Yoplait has a new Greek style yogurt out. There’s a massive marketing campaign tie in to the new Clash of the Titans movie and Athena portraying actress Izabella Miko. Strong woman eats good yogurt. Greek gods, Greek Yogurt, Yadda yadda…
The yogurt pack prominently displays “2X Protein..of the leading yogurt”. Wonder what that means. We decided to take a look inside the nutrition label and ingredient list to see if this yogurt is really healthy or just some more mythology…
What you need to know:
A serving is 6 ounces (170 grams) and will set you back 130 calories, none from fat. The sugar count is 18 grams, much lower than a standard Yoplait Strawberry Yogurt (27 grams). Of the 18 grams, 9 are naturally present in yogurt in the form of lactose. So the added sugar count is 9 grams or just over 2 teaspoons.
There’s no fiber, though you’d expect some from the fruit. There’s 12 grams of protein here, much more than in the standard Yoplait (5 grams). But protein is not an ingredient most people lack in the US. We get plenty of protein from other sources during the day. And the claim that it’s twice the protein as other leading brands is misleading, because Chobani Greek yogurt has 14g.
Here’s the ingredient list:
CULTURED PASTEURIZED GRADE A NONFAT MILK, MILK PROTEIN CONCENTRATE, SUGAR, STRAWBERRY PUREE, KOSHER GELATIN, LEMON JUICE CONCENTRATE, COLORED WITH BEET JUICE CONCENTRATE, CALCIUM CHLORIDE, , VITAMIN A ACETATE, VITAMIN D3.
The first and obvious ingredient is milk. Non-fat milk in this case. The second is an ingredient called milk protein concentrate, made by ultra filtering milk to take out the lactose and then dry it up into a powder. There’s a lot of controversy around this ingredient as it is mostly imported from countries with dubious food safety records, and may not even be from cows (think yak and water buffalo). So why add protein in this manner to the yogurt, when in any case it’s not something consumers really need?
Ingredient number 3 and 4 are sugar. Well actually number 4 is strawberry puree, but it’s lost all its fiber and vitamin C, so all you’re getting is a bit of strawberry flavor and a lot of sugar. By the way, the strawberry puree is not red enough, so there is added coloring from the beet juice concentrate. That’s fine, at least it is a natural colorant, and not some artificial dye or bug juice.
The gelatin adds a thickness or consistency that would not have been required from a full fat yogurt. It’s kosher, which means it was not derived from animal sources.[UPDATE: see comment below]
The last three ingredients are fortifications of calcium, vitamin A, and vitamin D. Always better to get them directly from food in which they are naturally present, not from add-on.
Summary: This yogurt is a better choice than the standard Yoplait option.
What to do at the supermarket:
As far as yogurts go, choose plain. It has less ingredients and less sugar. It lets you add fresh nutrient rich fruit of your choice giving you the added benefit of fiber and vitamins directly from the source, no fortifications.
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