As I was eating my Oikos Traditional Greek yogurt for a snack this afternoon, I wanted to know a little more about the nutritional benefits of regular and greek yogurt, so I found this article by Dr. Marybeth Feutz, on her site Agricultured, Food Questions Answered
It turns out that both Greek and regular yogurts start out with the same ingredients – milk and bacterial cultures. In fact, both types of yogurt even use the same bacterial cultures (Streptococcus thermophilus and Lactobacillus bulgaricus, if you were wondering).
The bacteria ferment the lactose (milk sugar) in the milk and produce lactic acid. Different strains of bacteria have slightly different fermentation processes, and have slightly different fermentation products, but the end result is primarily lactic acid. So some strains of bacteria might produce a fermented yogurt that is more acidic, or more bitter, or more sour.
After fermentation, the liquid whey is strained off the solid yogurt. Regular yogurt is strained twice, so there is still some liquid left in the end product. Greek yogurt is strained three times, so most of the liquid is removed. This is what gives Greek yogurt its’ thicker consistency and stronger flavors compared to regular yogurt. In fact, so much volume is lost during the extra straining step that it typically takes 4 cups of raw milk to get 1 cup of Greek yogurt, while it only takes 1 cup of raw milk
to get 1 cup of regular yogurt.
Because Greek yogurt is more “concentrated,” it has more protein than regular yogurt. The protein is left behind in the solid yogurt during the straining process. The whey contains most of the sodium, carbohydrates, and calcium, so Greek yogurts are lower in these nutrients than their regular counterparts.
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