Why Is Greek Yogurt Thicker Than Regular Yogurt?
Many people know that Greek yogurt is thicker than regular yogurt. But, why? Yogurt is made by heating milk and then cooling it down before live cultures are introduced. As the milk sits, a fermentation process takes place that turns the milk sugars (lactose) into lactic acid. The lactic acid helps thicken the milk into yogurt and creates that classic yogurt taste.
The difference between Greek yogurt and regular yogurt is in the straining process. Whey is the liquid portion of milk that partly remains in the final product of yogurt. This whey is strained when making Greek yogurt causing a thicker consistency than regular yogurt.
Taste and Uses
Greek yogurt tends to have a creamier, tangier flavor compared to the milder taste of regular yogurt. Greek yogurt’s thickness makes it a great option for baking goods or as a substitute for sour cream, whereas regular yogurt can be substitute for thinner liquids like buttermilk.
Nutrition: Greek Yogurt vs Regular Yogurt
Protein: Greek yogurt noticeably has a lot more protein than regular yogurt. A 200 gram serving of non-fat Greek has about 15 grams of protein, whereas non-fat regular has 9 grams.
Carbohydrates: Greek yogurt has lower carbs than regular yogurt. Greek yogurt will typically have about half carbs as a regular yogurt. Any sugar added will increase the carb count.
Sugar: Greek yogurt has less sugar than regular yogurt. Comparing 200 grams of non-fat Greek yogurt to non-fat regular yogurt, we found 6 grams of sugar for the Greek yogurt and 12 grams for the regular.
Calories: Greek and regular yogurt have similar calorie counts for the non-fat, plain choices. Any added sugars will result in higher calories. It is best to read the label before buying a particular brand.
Sodium: Greek tends to have a much lower sodium content than regular. In non-fat, plain yogurt, regular has over half as much sodium as Greek yogurt.
Calcium: The straining process involved with Greek yogurt removes some of the calcium content. Regular yogurt typically has a much higher calcium content since it is not strained. Typically you will find that regular yogurt will have double or triple the amount of calcium as Greek yogurt. This is a big difference for someone looking to increase their daily calcium intake.
Greek yogurt is typically a better option nutritional but you will likely pay twice as much for the Greek as you would for the regular. Regular yogurt is still a good healthy option assuming you are not including unhealthy toppings or mix-ins. If you are on a budget or simply like the taste of regular yogurt better, go for the regular option. Remember that not all yogurt is the same. We recommend reading the labels to find the best choice for you.