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Greek Yogurt Nutrition

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Updated August 30, 2011

Written or reviewed by a board-certified physician. See About.com's Medical Review Board.

The benefits of low or non-fat Greek yogurt are easily identified by comparing a regular yogurt to a Greek yogurt nutrition label. Regular yogurt provides 5 grams of protein per 6-ounce serving, while Greek yogurt provides up to 20 grams, depending on the brand. Greek yogurt has about 1/3 the carbohydrate of regular yogurt -- and since lactose is a source of carbohydrate in dairy products, this means that many people find Greek yogurt easier to digest than regular yogurt because of the lower carbohydrate and lactose content.

For diabetics, Greek yogurt is an exceptional meal and snack option due to the low carbohydrate and high protein content. For a great diabetic breakfast, start with 6 to 8 ounces of plain low-fat Greek yogurt. Add one serving of fresh seasonal fruit (like berries, sliced bananas, chunked apples, etc.). Add 6 to 8 chopped almonds for crunch, additional protein, and healthy fats. If you like, add a sugar-free sweetener of choice to make the dish a little bit sweeter. Traditionally Greek yogurt is sweetened with honey; if you can spare the carbohydrates, then you could try a little bit of honey instead of a sugar-free sweetener -- but a better idea for diabetics whose meal plan calls for more carbohydrate would be to stick to the sugar-free sweeteners and then perhaps to add another serving of fruit or a slice of whole wheat toast instead of the simple sugar found in honey. With one serving of fruit and a sugar-free sweetener, your breakfast would be around 24 grams of carbohydrate. With an additional serving of fruit or toast, it would be around 40 grams of carbohydrate.

Plain low or non-fat Greek yogurt can also be used almost exclusively in place of sour cream in dips and recipes since the texture and flavor is so similar. I actually used it this year to make my husband's favorite sour cream holiday cookies. Although he swore he could tell the difference, I couldn't -- and I suspect that if I hadn't disclosed the substitution that he would never have guessed!

Greek yogurt is readily available now in regular grocery stores; find it in the refrigerated dairy section. You'll probably see four or more varieties sold. All are good options -- just make sure you pick a low or non-fat variety.

Here are some other recipe ideas for using Greek Yogurt:

Blueberry Smoothie

Pita

Lemon pound cake with yogurt

Tzatziki

Greek yogurt dip

Yogurt-marinated chicken

Cole slaw

Moorish chicken

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