Is Greek Yogurt Healthy or Not and Does it Help If You Want To Lose Weight?
There are many contradictory stories about dairy products on the internet. And that makes it difficult to determine whether or not you should eat dairy.
In a country like the Netherlands, for example, a lot of dairies is consumed. After all, it would be good for your bones.
Greek yogurt is a form of dairy that is fermented. It is full and creamy in taste. It is enjoyed by many people at breakfast with some muesli and fruit.
Now the key question is, of course, is Greek yogurt so healthy?
There you will find answers in this article.
In addition, you will learn in this article:
- How Greek yogurt is created
- Why Greek yogurt is healthier than other yogurts
- Which people better not eat Greek yogurt
- What benefits does Greek yogurt have?
- What disadvantages Greek yogurt knows
What is Greek Yogurt?
Greek yogurt is a dairy product from a cow.
Dairy is a product that is eaten a lot in western Europe cuisine. Almost every family has milk, yogurt, cheese and butter in the fridge.
Do we know dairy products for as long as we exist?
If you think we already ate dairy products when we were prehistoric, then you are wrong.
It was only when agriculture and cattle breeding came in that we began to eat “people” dairy products. We started drinking milk and we were going to eat cereals.
We did not do all this as a prehistoric man in the hunter-gatherer’s time.
In the introduction I mentioned it for a moment: “Dairy products would be good for the bones and therefore enough milk must be drunk, especially by children”. Yet it turned out that hunter-gatherers who did not know dairy products had stronger bones than we have today (source). Why that is so, I will return to this article later.
Greek yogurt is made from milk. So it is not the same. Greek yogurt is made by fermenting milk. I explain below exactly how this works.
Fermentation is a process in which bacteria, fungi and yeasts are used to make a certain food. Only bacteria and yeast are used in Greek yogurt. In milk, lactose (milk sugar) is converted into lactic acids during this process.
Fermentation is not just invented, this was already done for very different reasons:
This left rotting bacteria away and products could last much longer.
By fermenting, the acidity of a milk product decreases, so that this type of products could be taken along for long trips.
This was often done on board ships. Here food had to be taken quickly for a number of long months.
For example, cabbage became sauerkraut and milk became yogurt or kefir. And all these products could be kept for a very long time.
In addition to the fact that the fermentation of products used to be useful so that products last longer, it also appears to be very healthy.
When fermenting milk products, lactic acid bacteria are added that have different positive effects on our body. These bacteria are brought to life as soon as they come into contact with dairy products. Then the lactose in milk is converted into good lactic acids.
In addition, these lactic acid bacteria make enzymes that break down carbohydrates and proteins. These enzymes also change the taste, smell, digestibility and shelf life of the product.
So you can actually say that fermentation is a very healthy way of processing. The most products are not healthier as soon as you edit them. Think about:
- Fruit juices
- Ice (This is milk with only a lot of sugar added)
I do not recommend you to eat any of the above products. But fermented products are generally much healthier. And the same goes for Greek yogurt.
Difference between ordinary yogurt and Greek Yogurt.
That has everything to do with the fact that in Greek yogurt the milk whey is removed. Milk whey is the watery part of the yogurt/milk. This is removed by means of cheesecloth or muslin. When you remove this, a creamy full Greek yogurt is left behind.
What makes yogurt healthier than milk?
Meanwhile, you know that fermentation makes many foods healthier.
And that has to do with three things:
- Through fermentation sugars in products are converted into acids. And as you probably know, sugars do not have a positive effect on your body. Ideally, you eat as little sugar as possible because they do your body more harm than good.
- Lactic acid bacteria are added to dairy products and ensure the fermentation process. During this process, the good bacteria multiply, which in turn have a positive effect on your intestinal flora.
- Due to the conversion of lactose to lactic acid, many dairy products are more digestible. And that brings me right to the following point:
Do you have lactose intolerance or cow’s milk allergy?
Milk products are not available for everyone. On the contrary, even a large part of the world’s population can not compete with dairy products at all.
After all, I explained to you that we did not eat any dairy at all. Genetically speaking, humans are not at all suitable for digesting milk. From an evolutionary point of view, we also do not need milk to survive. We have been without it for millions of years.
Why can some people tolerate milk? This has to do with the fact that people in areas where milk has been drunk for a long time are “genetically modified”. This allows people in these areas to digest dairy (source). The area where this is so is, particularly in Northern Europe. That is precisely why many Dutch people can handle milk.
If you think this is the most normal thing in the world, you will still be amazed.
The majority of the world’s population can not tolerate milk at all and that appears to be 75% of the world’s population. This whole group is lactose intolerant. As a child, your body breaks down lactose from breast milk by the enzyme lactase. In most people, however, the production of the enzyme lactase disappears at a later age (source). This makes them lactose intolerant.
Do you want to know more about dairy products and whether it is healthy or unhealthy?
Then read the article below:
But what does this have to do with Greek yogurt?
Greek yogurt again has advantages here. Many people with lactose intolerance can tolerate small amounts of lactose and as you know, fermented dairy products contain less lactose, which means they can tolerate this often (source).
In Greek yogurt bacterial cultures live on lactose. This is why yogurt contains much less lactose than regular milk.
What about a cow’s milk allergy?
Unfortunately, the composition of proteins does not change during the fermentation process of milk. And therefore you can not eat fermented dairy products.
The only solution to not get this allergy is to completely remove dairy products from your diet.
Benefits of Greek yogurt
You have already learned that Greek yogurt is generally healthier than milk or other non-fermented dairy products. But what exactly are the benefits of Greek yogurt you will learn below.
Benefit # 1: Greek yogurt certainly helps with weight loss
Greek yogurt is a full yogurt type. And yes you can also get this in a skinny version but that is not recommended.
I know that for many people this comes like a bolt from the blue:
“Full yogurt is not as healthy as it contains a lot of fats and you get fat from fats.”
In order to work out this myth once and for all, I will show you a number of studies below that prove the opposite:
- People who eat full dairy products are less often obese than people who eat low-fat dairy products (source).
- Another study showed that people who ate a lot of full dairy products had less belly fat (source).
I understand that it sounds crazy that people who eat fatty products store less fat, but it is still the truth. Nowadays, in particular, sugars and bad carbohydrates appear to be the culprit of weight gain and fat storage.
In the past, they thought differently, but that has more to do with certain research designs than with the food itself.
A great example of such a type of research is the Keys study from the 1960s. In this study, only countries that confirmed its suspicions were included in the conclusion and left out the rest of the countries. As a result, the results of the investigation were completely distorted.
Do you want to know more about the misunderstandings of fats and saturated fats?
Then read the article below:
Benefit # 2: It’s very nutritious
If there is one product on earth that contains a lot of nutritious substances, it is Greek Yoghurt.
First, full Greek yogurt contains many healthy saturated fats. These healthy fats are saturated fats and are very useful if you want to lose weight (source).
This has everything to do with the fact that fats do not affect your blood sugar and insulin levels. Insulin is, in particular, a hormone that provides fat storage. In addition, full yogurt such as Greek yogurt automatically contains fewer carbohydrates and sugars because it contains more fat.
In the previous tip, several studies have shown that full types of yogurts can cause weight loss.
In addition, Greek yogurt also contains a lot of proteins. This can amount to the number of proteins in meat.
Proteins have a particularly positive effect on your hunger (source). It appears to be the most satiating macronutrient. That is why products with a combination of fats and proteins are ideal for losing weight. The proteins make you feel saturated and the fats have little or no effect on the growth hormone insulin.
Greek yogurt is also a rich source of calcium. It also contains potassium, phosphorus, magnesium and vitamins b1, b2 and b12. And to top it all, it also contains less lactose than normal yogurt.
Benefit # 3: Greek yogurt is healthy for intestinal flora
Most people think of small organisms that can make us sick. But our intestinal flora consists for a large part of bacteria. And these are very important because they break down certain nutrients in our intestines so that we can absorb these nutrients.
Greek yogurt contains bacteria that benefit our digestion (source). The bacteria that are in this area are also called probiotics.
Our intestinal flora
Our intestines consist of bad and good bacteria. In principle, they should be in balance.
As soon as your unhealthy food comes in, such as fast food, cookies, candy and other processed products, this balance will change. There is a surplus of bad bacteria and that automatically means that a bad intestinal flora is created. A bad intestinal flora increases the risk of rheumatism, multiple sclerosis and food allergies (source, source, source).
And that’s where yogurt comes in. Yogurt contains probiotics. These are good intestinal bacteria that help the balance in the right direction. When you eat fermented dairy products, the intestinal forums can therefore improve.
Research has also shown that overweight people often have a lot more bad intestinal bacteria in their intestines (source).
And the composition of your diet appears to be the determining factor for the composition of your intestinal bacteria (source).
In other words, an unhealthy diet can cause a bad intestinal flora, which in turn increases the risk of overweight and many other diseases.
A healthy diet and fermented products such as Greek yogurt help keep your intestinal flora healthy.
Note: not every Greek yogurt contains probiotics. Make sure that the food label contains “living and active cultures”.
Benefit # 4: It reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease
Above I have already told you that full yogurt is healthier than low-fat yogurt. Full yogurt contains healthy saturated fats, which are removed with low-fat yogurt.
It’s a shame, because the fats are removed, the amount of carbohydrates in yogurt automatically increases and we just want to prevent that.
There are a lot of saturated fatty acids in full yogurt. And just as you thought that saturated fats made you fat, you probably also think that these fats increase the risk of cardiovascular disease.
After all, saturated fats increase your cholesterol level in the blood, which then increases the risk of cardiovascular disease. But fortunately, the opposite has been proven in recent years.
There appears to be no link at all between eating saturated fats and the risk of cardiovascular disease (source). It even appears that saturated fats raise good cholesterol (HDL) in the blood, which is associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease (source, source).
Please note: what the cows get to eat determines the composition of the milk they give.
Cows are made to eat grass. However, cows also get some corn to eat. And in general, the intestines of cows are less able to withstand corn, so that the milk they supply is often less healthy. The Dutch cows get less corn and more grass compared to cows elsewhere in the world. Fortunately!
A cow that walks in the pasture and can eat grass simply gives milk with more omega-3 fatty acids and C.L.A. These both have an anti-inflammatory effect on the human body (source).
Benefit # 5: It reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes
Type 2 diabetes is a disease that more and more people are struggling with.
In diabetes type 2, the body initially became insensitive to insulin, causing a continuously increased blood sugar level. When you have this long enough, your pancreas eventually stops producing insulin and your type 2 diabetes gets worse.
This disease develops most people through an unhealthy lifestyle. When you constantly bombard your body with sugars and carbohydrates, your body can not keep up with it at a certain point so that the sugars can no longer be absorbed. With all its consequences.
Why Greek yogurt food is good for people with type 2 diabetes or to prevent type 2 diabetes?
First, Greek yogurt has a low glycemic index. This means that this yogurt has little influence on your blood sugar and insulin levels and is therefore ideal for diabetes type 2 patients. Greek yogurt also appears to contain less lactose than normal yogurt.
However, the chance of developing type 2 diabetes is also good intestinal flora. And as you have mentioned above, Greek yogurt contains probiotics.
Probiotics can improve your blood sugar and that is mainly because probiotics prevent insulin resistance (source). Insulin resistance means that your cells are insensitive to insulin.
Benefit # 6: It has an anti-inflammatory effect
So the biggest advantage of yogurt is the healthy bacteria it contains.
And these healthy bacteria also have a positive effect on your immune system in addition to all of the above benefits.
But in yogurt, there is also magnesium that also plays an important role in keeping your immune system healthy (source).
All in all, Greek yogurt contains a lot of healthy nutrients that have a positive effect on your body.
Disadvantages of Greek yogurt
Greek yogurt, like any other product, also has disadvantages. And I can guarantee you that these disadvantages are unknown to you and open your eyes.
So let’s start soon:
Disadvantage # 1: Dairy increases the chance of bone loss
You probably had this disadvantage if it was up to you with the benefits.
What we have always learned in the past is that dairy products and especially milk provide strong bones. All sorts of advertising campaigns were carried out to allow people and especially children to drink enough milk and to have dairy products.
Milk contains a lot of calcium and calcium provides strong bones. That could not be missed.
And yet it is strange that many studies now show that countries where many dairy products are consumed (western countries), osteoporosis is the most prevalent. And vice versa, osteoporosis is least prevalent in countries that consume hardly any dairy products (source).
Osteoporosis is the leading cause of bone fractures among the elderly in Western countries.
The number of bone fractures in the Netherlands is also very high when compared with other countries in the world. And that while the Netherlands drink a lot of milk and eat dairy. And it is not that Greek yogurt contains calcium other than milk.
Now there are a number of explanations for this. These are all described in the article I gave at the heading: “Have you given a lactose intolerance or cow’s milk allergy?” Very useful to go through yet.
Disadvantage # 2: Children have an increased risk of type 1 diabetes
This is also a disadvantage that few people know about.
Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease that affects young children. Our own body attacks the pancreas and destroys certain cells of the pancreas. The main pancreas has the production of the hormone insulin. This is necessary to transport sugars from your blood to cells where it can serve as energy.
The intestines of babies and small children are generally still under development. This means that cow’s milk proteins from dairy products can end up in the blood. These cow’s milk proteins can then trigger a response from our immune system, which can provide type 1 diabetes (source).
Research shows that children with diabetes type 1 have more antibodies against cow’s milk proteins in their blood (source). Conversely, it turned out that children who drank little cow’s milk had a lower risk of type 1 diabetes (source).
All this does not necessarily mean that children who drink cow’s milk automatically get type 1 diabetes. The risk of type 1 diabetes is 1.5 times greater when you give your child cow’s milk (source).
This is especially true for milk since most children get milk to drink. But the same could apply to Greek yogurt, of course. This contains exactly the same milk proteins. You only eat Greek yogurt often at a later age, which is why it is often no longer a threat.
Disadvantage # 3: Greek yogurt comes in all shapes and sizes
The biggest drawback is that Greek yogurt is available in so many varieties today, that most Greek yogurt varieties are unhealthy.
The tip that I give you in almost every article is that you have to eat as many unprocessed foods as possible. And that also applies here again.
Greek yogurt is healthier than milk because it is fermented. But that is the only processing process that makes food healthier. Everything that happens afterward makes every product less healthy.
Greek yogurt contains a lot of fat. Just like whole milk does, which comes from the cow in this way namely a cow milked no skim milk. For this reason, all variants on which lean, half full or 0% fat is automatically less healthy than the fuller variant.
The fats in yogurt do not affect your blood sugar and insulin levels. In addition, these fats provide satiety, so you get hungry less quickly.
Also, most types of Greek yogurt now contain added sugars.
It should be forbidden.
Greek yogurt has a reasonably sour taste. To remove this sour taste, sugars are added, so that more people like it. Not knowing that these products become a lot less healthy.
Are you planning to eat Greek yogurt, then buy the full version with at least 10 grams of fat per 100 grams. In addition, no added sugar and flavors have to be added. Only natural Greek yogurt meets the above advantages.
Just that you know!
Old-fashioned Greek yogurt is made with goat’s milk. No matter what type of milk is used, it’s the ingredients that matter. Labels on some food products, such as cereals and sweets, may say they include Greek yogurt, but the additional sugars and other ingredients may counteract the benefits.
The best yogurt is the plain, unsweetened, low-fat, kind with the least amount of additives. Add fresh berries and granola to sweeten up your serving. This way you can know what’s in your food and keep your choices as healthy as possible.
Did you know that research shows that 1 in 3 just gains from a diet instead of losing weight? (source)
Discover how you lose several kilos per week with tasty and easy to make slimming recipes!
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