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New Healthy Food #3

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Now that we have tried sardines and quinoa, let's hit the dairy with yogurt, actually Greek yogurt. Yogurt has long been known as an excellent source of bone-building calcium and muscle-building protein. Greek yogurt, however, is a relative newcomer to US households. As with all yogurts, Greek yogurt is produced by heating and culturing milk with gut-friendly bacteria. Greek yogurt is then additionally strained to remove excess whey for a thicker, creamier finished product than regular yogurt.

This creamy treat packs a nutritional punch. The process of removing whey results in a higher protein level than regular yogurt. Although slightly higher in calories  (100 vs.80), non-fat Greek yogurt has 18 grams of protein in six ounces, compared to 8 grams for the regular non-fat yogurt.

Greek yogurt can be enjoyed plain, drizzled with honey, topped with nuts, or flavored with fruit for a tasty and healthy snack. You may start your day with its high levels of protein and calcium by mixing it with granola or your favorite high dietary fiber cereal. With its dense, moist consistency, it is a great substitute for mayonnaise, sour cream, or cream cheese. Or, you can try making a dip by mixing plain Greek yogurt with some of your favorite minced fresh or dried herbs.

The cost for Greek yogurt is a little higher than regular yogurt, but its thick, creamy texture, higher nutritional levels, and richer taste, make it worth the extra cost. So, before you come to the Y for your workout, give yourself a nutritional and mental boost with a Greek yogurt treat.