Not all Greek Yogurt is created equal

Perhaps I am late to the game but I really wasn't aware of the differences between Greek yogurt. I knew Greek yogurt offered more protein than regular yogurt and it was the first type of yogurt where I actually enjoyed the plain flavor more than the other but besides that, I never did any research on the product. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

My favorite type of yogurt is Fage because I love the taste. I tried a few others, including Chobani and Oikos and I wasn't impressed with the taste. I gave up on Greek yogurt altogether until Fage came into my life. Once I learned it was manufactured in NYS, I ran to my local supermarket to see if it was on the shelves. It's been on my grocery shopping list every week since then.

Yesterday, as I was reading IDEA Fitness Journal, I came across the topic on the differences between Greek yogurt. I know my supermarket has exploded with options and I don't look at them since I am faithful to my brand but I have wondered why some are always on sale, what Yoplait and Dannon are doing in the greek yogurt business, and what's up with all those flavors?

Well, some "greek yogurt" isn't really greek yogurt. Argh! Get's annoying when manufacturing comes into play. Let me explain: Traditional Greek yogurt is made from a straining process where the liquid is strained out. The liquid contains most of the water and milk sugars that make "regular" yogurt watery. Straining the liquid out creates a thick yogurt that is high in protein. It takes more milk to make Greek yogurt this way and that's why strained yogurt is more expensive than other yogurts.

As always happens, the greek yogurt boom in the United States made yogurt manufacturers interested in lowering costs in order to stay competitive. Some of the "greek yogurt" you buy may have cornstarch, pectin, gelatin or carob bean gum in it to achieve the thick nature. Yoplait is one of them. Less milk is used, so the price drops, the calorie count drops and the protein content drops but so authenticity and quality. We all know Americans look for inexpensive, low calorie options. So these customers found a way to fulfill that need.

However, this is one of those "buyer beware" scenarios. It's sad to say but I can bet that these manufacturers of "Greek yogurt" made with thickening agent are also the same ones spending tons of marketing money on colorful packaging and supermarket displays. Please read the labels of your favorite yogurt.

I looked up Fage yogurt on their website and on other websites and they stick to the traditional straining method of making Greek yogurt. Their package is white- it's plain and many times it's lost in the plethora of options. Let's get smarter about what we buy and tell these companies that add unnecessary additives to our foods to STOP! We know what you're doing and we are smarter than you.

P.S. I know cost is a factor but my suggestion it to spend the money to buy your yogurt without the extra additives and just eat less of it. Make it an every other day snack versus a daily snack.