Does Greek Yogurt for Lactose Intolerance Work?

 by Dr. Steve Hruby, D.C.
Reviewed by Dr. Steve Hruby, D.C.

SuperHumans are the toughest, fittest, healthiest and happiest human beings on this planet. My mission is to help you realize your superhuman potential and learn how to live a long, happy and healthy life.

  Fact Checked
 by Rhealyn Tropia, RMT
Reviewed by Rhealyn Tropia, RMT

I’m a content organizer, fact-checker and super mom who ensures content is medically-reviewed, highly accurate, and engaging. My passion is organizing information and ensuring the facts are presented in a manner that is interesting and easy to understand.

greek yogurt for lactose intolerant

If you are intolerant of lactose, eating a great deal of yoghurt can make you ill. That’s because the bacterial cultures many yoghurts use to coagulate milk and give it flavor, produce lactose as a by-product.

We can’t always decipher what we eat from the labels on food. Is it really yogurt or is it just fruit-flavored milk? Which begs the question, is Greek yogurt for lactose intolerant people a solution?

Lactose intolerance affects a large part of the world population. Common symptoms include flatulence, diarrhea, cramps and nausea.

There is a milder version of an enzyme that breaks down lactose called lactase non-persistence. Mainstream medicine suggests avoiding dairy products entirely, if you suffer from the condition.

Greek yoghurt is an excellent dietary option for people with lactose intolerance; not to mention the culture of eating it. Greek yoghurt is not just delicious, and I’d like to tell you more why.

Does Greek Yoghurt Contains Lactose?

Does yoghurt have lactose, and is Greek yogurt dairy? The answer to both of these questions is YES. If you’re lactose intolerant, there’s a chance that excessive consumption of Greek yoghurt can give you a tummy upset.

The reason for this is that yoghurts are usually made from milk, and milk naturally contains lactose. Some yoghurts are made from milk that has been ultra-pasteurized to remove most of the lactose, but not all of it.

Does Greek yogurt have lactose, then? We can now deduce that it’s a yes. If you’re looking for lactose-free yogurt, it’s best to look for those that are labeled “lactose free Greek yogurt” or look for brands that say “contains no milk ingredients.”

If you’re lactose intolerant and you need help creating a meal plan, you can start with my post about diet for lactose intolerant people.

Benefits of Greek Yogurt

Greek yogurt is a great snack. It’s packed with protein, which means it can help you feel full for longer and stay energized. Greek yogurt is also rich in calcium and probiotics, which can improve digestion and boost your immune system.

happy woman holding blue bowl and eating outdoors

Let’s take a closer look at the benefits of consuming Greek yogurt:

#1 – Probiotics

Probiotics are the good bacteria that help to keep your body healthy and happy. They do this by keeping your digestive system functioning properly, which means your body can absorb nutrients from food better.

Thinking of supplementing your probiotic intake? Consider adding Optima to your daily regime and see the difference.

This gut health solution is packed with all the effective ingredients to help you absorb nutrients from food better, reduces inflammation, and creates a healthier environment in your tummy for your overall wellness.

#2 – Improved Gastrointestinal Function

Greek yoghurt contains probiotics, which are microorganisms that help maintain the balance of good and bad bacteria in your intestines.

Healthy intestinal flora can improve immune system function and boost nutrient absorption. So next time you’re feeling a little under the weather, reach for a bowl of Greek yoghurt and feel better fast.

#3 – Reduced Constipation

Greek yoghurt contains live active cultures of bacteria—in fact, it has more than any other type of yoghurt. These cultures are what helps combat irregularity and reduce constipation.

They do so by increasing the amount of good gut bacteria in your system, which helps keep things moving through your digestive tract smoothly.

#4 – Reduced Diarrhea

If you’ve ever had a bout of diarrhea, you know how miserable it can be. You’re in pain and uncomfortable, and you have to spend your time in the bathroom, waiting for it to pass.

greek yogurt and berries in a separate bowl

But now you can prevent that from happening with Greek yoghurt! If you eat Greek yoghurt regularly, you’ll get all the benefits of probiotics that help your body fight off infection and support your immune system.

#5 – Increased Calcium Absorption and Bone Strength

When you eat dairy products, especially Greek yoghurt, your body absorbs more calcium from each gram than it does from other types of food.

Calcium is an essential mineral for building strong bones and teeth. In fact, it makes up about two-thirds of your bone mass! Calcium helps build bone tissue in three ways:

First, it helps form a scaffold for new bone growth; second, it provides strength to the skeleton; and third, it assists in removing old bone tissue when old cells die and are replaced with new ones.

In addition to strengthening bones, calcium also helps maintain muscle tone throughout the body by regulating muscle contractions (including those of your heart) and relaxing them when they shouldn’t be working as hard.

#6 – Vitamins Are Better Absorbed

Vitamins are better absorbed when they’re eaten with food that contains fat, which is why Greek yoghurt makes a great base for smoothies and breakfast bowls.

The probiotic cultures in Greek yoghurt help to break down the lactose in milk into simple sugars that can be easily digested by your body, making it easier to absorb vitamins and minerals such as calcium, magnesium and phosphorus from other foods you eat alongside your yoghurt.

This is especially important if you’re lactose intolerant or have difficulty digesting dairy products.

Is Greek Yogurt Really Better for You?

Yes. Greek yogurt has more protein than regular yogurt. That means that if you’re eating Greek yogurt regularly, it can help keep you full longer than regular yogurt would.

yogurt topped with berries and nuts

In addition to helping with hunger pangs, a higher protein intake also helps build muscle mass and strength, which means that you could see some weight loss benefits from including Greek yogurt in your diet.

Greek yogurt also has less sugar than regular yogurt, which may be good for your teeth and waistline. Sugars found in food can contribute to tooth decay by feeding bacteria in your mouth—and excess weight around the middle of the body puts stress on bones and joints over time.

So if you’re trying to lose weight or reduce your risk of osteoporosis down the road, opting for low-sugar foods like Greek yoghurt.

Interested in substituting your daily glass of fresh milk with a non-dairy variant? How about soy milk? In another post which you might want to explore, I wrote about soy milk for lactose intolerance.

What Distinguishes Greek Yogurt From Regular Yogurt?

Greek yogurt is a type of yogurt that is often thicker and has more protein than regular yogurt. The extra protein comes from straining the liquid out of the yogurt, which causes it to lose much of its water content and become thicker.

It’s important to note that there are many different kinds of Greek yogurt available. Some brands use skim milk as the base, while others use whole milk. Some brands add extra ingredients such as pectin or gelatin to create a thicker texture, while others don’t.

Greek yogurt also differs from regular yogurt in that it usually contains fewer additives than other types of yogurt do—which means that it contains no artificial colors or flavors and contains only natural preservatives like vitamin C (ascorbic acid).

Is Daily Consumption of Greek Yogurt Okay?

Yes, daily consumption of Greek yogurt is okay. As mentioned, you’ll get a lot of benefits from eating Greek yogurt: it’s high in protein, calcium and probiotics (which are good bacteria that help keep your digestive system healthy), so it can help keep you fuller longer and give your immune system a boost. It also contains vitamins B12 and D.

However, if you eat too much fat or sodium over time—even healthy fats like olive oil or nuts—it could lead to weight gain or high blood pressure over time. So try not to overdo it on the calories!

smiling woman eating greek yogurt

How much lactose in Greek yogurt is alright for those with intolerance?

There’s no specific amount of lactose that’s safe for everyone with lactose intolerance. It depends on the severity of your intolerance, and what other food products you’re eating alongside your yogurt.

For example, if you’re also eating a lot of cheese or milk, then having some Greek yogurt might not be enough to cause digestion problems. If you’re not eating any other dairy products, though, then even just a small amount of Greek yogurt could cause discomfort.

For most people with lactose intolerance, it’s best to steer clear of all dairy products (including Greek yogurt) until they can talk to their doctor about whether they should reintroduce them into their diet.

This is because there are many types of lactose-free products available at grocery stores now; these options may be easier on your digestive system than regular dairy products.

Why Is It Referred to as Greek Yogurt?

Greek yogurt is a yogurt that has been strained, giving it a thicker consistency and a higher protein content. The name “Greek yogurt” comes from the fact that this type of yogurt is processed the same way as strained yoghurt in Greece, which is called “straggisto”.

This process removes whey, which is the liquid component of milk. Because whey contains lactose and other minerals and nutrients, when it’s removed, what remains is a higher concentration of proteins, vitamins and minerals like calcium.


In the end, Greek yoghurt does make a good alternative to regular dairy products for people who are lactose intolerant. But as any dietician will tell you, it is important to always consume yoghurt in moderation.

Also, additional ingredients like sugars, syrups and other flavors may be added to Greek yoghurt, which can throw off your gut’s natural balance and lead to further discomfort.

That said, many people do not experience these issues when combining Greek yoghurt with their regular dietary habits. As always, it is essential to speak with your doctor, but you can still enjoy some of your favorite foods in moderation.

Need to read up on more articles about dairy substitution, and which options are best for you? This post on soy milk vs almond milk might help clear up some doubts.

Keep visiting this page for more tips and information on living your best and healthiest life! Be SuperHumn!

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