How Greek Yogurt Promotes Health for Type 2’s

Greek yogurt, a staple in Mediterranean cuisine and one of our most beneficial “anytime foods” (it can be enjoyed for breakfast, lunch or dinner).  It is packed with nutrients that keep our bodies healthy, and feeling full.  The University of Tennessee writes, “If you’re counting carbs or have diabetes, this is great news. Commercial yogurts contain around 15 to 17 grams per cup, where Greek yogurt only contains around 9 grams of carbohydrates.  However, read food labels and pay attention to added sweeteners, as this may increase carbohydrates”.  Greek yogurt has less sodium, less sugar, and less lactose which makes it more digestible and better for your health than regular yogurt. The incredibly creamy rich texture makes it a delicious accompaniment, or sauce but it’s filling enough that it can also be the main event of your meal! Let’s take a closer look at the variety of reasons greek yogurt promotes health for type 2’s!

What’s in it?

1. Protein

There are many reasons you need protein every day! You need protein in your diet to help your body repair cells and make new ones. It is also needed to maintain muscle mass. While we usually think of protein as something found in meat, there are so many plant based proteins and protein found in dairy.  High protein foods curb your hunger allowing you to stay full longer and help you maintain a healthy weight while increasing muscle mass can help you stay lean and even lose weight! Fun fact - Do you have any fitness goals you are trying to achieve currently? Protein boosts fitness benefits like muscle recovery and helps build lean muscle.

2. Calcium

According to the National Institute of Health, “Our bones support us and allow us to move. They protect our brain, heart, and other organs from injury. Our bones also store minerals such as calcium and phosphorus, which help keep our bones strong, and release them into the body when we need them for other uses.”

Bones can become weak and break without proper nutrition at every age.  However, as you age, your body may reabsorb calcium and phosphate from your bones instead of keeping these minerals in your bones. This makes your bones weaker. When this process reaches a certain stage, it is called osteoporosis. Many times, a person will fracture a bone before they even know they have bone loss. Greek yogurt has about 110 mg of calcium per serving. Vitamin D and calcium are the key nutrients you need to promote bone density and health as you age. 

3. Fermented

Since yogurt is a fermented food, yogurt naturally contains lots of probiotic cultures that strengthen the digestive tract. Some Greek yogurt also boasts added probiotics like Lactobacillus acidophilus and Lactobacillus casei that may help increase the good bacteria in your gut.

4. Extra Vitamins and Minerals

In each serving of greek yogurt you can find potassium, b vitamins and zinc.  Zinc helps your immune system and metabolism function. Zinc is also important to wound healing and your sense of taste and smell. While potassium is needed for your tissues. B vitamins play a vital role in maintaining good health and well-being. As the building blocks of a healthy body, B vitamins have a direct impact on your energy levels, brain function, and cell metabolism. Vitamin B complex may help prevent infections and help support or promote: cell health. Greek yogurt has both b6 and b12, with each serving giving you 5% of your daily b6.

Easy 2 Ingredient - Greek Yogurt Recipe

Use this greek yogurt as a sour cream substitute or as the base of your sauces. Instead of adding sugar, use almond or vanilla extract for sweet recipes or season with cucumbers, turmeric, or mint for savory ones. 


4 cups whole milk 960 mL

¼ cup plain store bought yogurt ensure the container says “live” or “active” cultures, 60 g


  1. Heat Milk: Place milk in a medium pot and heat to 185-200°F (85-93°C), stirring frequently to prevent a skin from forming.
  2. Cool Bath: Transfer the pot with milk to an ice bath (I filled my sink with ice and water), to cool milk to 100-110°F (37-43°C).
  3. Temper: Pour ½ cup of the warm milk into a separate clean jar or bowl. Mix in plain yogurt, stirring until yogurt is well blended. Add remaining milk and mix well.
  4. Let Sit: Cover jar or bowl with a lid, wrap in a moist, warm towel to keep in heat, and place in the oven. Turn on the oven light to keep warm, and let the bacteria do its yogurt making magic for 4 to 8 hours (or overnight).*
  5. Strain: You can eat the yogurt like this, or strain it to make Greek yogurt. To strain, line a mesh sieve with cheesecloth (or paper towels, coffee filters etc), and pour yogurt in. Place over a large bowl and let strain in the fridge for a few hours (or overnight), until it reaches a consistency you like.

Choose the right yogurt

If you don’t want to make it at home, there are many kinds of greek yogurt in your grocery store. However, it's important that the yogurt you choose should have less than 15g of sugars per serving, otherwise your body won't be able to handle all those carbs (sugars) in one go.  It's also important that yogurt is made with natural ingredients. This means that the yogurt should not contain artificial sweeteners or any other additives. Not all Greek yogurts are created equal!  Check out more recipes, and tips for a healthy lifestyle with type 2 on our online community. ​​ Join the Winning Type 2 Diabetes Together community on Facebook and connect with thousands of other diabetics around the world as we thrive this summer!