Greek Yogurt Vs. Regular Yogurt: Which Is More Healthful?

How does Greek-style yogurt stack up against its conventional rival?

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Still undecided on which team to join? Compare the labels of Dannon's regular and Greek varieties. (Other popular brands of Greek yogurt include Chobani, and Stonyfield Farm's Oikos.)

Greek (5.3 ounces, nonfat, plain)

  • Calories: 80
  • Total fat: 0 grams
  • Cholesterol: 10 milligrams
  • Sodium: 50 milligrams
  • Sugar: 6 grams
  • Protein: 15 grams
  • Calcium: 15 percent on a 2,000-calorie diet
  • Regular (6 ounces, nonfat, plain)

    • Calories: 80
    • Total fat: 0 grams
    • Cholesterol 5 milligrams
    • Sodium: 120 milligrams
    • Sugar: 12 grams
    • Protein: 9 grams
    • Calcium: 30 percent on a 2,000-calorie diet.
    • Though most experts agree that Greek yogurt has a nutritional edge, both kinds help you lose weight by keeping you full on fewer calories. The key is sticking to plain, nonfat, or low-fat varieties. In a recent study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, Harvard researchers found that yogurt can keep help keep age-related weight gain in check. People tended to lose nearly 1 pound every four years if they added a daily serving of yogurt to their diet, probably because of the way bacterial cultures affect our intestines.

      [See Best Diets for Healthy Eating.]

      If you do opt for Greek yogurt, take advantage of its versatility. Mix it with seasonings like garlic, dill, and parsley to create a unique dip for carrots, celery sticks, or cucumber slices. Toss in some berries or high-fiber granola. You can also substitute Greek yogurt for sour cream on tacos, for example, or for the eggs and oil in baked goods. It's an acceptable replacement for fatty ingredients like cream cheese, mayonnaise, and butter. "Its thick texture makes it an excellent swap for mayonnaise on sandwiches, or in dishes like potato salad, egg salad, pasta salad, and coleslaw," Hartel says. "Since these are comfort foods, it makes it easier to transition to using yogurt in recipes."

      [See: Unusual Uses for Greek Yogurt.]

      This story was originally reported by Katherine Hobson on April 6, 2009.