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Health Hub

Is Greek yoghurt good for weight loss?

When it comes to healthy snacks, it's hard to beat Greek yoghurt.

Is Greek Yoghurt Good for Weight Loss? | Juniper

For anybody on a weight loss journey, it can be challenging to find a breakfast or snack that is healthy, tasty, and convenient.

Rather than skipping meals or opting for takeaway when the hunger pangs set in on those busy days, it is important to set yourself up for success and have go-to options that can support your goals and keep you fuller for longer.

When working towards weight loss goals, we need to prioritise a balanced diet that meets our nutritional needs but one that also includes foods we genuinely enjoy [1].

After all, restricting yourself too much will most likely make it more difficult to stick to a diet plan or make maintainable lifestyle changes.

And when it comes to healthy snacks, it's hard to beat Greek yoghurt. It is versatile, convenient, filling, tasty, and can be added to sweet or savoury foods, or as a replacement for cream or sour cream.

But is it actually good for weight loss?

Here's everything you need to know about the health benefits of Greek yoghurt, and how eating it can help you on your journey to lose weight.

What is Greek yoghurt?

Before we start talking about weight loss, let's make sure we understand what Greek yoghurt is, and how it is different to regular yoghurt.

Greek yoghurt and regular yoghurt are both fermented dairy foods and are typically made from cow's milk (but yoghurt can also be made from other types of milk).

Yoghurt is made by combining heated milk with Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus bacteria and left to sit at a warm temperature [2]. These types of beneficial bacteria are great for gut health [3].

Greek yoghurt is then strained again to remove the whey and other liquid, which results in a thick texture.

Plain Greek yoghurt has a tart or sour taste. After the yoghurt is made, sweeteners, colours or flavours are sometimes added, which can change the nutritional value and flavour. Unsweetened yoghurt is typically a healthier option than those with added sugar.

Some companies add thickening agents to yoghurt and describe it as 'Greek style'. This is different to real Greek yoghurt.

Nutritional facts of Greek yoghurt

Greek yoghurt typically has a higher protein and lower sugar content than regular yoghurt [4].

The exact nutritional value will vary from brand to brand. Still, a 100g serving of plain Greek yoghurt made from whole milk contains approximately 94 calories, 9 grams of protein, 5 grams of carbohydrates, 4 grams of fat, and 3 grams of sugar [5].

A fat-free or low-fat Greek yoghurt serving of the same size will contain approximately 60 calories, 10 grams of protein, 4 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fat, and 3 grams of sugar [6].

If you are monitoring your caloric intake or have weight loss goals, be sure to check the labels and confirm that it doesn't contain artificial sweeteners, added sugar, or any other unexpected ingredients.

As a general rule, the healthiest types of yoghurt are those that only contain milk and live and active cultures as ingredients.

Greek yoghurt is naturally a great high-protein snack, but when there are flavours and sugars added, it can become a little less healthy and you might unintentionally sabotage your weight loss efforts by eating a higher-calorie snack than you realise.

Health benefits of Greek yoghurt

Both Greek yoghurt and other types of yoghurt have numerous health benefits and essential nutrients.

As dairy products, they contain calcium, which is beneficial for healthy bones and teeth [7]. Dairy foods can also contribute to a reduced risk of cardiovascular diseases and blood pressure issues [8].

Greek yoghurt is naturally high in protein, which is great for those on a weight journey — a high-protein diet can aid weight loss in several ways [9].

For one thing, increasing your protein intake — along with resistance training and building strength — can help increase muscle mass.

Having more muscle mass can increase your metabolism and basal metabolic rate, meaning your body burns more calories even at rest, which can aid weight loss [10].

Foods with a high protein content also help keep you fuller for longer than foods high in carbohydrates and sugar, meaning you are less likely to reach for foods high in saturated fat and are likely to consume fewer calories overall [11].

It is also a probiotic yogurt, which means it contains good bacteria which support gut health. A healthy gut is a key factor in overall health and wellbeing and can support your immune system, digestive system and mental health [12].

Probiotics can also improve symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), promote healthy bowel movements, prevent infections, and protect against an upset stomach caused by antibiotics or other types of medication [13].

Can you eat Greek yoghurt every day and lose weight?

You can absolutely have Greek yoghurt every day and lose weight, but of course, everything should be enjoyed in moderation. Additionally, it takes more than a few food swaps to truly change body composition and achieve long-term fat loss.

If you'd like support on your weight loss journey, you might like to consider a programme like Juniper's Weight Reset.

The programme is proven to reset the body's metabolic patterns for 15-20% weight loss in one year with the use of GLP-1 medication. This slows the rate at which your stomach empties, targets the reward centre of the brain to reduce cravings, and speeds up your metabolic rate.

With the combination of the medication, lifestyle changes and professional support, the programme with help you reach a healthy body weight, reduce body fat, and maintain optimal health.

Is Greek yoghurt good for losing belly fat?

As we've discussed, the benefits of Greek yoghurt can include improved bone health and gut health, increasing your dietary protein and keeping you satisfied for longer.

Unfortunately, you can't spot reduce or target certain areas of the body to lose weight from and this includes belly fat.

In order to lose weight in all areas, it's best to be in a calorie deficit [14].

You can do this by following a regular exercise regime and having a healthy diet including foods such as whole grains, lean meat, fruits and vegetables, legumes and — you guessed it — Greek yoghurt.

Healthy ways to eat Greek yoghurt

Greek yoghurt can be enjoyed in many different types of food to suit your taste buds and lifestyle.

Here are a few ways to incorporate Greek yoghurt into your everyday meals.

  • For a quick and easy breakfast, top your yoghurt with muesli and nut butter. This creates a great balanced meal and covers key nutrients of carbohydrates, protein, and healthy fats.
  • You can also blend it with protein powder, banana and milk for a tasty and filling smoothie, or add a dollop on top of your porridge or pancakes for a protein boost.
  • For a healthy and satiating snack, top a bowl of Greek yoghurt with fruit or low-sugar granola.
  • In savoury foods, creamy yoghurt can be used to replace sour cream. Try adding a dollop of Greek yoghurt on top of nachos or tacos, into your guacamole, or mixing with herbs and spices to create a dip or salad dressing.
  • Greek yoghurt can even be a great option to up the nutritional content of your desserts. You can enjoy it with fresh berries and a small drizzle of honey or as a replacement for cream alongside a fruit crumble.
  • If you enjoy baked goods, you can also substitute Greek yoghurt into recipes such as banana bread, muffins and even brownies. There are many Greek yoghurt recipes for weight loss if you want to get a little experimental in the kitchen!

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