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Yoplait Greek Yogurt Not the Healthiest Choice

One of the most buzzed about health foods of late is Greek yogurt. Everyone is eating it, or telling you to eat it. I jumped on the Greek yogurt band wagon more than a year ago and have no plans to jump. It’s pretty tasty, and the fact that it’s so good for you means my refrigerator is always stocked.

In the past six months I’ve noticed the Greek yogurt section at the grocery grow from two rows of the plain Fage brand to several shelves and rows of multiple brands. I’ll disclaim that my personal favorite is Chobani.

Recently, yogurt dominator Yoplait showed up on the Greek yogurt shelves. So I wondered if this could be a true contender amongst the Fages, Oikos and Chobanis, or if it would just be a popular name trying to squeeze in and take part in this booming niche market. I used to have a hard-core Yoplait habit, until I realized that it was basically candy with all of the sugar added to it. Thus, my switch to Greek.

So I compared the Chobani Greek, vanilla flavor, with the Yoplait Greek, honey vanilla flavor, and found that I’m sticking with the former.

Nutrition Facts

Each brand comes in a six ounce container. Here’s a side-by-side comparison of their nutrition facts, in which Chobani is the better choice.

Chobani / Yoplait

Calories: 120 / 130
Fat: 0 / 0
Sodium: 65mg / 95mg
Sugar: 13g / 18g
Protein: 16g / 12g

Ingredients

Then if we look at the ingredient labels, we see there is still a clear winner.

Chobani contains only eight ingredients, five of which are live active cultures. The number of ingredients on the label are just as important to me as what those ingredients are. Additionally, Chobani contains nonfat milk, sugar and natural vanilla flavor.

Yoplait contains 10 ingredients, including nonfat milk, milk protein concentrate, sugar, Kosher gelatin, lemon juice concentrate, locust bean gum, natural flavor, pectin and vitamins A and D. There is no mention of the cultures, those probiotics that do your digestive system a world of good. Not sure why it needs all of that extra stuff.

Taste

How do they compare on taste? Well, the Yoplait Greek tastes exactly like vanilla cake frosting- far too sweet for me – and a creamy but sticky texture. The Chobani has a very subtle flavor with what I think is a creamier texture.

If you’re wanting to make the switch to Greek yogurt and selection is slim, definitely get started with the Yoplait. However, if your grocer provides a choice, read the labels and find one that is lower in sugar and has fewer ingredients, not to mention better taste.

You might recognize the brand, and they might dress it up to look like their competitor’s health food, but this is an easy lesson in the value of reading food labels. It only takes a second, and you will take home healthier choices every time.

Try Greek yogurt in these recipes:

March 29th, 2010