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).

Fage
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.

Oikos
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.

Chobani
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.

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

Skyr.is
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. taokeema says:

    Nothing will do for me but full-fat Greek Gods Greek yogurt. No other non-fat or reduced fat yogurt comes close, and none of the stores I shop at carry full fat versions of other brands.

  2. Donna Aulbur says:

    Is yogurt gluten free?

  3. Rebecca says:

    I like to mix cinnamon & a little organic agave syrup to plain Greek yogurt & put it on a baked sweet potato or yam. It's like having dessert! :)

  4. Athens says:

    out of all those brands, the only one that comes from Greece is FAGE. I have wonderful memories of eating great yoghurts in Greece… not only the many varieties of FAGE, but also sheeps milk yoghurt with it's skin of cream on top and light tangy yoghurt underneath. Hallelujah that FAGE has made it to the states!! I can finally have great yoghurt again!

  5. Mitchell says:

    Fage is the king of Greek yogurt. I always eat the Total 0% variety plain.

  6. Geroge says:

    Another good listing of greek yogurts on http://www.caloricious.com

  7. verse says:

    Hey just wanted to give you a quick heads up. The text in your content seem to be running off the screen in Internet explorer. I’m not sure if this is a formatting issue or something to do with internet browser compatibility but I thought I’d post to let you know. The design and style look great though! Hope you get the problem fixed soon. Kudos

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