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Greek Yogurt

November 3, 2009

oikosI must confess; I’ve taken a Greek lover. That’s right. I’ve fallen head over heels for Oikos Greek yogurt.  I find it to be thicker and richer tasting than “regular” yogurt. More importantly, it has more protein than regular yogurt, and  vanilla Oikos yogurt has only 8 grams of sugar per serving as opposed to as much as 36 grams per serving in some regular yogurts. At only about 90 calories for 4 ounces, Greek yogurt gives you a big bang for your health-buck.

When I first tasted it, I asked my husband to look at the package for conformation that it was really fat-free. It’s quite creamy – the consistency of softened butter. I tried the vanilla. The overly sweet flavor found in many of the non-Greek brands is pleasantly absent. If you’re looking for super-sweet, this is not the yogurt for you.

Added bonus: because of the higher protein content, I feel completely satisfied after eating it.

I can see how it may adapt well to sweet or savory recipes. I’ve heard that the plain yogurt is a good substitute for sour cream in many situations. I’m anxious to try it in dips and spreads. I’ve started dropping a generous dollop of it into tomato bisque soup for lunch.

It’s widely accepted that yogurt is a healthful food, and it’s a rich source for probiotics.

In an article entitled The Skinny on Yogurt and Your Health, Registered dietician Keri Glassman offers this: “…probiotics, or “good bacteria.” They offer certain health benefits, such as an increase in beneficial bacteria in your digestive tract, and a boost in immunity by stimulating infection-fighting cells, and inhibiting the growth of harmful bacteria.

She added probiotics can help to keep the digestive system in balance and functioning optimally and may support immune system function…”

I’ve started eating it with a half cup of  my favorite granola FlaxGranola_US-RGB(Nature’s Path Organic Pumpkin Flax Plus Granola)  for breakfast several times a week. The Flax Plus Granola is high in fiber, and it’s an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids.

My latest dessert option is Oikos served over fresh or frozen berries. I keep blackberries, blueberries and raspberries in the freezer.  On the Oikos site, you will find a few recipes for dips, salad dressings, spreads, etc. I’m sure there are more recipes waiting to be found out there in the blogosphere.

I haven’t tried Fage Total yogurt yet, but I recently found it in a market near my house. Does this mean I could be cheating on Oikos soon?

Ah! Fickle girl.

Keri Glassman’s recommendations for choosing yogurt.

Fat:
0 grams fat!
Nonfat yogurt has less than 0.5 percent milk fat.
Nonfat yogurt has the same nutrients as yogurt made with whole milk.

Calcium:
Look for 20 percent of daily calcium. This is about 200 mg.

Sugar:
Look for yogurt with as close to 12 grams per 6-oz. serving as possible. (Greek yogurt will have even less!)
This is the amount of natural sugar found in yogurt from the lactose.
Note: if there is fruit added to the yogurt the sugar content will be higher. Look to see where the sugar grams are coming from. For example, real fruit versus refined sugar like high fructose corn syrup.

Calories:
Yogurt varies depending upon fat grams and added sugar. A benefit to yogurt is buying in portion controlled containers. If you are making the right choices and looking for lower fat and sugar options than you should get about: 15 to 20 calories per oz. So about 90 to 120 calories for a 6 oz. container.

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