Greek Yogurt is to Food as Coconut Oil is to Life

Greek Yogurt this, and Greek Yogurt that… to be honest if you haven’t jumped on the Greek yogurt health food wagon already, chances are you either don’t care for the texture or the taste and I’m here to tell you there are ways around that. Greek yogurt is one of those foods that can be incorporated into many dishes without extreme detection, and for me, it has done for my diet what coconut oil has done for my skin an hair.

Let’s begin with the basics: Not all Greek yogurt is created equal. The FDA does not have the same requirements for Greek yogurt as it does for regular yogurt, so there’s more room for “label liars” in the Greek Yogurt market. Traditional Greek yogurt is made from goat’s milk and goes through a straining process that removes the liquid remaining after the milk is curdled, this liquid is known as whey. This process creates a yogurt with less sugar, fewer carbs, and more protein in comparison to the yogurt pre-process. Less regulations in place by the FDA means companies can add other ingredients, or completely change the process and still be able to say it’s Greek yogurt. Label reading is very important when shopping and deciding which are the best products to buy and use. The main ingredients in Greek yogurt should be: milk and live active cultures, beware of added protein like whey concentrates and thickeners such as modified corn starch.

According to Dr. Oz, the three best brands to buy are: Fage, Wallaby, & Chobani, as they contain no added fillers, proteins, and thickeners. Skip the fruit flavored, candied coated yogurt and reach for the plain. Yes, PLAIN. The key is to add your own sweet, salty, or savory touches to Greek yogurt. Here are some great ways you can bring plain Greek yogurt into your daily diet:

The Sweeter Side:
-Cinnamon, honey, and oats
-Natural peanut, almond, cashew, or any nut butter with a few teaspoons of olive oil for smoother texture
-Substitute Greek yogurt in whipped frosting or cream recipes for a healthier finish to a sweet treat [strawberry short cake, the dollop on top of warm slice of pie]

The Savory Sensation:
-Mix with a few teaspoons of olive oil to create the textures of sour cream and mayonnaise
-Substitute the milk or cream to your homemade mashed potatoes
-A packet of ranch seasoning and a few teaspoons of olive oil and now you have guilt free ranch dressing

The Salt Fix:
-Add your favorite dip seasoning
-Substitute in your Alfredo sauce to make it creamier than ever
-mix with your favorite cold salad ingredients and feel better about eating that tuna melt

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