This thick and creamy treat packs a powerful punch of protein in each serving.

The popularity of Greek yogurt is still a relatively new phenomenon in the U.S., but the rich superfood has roots in history that date back hundreds of years. While all kinds of yogurt can be part of a healthy diet, Greek yogurts nutritional punch comes with the benefit of nearly twice the amount of protein per serving as traditional yogurt.

As with regular yogurt, Greek yogurt is available in both traditional and nonfat varieties. The U.S.Department of Agriculture says that a 6-ounce, single-serving size of nonfat plain Greek yogurt has 100 calories, 17.3 grams of protein, 6.1 grams of carbohydrates and only 5.5 grams of sugar.

Did you know?
The National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse says that because most people who have lactose intolerance can tolerate some amount of lactose in their diet, many lactose-intolerant people are able to consume yogurts.

Compared to regular yogurt, Greek yogurt is filtered through an additional straining process that removes some of the sugar, carbohydrates and whey (the watery-like part that’s left when milk is separated), thereby concentrating the remaining substances. The result is a thicker texture that’s very creamy but slightly less sweet. The downside to the additional straining is that a lot of yogurts calcium is also removed, so if you’re looking to support bone health, make sure to look for Greek yogurts that are fortified with additional calcium. Both Greek yogurt and regular yogurt contain live cultures that help the digestive system by promoting the growth of healthy bacteria within the intestines.

A functional benefit of Greek yogurt is that by having the whey removed, Greek yogurt doesnt curdle as easily as regular yogurt does, making it easier to cook with and to combine into sauces. For example, tzatziki, a popular Mediterranean appetizer dip, is made using Greek yogurt. Greek yogurt can frequently be used as a healthier ingredient substitute in recipes calling for sour cream, butter, mayonnaise or heavy cream.

So whether you’re looking for a protein-packed breakfast option, a healthy afternoon snack or a new condiment to add some zing to your next family dinner, Greek yogurts versatility and nutrition make for an excellent choice.

Need a Superfood recipe? Try one of these:

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