Similarities Between Yogurt and Greek Yogurt

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Yogurt is a type of food produced from the bacterial fermentation of the lactose component of Cow milk under a favorable temperature. When whole milk is used for the production of yogurt, the end result will be a full-fat yogurt and when partially skimmed milk is used, the end product is low-fat yogurt, and non-fat yogurt when skimmed milk is used. The bacteria responsible for the fermentation process are lactic acid bacteria, such as the Lactobacillus delbrueckii subspecies. bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus and they may be present in the milk naturally or added to the milk as a culture. 

During the fermentation process of yogurt, the action of the lactic acid bacteria on milk sugar (lactose) results in the production of lactic acid which in turn causes a favorable change in the physical structure of the milk protein (casein) and leaves us with the final product-yogurt.

Yogurt can be eaten plain when used as a salad dressing or as a vegetable topping. It can also be sweetened with sugar, or flavored with fruits.

Health-wise, adopting a lifestyle to consume yogurt helps maintain the intestinal microbiota and the presence of lactose aids in calcium mineral absorption-which helps in the prevention of osteoporosis and cancer, and also helps with the control of hypertension. However, yogurt made from Cow milk is high in cholesterol due to the presence of Myristic acid, palmitic acid, and lauric acid. 

Greek Yogurt

Greek yogurt is simply a strained traditional yogurt made from sheep milk. In this case, after the production of yogurt as a result of the transformation of lactose by the lactic starters- Lactobacillus delbrueckii subspecies. bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus, the liquid whey (which contains, water, lactose, protein, and minerals) is strained out with the aid of a paper or cloth filter and allowed to drain with the application of pressure leaving a thicker mass. 

The straining process produces an end product (Greek yogurt) with a higher protein content, a more acidic taste with a thicker consistency than the unstrained (traditional) yogurt. However, most companies that produce Greek yogurt on a large scale spin the yogurt so as to force out the whey by using the centrifugation method (although, there has been disagreement that yogurt produced using this method is not traditional Greek yogurt). 

The Lactobacillus delbrueckii subspecies. bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus present in Greek yogurt (same as yogurt) stimulate the good gut microflora to help in maintaining intestinal health.

Similarities between yogurt and Greek yogurt

Fermentation process:

Both yogurt and Greek yogurt undergo fermentation with lactic acid bacteria Lactobacillus delbrueckii subspecies. bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus. 


Yogurt and Greek yogurt are beneficial to gut health because they both contain Lactobacillus which stimulates the gut’s ‘friendly” microbiota thereby helping to maintain intestinal health. 

Nutritional values:

Both types of yogurt are rich sources of essential vitamins and minerals like vitamin B- riboflavin and thiamin, calcium, phosphorus, folate, lactose (although lower in Greek yogurt due to the removal of liquid whey), protein, and also fats.

Functional foods:

Traditional yogurt and Greek yogurt are grouped as enhanced functional foods because they contain nutrients like some fatty acids for example, conjugated linoleic acids, stearic acids calcium, lactose, and whey proteins that are also found in milk, and the presence of the lactic acid bacteria which help the body’s immune health, metabolic activities and balance gut health.


Both yogurt-type can be used as salad dressing, and also for cooking purposes especially Indian curries. For a sweeter taste, they can be sweetened with a hint of sugar or flavored with natural fruits like strawberries and bananas.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is yogurt and Greek yogurt the same?

No, traditional yogurt and Greek yogurt are not the same. Traditional Greek yogurt is made with Sheep milk while yogurt is made with Cow milk and is a rich source of protein. 

What yogurt is similar to Greek yogurt?

Greek-style yogurt is similar to Greek yogurt because they have the same sensory and nutritional value but differ in its production process. 

Which is healthier, regular yogurt or Greek yogurt?

Both are healthy, but in terms of flavor and nutritional value, it is argued that Greek yogurt is superior. This may be due to the high protein content caused by the removal of liquid whey and a better lipid profile which is a result of the presence of conjugated linoleic acid (which aids in the prevention of mammary cancer)

What is the difference between Greek yogurt and regular yogurt taste?

With regard to their organoleptic characteristics, Greek yogurt is more acidic as a result of the reduction in liquid whey content (it is made up of water, lactose, some protein, and minerals) which made it more concentrated while yogurt possesses a milder tart taste due to the presence of whey.

Why is yogurt called Greek yogurt?

Yogurt is called Greek yogurt because of the extra step involved in its production process- straining or centrifugation (depending on the production size-small size or commercial production) after fermentation. 

Can I substitute Greek yogurt for yogurt?

Yes, Greek yogurt can be substituted for yogurt only if the is no specific nutritional, organoleptic, or sensory attribute preference. Another important point to consider before making a choice to substitute is the source of milk because traditional Greek yogurt is made with milk from Sheep while yogurt is made with milk from Cow.

Author: Jessica Damian

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