Greek yogurt is a great food to include on your weight loss diet. But, should you eat the nonfat Greek yogurt or the full-fat kind?
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What Is The Difference Between Full-Fat vs. Nonfat Greek Yogurt?
The major difference between full-fat Greek yogurt and non-fat or fat-free Greek yogurt is the milk used to make it. The full-fat version is prepared with whole milk, whereas the non-fat or fat-free variety uses skim milk.
Their nutritional content is very different, and while neither non-fat nor full-fat Greek yogurt is unhealthy in and of itself, there are circumstances in which one would be a better option.
Nutritional Content Of Full-Fat Greek Yogurt
Full-fat Greek yogurt has about:
- 160 calories in a 5.3-ounce serving
- 14 grams of fat
- 13 grams of carbohydrates (5 of which are sugar)
- 6 to 8 grams of protein
Nutritional Content Of Non-Fat Greek Yogurt
Nonfat or fat-free Greek yogurt has about:
- 60 calories in a 5.3-ounce serving
- 0 grams of fat
- 11 to 13 grams of carbohydrates (5 of which are sugar)
- 6 to 8 grams of protein
The Biggest Difference Between These Yogurts Is Satiety
At first glance, it might seem like nonfat Greek yogurt is the best choice as a snack when you're dieting.
But- not so fast!
It turns out many folks who go with the nonfat Greek yogurt report being hungry again soon after eating it- within the hour.
The people who go with the full-fat version report being satiated for a couple of hours.
Full-Fat Greek Yogurt Keeps You Feeling Full Longer
The fat content (along with the protein) takes longer to digest, which makes you feel full for a longer period. This is great because you'll likely take in fewer calories over the day.
So, I recommend eating the full-fat type when eating it as a snack.
Don't forget to check out how yogurt good for your gut bacteria.
Is There Any Benefit From The Nonfat Greek Yogurt?
Yes. Because it is digested faster and contains a decent amount of protein, the nonfat Greek yogurt is great for your post-workout meal (or mixed in a smoothie). Add some berries and you've got a healthy post-workout treat.
Another time you should go with the nonfat Greek yogurt is if you plan on adding a topping with a high fat content, such as walnuts.
Benefits Of Greek Yogurt
Regardless of the fat content, Greek yogurt should have a place in your fat loss diet.
The protein in Greek yogurt fills you up without adding too many calories. And, of course, there are the health benefits of probiotics.
Greek yogurt is an excellent source of vitamins B2, B12, and riboflavin, as well as potassium. It also contains a decent amount of vitamin A. These vitamins keep your skin healthy and vibrant, boost your energy levels, and help keep your eyesight sharp.
What Do Probiotics Do For You?
Greek yogurt helps you maintain a healthy gut by providing probiotics (which are beneficial bacteria). These good bacteria keep your digestive system running smoothly and also provide several health benefits.
- All yogurt contains probiotics, but the fermentation process reduces the lactose in Greek yogurt, making it easier to digest.
- Studies have shown that people who regularly eat fermented milk products (which includes Greek yogurt) have fewer digestive issues.
- The healthy bacteria in yogurt can help you lose weight by reducing sugar cravings and helping with appetite suppression.
- Probiotics improve digestion by increasing the number of “good” bacteria in your stomach, which help you absorb important nutrients from food during digestion.
- They increase immunity by fighting off bad bacteria that can cause illness.
- And studies have shown that people who regularly consume fermented milk products exhibit fewer symptoms of upper respiratory infections than those that don't
Another benefit of Greek yogurt is the protein content. Eating enough protein on your diet is crucial to your success in several ways.
Hunger and fullness: Protein helps keep you feeling full and satiated. A recent study showed that eating a higher protein breakfast helped dieters with weight loss, compared to those who didn't eat enough protein in the morning.
Building muscle: Consuming adequate levels of protein is crucial if your goal is to build muscle. Since Greek yogurt is typically higher in protein than other types of yogurt, it can be a great choice when you're trying to get stronger and build lean (not bulky) muscle.
Healthy skin: Your skin needs collagen (which contains protein) to remain smooth and elastic. If your diet isn't providing enough protein, the body will get this from other sources, including your muscle tissue. This will make you weaker, and give your skin an unhealthy appearance.
Keeping You Regular: A study has shown that eating fermented milk products can help reduce constipation, which is a common side effect of weight loss dieting.
A good source of calcium
Calcium is beneficial to you because it helps strengthen your bones, and prevents bone loss. One cup of nonfat Greek yogurt provides about 20% of the daily value for calcium.
It also reduces your risk of osteoporosis, which is a disease that affects the skeletal system.
Healthy Teeth: Calcium can help prevent plaque buildup on your teeth, which can eventually lead to cavities and gum disease.
In addition to being a good source of calcium, Greek yogurt also contains about 20% of the daily value for phosphorus and zinc.
High in potassium
Potassium is key for regulating fluid balance in your body, and it's also beneficial to the functioning of your heart.
One cup of nonfat Greek yogurt provides about 16% of the daily value for potassium, which is important since you lose potassium when you sweat.
Potassium helps reduce bloating by increasing water excretion (thereby ridding your body of excess water).
This will help you fit back into your skinny jeans even faster.
Greek yogurt is very low in sodium, which is beneficial if you're limiting your salt intake. It does contain some sodium, so don't think it's a good idea to eat the whole container in one sitting if you're sensitive to sodium!
Some of us prefer the taste of Greek yogurt, some of us choose it because our body processes it better than regular yogurt, and others purchase this type of yogurt for its lower calorie content.
With these facts fresh on our minds next time we go grocery shopping let us help you choose wisely! Which type do you usually buy?