For Teens Only: Finding a Better Yogurt (Part 2)

Greek cherry yogurt brandsWe shared our best pick of popular brands of regular cherry yogurt in a previous post. Now, it’s time to focus on Greek-style varieties. For this evaluation, we reviewed 8 popular brands (without artificial sweeteners), and they all have a lot in common.

First, all the brands have live probiotic cultures (one of eight things you can do to boost your immune health). Next, they all have some added sugar — 4 to 5 teaspoons per 5.3-ounce serving (less is best). (Note: The typical serving size for Greek yogurt is smaller than the typical 6-ounce serving for regular yogurt.)

All the brands also have about the same amount of protein — 10 to 13 grams per serving. And, like most Greek-style yogurts, these brands have about double the protein of their regular counterparts (which means more muscle-building leucine).

The key goal in choosing a Greek style yogurt is to keep protein high and sugars low. With that in mind, here’s how they break down based on protein and sugar content:

  • Stonyfield® Organic Black Cherry Greek Yogurt
    13 grams protein | 17 grams sugar (4¼ teaspoons)
    Added sugars: organic sugar
  • Open Nature™ Greek 0% Milkfat Black Cherry
    13 grams protein | 16 grams sugar (4 teaspoons)
    Added sugars: sugar
  • Dannon® Oikos Greek Nonfat Yogurt Black Cherry
    12 grams protein | 20 grams sugar (5 teaspoons)
    Added sugars: sugar, fructose
  • Chobani® Greek Yogurt Black Cherry on the Bottom
    12 grams protein | 17 grams sugar (4¼ teaspoons)
    Added sugars: evaporated cane juice
  •  Fage® Total 2% with Cherry
    12 grams protein | 16 grams sugar (4 teaspoons)
    Added sugars: cane sugar
  • Yoplait® Greek Yogurt Cherry
    11 grams protein | 16 grams sugar (4 teaspoons)
    Added sugars: sugar
  • Dannon® Evolution Fresh™ Black Cherry Greek Yogurt
    11 grams protein | 16 grams sugar (4 teaspoons)
    Added sugars: cane sugar
  • Wallaby® Organic Greek While Milk Yogurt Blended Cherry
    10 grams protein | 17 grams sugar (4¼ teaspoons)
    Added sugars: organic cane sugar

And the winner is…

Reaching for plain Greek yogurt and topping it with fresh fruit is best. When that’s not available, your best bet is a brand with nonfat or low-fat milk, fruit and active probiotics. It should also be high in protein and low in sugar with no highly processed sugars like high-fructose corn syrup. Our favorite is Stonyfield Organic Black Cherry Greek Yogurt. Like our regular yogurt pick, we gave this one extra credit for being organic.

Transform plain yogurt into breakfast … fast

Greek yogurt is a great option for breakfast. Here’s a super simple way to transform it into a delicious and nutritious meal to start your day. Buy plain organic Greek yogurt (nonfat or low-fat, preferably) and add your own chopped fresh cherries or another fruit. Toss in a few nuts, raisins, and oats. Add a drizzle of honey, if desired. Voila! You have the makings of a super simple breakfast.

Super Simple Yogurt Breakfast

Ingredients

  • 6 ounces plain, low-fat Greek yogurt
  • 4-6 cherries, chopped (or other fruit)
  • 2 tablespoons whole oats (uncooked)
  • 1 teaspoon walnuts, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon raisins
  • 1/2 teaspoon honey (a drizzle)

Directions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and leave in the refrigerator overnight.
  2. In the morning, add chopped walnuts, sprinkle with raisins and drizzle with a little honey. If you can’t wait till morning, it tastes almost as good freshly whipped up.

Makes 1 serving

About 300 Calories | 6 g Fat | 44 g Carbs | 20 g Protein | 4 g Fiber

Nutrition Nugget

Make sure your yogurt has immune-boosting probiotics. Look for “Contains live and active cultures” on the label or the specific probiotics listed in the Ingredient Panel such as L. bulgaricus, S. thermophilus and others.

Here’s to making healthy choices wherever your day takes you!

Kathleen & Lorna

Kathleen Dunn, MPH, RD
Lorna Williams, MPH, RD
Co-authors of Eating for A’s

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