11 Greek Yogurt Benefits, Nutrition Profile, & How To Make It

Improve your overall health and build a strong physique by adding this yogurt to your diet.

Medically Reviewed by Staci Gulbin, RD, LDN
By Ravi Teja Tadimalla, Professional Certificate In Food, Nutrition & Health

Greek yogurt benefits you in many ways compared to regular yogurt. It has more protein, is sour than normal yogurt, and has a much lower sodium content. In addition, most of the whey has been removed from this thick yogurt. Many of its benefits have made it a popular choice for fitness enthusiasts.

StyleCraze Trivia
You can trace back yogurt’s roots all the way to ancient times. It was first seen in the Neolithic period (in 5000 BC, i.e., over 7000 years ago) in Mesopotamia.

Greek yogurt contains approximately 11 g of protein per standard serving, which equals 22% of your daily protein requirement. One serving also provides 10% of your daily calcium requirement. Therefore, consuming a cup of Greek yogurt can make you one of the healthiest members of your social circle. This yogurt has a multitude of health benefits. It can help boost heart, brain, gut, and bone health. Learn how to make this delicious food at home, its nutritional profile and its benefits. Keep reading.

What Are The Benefits Of Greek Yogurt?

1. Yogurt Helps In Bodybuilding

Yogurt is a great source of protein and calcium, which are essential nutrients for bodybuilding. The protein in yogurt reduces the loss of muscle mass and boosts muscle growth.

Yogurt works great as a post-workout snack as well. It offers the essential carbs and protein that your body needs for muscle repair.

2. Boosts Your Digestive Health

Shutterstock

The probiotics in yogurt play a big role here. Reports published by the Harvard Medical School tell us that probiotics can ease constipation (1). Though more research is required, taking probiotics for easing constipation is a safe bet. The good bacteria soothe the digestive system as well.

The soothing properties of yogurt also help fight acid reflux and GERD. And yogurt intake has also been linked to a reduced risk of colorectal cancer (2).

3. Promotes Bone Health

From one study, women with a higher yogurt intake had increased hip bone density and reduced risk of osteoporosis as they aged (3). Yogurt is one rich source of many bone-promoting nutrients, with calcium being the most important of them all.

Other studies also confirmed that yogurt eaters showed better signs of physical fitness. Also, higher yogurt intake is linked to greater bone mineral density in older adults (4).

4. Improves Your Brain Functioning

Studies show that the probiotics in yogurt may reverse depression. The amount of lactobacillus (probiotic bacteria) in the gut affects the blood levels of kynurenine, which is a metabolite known to cause depression (5).

Research also shows that the composition of gut bacteria can change how the brain functions. Yogurt contents can even influence how your brain responds to the environment. This means eating yogurt can help relieve stress and boost your overall mental capacities.

5. May Aid Weight Loss

Greek yogurt may aid weight loss

Shutterstock

Scientists hypothesize that low levels of calcium can affect appetite in people, contributing to weight gain in the long run. Adequate calcium can contribute here by upregulating the metabolic rate and enhancing fecal fat excretion and even mediating inflammatory response (6). And since yogurt is rich in calcium, it can change this.

Regular yogurt intake can also boost immunity and combat inflammation (thanks to the good bacteria in it), which may otherwise contribute to weight gain.

Research also found that obese adults who consumed three servings of fat-free yogurt a day (as part of a low-calorie diet) lost 22% more weight than their counterparts who didn’t eat any yogurt. Yogurt not only helps burn fat but also makes it easier to maintain lean muscle mass (7). It even helps regular cholesterol and triglycerides (8).

6. Yogurt Can Strengthen Your Heart

One reason is linked to yogurt’s ability to curb weight gain. When you weigh less, your heart doesn’t have to work as hard to pump blood across the body. Yogurt eaters were also found to have a healthier metabolic profile (glucose and electrolytes) and cholesterol levels.

Studies also show how a higher intake of yogurt can regulate blood pressure levels, thereby cutting down cardiovascular disease risk (9).

7. Helps Fight Diabetes

Greek yogurt may help fight diabetes

Shutterstock

Fermented foods like yogurt boost gut health. And it is good gut health that can help prevent diseases like diabetes and associated obesity (10). Intake of yogurt is also linked to lower blood glucose levels. Other studies also show how yogurt consumption can reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes (11).

But when it comes to diabetes health, not all forms of yogurt are created equal. Ensure that you check the packaging. Choose yogurt that contains live and active cultures since these probiotics will help fight inflammation, which can otherwise lead to chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes.

8. May Treat PCOS

Though research is ongoing, a diet high in protein can relieve symptoms of polycystic ovarian syndrome. And Greek yogurt is rich in protein. Research also suggests a link between PCOS and optimal gut microbiota, something yogurt offers abundantly (12).

9. Promotes Oral Health

Shutterstock

The calcium in yogurt helps build teeth too. And the active probiotics in yogurt can combat bad odor (13). A daily dose of yogurt has been found to keep off offensive odors. Studies showed how yogurt eaters had low levels of plaque and a lower risk of gingivitis.

10. Yogurt Helps Fight Acne

The probiotics in yogurt fight inflammation and the acne it causes. A yogurt face mask works best here. It can calm down acne you already have and prevent future breakouts.

Yogurt also contains lactic acid. Lactic acid is an alpha hydroxy acid that dissolves dead skin cells (14). These dead skin cells can clog pores and cause breakouts. Lactic acid also has exfoliating properties that brighten your facial skin and treat pigmentation.

11. Boosts Hair Health

Woman happy about her healthy hair after using Greek yogurt

Shutterstock

The protein in yogurt can also help in hair growth. Some sources suggest a yogurt hair mask can help – but there is less research on this. This mask is worth a try, though. Apply yogurt to your hair and scalp and let it sit for 15 to 20 minutes. Shampoo as usual.

These are some ways Greek yogurt can make your life better. Here are the details of the nutritional profile.

What Is The Nutritional Profile Of Greek Yogurt?

Calorie Information
Amounts Per Selected Serving%DV (REMOVE ENTIRE COLUMN)
Calories130(544 kJ)6%
From Carbohydrate16.0(67.0 kJ)
From Fat70.0(293 kJ)
From Protein44.0(184 kJ)
From Alcohol~(0.0 kJ)
Carbohydrates
Amounts Per Selected Serving%DV
Total Carbohydrate5.0 g2%
Dietary Fiber0.0 g0%
Starch~
Sugars5.0 g
Protein & Amino Acids
Amounts Per Selected Serving%DV
Protein11.0 g22%
Other Nutrients
Amounts Per Selected Serving%DV
Vitamin A200 IU4%
Calcium100 mg10%
Sodium70.0 mg3%
Sterols
Amounts Per Selected Serving%DV
Cholesterol20.0 mg7%

*Plain low-fat Greek Yogurt, sourced from USDA (15).

Greek yogurt is replete with protein and calcium. Though it doesn’t contain many other nutrients, it is also one good source of healthy carbs.

Fun Fact
Ancient Turkish texts from 1100-1001 BC state that yogurt was often used by nomadic Turks. In fact, the word ‘yogurt’ originates from the Turkish word ‘yoğurmak,’ which means ‘to knead.’

The next question that might occur to you is, how can you make Greek yogurt?

How Can You Make Greek Yogurt At Home?

Making Greek yogurt at home is simple.

What You Need

• 4 cups of low-fat milk
• ½ cup of low-fat yogurt
• Honey and fresh fruit, optional

Directions

1. Heat the milk in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Let the temperature reach 180° F.
2. Pour the milk into a large heat-safe container. Be careful. Stir frequently until the milk cools down to 110° F.
3. Take half a cup of the milk and combine the yogurt with it in a small bowl. Stir this mixture back into the warm milk in the container.
4. Cover the container with a clean kitchen towel. This will keep it warm. Place it in a warm and dry place. Let it sit for 8 to 12 hours and then refrigerate for about 2 hours.
5. Line a large fine-mesh sieve with two layers of cheesecloth. Place over a large bowl. Spoon the cooled yogurt into the cheesecloth. Cover and refrigerate anywhere between 8 to 24 hours.

In case you are in a rush and want to grab a pack of Greek yogurt from your nearest store, ensure it’s plain, unsweetened, low-fat, and has the least amount of additives. You can check the packaging for this information.

Infographic: Greek Yogurt

Greek yogurt is packed with the goodness of milk. It has an edge over its regular counterpart and can help address many problems.

Check out the infographic below to learn more about Greek yogurt, its different names, how to incorporate it into your diet, and how you can use it to enhance your skin’s health.

greek yogurt [infographic]

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

Greek yogurt is a popular dairy product with an impressive nutrition profile. It contains added sugars and has several culinary applications. The benefits of Greek yogurt can be attributed to its high protein and low carb content. It may help in bodybuilding, boost your digestive health, increase bone density, reduce the risk of osteoporosis, improve brain functioning, and aid in weight loss. In addition, it may help treat PCOS, fight acne, and boost hair health. You can prepare Greek yogurt easily at your home. Incorporate it into your diet and enjoy its maximum benefits.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the side effects of taking too much Greek yogurt?

One major concern is that the live bacteria in the yogurt may reproduce if unchecked. This can cause illness in people with weak immune systems. Hence, if you have a weak immune system or suffer from a condition that may weaken your immunity, keep away from yogurt and consult your doctor.

What is a proper substitute for Greek yogurt?

Sour cream is one very good substitute, more so in dressings and sauces. Even cottage cheese works well.

How much of Greek yogurt can you eat in a day?

2 to 3 cups should do.

How long does Greek yogurt last?

Though the peak quality of the yogurt lasts for 5 to 7 days, it can be eaten until the 10th to 14th day. But in case the yogurt develops mold, it means it has gone bad. Please throw it away in this case.

Sources

Articles on StyleCraze are backed by verified information from peer-reviewed and academic research papers, reputed organizations, research institutions, and medical associations to ensure accuracy and relevance. Read our editorial policy to learn more.

  1. Probiotics may ease constipation”. Harvard Medical School.
  2. Yogurt consumption and risk of colorectal cancer…”. US National Library of Medicine.
  3. Milk and yogurt consumption are linked with higher bone mineral density but not with hip fracture: the Framingham Offspring Study”, US National Library Of Medicine
  4. Greater yogurt consumption is associated…”. Osteoporosis International.
  5. How Microbes Affect Depression: Underlying Mechanisms via the Gut–Brain Axis and the Modulating Role of Probiotics”, US National Library Of Medicine.
  6. Is consuming yoghurt associated with weight management…”. US National Library of Medicine.
  7. Regular Yogurt Intake and Risk of Cardiovascular Disease Among Hypertensive Adults”, US National Library Of Medicine.
  8. The effect of daily fortified yogurt…”. US National Library of Medicine.
  9. Regular Yogurt Intake and Risk of Cardiovascular Disease Among Hypertensive Adults”, US National Library Of Medicine.
  10. Evidence for the effects of yogurt on gut health…”. US National Library of Medicine.
  11. Yogurt and diabetes…”. US National Library of Medicine.
  12. Association between polycystic ovary syndrome…”. US National Library of Medicine.
  13. Use of probiotics and oral health”. US National Library of Medicine.
  14. An antiaging skin care system containing…”. US National Library of Medicine.
  15. Yogurt, Greek, plain, lowfat”. United States Department of Agriculture.
Was this article helpful?
thumbsupthumbsdown
The following two tabs change content below.
Ravi Teja Tadimalla is an editor and a published author. He has been in the digital media field for over... more

Staci Gulbin

(MS, MEd, RD, LDN)
Staci Gulbin is a registered dietitian, freelance writer, health editor, and founder of LighttrackNutrition.com. She has been a registered dietitian... more

LATEST ARTICLES