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Interesting Information: Greek Yogurt

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Interesting Information:  July 9, 2011

Greek Yogurt

A friend gives me her COOKS ILLUSTRATED magazines when she finishes them.  The May/June issue had an article on Greek yogurt I found interesting.

I knew that Greek yogurt was just yogurt with a lot of the whey drained out of it.  Anyone can make it, and the leftover whey is an amazing substance that is full of enzymes that help digestion.   A tablespoon of whey in a bit of water before a meal can really help digestion and can begin restoring probiotics in the gut.  You can also freeze it and use the ice cubes in smoothies, put it in soups, and so forth.  And, of course, there is a whole foodway of lacto-fermented foods made with whey that are chock full of enzymes.  Sauerkraut is an example, and there is a recipe for it in the recipe section of this blog.

I always thought that whey had a lot of protein, so I was skeptical about draining off the whey.  However, COOKS ILLUSTRATED says that whey does not have that high a protein content, so what’s being lost by draining some off to make a thicker yogurt is “only” the enzyme and mineral content of the whey.  (What remains is high in protein.)  If one uses the whey in other ways, no substantial harm is done–unless you are buying the yogurt and are never getting the whey.  (I’m guessing the whey is used to make that dried whey protein powder which, like all dried liquids, has been harmed by the drying process.)  Anyway, do note that you are now dealing with a whole product that has been splintered into parts–which is not a good thing to do as the whole contains all that you need to digest and use the product most effectively.

The market has “caught on” to Greek yogurt and is busily trying to make a buck on it.  So, buyer beware.  Read the labels to see what’s been added to what should just be yogurt with the whey drained off.  Many manufacturers are getting the creamy thickness of Greek yogurt (as they are with regular yogurt) by using thickeners like pectin, gelatin, seaweed, and milk protein concentrate.  These yogurts (Yoplait and The Greek Gods are examples) also have considerably higher levels of carbohydrates than other brands, and we are learning, together I hope, that carbohydrates are the root cause of many chronic diseases in America.

Unfortunately, COOKS ILLUSTRATED bought into the belief system that fat is not good, so they tested nonfat yogurts.  (One needs fat to digest protein.)  CI liked Olympus Nonfat Greek Yogurt the best.  It is imported from Greece.  they recommend Voskos, Brown Cow, Dannon, Oikos, and Fage.  Chobani was recommended with reservations.  And Athenos, Yoplait, and The Greek Gods were not recommended at all.

For me, the best bet is to make your own yogurt from whole real/raw milk.  If you want to make Greek yogurt or, even, some yogurt cheese, drain off some or all of the whey.  But, be sure to use the whey in some other ways in your diet.

If you must buy yogurt, which would be made with pasteurized milk, seek out a whole milk, cream-line one with no additives.  There are still a few left out there.

Written by louisaenright

July 9, 2011 at 3:30 pm

Posted in Interesting Information

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4 Responses

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  1. I have a CI subscription, but I am thinking of letting it run out. The recipes almost never appeal to me and I almost never agree with their taste tests. Their article on natural peanut butter was so stupid I wanted to scream. If you look in “normal” grocery stores, almost all the greek yogurt is fat free. Whole foods has a better variety of full and low fat ones. Fage is the best, in my opinion – if they haven’t been bought out and cheapened.

    meg

    July 9, 2011 at 5:56 pm

    • I agree completely. Have gotten a few recipes I like, but not many. One for browned butter chocolate chip cookies and one for a beef stew with amazing layers of flavor.

      louisaenright

      July 12, 2011 at 10:37 pm

  2. This is article littered with misspellings
    Oilos should be Oikos
    Boskos should be Voskos

    jt

    April 18, 2012 at 5:02 pm

    • Thanks. I think they were typos–and given the nature of the spell checker, it wouldn’t have caught them. Thanks to you, I fixed them! Thanks for reading my blog so closely. Louisa

      louisaenright

      April 19, 2012 at 1:00 pm


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