CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The market for Greek-style yogurt has exploded in the U.S. Previously available mostly in the healthy foods sections of grocery stores, Greek yogurts have taken over prime placement in dairy cases.
As they debate which yogurt to purchase, consumers might wonder about the health benefits of Greek versus regular yogurts. Foodnetwork.com recently offered the following guidance.
Greek-style yogurt contains less water than regular varieties. This creates yogurt with tangier flavor and thicker consistency; this also affects the nutrition facts. One cup of non-fat plain Greek yogurt has 80 calories and 13 grams of protein. The calcium and vitamin D content of all yogurts will vary from brand to brand (and whether you choose, non-fat, low-fat or whole milk) so check labels.
Any flavored yogurt will have added sweeteners. Fruity flavors of Greek yogurt will include on average 2 to 3 teaspoons of sugar per serving. The popular honey flavor won't contain any refined sweeteners, but honey varieties tend to have more grams of sugar per serving than the ones with fruit.
The same 1-cup portion of non-fat plain regular yogurt has 107 calories and 10 grams of protein. Flavored regular yogurts typically also rank higher in the added-sugar department. Check the list of ingredients and you will often find more sugar than fruit. The good news is whether it's Greek or regular, both offer tummy-pleasing probiotics.
Many of the regular yogurt brands contain thickeners, stabilizers, processed sweeteners, such as high fructose corn syrup, and artificial colorings. The super low-cal yogurts are the worst culprits because they are also full of artificial sweeteners.