Andrew Akhaphong, MS, RD, LD, Mackenthun’s Registered Dietitian

Updated April 5, 2024

According to a consumer analysis on yogurt consumption in 2023 published by TasteWise -(1)

  • 14,61% increase in restaurants serving yogurt
  • Most important trait for yogurt purchasing is protein content

An additional survey by Food Dive in 2021 reported -(2)

  • 48% of consumers buy yogurt based on taste
  • 38% of consumers buy yogurt due to its health benefits
  • 37% of consumers buy yogurt due to its nutritional quality
  • Consumers who purchase dairy yogurt are more likely to prioritize low/reduced sugar formulations

In 2019 the Refrigerated and Frozen Food organization found -(3)

  • 70% of consumers eat yogurt at minimum three times a week
  • 55% of consumers use yogurt as an easy grab-and-go snack
  • 50% of consumers eat yogurt with or as breakfast

Though yogurt is often eaten with or as breakfast, or as a grab-and-go-snack, yogurt can be incorporated beyond that. Let’s dive into more information about yogurt and discover its versatility.

What is Yogurt?

An 8-ounce serving of yogurt is about three servings. The United States Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend 3 servings of low-fat or fat-free dairy (as yogurt or other dairy products) per day.(4)

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has yogurt defined in Title 21, Volume 2 in their code of federal regulations on food for human consumption.

Yogurt is defined as “the food produced by culturing one or more of the basic diary ingredients – cream, milk, partially skimmed milk, skim milk, or the reconstituted version of these ingredients alone or in combination”. Yogurt must also require no less than 2.44% of total milk fat or it will be labeled as modified food instead of yogurt.(5)

Benefits of Yogurt

Choosing low-fat or fat-free yogurts like Oikos® is a great option to support heart health, diabetes, and weight management goals. 

As a Greek yogurt brand, Oikos® is also higher in protein which makes it stand out to its other competitors. Greek yogurt is higher in protein because of its straining process during production. Straining allows for the removal of excess liquid giving Greek yogurt its creamy and thick characteristic. Additionally the straining process also increases protein content and reduces lactose content, making Greek yogurt a low-lactose option for those with lactose intolerance.

Calcium – eating approximately 1 cup of Greek yogurt provides almost half of your calcium needs per day. We often associate calcium with supporting bone health and teeth; however, calcium is a necessary nutrient to reduce risk of muscle cramping. Calcium is used as one of the energy sources to contract our muscles to perform movement.

Bifidobacteria and Lactobacillus – are bacteria that are used to culture some varieties of yogurt. Studies show persons living with irritable bowel syndrome who eat Greek yogurt made with these strains have shown improvement in uncomfortable symptoms related to irritable bowel syndrome.(6,7)

Zinc – is a micromineral important for the functioning of the immune system. Zinc is responsible for telling the body to produce 7 types of white blood cells during illness, stress, trauma, or inflammation.(8) 

Additional Uses for Yogurt

As as a Meat Tenderizer – many cultures such as those in Sri Lanka, India, and parts of the Middle East use Greek yogurt to tenderize tough meats like goat and lamb. Greek yogurt is higher in acid than regular yogurt. Additionally, acidic items like pineapple, papaya, vinegars, and lemon juice may not be readily available in these areas. A benefit of using Greek yogurt is its marinating time is slower and enhances flavor more efficiently. When meats are marinated for long periods of time instead of tenderizing it may end up doing the opposite – make meat more tough. 

As a “Cream” Greek yogurt is high in protein, low in fat, and dense in a variety of nutrients. Greek yogurt (plain preferred) can be easily switched out in place of sour cream, mayonnaise, or heavy cream. The substitution is a 1-to-1 ratio.

As a “Milk Replacement”  – Greek yogurt can be thinned down to a “milk consistency” and be used in baking like cookies and cakes. Not only does this decrease the amount of fat in baked goods to create a heart-healthier option, but also increases protein and nutrients. Replace milk with Greek yogurt as a 1-to-1 ratio; however, use ½ cup Greek yogurt mixed with ½ milk to get it to “milk consistency” first. 

Lemon Garlic Greek Yogurt Marinated Chicken

Stella Drivas, Hungry Happens, July 7, 2023

What You Need:

  • 8 bone-in skin-on chicken thighs
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt, plain
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large lemon, juiced
  • 2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper

What You Do:

  1. Pat chicken thighs dry with a paper towel.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together yogurt, extra-virgin olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, paprika, salt, dried oregano, and ground black pepper. Add the chicken into the bowl, coat the chicken in the yogurt marinade well. Cover and refrigerate for two hours.
  3. Remove chicken from refrigerator 30-minutes before cooking
  4. Preheat oven to 375F degrees. Transfer chicken to a baking dish and pour leftover marinade over the chicken. Bake for 50-minutes or until internal temperature reaches 165F degrees. Allow chicken to rest for 5-minutes before serving. 


  1. TasteWise. Yogurt trends – consumption analysis and statistics 2024 report. 2024. Accessed April 11, 2024.
  2. Manning L. Taste is tops in consumers’ yogurt priorities, survey finds. Food Dive. June 9, 2021. Accessed April 11, 2024.
  3. PennState Extension. Yogurt: active nutrition for active lifestyles. Updated August 6, 2014. Accessed April 11, 2024.
  4. Refrigerated and Frozen Foods. Study: nearly 70% of adults eat yogurt 3 times a week or more. January 28, 2019. Accessed April 11, 2024.
  5. Food and Drug Administration. CFR – Code of Federal Regulations Title 21. Updated Dec 22, 2023. Accessed April 11, 2024.
  6. Aoyagi Y, Amamoto R, Park S, Honda Y, Shimamoto K, Kushiro A, et. al. Independent and interactive effects of habitually ingesting fermented milk products containing Lactobacillus casei Strain Shirota and of engaging in moderate habitual daily physical activity on the intestinal health of older people. Front Microbiol. 2019; 31(10):1477. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2019.01477.
  7. Sun J, Fong C, Qu X, Deng C, Lou, Y, Jia L. Efficacy and safety of probiotics in irritable bowel syndrome: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Saudi J Gastroenterol. 2020; 26(2):66-77. doi: 10.4103/sjg.SJG_384_19
  8. Haase H, Rink L. Multiple impacts of zinc on immune function. Metallomics. 2014; 6(7):1175-1180.