You could say I’m a yogurt fanatic. Like, my nickname could be Yogurt Girl. I’ve always joked with family that I could go vegetarian, but never vegan because I love yogurt too dang much.
Growing up in an Indian household, plain yogurt was served at every meal, and that fruit flavored Americanized yogurt was a rarity. In high school, I found and fell in love with Greek yogurt too, and then Siggi’s Icelandic Style yogurt.
Yogurt is portrayed as a “health food” in the US, and soooooo many college kids eat it for that reason. Plus, it’s easily portable, so it’s double a win for us busy students. However, the most recent Yoplait “Greek yogurt” ad ignited a spark in me, and I think everyone needs to know the truth.
What The Heck Is “Greek” Yogurt?
Fun Fact: The Greeks have no idea what Greek yogurt is. “Greek” yogurt is actually just strained yogurt, and when it was first brought to the US, Chobani decided to call their yogurt “Greek” yogurt to give it an identifier. In Greece, yogurt is also usually plain, unlike the popular Americanized versions that are fruit flavored and filled with sugar and other additives.
What’s Really In It?
While some Greek yogurts sold in the US are what they claim to be, others are not. Some are just yogurt with thickeners such as: guar gum, pectin, corn starch, tapioca starch, xanthum gum, and more. And get this: some aren’t really even yogurt. Moreover, while yogurt has naturally occurring sugar (lactose), a lot of companies are adding sugars or flavorings, or sugar alcohols (calorie-free), to combat the “tart” taste of yogurt.
The Worst Contenders
First, let me step on my high horse with Yoplait Greek Whips- they advertise with, “Why does Greek yogurt have to be thick?” “Why does it all have to be the same?!” Heads up, Yoplait: because that is what IT IS.
So, here are the worst offenders of “Greek” yogurt forgery: Basically all of Yoplait’s “Greek” yogurts. Dannon Light n’ Fit is full of artificial sweeteners. Activia Greek has lots of sugar and locust bean gum…yuck. Finally, Müller Greek Corner also has lots of sugar and protein concentrates.
Play It Safe
If you’re looking for real Greek yogurt, stick with these brands: Plain Fage 0% or 2%, Plain 0% Stonyfield, Siggi’s Skyr, Plain Wallaby 0%, Plain Whole Foods 365 0% or 2%. These have ONLY milk, and live and active cultures, and can actually call themselves Greek yogurt (well, Siggi’s is technically Icelandic, but it’s similar).
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