A Discussion about Protein in Greek Yogurt
The following question recently appeared on my blog regarding the protein content of Greek yogurt: “If Greek yogurt is plain yogurt with the whey removed and whey is 100% protein, then why is Greek yogurt higher in protein than plain yogurt?”
First, I would argue the whey drained from regular yogurt (homemade or commercial) is not 100% protein, but mostly water instead. Perhaps the commenter was thinking of dried whey which would be highly concentrated, of course.
Nevertheless, here’s the math.
- Start with 81.4 grams protein found in 8 cups (10.2 g per cup) of regular yogurt the way I make it.
- Drain yogurt resulting in 4 cups whey containing 7.6 grams protein according to the Calorie Counter.
- That leaves 73.8 grams protein in the drained (or is it strained?) yogurt.
- Add 8 ounces skim milk (for creamy texture) for an additional 8.1 g protein, resulting in a total of 82.1 g of protein in 5 cups drained yogurt (Greek yogurt).
- 82.1 divided by 5 = 16.4 g protein per cup of Greek (drained) yogurt.
- Compare 10.2 g in one cup of regular yogurt to 16.4 g in 1 cup Greek yogurt.
Remember–my Greek yogurt is homemade so the numbers vary from batch to batch. I drain off a variable amount of whey each time and add back a variable amount of skim milk (for creaminess). The numbers used in this explanation are based on 8-ounce servings. The nutritionals given on my blog are based on a 6-ounce serving because that is what you see commercially. (Specifically, the numbers on my blog are based on Fage non-fat Greek yogurt since I have not had mine professionally analyzed. I’m assuming they are close.)
Protein–it’s just one more reason to eat yogurt–daily.
Disclaimer: I’ve had formal training in nutrition but I am NOT a registered dietitian. Even though the answer to the above question is mostly just math, I ran it by three different registered dietitians and they all approved.