Is It Safe To Eat Greek Yogurt During Pregnancy?

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Besides the picturesque landscapes, Greece has blessed us with delicious probiotic Greek yogurt. You can consume Greek yogurt during pregnancy as a tasty source of vitamins, proteins, calcium, and more (1).

Unlike regular yogurt, Greek yogurt does not contain the liquid substance whey (2). This gives it a much more solid and creamy texture that you can easily snack on. Besides, it makes for a nutritious and healthy ingredient to include in your pregnancy diet. This yogurt can not only help you maintain a healthy pregnant body but may also aid in your baby’s overall physical development.

This post will tell you about Greek yogurt, including its benefits for pregnant women and some tasty recipes to try.

In This Article

Can You Eat Greek Yogurt When Pregnant?

Consume yogurt made from pasteurized milk during pregnancy
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Yes, Greek yogurt will make a nutritious addition to your diet. Pair it with a wholesome home-cooked meal, and it will supply all the nutrients you need daily during pregnancy. But you have to ensure that it is made using pasteurized milk. Greek yogurt made with unpasteurized milk may contain Listeria, a bacterium that can cross the placenta, leading to a potentially life-threatening infection to the baby. It can also cause miscarriage (3).

Benefits Of Eating Greek Yogurt During Pregnancy

When one thinks of dairy products, milk, and yogurt are usually among the first choices. There are multiple benefits of consuming Greek yogurt during pregnancy. Some of them are listed below.

1. Vitamin Rich:

Greek yogurt contains a variety of vitamins that help supplement what you need for a healthy pregnancy. It contains 1% of the daily requirement of Vitamin A, a nutrient necessary for your baby’s eyes. Chobani, a Greek yogurt brand, contains vitamin C and iron as well (1). If you are taking prenatal vitamins already, consult with your doctor regarding the amount of yogurt you can have to meet the daily requirement.

2. Calcium:

Calcium is a mineral that you will require in high amounts during pregnancy. It helps build the baby’s bones, If you don’t consume enough calcium, your baby will drain what he needs from your stores. It can lead to a deficiency of calcium in your body. Calcium is synonymous with Greek yogurt (4). A 1-cup serving of Greek yogurt will give you 20% of your daily calcium needs.

3. Protein:

We all know that protein is a nutrient that you need in double amounts during pregnancy. It serves as the building block of cells in the baby’s developing body. Protein also supports the development of the child and supplies you with all the energy you need to grow a healthy human being. Greek yogurt contains the double amount of protein as the regular varieties of yogurt. A 6 oz. packet of Greek yogurt contains 15 grams of protein (4).

4. Treats Bloating:

Eating Greek yogurt during pregnancy may help prevent bloating
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Greek yogurt may help provide some relief from bloating during pregnancy. Indigestion and gastritis are common issues during the third trimester of pregnancy. Consuming yogurt along with meals may help you eat hard-to-digest foods comfortably.

protip_icon Things to know
Progesterone relaxes all the muscles of the body, including the intestines due to which the food moves 30% slower through the intestines during pregnancy, resulting in bloating (10).

5. Controls Weight:

Greek yogurt contains less sugar than regular yogurt, making it perfect for women seeking healthy gestational weight gain and those with gestational diabetes. The high amounts of protein in Greek yogurt will satiate you for longer. It will curb your hunger between meals when you are trying to lose weight. It will also control your cravings for junk food.

It can also be a good and nutritious option to replace dessert during pregnancy. Katy, a mother of three, shares how and when she included Greek yogurt in her diet. She writes, “I do like the idea of ‘having dessert’ at night. The past few days after dinner, instead of going for actual dessert, I have been eating a fruit-flavored Greek yogurt to satisfy my sweet craving (i).”

6. Probiotics:

Greek yogurt also contains a good amount of probiotics, which are healthy bacteria that thrive in the gut. These healthy bacteria may help prevent several gastrointestinal problems, such as irritable bowel syndrome and diarrhea. The probiotics in Greek yogurt also promote intestinal and vaginal health.

The probiotics in Greek yogurt also promote intestinal and vaginal health.

7. Improves Bone Health:

Greek yogurt contains nutrients like magnesium, calcium, potassium, and phosphorus, which work together to promote healthy bones in pregnant women (1) (5). It may also help you avoid osteoporosis in the long run.

8. It is a Good Source of Vitamin B12:

Vitamin B12 helps in the development of the brain of children, and Greek yogurt is chock full of it. Women mostly opt for vitamin B12 supplements to correct their vitamin B12 levels, but Greek yogurt is a powerful natural alternative (6).

9. Iodine:

Greek yogurt is an excellent source of iodine. Pregnant women need iodine in high amounts to promote brain development of the fetus. It also assists in the functioning of the thyroid.

10. Improves Digestive Health:

Greek yogurt contains acidophilus bacteriaiXHealthy bacteria used as probiotics. , which is incredibly important for your digestive health. It fights bacteria that cause diarrhea.

11. Controls Blood Pressure:

Eating Greek yogurt during pregnancy may help regulate blood pressure
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Low blood pressure may occur during pregnancy. One of the best ways to control blood pressure is by eating Greek yogurt (7). Greek yogurt contains potassium, magnesium, and calcium, which may help to normalize blood pressure.

12. Sodium:

A high amount of sodium is a big no-no during pregnancy. It can cause hypertension and can even increase the risk of developing heart disease. So if you were looking for a food low in sodium, then Greek yogurt would be the best pick. Greek yogurt has a full-bodied taste without high sodium content (1). In fact, it contains half the sodium as the regular variety.

That’s not all. One who displays lactose intolerance can still have Greek yogurt as it contains negligible amounts of lactose, thereby proving to be safe.

protip_icon Point to consider
Greek yogurt contains about half the carbohydrates of the regular variety; however, check the label carefully to avoid any added sugar (11) (12).

Greek Yogurt Recipes

As part of prenatal care and pregnancy nutrition, you can incorporate healthy eating habits such as indulging in Greek yogurt as a healthy snack or even a treat. Here are two simple Greek yogurt recipes that you can indulge in during pregnancy without feeling guilty.

1. Peanut Butter Greek Yogurt With Chocolate:

Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need:

  • oz of Greek yogurt.
  • 1 teaspoon of peanut butter.
  • 1 teaspoon of honey.
  • ¼ teaspoon of vanilla extract.
  • 1 heaped teaspoon of chocolate chips.

How to:

  1. Mix Greek yogurt with honey, peanut butter, and vanilla extract. Top with chocolate chips and serve.
protip_icon Quick tip
To make peanut butter at home, add warm peanuts in a blender and pulse for five seconds. At this stage, add salt if you wish. Then, process the peanuts at high speed for one to two minutes. Peanut butter is ready to store in a glass jar.

2. Greek Yogurt Pancake:

Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need:

  • 3 ounces of Greek yogurt
  • ½ cup of all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ cup of blueberries

How To:

  1. Mix egg and yogurt in a bowl until smooth. Add flour and baking soda and mix well.
  1. Preheat a pan and spray some oil on it. Scoop the batter into the pan and spread to make an even circle.
  1. Top the pancake with blueberries and cook for about 3 minutes until golden brown in color.

These finger foods with a side of nutritious Greek yogurt are sure to satisfy your food cravings during pregnancy.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How much Greek yogurt should a pregnant woman eat?

Pregnant women can eat around two to three servings of 8oz (~220g) of yogurt daily, whether plain or Greek yogurt (8).

2. What kind of Greek yogurt is best for pregnancy?

Plain pasteurized Greek yogurt can be a good option for pregnant women. It contains high amounts of calcium, protein, and probiotics that help protect the intestine and reduce birth complications (9).

3. Is Greek yogurt a good snack for pregnant women with gestational diabetes?

Unsweetened Greek yogurt is an excellent source of protein, potassium, and calcium. Besides, it contains half the carbohydrate than regular yogurt. Moreover, it is a source of probiotics that can modulate gut microbiota and contribute to overall health and well-being. Therefore, it is a suitable snack option for pregnant women with gestational diabetes (13).

4. Are there any potential allergens in Greek yogurt that pregnant women should know?

Greek yogurt is a milk product, so if a pregnant woman has a milk allergy, she may experience adverse effects after consuming the yogurt. Some varieties of Greek yogurt may contain additives like nuts, seeds, fruits, or flavors. Also, Greek yogurt may be manufactured or processed in the same facility as other allergenic foods, raising the risk of cross-contamination. Therefore, pregnant women should carefully read the product label and look for any possible allergens.

You can consume Greek yogurt during pregnancy as a tasty, nutritious, and healthful ingredient that will help with fetal growth. Its thicker and creamier texture excludes it from conventional yogurt and makes it a tasty snack. It can also help reduce bloating during pregnancy, improve your bone and digestive health, and regulate weight and blood pressure. You may eat Greek yogurt as is or add it to some delicious recipes.

Infographic: Benefits Of Greek Yogurt During Pregnancy

Greek yogurt is creamy, tangy, and a great substitute for normal yogurt. It is also high in essential nutrients that a pregnant woman needs. So you can stock up on it at the market. Give this infographic a read to learn more about the benefits of Greek yogurt for you and your baby.

benefits of greek yogurt during pregnancy (infographic)

Illustration: Momjunction Design Team

Get the high-quality PDF version of this infographic.

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Key Pointers

  • Greek yogurt can help with the baby’s eyes, bones, teeth, and brain development due to its high content of Vitamin A, calcium, protein, and iodine.
  • Greek yogurt made from unpasteurized milk may contain Listeria, which can be dangerous for the baby.
  • Probiotics found in Greek yogurt can promote good gut health.
  • Greek yogurt can aid in digestion, alleviate bloating and gastritis, and help regulate blood pressure and weight.
Greek Yogurt During Pregnancy_illustration

Image: Dall·E/MomJunction Design Team

Personal Experience: Source

References

MomJunction's articles are written after analyzing the research works of expert authors and institutions. Our references consist of resources established by authorities in their respective fields. You can learn more about the authenticity of the information we present in our editorial policy.
  1. Yogurt, Greek, plain, lowfat.
    https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/170903/nutrients
  2. Whey-ing The Options: Which Yogurt Is Best?
    https://foodinsight.org/whey-ing-the-options-which-yogurt-is-best/
  3. Top 8 Foods Pregnant Women Shouldn’t Eat and Why
    https://111.wales.nhs.uk/livewell/pregnancy/foodstoavoidhw/
  4. What are The Best Sources of Protein?
    https://health.clevelandclinic.org/what-are-the-best-sources-of-protein/
  5. Greek Yogurt and 12 Weeks of Exercise Training on Strength, Muscle Thickness and Body Composition in Lean, Untrained, University-Aged Males.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6503736/
  6. Hypertension and Nutrition.
    https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/4249-hypertension-and-nutrition
  7. The A list for vitamin B-12 sources.
    https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/the-a-list-for-vitamin-b-12-sources
  8. Nutrition for You and Your Baby.
    https://www.wm.edu/as/programs/healthy_beginnings/files/healthy_beginnings_originals/nutrition_booklet_updated
  9. What You Should and Shouldn’t Eat While Pregnant.
    https://wfmchealth.org/maternity-health-care/what-you-should-and-shouldnt-eat-while-pregnant/
  10. Pregnancy Gas.
    https://americanpregnancy.org/healthy-pregnancy/pregnancy-health-wellness/gas-during-pregnancy/
  11. Yogurt.
    https://www.healthyeating.org/nutrition-topics/milk-dairy/dairy-foods/yogurt
  12. The Benefits Of Eating Greek Yogurt.
    https://www.utmedicalcenter.org/blog-post/benefits-eating-greek-yogurt#
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