Q: Is there a difference between Greek yogurt and regular, conventional yogurt?
A:All yogurts are a great source of calcium, protein and beneficial bacteria (“probiotics”), which aid in digestion. However, for those of you who dislike the thinner, runnier texture of conventional yogurt, Greek yogurt is a good alternative, because it’s richer and creamier. Three popular brands of Greek yogurt are Fage, Chobani and Stonyfield’s Oikos. No matter what yogurt you choose – conventional or Greek – make sure to purchase the low-fat or non-fat variety!
Let’s take a look at the specific differences in nutrient content…
|Dannon’s Plain, Non-fat (Regular Yogurt)||Stonyfield’s Oikos Plain, 0% fat (Greek Yogurt)||Fage’s Plain, 0% fat (Greek Yogurt)|
|Serving Size||6 oz||5.3 oz||6 oz|
|Calories||80 kcal||80 kcal||90 kcal|
|Sodium||120 mg||60 mg||65 mg|
|Sugar||12 g||6 g||7 g|
|Protein||9 g||15 g||15 g|
|Calcium||300 mg||200 mg||200 mg|
- Greek yogurt contains about half the sodium of regular yogurt. In general, yogurt is a great heart-healthy snack, but since we get way too much sodium in our processed-food diets as it is, Greek yogurt is a great option for salt-sensitive people.
- Greek yogurt is quite low in sugar. With half the carbs of conventional yogurt, Greek yogurt won’t spike your blood sugar as high as a regular yogurt might.
- Greek yogurt is very high in protein. Dairy is always a solid source of protein, but with 15g of protein per 6-oz container, Greek yogurt will make you feel fuller longer than conventional yogurt.
- Greek yogurt is lower in calcium than regular yogurt. Unfortunately, conventional yogurt beats Greek yogurt in this category, at times packing 100 added milligrams of bone-building calcium per serving. While it’s important to meet your calcium requirement, adding any type of low-fat yogurt to your daily routine will bring you one step closer to a healthy, well-balanced diet.
Update: Upon further investigation of food labels, I’ve found a big difference in the calcium content of Greek yogurt flavors. The plain, 0% fat variety may contain 20-25% of the daily value (DV) of calcium, which is approximately 200 – 250 mg*, but honey & fruit flavors can have much less! The honey, cherry and peach flavors of Fage Greek yogurt contain only 10% of the DV! On the other hand, all of the low-fat Greek yogurt flavors made by Chobani contain 200 mg of calcium per 6 oz container. Clearly, it’s important to comparison shop by reading the nutrition label! Since yogurt packaged with fruit or honey will be higher in sugar, your best bet is to buy the plain, non-fat yogurt and add fresh fruit of your own!
*Remember: Adults should aim for 1,000-1,2000 mg calcium per day to maintain healthy bones!