My Big Fat Greek Yogurt

I can do without calamari, fish roe salads and ouzo, but there is one traditional Greek food that I’m currently in love with—yogurt. But what makes a yogurt Greek-style and is it all good-for-you?

When I was in a relationship with a Greek-American, his grandmother made yogurt in little containers that she kept under the kitchen sink. I’m sure it was authentic, but I could never bring myself to try it, as I kept thinking it must be contaminated with Greek-Americans’ favorite household cleaner cum cure-all, Windex. Thankfully, we can all enjoy Greek-style yogurts because there’s at least five major brands now available at supermarkets across the country.

Greek yogurt can be a nutritional all-star because it’s strained so the whey (liquid) is removed, resulting in a yogurt that is thicker and can have twice the protein and less sugar than unstrained varieties.

I recently went to the supermarket and picked up a variety of the Greek-style varieties. Most were healthy, but the calories, fat and added sugars are dependent upon the type of milk used (fat-free, low-fat or full-fat) as well as the flavor. Based on a six-ounce serving, you can get plain Greek yogurt that has 90 calories and 6 grams sugar to more than 250 calories, 30 grams of sugar and have the saturated fat you need in an entire day.

If you want a healthy snack, stick with fat-free ones from Fage, Oikos, Chobani and Greek Gods. If you want something that’s akin to super premium ice cream (just not frozen), go for the full-fat versions.



  1. Leann Matlik, RD says

    I like to use the Chobani plain greek yogurt in place of sour cream for my recipes – it works great in everything from dips to casseroles to taco toppers! It isn’t quite as creamy of a texture as the Oikos, so it’s not noticibly different from sour cream, but saves a HUGE amount of calories!

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