Taste Test: Nonfat Greek Yogurt

by in Taste Test, June 22, 2010
The Contenders: Which Greek Yogurt Tastes Best?
The Contenders: Which Greek Yogurt Tastes Best?

When we did our vanilla yogurt taste test a few weeks back, everyone asked about Greek yogurt. We shopped for the brands our Facebook fans asked for — find out how they stacked up. Plus: Our favorite ways (sweet and savory) to use this creamy treat.

Greek-style yogurt is thick and creamy because it is strained to remove some of the water. It has a velvety texture and tangy flavor that makes it handy for both sweet and savory applications (more on ways to use it below). We scoped out nonfat, plain varieties and used our 5-point rating system (5 being the highest) to rate taste, consistency and nutrition.

For nutrition, we paid special attention to calories and protein. Greek yogurt is higher in protein per ounce than regular yogurt because there’s less water. All brands were fat-free, contained probiotics and had very small amounts of sodium (100 milligrams or less).

Rating: 5
Cost: $1.69 (6-ounce container)
Nutrition Info: 90 calories; 15 grams protein
Our Take: We can see why this was one of the favorites on our Facebook page. It was the creamiest with a mild and pleasant tang –- a perfect snack or light breakfast with fresh fruit and a drizzle of honey.

Rating: 4
Cost: $1.99 (5.3-ounce container)
Nutrition Info: 80 calories; 15 grams
Our Take: You’ll pay a little extra (for less yogurt) in this case, because it’s organic. It was a little thinner and less pungent than some of the other guys, but still a solid choice overall.

Rating: 4.5
Cost: $1.25 (6-ounce container)
Nutrition Info: 100 calories; 18 grams of protein
Our Take: A close second to Fage, this yogurt had great flavor and a slightly lighter texture. It was also highest in protein — 3 grams above the others.

Greek Gods
Rating: 3
Cost: $1.25 (6-ounce container)
Nutrition Info: 60 calories; 6 grams protein
Our Take: Lowest in calories and protein, this yogurt didn’t have the same creamy texture or tangy flavor that Greek yogurt is famous for. This brand also contains two thickeners, pectin and inulin. While these are considered very safe to eat, they are used to replace some of the milk. That’s how they got the calories so low, but also why its protein content was a mere one-third of  the others.

“Skyr” Icelandic Yogurt
While perusing the yogurt section we came across Skyr (pronounced “skeer”) yogurt. Native to Iceland, the two flavors we tried were less tangy than Greek-style varieties, but they were more dense and creamy. They were also much more pricy! Here’s the rundown.

Cost: $2.69 (6-ounce container)
Nutrition Info: 100 calories; 17 grams protein

Cost: $2.79 (6-ounce container)
Nutrition Info: 110 calories; 22 grams protein

Ways to Enjoy Plain Yogurt
Use plain Greek yogurt to thicken smoothies and salad dressings or as lower fat alternative to sour cream. We love it in this mini parfait of fresh cherries, slivered almonds and a sprinkle of turbinado sugar (pictured below).

Dana's Greek Yogurt Parfait
Dana's Greek Yogurt Parfait

Learn how to make your own Greek yogurt.

TELL US: What’s your favorite way to eat Greek yogurt?

Dana Angelo White, MS, RD, ATC, is a registered dietitian, certified athletic trainer and owner of Dana White Nutrition, Inc., which specializes in culinary and sports nutrition. See Dana’s full bio »

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Comments (98)

  1. Pauline Ferwerda says:

    The only two I can get at my supermarket are Oikos and Chobani. I tried one flavor of Oikos and didn't care for it at all. Chobani is very good. I like the texture – very creamy – and not too sweet.

  2. Mrs. Z says:

    Fage is the BEST! Thick and creamy and light flavor like you are eating a really fattening desert!
    Chobani had a soapy aftertaste and have not tried the others.

  3. I like Oikos, Siggi's and Fage but I also like my yogurt with a bit of fat in it and I think Fage is the only one that makes varieties with fat!

    • Kathy says:

      Greek Gods honey yogurt is supreme! I would eat it more often but it is full of fat! It rocks! It is creamy smooth and delicious. My husband thinks it is as good as ice cream.

  4. Mrs. Z says:

    I mean dessert! lol

  5. Urwhatu8 says:

    I love Fage, but wish it were still made in Greece where cows are treated properly and pastured. Olympus is from Greece…yeah! And it is terrific. Chobani is very chalky tasting and textured to me so I don’t buy it. Olympus has 0, 2 and10 percent fat so you can pick and choose depending…the 10 is to die for!

  6. Judi says:

    Greek Gods is still my most favorite, even tho it rated low with you. To me, Okios is the worst! I eat Greek Gods Honey flavor every day, So thick and creamy! I get disgusted with the supermarkets giving so much shelf space to the commercial-run brands that have tons of sugar. There should be more exposure to the Greek brands so more people would try them and discover the difference.

  7. amanda says:

    i LOVE greek yogurt. i love fage but recently found cabot greek yogurt (they make yummy cheese, too) it is awesome! i would really suggest trying cabbot out. so far i've seen it in vanilla and plain. ive had the plain (i add honey) and it is seriously good but by no means low in fat (23 or 24 grams per 8 oz). i get mine at publix 32 oz/$3.99. its a great price too!

  8. Pat says:

    I use Vanilla Chobani low-fat to make the "soup" portion of "Chilled Fruit Soup" – a staple of our hot weather diet. I cut up whatever fruits I can get fresh and then add canned, frozen, or dried to round out the variety. I mix the yoghurt with any fruit juice and some Splenda then into the fruits to desired consistency.

  9. pmcquiston says:

    Oikos by far is the best. I like it because it IS less pungent then the others. I have tasted almost all of the above and Oikos wins hands down. It is organic-bonus! It is fat free-double bonus! I often get the plain to add fruit to, add to protein shakes, use in cooking etc…, but the blueberry flavor is like heaven in a cup!

  10. MONMON says:

    Fage is my favorite too. Alone, with a drizzle of honey, as the Greeks have eaten it for centuries. I love local blueberries topped with Fage and a bit of Stevia and a sprinkle of chopped pecans. MMMMMMM! Protein power.

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