Lost in the yogurt aisle

Published February 28, 2014 by Jennie

Today I continue my quest to change my eating habits.  I initially did this to prepare for IVF, but I am starting to view this process as a lifelong change.  Even so, one reason I decided to look at yogurt is because it is recommended by the Harvard Fertility Diet.  There are so many benefits of eating yogurt.  Yogurt is high in calcium, contains good bacteria that helps manage digestion and control yeast in the body, and can be high in protein.  It can be difficult to find the best yogurt among the countless options at the grocery store.

toomanyyogurts

Here is what I am looking for in my yogurt

* No artificial sweetener
* Low in sugar. Plain yogurt does have the lowest sugar and I will use that to make smoothies. However, it is hard for me to eat it without adding a bunch of stuff to it. Later I may try to adapt to plain yogurt by initially adding a lot to it and tapering off. Right now, I will focus on vanilla or strawberry flavored yogurt.
* High in protein
* Minimally processed
* Calories are not my primary concern but I will keep them in check.
* Note I get my images and nutrition information from fooducate.com

To start things off, this is what I used to get.

gv

This yogurt has 80 calories, 12 grams of sugar, 5 grams of sugar, contains aspartame, and is highly processed.
Check out the ingredients: cultured grade a nonfat milk, water, cherries, fructose, modified food starch, contains less than 1% of modified corn starch, kosher gelatin, natural and artificial flavors, aspartame, malic acid, potassium sorbate, acesulfame potassium, sodium citrate, sucralose, vitamin a palmitate, vitamin d3, red 40, caramel color, blue 1, active cultures.
Yikes! It is time to look for other options.

While I have dismissed Greek yogurt as a fad in the past, I decided to make the switch after reading about the multitude of benefits including higher levels of protein. After trying it, I realized I also prefer its creamier constancy to traditional yogurt. Next, I looked at a few popular options.

yoplait
Calories: 100, Sugar: 7, Protein: 13.
Ingredients: cultured pasteurized grade a nonfat milk, water, sugar, contains 2% or less of: corn starch, natural flavor, lemon juice concentrate, sucralose, acesulfame potassium, vitamin a acetate, vitamin d3.
This brand is highly processed and contains artificial sweeteners.

cho
Calories: 120, Protein: 16, Sugar: 13
Ingredients: cultured pasteurized nonfat milk, evaporated cane juice, natural vanilla flavor, locust bean gum, pectin, live and active cultures.
This could possibly work.

fob-non-fat-strawberry-53oz
Calories:120, Sugar: 15, Protein: 12
Ingredients: Nonfat Yogurt (Cultured Pasteurized Nonfat Milk), Live and Active Cultures: S. Thermophilus, L. Bulgaricus, L. Acidophilus, Bifidus and L. Casei, Strawberries, Evaporated Cane Juice, Pectin, Natural Flavors, Locust Bean Gum, Fruit and Vegetable Juice Concentrate (For Color).

dab Calories: 120, Sugar: 18, Protein:12
Ingredients: Cultured Grade A Non Fat Milk, Water, Sugar, Fructose, Modified Corn Starch, Contains Less than 1% of Natural Vanilla Flavor, Malic Acid, Potassium Sorbate (to Maintain Freshness), Sodium Citrate, Vitamin D3.
This brand is highly processed.  I’m gonna pass.

fruit Calories: 140, Sugar: 18, Protein: 13
Ingredients: STRAINED YOGURT [ Grade A Pasteurized Skimmed Milk, Live Active Yogurt Cultures (L. Bulgaricus, S. Thermophilus, L. Acidophilus, Bifidus, L. Casei)], Cane Sugar, Water, Corn Starch, Pectin,Natural Vanilla Flavor, Ground Vanilla Beans, Lemon Juice Concentrate.
Next up is their strawberry flavor.
ooCalories: 120, Sugar: 16, Protein: 13
Ingredients: STRAINED YOGURT: Grade A Pasteurized Skimmed Milk, Live Active Yogurt Cultures (L. Bulgaricus, S. Thermophilus, L. Acidophilus, Bifidus, L. Casei). STRAWBERRY FRUIT PREPARATION (20%): Strawberries, Cane Sugar, Water, Corn Starch, Contains 2% or less of: Strawberry Juice Concentrate, Lemon Juice Concentrate, Natural Flavors, Xanthan Gum.

download
Calories: 150, Sugar: 21, Protein: 9
Ingredients: lowfat yogurt (cultured pasteurized grade a nonfat milk, sugar, milk protein concentrate, whey protein concentrate, kosher gelatin, modified food starch), strawberries preparation (strawberries, sugar, water, glucose-fructose syrup, pectin, citric acid, locust bean gum, natural and artificial flavor, guar gum, sodium citrate, carmine).
Moving on
download (1)Calories: 110, Sugar: 12, Protein: 15
Ingredients: Cultured pasteurized organic nonfat milk, organic sugar, organic vanilla extract. Live active cultures: S. Thermophilus, L. Bulgaricus, L. Acidophilus, Bifidus, L. Casei
This looks good.  Let’s look at the strawberry flavored version.
strawberry-0-fat-greek-yogurt-5p3oz_0Calories: 120, Sugar: 17, Protein: 12
Ingredients: Yogurt (Cultured Pasteurized Organic Nonfat Milk), Strawberry Fruit Preparation (Organic Strawberries, Organic Sugar, Organic Corn Starch, Natural Flavor, Fruit and Vegetable Juice Concentrates [For Color], Organic Guar Gum). Live Active Cultures: S. thermophilus, L. bulgaricus, L. acidophilus, Bifidus, and L. casei

I decided to get Stonyfield Organic Greek Vanilla yogurt. The sugar is low, it is minimally processed, it has a decent amount of protein, and lots of good bacteria. It is a little expensive but thankfully, you can create an account on their website and get some good coupons. I also found that it is cheaper at Harris Teeter vs. Whole Foods and Harris Teeter sometimes puts it on sale.

All of this was just my preliminary research. I have said before that I am by no means an expert on nutrition and I do value input. Please feel free to share thoughts on these or any other brands of Greek yogurt. It is difficult to choose among all the options!

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16 comments on “Lost in the yogurt aisle

    • Some people say Stonyfield it is a little sour but I really like it. It may be because I do not like things that are overly sweet. I am so glad that they have coupons on their website! Thank you so much for your comment 🙂

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  • We love yogurt in our household. We buy the Kirkland brand plain Greek yogurt from Costco and we add frozen berries (warmed up) to it. The berries help to sweeten it naturally. Thanks for all the info, I’ll be checking out some different types this weekend!

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  • That is very detailed research, good on you!

    Personally I love bio dynamic organic plain yogurt, it is delicious. Try a health food store rather and a supermarket.

    You could start by adding some grapes, kiwi, rockmelon or strawberries. a teaspoon of chia seeds or linseeds – although they dont taste of anything! You could add a teeny weeny bit of honey. This is a great breakfast for you once you are pregnant too. Great to help with the constipation. I had to cut out the honey totally as I got gestational diabetes.

    To be honest I wouldnt bother with the vanilla or strawberry flavoured ones, just get some fresh strawberries and add those to the plain yogurt, otherwise I think the flavouring with out weight the benefits, never buy anything low fat, it always has more sugar!! You’ll be surprised how quickly your taste buds will adapt, around a week.

    By the way, Ive recently gone on a 30 day detox, its not a hard core one and would be awesome to do before you fall pregnant, its huge in America apparently and the company has been around for 12 years, many of the products are organic and natural, its called Isagenix, you may have heard of it. Its amazing for body well being, very low acidity which is very important for the body, anti cancer and great for fertility. The good thing is that is an easy program to follow, and you can even still eat wholemeal pasta and stuff like that. Plus the their snack bars are delicious. I love the vanilla shakes, they have things like pro biotics etc in them.

    Did you look into the meetup groups online, I mentioned that I am running one, we meet face to face once a month. I know there are many in the US too, they are very supportive and I’ve made some lovely friends. Even though I have a baby I still have a strong bond with women struggling to conceive. Plus we now have a small group of women with babies, it’s been such a thrill for us to all meet and hang out with the babies.

    chat soon
    susiex

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    • I actually do take a probiotic every day and my yogurt has them in there. I am not sure if I am brave enough to take a shot of ACV! I have used it to rinse my hair and it smells strong. Is there a way to mask the taste?

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  • All you had to do was ask! ;-). I like the full fat Stoneyfield… Discovered it about 3 years ago after reading the fertility diet. Expires more quickly than others but that’s because it’s not processed. Good stuff.

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  • I detest yogurt and milk. But love ice cream. Hahaha. I force myself to eat yogurt every day. I know what you mean about the Greek. It is creamier. I have been eating Dannon Light & Fit. They have lots of flavor choices. Good luck!

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  • When I eat yogurt I also avoid sugars and look for the least processed. I usually go with plain and add fruit, I use a sweetener called stevia however highly recommend it. It’s all natural. It’s a little pricey but it’s the only sweetener I would use including sugar.

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    • One of my goals it to switch to plain and add fruit. I think I may try mixing flavored and plain and tapering off the flavored. I stay away aspartame and I do not know much about Stevia. This will give me something to look at. Thank you so much for your comments 🙂

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