If you are looking for a simple snack to satisfy your sweet tooth, a bowl of greek yogurt drizzled with honey is the way to go. Not only does it taste delicious, it’s filled with beneficial nutrients and health benefits.
Difference between regular and greek yogurt
There is a difference between regular and greek yogurt. Firstly, greek yogurt is much thicker and a bit more sour compared to regular yogurt. It’s also a good source of protein, which is why it’s so popular in the health and fitness community.
One cup of plain nonfat greek yogurt is around 145 calories and contains 25 grams of protein. One cup of plain nonfat regular yogurt is around 135 calories, but only contains 14 grams of protein.
These numbers will of course differ depending on the brand you purchase, but greek yogurt will consistently contain more protein than regular yogurt.
Is nonfat, low-fat or whole milk greek yogurt healthier?
There is mixed research when it comes to the healthfulness of dairy fat. Dairy products are high in saturated fat, which is typically associated with increased LDL cholesterol levels. But there is research to suggest fat coming from dairy is not harmful to your health.
The reason for this is not well understood. It could be because dairy products contain cardioprotective nutrients such as calcium and vitamin D.
When it comes to choosing what kind of yogurt to purchase, it comes down to personal choice. If you like the taste of low-fat yogurt and it keeps you full, that is a good option for you. But, if you feel whole milk yogurt helps you stay more satisfied, then that may be the best option.
Experiment with nonfat, low-fat and whole milk greek yogurt and see which works best. Notice how soon after consuming it you feel hungry and monitor your cravings throughout the day.
What if I’m lactose intolerant?
If you suffer from lactose intolerance, you may need to avoid regular greek yogurt due to its high lactose content. Some people may tolerate small amounts of lactose, so it depends how severe your lactose intolerance is. Speak to your doctor before consuming dairy products.
There are also a variety of lactose-free greek yogurt products on the market today. Brands like Fage, Green Valley and Kite Hill have lactose-free and dairy free greek yogurt products (links are affiliate links).
Is honey healthier than white sugar?
Nutritionally, honey and white sugar are pretty similar. Both honey and white sugar are made up of a combination of fructose and glucose, two kinds of simple sugars. Honey usually has a lower percentage of fructose compared to glucose.
There is some evidence that honey is better for those with insulin resistance and diabetes compared to table sugar. This may be due to the fact that honey has a slightly lower glycemic index compared to sugar. It also contains higher levels of certain micronutrients, though these differences are minimal.
Health benefits of greek yogurt
Greek yogurt has a number of health benefits ranging from improved bone health, digestive health and muscle building. It’s also very nutritionally dense and can help you reach your daily micronutrient goals.
One cup of nonfat plain greek yogurt contains around 145 calories, 25 grams of protein, 9 grams of carbohydrates and 1 gram of fat. It’s a good source of B vitamins, calcium, phosphorus, potassium, selenium and zinc.
Low-fat and whole milk greek yogurt contains higher amounts of fat and calories compared to nonfat. Most of this fat comes from saturated fat 60-70%), with some amounts coming from monounsaturated (20-30%) and polyunsaturated fats (0-5%).
The calcium in greek yogurt and other dairy products can be beneficial for bone health. One cup of nonfat plain greek yogurt contains 270 milligrams of calcium.
Calcium has a variety of benefits, including helping to maintain strong bones, reducing risk of fractures, colon and rectum cancer, cardiovascular disease, preeclampsia and obesity.
Calcium deficiency can increase risk of osteoporosis as well as cause rickets in children and osteomalacia in adults. To prevent calcium deficiency, it’s also important to ensure you are getting enough vitamin D which aids in the absorption of calcium.
Greek yogurt is also beneficial for your gut health and digestive system since it contains probiotics or active cultures, which are good bacteria that reside in your gut. This bacteria can also help your body digest lactose, which is why some people with lactose intolerance tolerate yogurt better than other dairy sources.
Fermented dairy products, including yogurt, don’t only improve your digestive health. They can also help improve diarrhea or constipation, heart disease, high blood pressure, blood lipids, cancer risk, obesity, diabetes risk and your overall immune system.
Because greek yogurt is high in protein, it can aid in growing muscle mass and muscle recovery when paired with resistance training. Protein helps repair muscles after weight lifting or resistance training, therefore helping them to grow and become stronger.
Having more muscle mass can be beneficial for weight loss, as well as for older adults who tend to lose muscle mass as they get older.
Health benefits of honey
Honey also has several nutritional benefits that make it a great addition to a bowl of plain greek yogurt.
One tablespoon of honey contains about 60 calories and 18 grams of carbs. As mentioned earlier, honey contains fructose and glucose (both are a form of carbohydrate), with a high content of glucose and a smaller amount of fructose.
Honey also contains very trace amounts of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin B2, copper, manganese and zinc. These amounts are very tiny though, so they won’t make any large impact on your health.
There is some evidence to suggest that locally sourced honey can be beneficial for seasonal allergies. One study found that consuming one gram of honey per kilogram of body weight daily significantly improved allergy symptoms after four weeks.
While there is some evidence that high doses of honey can improve seasonal allergies, there isn’t enough evidence to recommend this as a treatment. If you want to try this out, please speak to your doctor to ensure this method is safe for you.
How much honey to add to greek yogurt
You will want to avoid adding high amounts of honey to your greek yogurt since it is high in sugar. I would recommend starting out with one tablespoon of honey per one cup of greek yogurt. If you enjoy the taste, keep up with this ratio. You can always add more or less honey depending on your personal preference.
What to serve with greek yogurt and honey
Yogurt bowls are the best because they are so versatile and make for a great healthy breakfast. Try adding some healthy ingredients like frozen or fresh fruit and a good source of whole grains like oats or granola. You can also add nuts and seeds like chia seeds, almonds or pumpkin seeds. Yogurt bowls can also be a great health snack.