Friday, August 13, 2010

"Greek" Yogurt VS "Regular" Yogurt...a water logged report

Oh boy, I am really gonna have to get out my biggest guns to defend myself here, but here goes:

"Greek" yogurt seems to be sweeping the nation as the latest food "fad" as a healthy snack. Yes, I agree that yogurt is a healthy and super tasty snack (I love yogurt!) but IT.DRIVES.ME.INSANE to know exactly what "greek" yogurt really is:

Greek yogurt is just regular old yogurt with all of its water extracted.
(or regular yogurt is greek yogurt with water added?)
That is it. That is why it is so much thicker than regular yogurt: There is no water in it.

And it costs more!!!!

So to prove this, I did a little test. I bought a 32 oz store brand vanilla yogurt container and a 16 oz Chobani vanilla yogurt container.My theory is that nearly 50% of the contents of the 32 oz store brand vanilla container would be water, resulting in 16 oz of pure yogurt. So I extracted the water! Here is my method:

Covered a bowl with cheesecloth and used a rubberband to hold it on

Poured the 32 oz of store brand yogurt right in

Then you wait...........I let it sit over night to drain the water. The cheesecloth does a remarkable job letting the water through and keeping the yogurt together.

Amazing how a container that size filled with stuff is reduced to fit into a bowl of that size when the water is extracted.

This is the remaining water

This is the remaining water, measured. Came out to be exactly 14 oz of water, or just shy of 50% of the volume.

On the left is the Greek Yogurt, and on the right is the reduced store brand yogurt

And which one is thicker and tastier? We did a blind taste test and the store brand yogurt came out as the winner! It was was both thicker and MUCH better tasting. In fact, the Chobani was a little on the sour/tart side.

Ok, now for the nutritional info.
  • Both are fat free
  • The 32 oz container of store brand has 11 grams of protein, 34 grams of sugar per serving, 4 servings in the container = 44 grams of protein, 136 grams of sugar total
  • The 16 oz Chobani container has 22 grams of protein, 17 grams of sugar per serving, 2 servings in the container. = 44 grams of protein, 34 grams of sugar total
  • both had the same exact ingredients list! there is no "magic" ingredient in the Chobani
Well no wonder the store brand tasted so much better! It has 4 times the sugar in it! haha! (and I have no idea if any of the sugar made it out with the extracted water....but I can't imagine it was much)

So I guess the sugar content and thickness is really what sets these two aside. If you are worried about the high sugar levels (even I have to admit those sugar levels are kinda high!), then stick with the Chobani. But if you want that thicker yogurt, then go with the store brand/water extracted.

Hope this gives you some ideas!

(i figured out the water extraction method when I learned how to make Greek Tzatziki sauce using plain yogurt)


  1. Wow, you did a very extensive study on this. Good on you!

  2. that is EXACTLY what I do to make Tzatziki sauce!

  3. That's an interesting study you did. I am curious - the store brand was not greek yogurt? I guess when I compared Chobani to Yoplait Light, it had significantly more protein, which is why I switched. But I do agree that its overpriced, and I was always curious what made it "greek"!

  4. I buy whatever is on sale and under a 100 cals.

    To be honest, at first, I didnt think I was going to make it through the post, but you kept it interesting, I enjoyed it.

  5. you can use that whey in stuff too. :) (the water that came off the yogurt)... I use it to make sauerkraut... :) It's got great probiotics in it. If you make smoothies you can add some to smoothies... but be careful it can be tart/tangy!

  6. I am not a fan of Chobani, don't like the taste at all. I do like the Total Greek yogurt. But best of all, a Greek bakery just opened around the corner from me and they make the BEST yogurt ever!!! The make it with dates, mango, figs, blueberries or plain. Way better than anything in the supermarket.

    Still though, cool 'experiment'.

  7. You can make "yogurt cheese" kinda like cream cheese by draining plain yogurt. Then you add a bunch of herbs to jazz it up. Makes me want to go out and get a bagel right now.


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