Food Fight: Greek vs. Regular Yogurt

by in Which is Healthier?, August 7, 2012

yogurt
Deciding whether a food is healthy or not can be really difficult, especially when food companies market their products in such clever ways. It’s even harder to decide between foods with healthy components, or similar-sounding foods. For this food fight we’ll explore regular and Greek-style yogurt — which one is the better choice?

Greek
Greek-style yogurt contains less water than regular varieties. This creates yogurt with tangier flavor and thicker consistency; this also affects the nutrition facts. One cup of non-fat plain Greek yogurt has 80 calories and 13 grams of protein (comparison to regular yogurt is below). The calcium and vitamin D content of all yogurts will vary from brand to brand (and whether you choose, non-fat, low-fat or whole milk) so check labels.

Any flavored yogurt will have added sweeteners. Fruity flavors of Greek yogurt will include on average 2 to 3 teaspoons of sugar per serving.  The popular honey flavor won’t contain any refined sweeteners, but honey varieties tend to have more grams of sugar per serving than the ones with fruit.

See the results of our Greek yogurt taste test

Regular
The same 1-cup portion of non-fat plain regular yogurt has 107 calories and only 10 grams of protein. Flavored regular yogurts typically also rank higher in the added-sugar department. Check the list of ingredients and you will often find more sugar than fruit. The good news is whether it’s Greek or regular, both offer tummy-pleasing probiotics.

There certainly are a lot more choices of regular yogurt on supermarket shelves and with that variety comes a lot of junk! Many of the regular yogurt brands contain thickeners, stabilizers, processed sweeteners (such as high fructose corn syrup) and artificial colorings. The super low-cal yogurts are the worst culprits because they are also full of artificial sweeteners.

Healthy Eats Winner: Go Greek! More protein and less junk.

TELL US: Who do you vote for: Greek or regular yogurt?

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