Kefir VS Greek Yogurt: A Probiotic Smackdown

By now you probably know how important probiotics are to your gut health.

But do you know the best way to get the probiotics you need?

Two of the best ways to get probiotics are by eating kefir and Greek yogurt. But which one is best?


Kefir is a drink made from cow’s or goat’s milk.

Kefir grains are added to milk. These are really cultures of yeast and lactic acid. After they’ve been in the milk for 24 hours they multiply and ferment the sugars in the milk. The grains are then removed and can be used again.

Kefir has a taste like yogurt, but is thinner and more drinkable.

Six ounces of kefir contains:

  • 6 grams of protein
  • 20% of the RDA of calcium and phosphorous,
  • and 19% of the RDA of riboflavin.

Kefir packs a probiotic punch too! It can contain up to 50 strains of bacteria and yeasts, and each helps the body in a different way.

Don't eat dairy? You can still enjoy kefir. Look for either coconut or rice based kefirs.

Greek Yogurt

Greek yogurt is a thick, creamy form of yogurt. Its unique texture comes from being strained to remove whey.

Greek yogurt is a great source of probiotics, but every brand has different bacteria strains and quantities.

The same is true of kefir, though kefir generally has many more strains of probiotics in it than Greek yogurt. You just have to check the labels for number of strains and cultures.

Here's the Probiotic Smackdown by the numbers:

Kefir grown from kefir grains has between 30 and 50 different strains and approximately 5 billion cfu (colony forming units) per gram.

Kefir from the store is a probiotic drink made from a mix of 4-10 strains of bacteria and yeast and is approximately 2-3 billion cfu per gram. This usually isn't true kefir grown from grains.

Greek Yogurt is a single strain and is approximately 1-2 billion cfu per gram.

Another difference between the two is that the beneficial bacteria in yogurt is only “transient.”

This means these bacteria only reside in the intestines for a certain period of time. But, these bacteria maintain the balance of the digestive system.

On the other hand, kefir has probiotics which are more likely to colonize the intestinal tract. This means that probiotics from kefir can multiply and establish their colony there for a longer time.

BUT…please don't think this is a competition where you can only have one or the other, you can eat and enjoy them all, and benefit your gut in the process.

Remember that whether dealing with kefir or Greek yogurt, probiotics are living organisms.

It’s important to:

  • eat them while they’re fresh
  • make sure that they’re refrigerated
  • look for brands that are low in sugar and fat

If you want to make sure that you have a healthy balance of bacteria in your system, have kefir or Greek yogurt every day.

Either 4 ounces of kefir or 6 to 8 ounces of Greek yogurt that has a high quantity of live cultures will do you a world of good. If you’re having stomach trouble, double this amount until you start to feel better.

Yours in Health,


P.S. Please share this info. with your friends and I love reading your comments below. Are kefir and Greek yogurt staples in your fridge?