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Come To The Greek (Yogurt) Side

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Some of the best-tasting recipes can be filled to the brim with hidden calories and fat, but they are easier to swap out than you think, and all with just one ingredient — Greek yogurt. 

Not only is Greek yogurt a filling and nutritious snack on its own, but it also serves as a protein-packed cooking agent for hundreds of different recipes. Common ingredients such as butter, sour cream, mayonnaise, buttermilk and oil can all be easily swapped out in favor of Greek yogurt, which saves calories and reduces saturated fat intake.


Why use Greek yogurt?

There are a lot of alternatives you can use to make healthy changes to recipes; Greek yogurt happens to be one of the best (and easiest!) swaps available. Switch it up for the following reasons:


1. Thick texture.

Greek yogurt is known for being filling. Its thick texture and easily digestible composition makes a great alternative to other comparable ingredients like mayonnaise, sour cream and butter. It’s “clinginess” even works great in marinades. Using Greek yogurt makes a simple, healthy change much more unnoticeable.


2. Utilize the protein.

Greek yogurt is packed with protein! Try Fage 0% Greek Yogurt — a 6 oz serving has 100 calories, 18 g of protein and only 7 g of carbohydrates. The great part about using plain Greek yogurt in recipes is that they have only naturally occurring sugars, with none of the nasty artificial stuff added. Any brand of plain Greek yogurt is great, just try to stick with anything under 8 g of sugar per serving.

Our ‘Avoid Yogurt Overload — The Only 5 Yogurts You Should Ever Eat’ guide outlines the healthiest yogurt options on the market today.


3. It’s really easy and makes a MASSIVE difference!

Not good at math? Don’t fret! These conversions to use Greek yogurt are super simple and one of the great reasons why you should use it in your everyday cooking! The follow are a few examples and their respective calorie/fat/sat. fat savings:

  • 1 cup butter = 1/4 cup Greek yogurt, 1/2 cup butter
    • (–) 780 calories, 92 g fat, 57 g sat. fat
    • (+) 4.5 g protein
  • 1 cup oil = 3/4 cup Greek yogurt
    • (–) 1,850 calories, 224 g fat, 18 g sat. fat
    • (+) 13.5 g protein
  • 1 cup sour cream = 1 cup Greek yogurt
    • (–) 310 calories, 45 g fat, 26 g sat. fat
    • (+) 18 g protein
  • 1 cup mayonnaise = 1 cup Greek yogurt
    • (–) 1,510 calories, 186 g fat, 26 g sat. fat
    • (+) 18 g protein
  • 1 cup cream cheese = 1 cup Greek yogurt
    • (–) 650 calories, 79 g fat, 45 g sat. fat
    • (+) 18 g protein
  • 1 cup buttermilk = 2/3 cup Greek yogurt, 1/3 cup milk
    • (+) 12 g protein1


Try it out, it can make a HUGE difference! Common recipes that use these swaps are chicken salad, spinach and artichoke dip, potato salad, salad dressings, french toast and ice cream.

Follow Julie @sweatyandstrong and Lean It UP on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest for real-time fitness/nutrition tips, advice, info and updates.


  1. All data sourced from []
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