Lower in sugar and higher in protein than regular yogurt, Greek yogurt is a healthy version of an already healthy food. As far as taste and texture go, the benefits of Greek yogurt extent to its tangy flavor and dense consistency as well. Greek yogurt is strained to remove most of the whey, which creates the dense texture, high protein and low-sugar content. As part of a weight-loss diet, there are benefits of Greek yogurt over regular yogurt, particularly amongst low-fat or non-fat varieties.
Greek yogurt and regular yogurt start out with the same process. Live cultures are added to milk, which causes the milk to ferment and thicken. The live cultures give yogurt many of its healthy benefits. Greek yogurt, however, undergoes an extra step at the end: the yogurt is strained through a piece of cloth or a through a filter to remove more whey.
Yogurt is a healthy choice when it comes to snacking, and Greek yogurt is even healthier than regular yogurt. The straining process that removes a large portion of the whey also removes lactose. Lactose is high in sugars, so taking most of it out reduces the sugars and, in turn, carbohydrates. When comparing regular and Greek yogurts, one of the benefits of the Greek variety is that it contains half as much sugar as regular yogurt. Additionally, without all the lactose, it is also more suitable for people with lactose intolerance.
The high protein content is another one of the many benefits of Greek yogurt. During the straining process that removes lactose, sugars and carbohydrates, much of the water is removed. Greek yogurt has roughly twice as many grams of protein as regular yogurt.
Higher protein content comes with a price, however: Greek yogurt has more grams of fat than regular yogurt. The higher fat and protein content means it is more filling, though, and thus can be consumed in smaller portions. Another way to avoid the high fat content in Greek yogurt is by selecting low-fat or non-fat varieties. Greek-style yogurt also is a rich source of calcium and a good source of live cultures, which are good for digestion and overall health.
The benefits of Greek yogurt are found in whole, low-fat and non-fat varieties. Flavored Greek yogurt often has added sugar, giving it more calories and more carbohydrates. Some sugars are acceptable for most people, but those who are on low-carb diets generally are best off with unflavored Greek yogurt.