Greek yogurt is used in many food items, and recipes which beg the question is Greek yogurt vegan or vegetarian?
Sadly, Greek Yogurt is not vegan because it contains dairy. As with all other regular yogurts, it’s a milk product. Thus, vegans cannot eat Greek yogurt, but there are many alternatives that vegans can indulge in. Vegetarians, on the other hand, can eat so much Greek yogurt they desire. That’s because Greek yogurt is entirely free from meat, derived from animals. It might have products from animals, but no products from the animal itself, which makes it vegetarian.
So, vegans cannot eat Greek yogurt while vegetarians can. Why is that, and are there any vegan substitutes to Greek yogurt substitutes? Let’s have a look!
Why Is it Called Greek Yogurt?
Greek yogurt, a variety of the creamy, delicious snack that we all know and love, originated in the Middle East. It is stickier than most yogurts and has a tangy or tart flavor.
These yogurts usually provide a higher source of protein and lack carbohydrates along with lactose. Turns out the production method used at the time of the creation of Greek yogurt, which removes the wheat to give a smoother consistency, gave birth to the name Greek-style yogurt. Borrowing its name from the production method the Greeks had used since ancient times. Since then, Greek yogurt has become widespread satisfying tastebuds all over the globe.
Without the Greek’s clever process of straining dairy to make other foods and the Middle East’s idea of using the Grecian technique to create Greek yogurt. We wouldn’t be able to enjoy the delicious and velvety Greek yogurt that has risen to popularity.
Is greek yogurt dairy?
To figure this out, we have to start where it all begins at the production process. To achieve a smooth and unique flavor that can only be found in Greek yogurt. It is strained multiple times to remove unwanted contents with it goes a good majority of the lactose within it.
If you were to compare 6 ounces of regular yogurt to a 6-ounce cup of Greek yogurt. The former carries about 14 grams of lactose while the latter only contains less than 4 grams of lactose. This is excellent news for those who may be lactose intolerant. If that wasn’t enough, yogurt is a result of acidic fermentation.
The production actually begins with the source of your stomach problems lactose. During the fermentation, process lactose is broken down into glucose and galactose. Resulting in the lactose being broken down long before it reaches your taste buds.
Is Greek Yogurt Better Than Other Yogurts?
So Greek yogurt may be dairy, but it won’t bring harm to your digestion. Actually, Greek yogurt is doing the opposite of this. Unlike regular yogurt products, Greek yogurt has probiotics. To make it pure probiotics are living bacteria and yeasts that are great for the digestive system.
People may be reluctant to put live bacteria in their bodies, but the body is brimming with good and bad bacteria. Lucky for you this bacteria literally helps keep your stomach healthy. These live active cultures found inside of Greek yogurt will allow easier digestion of lactose and can help build a better tolerance to lactose. With regular consumption of these cultures, you’ll have these bacteria as a continual aid to your digestion.
Bacteria In Yogurt
Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium, and Saccharomyces Boulardii are the common bacteria you will find in your cup of Greek yogurt and other fermented products. If the thought of eating Greek yogurts still makes your stomach churn and you must avoid lactose at all costs. Don’t fret as there are a variety of lactose-free Greek yogurts that will satisfy your taste buds.
Is Greek Yogurt Vegetarian?
A vegetarian diet consists of vegetables, fruits, grains, pulses, nuts, seeds, eggs, dairy products, and honey. Following these guidelines, it would seem that Greek yogurt is considered to be vegetarian. Caution should be taken when doing your shopping as not all Greek yogurts are made equal. Greek yogurt can easily be certified dairy, which is short for containing no actual meat in the product, but the contents do explicitly come from beef. So it is possible that certain flavors or brands may contain gelatin.
Can Vegetarians Eat Gelatin?
Now you may think what is so bad about gelatin? A nearly uncolored, unscented, and unflavored material made by boiling the skin, cartilage, and bones from animals. This may be a significant concern to vegetarians as they don’t consume products or by-products of slaughter.
They also refrain from eating any foods which have been made using processing aids included in slaughter. To avoid this issue, stay away from flavored yogurts as many of them contain gelatin due to it be a cheap filler allowing for better consistency. There are alternatives such as eating plain Greek yogurt or natural Greek yogurt, which uses pectin instead of gelatin.
Pectin, unlike gelatin, is naturally occurring in fruit, meaning it is vegetarian. With careful consideration, you can definitely enjoy Greek yogurt as a vegetarian.
Is Greek Yogurt Vegan?
No, vegan cannot eat any types of traditional Greek yogurt. As with most other yogurts, Greek yogurt is a dairy products. Meaning they contain milk, which is not considered vegan.
No products made using milk are vegan because the processes milking is considered animal exploitation. It might not be as inhumane as actual slaughter of animals, like meat-products contribute to. However, the milking industry is inherently inhumane as cows are kept in confinement. Additionally, cows are force-bred which cannot be considered vegan in any way.
Vegetarians can safely consume Greek yogurt as it contain dairy but no animal parts. Since no slaughter is taking place in the process of producing milk. Nevertheless, ordinary Greek yogurt is not vegan.
Greek Yogurt Vegan Substitute
Vegans can’t eat any ordinary Greek Yogurts, which begs the question if there are any vegan substitutes for Greek Yogurt. Luckily, there are plenty of vegan alternatives. Here’s my absolute favorite vegan yogurt.
Cultures For Health – Vegan Yogurt Starter
An excellent choice if you want a healthy, nutrient-dense alternative to Greek yogurt. It’s completely vegan, and in some sense even better than regular. That’s because it’s dairy and gluten-free and can be stored much longer than regular Greek yogurt. Take a look at it for yourself!
Traditional Greek yogurt cannot be vegan as it’s derived from an animal product. Vegans are against all animal exploitation, which milking is considered. Animals, mostly cows, are kept in confinement and even force bred. Vegans are strongly against this practice so they cannot eat Greek yogurt. However, vegetarians can, as it’s free from actual animal parts. Although there are some great vegan alternatives to Greek yogurt, that can be consumed by both groups.
Hey, I’m Gus! I have been vegan for quite some years now, and have collected a lot of knowledge about the subject in this time. My goal with this blog is to spread the vegan message and make it easy to know exactly what’s vegan and what’s not.