With no legal definition of Greek yogurt. How do we know if what we are eating is really Greek Yogurt!? With Greek yogurt’s popularity rising, people are choosing to switch from traditional yogurt to Greek yogurt. So what is the difference you may ask? Yogurt is made by bacterial fermentation of milk or in simpler terms milk is heated, bacteria are added, and the mixture is held at a constant temperature for a period of time in which the fermentation process takes place. Yogurt contains protein, calcium, riboflavin, vitamin B6, and vitamin B12. It also contains probiotics. Because yogurt is naturally sour, most yogurt we buy at the store is sweetened. Some sweetened yogurts contain as much as 20g of sugar which is about half of a woman’s recommended daily intake.
How is Greek yogurt different? Greek yogurt is basically plain yogurt that has been strained of the liquid. This results in a thicker, creamier consistency. One reason many people make the switch to Greek yogurt is that it is supposed to be higher in protein and lower in sugar but when’s the last time you checked the nutritional label on your Greek yogurt? Not all Greek yogurt is created equal. The food industry has quickly jumped on the Greek yogurt band wagon and has found a way to make “Greek yogurt” even cheaper by adding thickeners to plain yogurt to make it the same consistency as Greek yogurt. Milk protein concentrate and cornstarch are common thickeners used.
Next time you reach for Greek yogurt at the grocery store make sure you check the label. Greek yogurt should contain milk, cream and live cultures and often contains around 15-18g of protein. Avoid yogurt that contains thickeners such as cornstarch and milk protein concentrate and those high in sugar.