What Are the Differences Between Regular and Greek Yogurt?

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Chobani Greek yogurt vs regular yogurt
Taken by Jainath Ponnala via unsplash.com. [Public Domain].

The origins of yogurt go back more than 4,000 years, and while Greek yogurt may seem like a new trend, it has been around for centuries. Originating in the Middle East, Greek yogurt, also known as strained yogurt, is not as Greek as you might have thought. The term is accepted because Greek yogurt was introduced to America by a Greek company.

Cultures worldwide have enjoyed different yogurt types, whether made from the milk of sheep, cows, or yaks. You may have eaten yogurt all your life, but there may be some differences between regular and Greek yogurt you never knew.

How Yogurt Is Made

Like beer, wine, and other fermented products, yogurt was discovered by accident when milk was left out long enough for bacteria to begin growing. During fermentation, lactose converts to lactic acid, which causes the milk to thicken and sour. Straining the whey is also part of the process, but how much straining depends on the type of yogurt. Yogurt makers use a multiple strain process to get rid of the whey, making Greek yogurt more concentrated. Good bacteria or “cultures” are added as well as sugar and other ingredients for flavor.

Differences in Nutrient Density

One of the significant differences between regular and Greek yogurt is that each contains different amounts of nutrients. Since Greek yogurt is so concentrated, it has fewer carbohydrates and more protein, while regular yogurt is hardly strained and still retains much of the original carbohydrate content of milk. Per serving, regular yogurt also has around the same or more calcium than milk, while Greek yogurt has about half the amount.

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Plain Yogurt Tastes Better

If health and nutrients are a priority for you, you will want to know about the differences in taste between regular and Greek yogurt. The flavored varieties usually come with added sugar, while plain yogurts can be spruced up with toppings or used as ingredients for your favorite recipes. Greek yogurt is concentrated and is sourer than regular yogurt. Additionally, the high-fat content makes it an unparalleled kitchen staple that is wonderful in dips, desserts, made into ice cream, or swapped out for sour cream.

The Texture of Yogurt

A large part of Greek yogurt’s success is its popular texture. The multiple strain process creates a thick and dense product that many people enjoy. It has a creamy, whipped consistency, while regular yogurt is looser due to the liquid whey still present. This difference is another reason why Greek yogurt is more versatile than regular yogurt and a smart substitute for some ingredients.

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Choosing the best yogurt comes down to personal preference. If you are looking for health differences between regular and Greek yogurt, you will find that each offers several benefits. Both taste good and are full of healthy nutrients. Whether you want to stick to your original yogurt or try switching it up, you will enjoy a high-protein, calcium-rich snack.

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