurt a thicker, creamier texture than regular yogurt, but Greek yogurt also has less sugar and more protein.

According to the USDA, a six-ounce serving of nonfat Greek yogurt contains 100 calories, less than a gram of fat, 61 mg of sodium, 240 mg of potassium, 6 grams of carbohydrate, 6 grams of sugar and 17 grams of protein. It’s also high in calcium and vitamin B-12. Six grams of sugar is not an insignificant amount, but none of it qualifies as “added sugar,” because it all comes from lactose, the naturally-occurring sugar in milk.

Generally speaking for athletes, the more protein, the better. Protein not only helps build muscle mass, it also plays an important role in weight management. A 2014 study published in Nutrition Journal found that a high-protein yogurt snack helped healthy women stay fuller for longer and consume fewer calories throughout the day better than a high-fat snack with an equal number of calories.

The type of protein found in Greek yogurt (casein) makes it especially attractive for those who want to pack on lean muscle, as it contains all nine essential amino acids. Essential amino acids are those that cannot be produced by the body—we must get them through food.

Another big benefit of Greek yogurt is its high probiotic content. Probiotics are the “good bacteria” that live inside your gut. When you ingest probiotics, they enter what’s known as the “gut microbiome.” The gut microbiome consists of yeasts, fungi and roughly 3 to 4 pounds of bacteria. More than 5,000 species of bacteria live in the gut, and the bacteria balance inside the gut plays a huge role in overall health.

If you purchase authentic Greek yogurt made with quality ingredients, you’re buying a very nutritious food. It’s not only typically lower in sugar than regular yogurt, it also usually contains roughly twice as much protein. Add the fact that it’s high in calcium (key for strong bones and optimal heart, nerve and muscle function) and vitamin B-12 (which helps create red blood cells, maintain healthy nerve cells and produce DNA and RNA), and it’s clear that Greek yogurt is a nutritional winner. Just steer clear of the varieties that are chock full of added sugar.

Comments

  1. Literally this is my breakfast every day! I love it – mix with 1/2 cup blueberries and 1/4 cup granola…a little bit of honey.

↑ Top of Page