What’s the Diff Between Yogurt and Greek Yogurt?

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It comes from the same place, but it ain’t the same.

I remember many years ago, when my mom first started eating Greek yogurt. I asked her “what kinda yogurt is that?” She says “Greek yogurt!” And I just sort of tilted my head and asked “so, what, you’re special-ordering yogurt from Greece now?”

It’s become a commonly accepted notion that Greek yogurt is healthier for you than regular yogurt, but nobody seems to quite know why. The name ain’t exactly indicative of anything; it’s yogurt… from Greece. Greece is a nice place, but what does that have to do with yogurt? As it happens, quite a bit.

Both regular yogurt and Greek yogurt are made by fermenting cow milk, which is why they’re both great probiotic snacks. The difference is that Greek yogurt is strained through a fabric not unlike cheesecloth during its creation, which removes all of the chunky whey. Whey is the acidic stuff that makes plain yogurt taste kind of sour, though it’s also pretty high in natural minerals. When you strain it out, you lose most of those minerals, but in exchange, you’ve got a higher concentration of protein. That’s the only real difference between regular yogurt and Greek yogurt, aside from the slightly different flavor profile.

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Whether you go regular or Greek, both kinds of yogurt are really good for you, provided you don’t get the cheap stuff with lots of added sugar. The real deciding factor in the nutritional quality of your yogurt isn’t how it’s produced, but where it came from. Good, high-quality yogurt, regular and Greek, comes from healthy, grass-fed cows. Healthier cows produce higher-quality milk, and higher-quality milk ferments into better yogurt.