Greek Yogurt: Health or Hype?

It’s a health food product that is taking over grocery store shelves and most likely your fridge. It’s creamy and full of flavor, but what is ALL the fuss with Greek yogurt? Recently it’s being advertised as an add-in to cereal, in snacks and it seems every Greek Yogurt brand is promising even more health benefits than the next. Registered Dietician Trish Brimhall says the trend has some benefits as long as you’re careful about which brand you buy.

What is Greek yogurt?

· Strained yogurt. By straining it, it loses some of the lactose, becomes thicker in texture so you end up with a product higher in protein and lower in sugar.

· Most greek yogurts contain up to 1/3 fewer calories twice the protein of regular yogurt.

Why is it so popular?

· Texture – thicker & richer

· Flavor – less sweet, more tart taste

· Protein – excellent source of protein with 10-16 g/serving (1/4 to 1/3 of an adult’s daily protein needs)

· Marketing hype – food industry is very trend-based and Greek yogurt is enjoying time in the spotlight.

So many brands of greek yogurt out there how do you know which is the best value?
Comparison based on 5 criteria – Protein, Sugar, Calcium, Probiotics & Price

Highest in Protein: Store brands
Lowest in Sugar: Yoplait 100 calorie – but it contains artificial sweeteners, then store brands – containing Stevia.
Highest in Calcium: Store brands
Number of Probiotic strains: Greek Gods
Price: Store brands
*Overall bang-for-your buck winners: Store brands.

Full-fat versions will have less protein, calcium and often more sugar than non-fat versions.
Taste test: Obviously this is a very subjective & personal test, but from 3 only news sources that conducted taste tests of greek yogurts, the top 3 were Fage, Chobani and Dannon Oikos.

Trends to watch:
· Greek-yogurts in tubes to target the kid & tween market.
· “Brogurt” Powerful Yogurt marketed specifically to men. Higher in protein with up to 25 g/serving all in a manly looking package.
· Cultured coconut milk as a dairy-free option. Very pricey and contains only 1 g protein per serving.

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