Greek Yogurt: Make sure you’re really getting a nutritious product

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There are tons of marketing buzzwords that can make foods seem better than they really are, and sometimes Greek yogurt can be one of those misleading terms.

The reason for Greek yogurt’s popularity, especially in the nutrition world, is that ounce for ounce, Greek yogurt packs in twice as much protein as regular plain yogurt, and nearly four times more protein than regular flavored yogurt, with a fraction of the carbs and calories.

But here’s the thing – there’s no standard definition for the term Greek yogurt, so we’re starting to see more and more varieties of Greek yogurt, not to mention sugary cereals, bars, and ice creams with the words ‘Greek yogurt’ splashed across the labels.  And while these may look like they’re healthy options, most of them really aren’t.

So when you’re looking at labels, don’t buy into the marketing on the front of the package.  Instead, check the ingredient list, looking for products with less stuff like:

Thickeners and fillers: pectin, corn starch, gelatin, locust bean gum

Added sugars: cane sugar, honey , fructose,

Artificial sweeteners.  You may not see brand names you recognize, but sucralose, aspartame, and acesulfame potassium are all generic names for artificial sweeteners.

Instead, keep Greek yogurt simple with pure ingredients like milk, cream, and live active cultures.

And check the protein content.  If it’s authentic Greek-style yogurt, it should have at least two to three times more protein than sugar.

Some of my favorite brands include Fage, Chobani, and Oikos – plain is best, of course – since they’re made with nothing but pure, natural ingredients.

FUN FACT:  We’re the only ones who actually call it Greek yogurt!  Outside of the US, everyone else calls it strained yogurt, and it’s common in countries throughout Eastern Europe and the Middle East, like Armenia and Bulgaria and Turkey, not just Greece.

In fact, the founder of Chobani, a popular “Greek” yogurt, is actually Turkish!