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Old 07-08-2012, 01:26 PM   #1
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Help me understand yogurt please!

I like whole yogurt because it stays with me longer and I feel better versus eating yogurt made with 2% milk. I've read that eating dairy products made from whole milk isn't as bad as some make it out to be, but there are a lot of conflicting information out there.

But what I'm mainly wondering about is which is better "Greek style" or "regular" yogurt? Is Greek yogurt just a fad or is it really healthier, or does it just depend.

Also, from what I understand the thing that makes Greek style different is the whey is filtered out making it higher in protein, lower in lactose, and lower in sugar (as long as excess sugar isn't added in). From what I read about whey, it's high in protein, so how, if the whey is filtered out, is Greek yogurt higher in protein?

One other thing, does all yogurt contain live cultures? Some packages list cultures, some don't, but when you read about yogurt it's implied that all yogurt has live active cultures.

I'm interested in making my own yogurt but first want to know which kind I should use as a starter. Or which kind to buy until I make the time to make my own yogurt! :)



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Old 07-08-2012, 02:31 PM   #2
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All yogurt starts out with live cultures. Some commercial products do not contain live cultures. You have to read the label if that's important to you.

Yes, Greek style yogurt is strained to reduce the water and whey content, making the remaining yogurt thicker and more concentrated. There are some nutritional differences. Greek style yogurt will leave you feeling fuller.

If you buy plain yogurt and strain it through cheesecloth in the fridge, you'll have the same basic product as Greek stye yogurt.

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Old 07-08-2012, 05:49 PM   #3
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You can put any yogurt in a pocket of cheese cloth and let it drain, and after a while, you'll have a sort of cheese, and that's Greek yogurt, which is also called strained yogurt. (It's not particularly "Greek," but it's a popular form of yogurt in some places.)

So it's obviously higher in those things left behind, including protein and fat, and when it's alive, things can continue to develop if desired. Like so many other wonderful things, yogurt is more appealing when it has more fat. Butter, too, for instance, is better in the "European" style, with higher butterfat. But you can also substitute strained yogurt for sour cream and other thick cultured products.

You have to read yogurt labels carefully. A "Greek style" yogurt may be just thickened with additional ingredients. If you want live culture, you have to have that explicitly stated. And pasteurized yogurt can't still be alive. And everything else is subject to the usual food perversions, like "blueberry" that has nothing in it that's ever been on a blueberry bush. Sweeteners, too. And the words "all natural" mean nothing. Assume that anything you want to be present that's not spelled out on the labeling isn't there.

Strained yogurt made from whole milk is higher in butterfat, and you have to make your own choices there. But remember that butter was once condemned and then came to be thought not so bad. You can be sure, though, that it conforms to the rule that too much of a good thing is nevertheless too much. And the first bite tastes just as good as the last bite. Savor the first one, and let the last one come a little sooner, and few things that you will like to eat will harm you.
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Old 07-10-2012, 09:04 AM   #4
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I never tried whole yogurt.I only use yogurt for smoothies & only get greek yogurt.It has more calories then regular plain nonfat yogurt,but not by much.I find the regular plain nonfat to sweet.Greek usually has half the amount of sugar & double the protein of regular non fat yogurt.To me the fruit alone is sweet enough for me.I tried one with regular non fat & gave it to my mom.She uses that yogurt & also adds sugar into here's.Way to sweet for me lol.
Next week i'm going to try this yogurt made from local grass fed cows,don't know if it's whole or not.I heard some greek yogurt isn't really greek yogurt.I tried dannon & chobani greeks.Chobani tastes better.I'm going to try fage greek today.
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Old 07-10-2012, 11:43 AM   #5
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Right, it's not particularly Greek. That was popularized as a marketing thing. Although Greeks do eat some yogurt in that style, there are other cultures where it's probably more common. And some yogurts are so richly flavored that, if one has the taste for them, sugar and flavorings are superfluous. For most of the world, yogurt isn't a sweet product or desert-like in the western sense. There's such a huge variety of fermented milk products that it's hard to say what should be called yogurt, including alcoholic versions that are sorts of milk wine, sugars being the fermented part, rather than starches.
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Old 07-10-2012, 12:07 PM   #6
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Thank you, everyone, for you input! It helps a lot!

So if I want to make my own greek style (creamier) yogurt I don't necessarily have to start out with greek just strain it then. And I can also buy cheaper whole yogurt and strain it to get a thicker creamier texture. I'll definitely make sure it states live cultures are present.

I started my kids out on yogurt marketed to kids and full of sugar. I'm trying to switch them over to my plain whole yogurt with added fruit & honey or homemade jams for different flavors. They aren't too thrilled about it but I told them no more gogurts because it's too much sugar and not enough good stuff. My homemade jams do have sugar but its got to be better than sugar, artificial flavors, artificial sweeteners, and high fructose corn syrup!
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Old 07-10-2012, 12:29 PM   #7
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From Greece: Greek Yogurt


Very interesting post.

Firstly, there is quite a huge difference between Danone Greek Style Yogurt and Greek Yogurt Made In Greece, as I am sure you are all aware.

The Greek Yogurt I purchase in Spain as well as Puglia, is made in Greece, and is made with Goat or Ewe Milk or Cow Milk and / or a Blend.

There is no fancy packaging and no sugar added and it is thick, sour, and divine.

It tastes more like Tzatziki with a very slight herbal aroma from the goat or sheep or cow milk that was eaten by these animals prior to milking them; and unlike a manufactured Danone or Nestles type yogurt, it is much thicker ... and it has a higher fat content and does not come in fat free or low fat varieties.

It is best eaten for breakfast with a grain and fruit so one can walk it off, or burn the high fat content. It is very healthy.

Have a lovely Tuesday,
Ciao, Margi.
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Old 07-10-2012, 04:33 PM   #8
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You really have to be careful buying greek yogurt in the US, Yoplait is just regular yogurt with thickeners, it doesn't taste like greek yogurt to me at all. I'm used to Chobani plain, I like that, and I get a good price on it at the club store.

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