Greek yogurt protein is actually a type of milk protein called casein. It is considered to be a very desirable and beneficial protein because it contains a full set of the nine amino acids the body needs but cannot produce. Casein is found in all yogurts but is more highly concentrated in Greek yogurt because of the way in which it is manufactured.
All yogurt is created by adding beneficial bacterial cultures to milk. This process ferments the milk and gives yogurt its unique, tangy taste. The protein that is in the milk remains unchanged by the process and, therefore, all yogurts have some amount of protein in them. In making Greek yogurt, much of the liquid, or whey, is strained from the milk, giving the product a thicker, creamier texture. This process also condenses the Greek yogurt protein so that the casein becomes more concentrated and, as a result, Greek yogurt has a higher protein content per serving than others.
While most regular yogurts have a protein content of around 5 to 7 grams per serving, Greek yogurt usually averages anywhere between 12 to 21 grams. The high protein count and the high quality of the Greek yogurt protein make the product a delicious and sought-after addition to many diets. This is especially true as the increased protein and the thick, rich texture usually satisfy a person's hunger longer than regular yogurt.
In addition to an increased amount of protein per serving, Greek yogurt also delivers a good dose of calcium. It is also lighter on carbohydrates than most regular yogurts, which is an additional bonus for those following a high-protein, low-carb diet. The fact that there are fewer carbohydrates signifies that there is less lactose. That, in turn, means that Greek yogurt might be easier on the stomach for those who have difficulty with lactose intolerance. Like all yogurts, because of the fermentation process, Greek yogurt also carries the benefits that stem from introducing good bacteria into the digestive system.
As a caveat, people should remember that, although Greek yogurt protein has many benefits, those good points can be overshadowed if a manufacturer puts other unhealthy additives into the product. For instance, some Greek yogurts might be made from whole milk or have cream and other thickeners added to them. While this might not significantly affect the concentration of Greek yogurt protein, it can greatly increase the fat content, thus causing issues for anyone watching his or her fat intake. Similarly, some Greek yogurts may contain added sweeteners, such as sugars or high fructose corn syrup, which do not affect the protein content but definitely bump up the calorie count.
For those wanting to make sure they get the benefits of Greek yogurt protein without also getting a high dose of fat and calories, it is usually best to choose yogurts that contain two percent or less milk fat. Also, instead of buying yogurts that have added fruit or flavoring, which sometimes contain added sweeteners as well, individuals might consider flavoring the yogurt themselves. For example, fresh fruit, natural honey, and low-fat granola are good options to enhance the taste without undoing the benefits of Greek yogurt protein.