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Diet Diva
Diet Diva

Get advice on healthy eating, nutrition, and weight loss from expert dietitian Tara Gidus. 

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Going Greek

I have been a fan of yogurt for many years, but it seems like yogurts are getting more and more sweet. And the cause for this sweetness is either large amounts of sugar or artificial sweeteners. Instead of going for the traditional American style yogurts, lately I have been opting for Greek Yogurt.

Greek Yogurt is like other European style yogurts that are much thicker than the American Yogurts, but more importantly....they are loaded in sweetness! The thickness comes from the way they are made. I am not an expert on making it myself, but I believe it is strained differently. The result is a thick, tangy, tasty treat! If you have not tried it, I highly recommend it!

Greek Yogurt is really popular right now, which means many companies are coming out with varieties of it. Here are few things to know:

  1. Look at the total calories. Many of the Greek style yogurts are high in fat, boosting the calories way up! Many also add honey or other sweeteners (they know Americans are used to sweet yogurt, so they add sugar). Look for nonfat or 0% fat.
  2. Protein is higher. Because of the way it is made, Greek yogurt is higher in protein than the watery American yogurts. Because the protein is higher, Greek yogurt is FILLING!
  3. Calcium is lower. Most Greek yogurts only have 15-20% of your calcium in an 8 ounce serving vs 30% in other yogurts.
  4. It is expensive! I know...what isn't expensive these days!
  5. Get ready for Tang! Greek yogurt is tangy and has a bit of a bite. I love that about it, but many people are surprised. Add your own fresh fruit to the plain varieties, and sprinkle some granola or high fiber cereal on top for some added crunch.

Look for these brands:
  • Fage (pronounced Fah-yee). Look for the 0% Fage Greek Yogurt, plain. The 0% refers to fat content, so this one is fat free. Get the plain if you don't want added sugars and calories.
  • Oikos. This one is organic and is actually made by American company Stoneyfield Farm. I like the 1 lbs tubs that both Oikos and Fage sell and I can usually get at least 3 servings out of each tub once I add fresh fruit and make a parfait.
  • Voskos. They have plain, but they also have some with fruit.
  • Cabot has some Greek yogurts, but many of them have 10% fat (OUCH!) and lots of sugar, making them high in calories and fat. Remember...read labels!

Give Greek Yogurt a chance and let me know what you think! I am spoiled and can't even eat American yogurt anymore.

Image courtesy of dkimages.com
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About the Author


Tara Gidus is a nationally recognized expert and spokesperson on nutrition and fitness.

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