Tuesday 27 September 2016

What you need to know about Greek yogurt

Published 05/06/2015 | 10:22

Yoghurt
Yoghurt

We're here to clarify - what is the difference between Greek and Greek-style yogurt?

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If you're following a high protein diet or trying to incorporate more healthy produce into your lifestyle - chances are, you've been advised to stock up on Greek yogurt.

Greek yogurt and berries is a healthy, balanced snack
Greek yogurt and berries is a healthy, balanced snack

Low-fat Greek yogurt is a favourite of athletes, celebrities and health enthusiasts. Aside from its high protein content, Greek yogurt is also loaded with calcium which helps build strong bones and prevent osteoporosis.

In comparison to regular varieties, Greek yogurt is thicker, richer, creamier and less sweet.

The reason for this is the fact that it is strained (in a paper or cloth bag) to remove its whey and some of its lactose. As a result, it tends to be lower in sugar and carbohydrates than unstrained yogurts.

Technically, yogurts sold in Ireland can only be labelled Greek if they are actually manufactured in Greece. So that is why you may see Irish or British brands market their products as 'Greek Style' or 'Greek Recipe'. FAGE Total 0% (€1.68 per pot in Tesco) is one of the only genuine Greek yogurts stocked in this country - its ingredients are listed only as pasteurised skimmed milk and live active yogurt cultures.

Greek yoghurt is strained multiple times, resulting in a higher protein content.
Greek yoghurt is strained multiple times, resulting in a higher protein content.

In comparison, domestic brands may thicken their versions with additives or thickening agents.

Therefore, when you see a 'Greek Style' dairy product - remember to read the label and be savvy about what is included in the ingredients.

A good idea is to use an online food database such as 'My Fitness Pal' to uncover just how much sugar, sodium and protein is in a pot of yogurt.

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