With so many choices out there, it’s hard to know what is a real strained (Greek style) yogurt and which one is your best choice nutritionally.
- First of all make sure that it only has milk and or cream and live cultures. If it has other things such as gelatin, stabilizers, protein, sweeteners etc it’s not yogurt. In fact, in Greece, yogurt that has other ingredients in it cannot be labeled as yogurt, but rather “dessert yogurt” (in Greek: epidorpio yiaourtiou)
- Consider buying plain yogurt. Plain yogurt is so versatile; it can be used for sauces, dips, smoothies (see my other post), but it’s great plain too. Yes, I know there are so many great flavors to choose from, but honestly, if you want eat a yogurt Greek style eat it plain. Greeks often would have a big ceramic bowl of homemade yogurt on the table after a meal, and everybody would serve themselves. If they went out, yogurt was served with some honey and a bit of bread, but that was about it. So try to enjoy it that way. If it’s too sour for you, add your own honey or your own fruit. Personally, when I’m eating yogurt, I want it to taste like yogurt, not vanilla pudding.
- From a nutritional standpoint, various types of processed sweeteners and additives are obviously not a good thing.
- Don’t overdo it. Yes dairy is important, but the traditional Greek-Mediterranean limits dairy to 2 servings a day. Also high intakes of calcium have been associated with increased risk of ovarian and prostate cancer.