Greek Yogurt: My Favorite On-The-Go Breakfast is Filled With Protein

I love to push the snooze button one too many times on my Hatch alarm clock, which means I’m typically running very late by the time I start thinking about breakfast. Instead of skipping it altogether (sinful!), I needed something delicious to take while on the move. “Greek yogurt is an excellent source of protein and a great option if you’re looking for something quick, filling, and portable,” says clinical nutritionist Heather Hodson, RDN, CDCES at NYU Langone Health.

Because of all this, Greek yogurt has become the most reliable early morning meal for me. I love the single-serving versions of Nounós, which come packaged in glass so I also don’t feel guilty about waste (the containers are great for my ever-growing beauty products).

What’s the difference between Greek yogurt and regular yogurt?

In the fermentation process of turning milk into yogurt, Greek yogurt faces one more fermentation step and one more filtration step than regular yogurt, which is why it is thicker and creamier. In fact, more milk is required to produce it, and it contains less water but more nutrients. “From a nutrition perspective, Greek yogurt typically has significantly more protein—often two times as much!—and fewer carbohydrates than regular yogurt,” Hodson says. There are versions of the yogurt that partially or fully remove that fat, but with the choice you also lose a lot of the flavor and taste.

What are the benefits of Greek yogurt?

On top of having more protein than regular yogurt, Greek yogurt is also a great option for people who are lactose-sensitive. “Greek yogurt contains less lactose than regular yogurt due to its production process, so many individuals with lactose sensitivities can actually tolerate it much more easily than other dairy products,” Hodson says, adding that it does typically have less calcium than regular yogurt, though.

There’s also the live cultures. Anybody with stomach issues is likely familiar with probiotics, also known as lactic acid bacteria, within it contribute to the balance of intestinal flora, facilitate the absorption of vitamins and minerals in the body, balance metabolism, and also reduce abdominal bloating. Just make sure you find a option that’s labeled “contains live cultures.”

What are the best Greek yogurt toppings and why?

If the idea of eating something on the regular sounds boring, fret not. There are tons of ways to spice up (literally) Greek yogurt, depending if you’re craving something savory or sweet. “It’s really versatile,” says Hodson. “We often think of pairing it with fruit or granola or adding it to smoothies, but it can also be used as a higher-protein and probiotic-rich alternative to products like sour cream. Add a dollop to tacos, creamy soups, and salad dressings, or make your own tzatziki- style vegetable dip by adding garlic, lemon juice, cucumbers, olive oil, and dill.”

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