If you are not living under a rock, you would know that yogurt is not just regular food anymore. It is a trend that has taken the market by storm. There is nothing new about yogurt itself. This milk product can be traced back to as far as the 6th century BC. Yet, it is now that it has attained new glory wherein it is being revered as “the” thing for health or simply as a dessert.
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What Is Greek Yogurt?
The range of yogurts available in the market is extensive. Also, the previous statement is an understatement. If you step into a supermarket aisle these days, the options will leave you either ecstatic or a nervous wreck. It completely depends on how decisive you are.
In these shelves full of various brands and types of yogurts, you will spot a whole of containers that read “Greek yogurt”. If you think that yogurt has been flown all the way from Greece, especially for you, you are sadly mistaken. Greek yogurt is thicker than most types of yogurt. It has low water content and often has a tangy or a more tart taste.
How Is It Different From Other Kinds of Yogurts?
Let us go back to that yogurt shelf in that supermarket aisle. Some of the other kinds of yogurt you will see will be various flavored yogurt, frozen yogurt, probiotic yogurt, low-fat yogurt, soy yogurt, almond yogurt—it’s a long list. Greek yogurt differs from all the other types of yogurt in the process of making.
The beginning of all types of yogurt is the same. Milk is heated and cooled. The bacterial culture is added to the warm milk and it is left to ferment for some hours. Once the yogurt is set, it is ready for consumption. But the journey of Greek yogurt does not stop here. For yogurt to become Greek yogurt, excess water is strained out of it. This leaves behind a yogurt with a thick consistency and a sour taste.
Nutritional Value of Greek Yogurt
If you start researching healthy diet plans, a lot many of them will suggest that you add yogurt to your diet. Out of these, most will recommend that you consume Greek yogurt instead. Wonder why?
Let us look at its nutritional contents to begin with. The table below shows the nutritional content in a 100-gram serving of fat-free Greek yogurt.
The Source of Carbs
If you are following a low-carb diet or if you are generally careful about your carb intake, yogurt might seem like a great option to you. But one thing you need to be careful about is that not all yogurt have similar carb content. In order to make an informed choice, you need to check the label for carb details every time you pick up a cup of yogurt.
Thanks to the information from the world wide web and your health-conscious friends, you by now must know that Greek yogurt is the go-to option when it comes to consuming lower carbs. But instead of blindly believing, have you ever wondered how many carbs are there in Greek yogurt? To answer this, let us understand what adds carbs to any yogurt.
Lactose is a disaccharide and is composed of glucose and galactose. More simply said, lactose is a kind of sugar. If you remember your school science lessons, you will remember that lactose is the predominant sugar in milk. It gets transferred to whey when milk gets converted into yogurt. Whey is the watery part of yogurt which contains the primary source of carbs in the yogurt.
Why Is Greek Yogurt Considered Healthy?
If you have already put two and two together, then congratulations, genius! If not, then let us spell it out for you. If you remember, we mentioned above that whey is the liquid or watery part of yogurt which contains the primary source of carbs in the form of lactose.
A few sections back we also mentioned how Greek yogurt is made. It is made by removing excess water from the usual yogurt. This means Greek yogurt contains way less whey. Draining the whey also makes the carbs drain away from the yogurt, leaving behind minimal quantities of carbs in Greek yogurt.
Lesser whey means lesser quantity of carbs. In general, Greek yogurt is known to have half the carbs as compared to usual yogurt. But, in addition to low carbs, Greek yogurt is also known for its high protein content. It has twice the protein and half the sodium content of usual yogurt variants. With such a healthy nutrition profile, it is definitely something that tops the list of healthy eaters.
Are Flavored Greek Yogurts Healthy Too?
Greek yogurt is a great health choice because of its carbs and protein contents. While that is true, it is only correct for plain Greek yogurt. Any sort of flavored Greek yogurt you find in the market will have artificial flavoring. This means that the Greek yogurt will also have fructose corn syrup (which is a kind of sugar), artificial coloring agents, and some other harmful additives to create the desired flavor, look and consistency.
These additions cause the sugar levels to rise in the Greek yogurt, thereby increasing the carb content. You can head to a supermarket’s yogurt shelf and compare to know how many carbs in Greek yogurt versus flavored Greek yogurt.
Artificial flavoring disturbs the entire health purpose of consuming Greek yogurt. In order to add some natural flavors, it is common to add some honey or fruit to the yogurt. But please be aware that doing so shall also increase its carb contents.
How to Make Greek Yogurt at Home
Making your own Greek yogurt at home is absolutely possible. The benefits of DIY-ing this are many.
Making yogurt at home is no rocket science. All you need is warm milk and a small amount of yogurt for live bacteria. The bacteria in the yogurt, or starter culture, kickstart the process of fermentation. This is the process that breaks down the new milk into yogurt. Usually, yogurt can be set overnight.
Once the yogurt is set, you can extract the excess whey from it by straining it with a double-layered cheesecloth. This will give you the required thick consistency of Greek yogurt.
Even though it is not rocket science, understanding what vessels are ideal for fermentation and getting the consistency right every time can get a bit difficult. Thanks to technology, machines have got this covered. You can find a series of yogurt makers and even Greek yogurt makers which encapsulate both the fermentation and straining process in the same device.
Making Low-Carb Greek Yogurt More Fun
As nutritious and healthy as it is, not everyone can forever eat the plain old Greek yogurt. But there is nothing to worry about. There are several ways to make plain Greek yogurt more fun and flavorful.
How many carbs in Greek yogurt? That’s the question we began this article with. We hope this article managed to answer that and much more. Greek yogurt is not only healthy but also a versatile and adaptable food item. Its low-carb content makes it a wonderful option for all those looking for a low-carb diet or just a healthy eating routine.
There are innumerable recipes and suggestions on the internet on how to use Greek yogurt in interesting recipes. So the day you don’t feel like having it just the way it is, remember that you can easily make it much more interesting while having something totally low carb.