Why Can Greek Yogurt Make Me Hungry?

I have been touting the benefits of Greek yogurt in several articles the past few months because it is a quality source of protein, packed with calcium and live active cultures, gluten free and suitable for most vegetarians. But if you’re not getting appetite suppression after eating a cup of Greek yogurt, it’s time to check the label. I’ve heard this concern from several clients recently so I am compelled to discuss it.

You have probably seen the wall of single serve yogurt and Greek yogurt in the grocery store dairy case. There is a wide variety of brands and flavors, as well as full fat, 2% low-fat and zero fat. Therein lies the hunger problem and solution.

If you are still hungry after eating a cup of Greek yogurt, make sure you’re choosing one that is balanced with carbohydrate, protein and fat. If you choose a non-fat flavored yogurt, you can easily add a little fat like nuts or unsweetened coconut to balance the ratio for better blood sugar control and appetite suppression. Full fat Greek yogurt can be too high in fat with more than 50% of the calories from fat. My choice and recommendation is to choose 2% low-fat, and even that can be slightly too low in fat for appetite suppression. Simply add a few raw walnuts or almonds to reach approximately 30% of the total calories from fat.

Review the Greek yogurt nutritional profiles below for several varieties and examples of their approximate ratio of calories.

Greek Yogurt – Plain

Plain full fat Ratio
Calories: 270 / Carbs. – 6g / Protein – 16g / Fat – 20g (9-24-67)

Plain 2% fat
Calories: 150 / Carbs. – 8g / Protein – 20g / Fat – 4g (22-54-24)

Plain 0% fat
Calories: 100 / Carbs. – 7g / Protein – 18g / Fat – 0g (28-72-0)

Greek Yogurt – Flavored 2% low-fat

Blueberry 2%Ratio
Calories: 140 / Carbs. – 17g / Protein – 12g / Fat – 2.5g (49-34-16)

Strawberry 2%
Calories: 160 / Carbs. – 18g / Protein – 11g / Fat – 4.5g (45-28-26)

Greek Yogurt – Flavored 0% fat

Strawberry non-fatRatio
Calories: 120 / Carbs. – 19g / Protein – 12g / Fat – 0g (60-40-0)

Cherry non-fat
Calories: 140 / Carbs. – 22g / Protein – 14g / Fat – 0g (60-40-0)

Always review the nutritional profile of the Greek yogurt you are eating. A quick way to check the label is that carbohydrate grams should be approximately 1/3 more than the grams of protein, and the fat grams should be approximately 1/2 of the grams of protein. By choosing one close to the 40-30-30 ratio of carbohydrates, protein and fat, you will have better blood sugar stabilization and appetite suppression. It doesn’t have to be perfect, close is good enough.

Joyce Daoust*

Joyce Daoust is a Certified Nutritionist, Balance Bar® spokesperson and national best-selling co-author of THE FORMULA, A Personalized 40-30-30 Weight Loss Program