Yogurt comes in so many different forms, from the GoGurt squeeze tubes of our childhood to protein-packed Greek yogurt my high school swim coach was always encouraging us to eat post-practice. She wasn’t wrong, apparently, as Greek yogurt’s popularity has soared in the past couple of years, quickly becoming one of the most popular health foods in the industry.
So this week’s Food Fight features Stonyfield Organic Plain Nonfat Yogurt vs. FAGE Total 0% Plain Yogurt.
Defending Champion: Stonyfield Organic Nonfat Plain Yogurt
Background: Yogurt is made by fermenting milk using bacteria (i.e. live cultures). These bacteria convert the lactose in the milk into lactic acid, producing yogurt.
Ingredients: Cultured Pasteurized Organic Nonfat Milk, Pectin, Vitamin D, Live Active Cultures (S. Thermophilus, L. Bulgaricus, L. Acidophilus, Bifidus, L. Casei, L. Rhamnosus)
Opponent: FAGE Total 0% Plain Yogurt
Background: Greek yogurt is regular yogurt that has been strained (typically through a cloth) to remove the whey, giving it its thick consistency.
Ingredients: Grade A Pasteurized Skimmed Milk, Live Active Yogurt Cultures (L. Bulgaricus, S. Thermophilus, L. Acidophilus, Bifidus, L. Casei)
Round 1: Nutrition
Health-wise, Greek yogurt packs more in a punch—or bite. Although it has slightly more calories, it has more than double the protein of regular yogurt, ensuring that you’ll stay fuller longer. It also has less carbohydrates, sugar and sodium due to the straining process. Otherwise, the ingredients are basically the same, and there isn’t a significant difference in nutrition other than protein, so it comes down to personal preference.
Winner: Greek Yogurt
Round 2: Taste
Regular Yogurt: It tastes sour, of course, as all plain yogurt does. But other than that it’s a good plain yogurt—no strange tastes. Texture-wise, the consistency of regular yogurt is more runny and doesn’t seem very satisfying, as it doesn’t undergo the straining process that thickens Greek yogurt. Personally, I’d need to add a lot of granola, nuts and fruit to give it some substance.
Greek Yogurt: It tastes the same as the regular yogurt—after all, plain yogurt is plain yogurt. However, it is much thicker. It’s creamier as well, even though it has no fat in it. I feel like I’m eating something that’ll actually fill me up for a while, even without all the toppings I usually add. Testimony from a friend who traveled extensively in Greece: “FAGE Greek yogurt is as close to the authentic Greek yogurt as you can get.”
Winner: Greek Yogurt
Round 3: Price*
Regular Yogurt: $4.79 for 32 oz
Greek Yogurt: $6.89 for 32 oz
Winner: Regular Yogurt
*prices may differ according to location
Greek yogurt wins, though regular yogurt was a strong contender. Ultimately, the important thing to remember is that not all yogurts are made equally—I picked my two favorites for this Food Fight, but many Greek yogurts have as little protein as regular yogurt, or were thickened using chemicals rather than straining. And if you’re buying a flavored yogurt, be sure to check the sugar count, and try not to choose one with more than 9 grams. That said, you should always check the ingredients list and the nutrition facts to ensure that you’re not buying a subpar yogurt!
Yogurt doesn’t have to be boring. Check out the different ways you can enjoy yogurt: