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Simply Nutritious, Quick and Delicious

Jenna Smith, Extension Educator brings you helpful tips to make meals easy, healthy and tasty!
Fruit and Yogurt Parfait

Should You Go Greek?


I'm pleased to introduce guest blogger, Tina Lam! Tina is a graduate student at Illinois State University and is completing her dietetic internship.

In the last few years, Greek yogurt has been on the rise in popularity, but what is Greek yogurt? Greek yogurt is strained more intensively than regular yogurt. This removes the sugar called lactose and whey that is found in regular yogurt, giving it a thicker consistency than regular yogurt. Whey is the protein found in the liquid component of yogurt when it's strained. Considered a health super food, Greek yogurt does live up to its reputation. Due to the removal of lactose and whey, Greek yogurt has less sugar (carbohydrates) and more protein per serving over its counterpart, which helps keep you full! A 6-ounce container of Greek yogurt can contain the same amount of protein as a 3-ounce piece of lean meat, which means you're getting the protein without the extra fat, which can aid in weight loss.

Another health benefit of Greek yogurt is that it contains live active bacteria, or probiotics, which can also be found in regular yogurt. Probiotics are healthy bacteria, which is beneficial to your intestinal walls. However, not all Greek yogurts are made the same. Steer away from Greek yogurts that claim to be made with live active cultures instead of actually containing live active cultures. Greek yogurt, just like regular yogurt, comes in a variety of flavors. However, flavored yogurts usually contain more sugar than their plain counterparts. They also come in regular (original), 2%, or 0% fat content. Let's look at a few different Greek yogurts for comparison:

7oz.

FAGE ©

Total 0%

FAGE ©

Total 2%

FAGE ©

Original

FAGE ©

Strawberry

Calories

100

150

190

170

Total Fat

0g

4g

10g

6g

Cholesterol

0g

10mg

25mg

15mg

Sodium

65mg

65mg

70mg

45mg

Total Carbs

7g

8g

8g

17g

Sugars

7g

8g

8g

16g

Protein

18g

20g

18g

11g

Calcium

20%

20%

20%

10%

Lastly, I just want to be clear that whether you choose Greek or regular yogurt, both can be a healthy part of your daily meals. Choose plain non-fat yogurt or plain non-fat Greek yogurt instead of ones that are already flavored to avoid added sugars. Try pairing these yogurts with healthy options, such as fresh fruit, for a tasty treat any time of the day. Yogurt can be made into sweet or savory treats for people of all ages. Add honey or agave nectar for a slightly sweeter taste or peanut butter and vanilla for a more savory taste. Greek yogurt does have a tangier and less sweet taste, which some people find more appealing. Try the parfait recipe below for a quick breakfast or snack!

 

Fruit Parfait Printable PDF

2 cups plain non-fat Greek yogurt

2 cups bananas, sliced

2 cups strawberries, washed, stemmed and halved

1 cup of your favorite granola or whole-wheat cereal

Divide and layer ½ cup Greek yogurt, ½ cup strawberries, ½ cup bananas, and ¼ cup granola or cereal into 4 parfait cups and enjoy! For a bit of extra sweetness, add a drizzle of honey.

Yield: 4 servings

Nutrition analysis per serving (without honey): 230 calories, 3.5g total fat, 5mg cholesterol, 50mg sodium, 38g carbohydrates, 5g dietary fiber, 15g protein.



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