Home LIFESTYLE Greek Yogurt vs. Regular Yogurt: Which One is Healthier?

Greek Yogurt vs. Regular Yogurt: Which One is Healthier?


Yogurt has become a staple in many people’s morning routines. Both Greek and regular yogurt can be healthy additions to the diet, though their nutritional content varies, says Mackenzie Burgess, a registered dietitian nutritionist and recipe developer at Cheerful Choices in Denver, Colorado.

Both types of yogurt are rich in calcium and probiotics, which support digestive health, according to Burgess. She suggests looking for “live and active cultures” on the nutrition label, as these provide beneficial probiotics.

Kylie Bensley, a registered dietitian and founder of Sulinu.com in Nashville, Tennessee, recommends opting for plain, unsweetened yogurts because they don’t contain added sugars. “Since most people consume yogurt for breakfast or as a snack, choosing options lower in added sugars is ideal,” she notes.

Both types of yogurt can be enjoyed on their own or easily incorporated into various recipes as a healthy addition to your diet, says Bensley.

Read on to compare the nutritional profiles of plain, unsweetened Greek yogurt and plain, unsweetened regular yogurt.

Nutritional Profile of Regular Yogurt

A ¾-cup (6-ounce) serving of regular nonfat yogurt provides around 100 calories and 10 grams of protein, according to Burgess. Bensley points out that while plain yogurt can be a healthy choice, pairing it with additional protein sources, such as nuts or seeds, can make it more satisfying. Yogurt can also be used as a topper for foods like oatmeal.

When choosing plain yogurt, Bensley suggests checking the nutrition label for protein content and added sugars. “Ideally, added sugars should be as close to zero as possible, and the higher the protein content, the better,” she says.

Paul Jaeckel, a registered dietitian nutritionist and owner of Paul Jaeckel Nutrition in New York, recommends scanning the nutrition label for undesirable ingredients such as high fructose corn syrup, food dyes, modified food starch, and preservatives. “While these additives are considered safe, consuming fewer of them is always better,” he advises.

Nutritional Profile of Greek Yogurt

Greek yogurt undergoes a straining process that removes the whey, resulting in a thicker yogurt with higher protein content per serving, says Burgess. A ¾-cup (6-ounce) serving of nonfat Greek yogurt contains around 18 grams of protein and 100 calories.

Bensley highlights that the straining process makes Greek yogurt more nutrient-dense, offering more nutrients per serving. She also praises Greek yogurt for its protein content and natural probiotics.

Like regular yogurt, Jaeckel suggests checking the nutrition label of Greek yogurt for artificial sweeteners and added sugars. Additionally, look for yogurt labels that mention beneficial bacteria strains such as Streptococcus thermophilus and Lactobacillus bulgaricus, which add transparency and health benefits.

Is Greek Yogurt or Regular Yogurt Healthier?

All three dietitians lean towards Greek yogurt as the healthier choice due to its higher protein content. “Getting enough protein throughout the day is important for muscle growth and recovery, hormone function, and satiety,” says Burgess. Bensley adds that Greek yogurt is lower in lactose, carbs, and natural sugar.

However, Bensley also notes that plain yogurt contains significantly more calcium than Greek yogurt, making it a valuable option for calcium intake.

Incorporating Yogurt into a Healthy Diet

Burgess recommends choosing yogurt options with minimal to no added sugars, artificial sweeteners, and unnecessary additives. She suggests plain, unflavored yogurt as the ideal choice, which can be jazzed up with fresh fruits, nuts, or a drizzle of peanut butter.