What's the Best High-Protein Yogurt for Building Muscle & Gut Health?
A Comprehensive Guide to High-Protein Yogurt
Yogurt is known for having a range of health benefits. However, if you’re looking to get the most out of every spoonful, it may be worth switching over to a high-protein yogurt blend!
High-protein Greek yogurts provide a concentrated source of nutrients, vitamins, and probiotics necessary to build strength, increase muscle density, improve digestion, and support gut health.
Read on for our comprehensive guide to high-protein yogurt as we uncover the benefits, how it compares to regular yogurt, and the top high-protein Greek yogurt options that we recommend incorporating into your diet.
What is Greek Yogurt?
Greek yogurt is a thick, creamy blend of yogurt that undergoes a straining process to remove liquid whey and any natural milk sugar (lactose), giving you a denser, tangier product. This straining process results in a product high in protein and low in carbohydrates and sugar.
Depending on the type of milk used during production, Greek yogurt is available in full-fat (made with whole milk), reduced-fat (made with low-fat milk), or fat-free (made with skim milk).
Similar to regular yogurt, Greek yogurt is made with milk, cream, and live active cultures, also known as probiotics. Depending on the product, Greek yogurt comes in a wide range of delicious flavors.
Unleashing the Health Benefits of High-Protein Greek Yogurt
Greek yogurt has long been touted as a tremendous health food. However, did you know that this high-protein yogurt can provide a ton of health benefits that not many other foods can offer?
1. High Nutritional Value
High-protein Greek yogurt has become increasingly popular in recent years for its rich and creamy texture blended together with high nutritional value. Compared to regular yogurt, most Greek yogurt varieties are an excellent source of protein, vitamins, and nutrients.
In a typical single serving (170 grams) of plain high-protein Greek yogurt, you'll find:
10-20 g protein
0-10 g fat
5-15 g carbohydrates
4-10 g sugar
100-300 mg calcium
100-300 mg potassium
Of course, specific values depend on the type of milk used (e.g. whole, low-fat, or skim).
In addition to minerals like potassium and calcium, many Greek yogurts are excellent sources of vitamins, including vitamin A (retinoic acid) for vision and immunity, vitamin B12 (cobalamin) for cell metabolism and nerve function, vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid) for energy production, and vitamin B2 (riboflavin) for converting nutrients into energy (1, 2).
If you happen to dislike plain Greek yogurt (we don't blame you), there are plenty of other ways to enjoy it. We recommend trying it with some fresh fruit, a drizzle of honey, or a scoop of your favorite Transparent Labs Protein Powder. Plain Greek yogurt also makes for a healthy substitute for mayonnaise or sour cream in plenty of popular dishes.
2. Boosts Muscle Mass
The best muscle gains can be achieved with a high-protein diet and consistent weight lifting.
Greek yogurt is considered a complete protein, meaning it contains all nine essential amino acids that the body uses to build and repair muscle tissue (3). In a typical 7-ounce serving of Greek yogurt, you’re likely to get anywhere between 15-25g of protein.
Most varieties containing full-fat dairy milk are often higher in protein, such as Chobani, Oikis, Fage, or Siggi. This is because dairy milk naturally contains more protein compared to soy or almond milk.
Greek yogurt is also a source of calcium, which plays a crucial role in muscle performance. According to research, calcium facilitates the interaction between actin and myosin, two compounds within a muscle that promote contraction and relaxation (4).
3. Promotes Weight Loss
Greek yogurt is often considered a low-calorie option compared to most other high-protein foods such as meat or cheese. Most 7-ounce servings of Greek yogurt typically contain 100-160 calories. With such high protein and so few calories, you’re more likely to feel satiated for longer, which contributes to weight loss.
With a Glycemic Index score of 11 and very low carbohydrates and sugars, high-protein Greek yogurt is less likely to cause a spike in blood sugar levels. In contrast to regular yogurt, which has a Glycemic Index score of 35, Greek yogurt can help decrease hunger levels and facilitate weight loss.
4. Improves Bone Density
The thick Greek yogurt varieties are often made up of full-fat dairy, which offers an excellent source of calcium and Vitamin D.
Calcium is an essential mineral that makes up our bone structure while vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium from our food, ensuring it is able to effectively build and maintain bone density (5).
5. Boosts Gut Health
Foods and supplements rich in probiotics, such as high-protein Greek yogurt, are shown to help improve digestion, fight inflammation, boost immunity, and keep our digestive system healthy and robust (6).
Greek yogurt is also known to support digestive enzymes that assist with nutrient absorption throughout the gut. These digestive enzymes play a role in reducing symptoms of gastrointestinal distress, such as gas or bloating.
Best High-Protein Greek Yogurt on the Market
With so many options on the market, we've compiled a list of our top 3 favorite high-protein Greek yogurts and one bonus vegan option.
1. Oikos High Protein Plain Greek Yogurt
Oikos has some of the very best high-protein yogurts on the market!
This delicious high-protein blend is made with 19 g of protein per 170-g serving, making it an excellent choice for boosting protein without any unwanted calories, fats, or sugars.
Unlike most other flavored yogurts, Oikos Greek Yogurt gets its sweetness from natural sources such as stevia and monk fruit extract, making it a delicious and healthy low-sugar Greek yogurt. The vanilla Greek yogurt blend is one of the best for both flavor and nutritional value.
2. Chobani Plain Greek Yogurt
This plain nonfat yogurt blend is made with 16 g of protein per serving, giving you a power boost whenever you need it.
With simple, natural ingredients, you won’t find any sort of artificial sweeteners or sugar substitutes inside. Chobani blend is also low in fat and calories, which can contribute to healthy weight loss.
3. Fage Total 0% Greek Yogurt
Looking for the best high-protein yogurt but want to keep your sugar intake to a minimum? Fage Total 0% Greek Yogurt is a top choice with only 5 g of sugar per serving. This creamy yogurt is also packed with 18 g of protein, making it the perfect snack to help you build and maintain muscle.
Flavors include cherry pomegranate, strawberry goji, mango guanabana, blueberry acai, and honey.
Bonus: Kite Hill Almond Milk Yogurt
This vegan yogurt gives you everything you need from a standard Greek yogurt without any dairy.
Made with almonds and soy protein isolate, Kite Hill Almond Milk Yogurt gives you 4 g of protein per 5.3-ounce serving. It also provides 3 g fiber, 9 g fat, and 5 g sugar and comes in plain, vanilla, peach, blueberry, strawberry, and key lime.
The protein content is a little low, so we recommend adding half or a full scoop of Transparent Labs Vegan Protein to make a vegan-friendly high-protein yogurt.
High-protein yogurt is a tasty and healthy way to enhance your nutrition. Compared to regular yogurt, Greek yogurts are an excellent source of protein, vitamins, and nutrients that help promote muscle mass, weight loss, bone density, and gut health.
Level up your protein game by getting more Greek yogurt into your diet today. Your muscles (and health) will thank you for it!