Is Greek Yogurt Good for High Cholesterol? (Expert Answer)

Short Answer: Greek yogurt is good for high cholesterol. Because it has probiotics, calcium, and protein, and they can lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels, regulate blood pressure, and prevent plaque formation.

High cholesterol is a condition that affects your blood vessels and heart.

In high cholesterol, your body produces too much of a waxy substance called cholesterol, which can stick to the walls of your arteries and form plaques.

This can lead to various health problems, such as heart attack, stroke, angina, and peripheral artery disease.

One of the key factors in managing high cholesterol is diet.

What you consume can affect your blood lipid levels, which can impact your high cholesterol symptoms and overall health.

To effectively manage high cholesterol, you should consume fiber-rich foods like oats, beans, and fruits, and avoid saturated fat-rich foods like butter, cheese, and red meat.

Now, Greek yogurt is a type of yogurt that is strained to remove most of the whey, resulting in a thicker and creamier product.

People usually eat Greek yogurt as a snack, breakfast, or dessert, often with fruits, nuts, or granola.

Greek yogurt is good for high cholesterol because it contains probiotics, calcium, and protein.

Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that can help lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels, which can reduce your risk of heart disease.

Calcium is a mineral that can help regulate blood pressure and prevent plaque formation.

Protein is a macronutrient that can help lower LDL (bad) cholesterol and increase HDL (good) cholesterol.

One cup (245 grams) of plain nonfat Greek yogurt can give you 17.8 grams of protein (36% of your daily needs), 187 mg of calcium (19% of your daily needs), and 10.4 grams of sugar (mostly from lactose, the natural sugar in milk).

Probiotics can positively affect high cholesterol by modulating the gut microbiota, reducing the absorption of cholesterol, and enhancing the excretion of bile acids.

Calcium can positively affect high cholesterol by inhibiting the activity of an enzyme that converts cholesterol to LDL, and by binding to bile acids and increasing their excretion.

Protein can positively affect high cholesterol by stimulating the production of hormones that regulate appetite and fat metabolism, and by increasing the expression of receptors that clear LDL from the blood.

Furthermore, Greek yogurt is a dairy product and dairy products are good for high cholesterol.

Because, dairy products contain conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), a type of fatty acid that can lower LDL and increase HDL.

You can eat one to two cups of plain nonfat Greek yogurt per day safely.

More than that can cause bloating, gas, or diarrhea, especially if you are lactose intolerant or have a sensitive stomach.

Also, you shouldn’t eat Greek yogurt if you have a milk allergy or a severe lactose intolerance to prevent an allergic reaction or severe digestive distress.

Because, Greek yogurt still contains some milk proteins and lactose, even though they are reduced by the straining process.

You can buy fresh Greek yogurt in your local market or can order it online.

Always choose plain and nonfat varieties, as flavored and full-fat ones can have added sugar and saturated fat, which can raise your cholesterol.

Because, added sugar and saturated fat can increase your blood glucose and insulin levels, and stimulate the liver to produce more cholesterol.

You can store Greek yogurt in the refrigerator for up to two weeks, or in the freezer for up to two months.

Finally, remember, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, including a balanced diet, regular exercise, stress management and essential medical care is key to managing high cholesterol effectively.

I always recommend my high cholesterol patients to follow a cholesterol-friendly diet to improve their overall well-being, and enjoy a longer and healthier life.

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About the Author

Abdur Rahman Choudhury

Abdur Rahman Choudhury is a nutrition coach with over 7 years of experience in the field of nutrition.

He holds a Bachelor's (B.Sc.) and Master's (M.Sc.) degree in Biochemistry from The University of Burdwan, India. He was also involved with a research project about genetic variations in the CYP11A gene among PCOS and Metabolic Syndrome patients.

He has completed the following online courses: Stanford Introduction to Food and Health by Stanford University (US) through Coursera, Certificate in Nutrition from Fabulous Body Inc. (US), Lose Weight and Keep It Off certificate course from Harvard Medical School (US), and Nutrition and Disease Prevention by Taipei Medical University (Taiwan) through FutureLearn.

Abdur currently lives in India and keeps fit by weight training and eating mainly home-cooked meals.

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