T Nation

Greek Yogurt: Fat-Free vs. 2 % vs. Full-Fat


#1

Hello,

Just wondering for health and body composition reasons which version is the best? Criteria I'm looking for include low sugar/carb, high protein/serving, high (good) bacteria content, and of course vitamin/mineral content. To a certain degree total calories is a consideration but won't be a HUGE factor for me personally.

I'm thinking 2% is a good compromise between the somewhat opposing goals (in this case) of health vs. body composition. What do you all think? Feel free to recommend brands that you like that are common at Walmart, Target, Trader Joes ect.


#2

[quote]cpozeznik wrote:
Criteria I’m looking for include low sugar/carb, high protein/serving, high (good) bacteria content, and of course vitamin/mineral content. To a certain degree total calories is a consideration but won’t be a HUGE factor for me personally. [/quote]

It really depends how you set up your diet - people who are very strict on macros obviously will need to make sure that this actually fits into their macros - but my observations:

  1. Many of the major national brands - yoplait, Dannon, etc - have been putting out their own “Greek” yogurts since this became a thing in the last few years. Most have low protein and high sugar for something that’s trying to pretend it’s “Greek” yogurt. They are total crap. Ignore them.

  2. Chobani is marginally better than the aforementioned options - higher protein, slightly better quality - but as they try to answer the moves from yoplait and Dannon to create their own Greek yogurt brands…they’re basically turning their product into the same crap those companies are selling. Adding fake fiber, artificial sweeteners and colors, selling a “100 calorie pack” because it tricks people into thinking “Oh, great, I’ll get the 100 calorie pack because it’s healthier than that regular stuff”

  3. Fage is probably the best of the major brands you can find in a lot of “regular” stores. Their full-fat yogurt is really good. Almost like eating heavy cream. High protein, low sugar. And if you ask me, the extra caloric hit from full-fat vs. fat free is still pretty much a drop in the bucket spread across a full day’s intake. I would rather have the delicious full-fat yogurt and all of the accompanying benefits; much of the nutritional value from dairy is in the fat, anyway.

  4. If you live near a Whole Foods, they carry a brand called Siggi’s, which is a slightly different product (Icelandic style “skyr” - Google it to read the nuanced difference between skyr and yogurt, but ultimately, it’s a high-protein fermented dairy product, somewhere between yogurt and cheese) that is very, very good and offers some nice options in the lightly-sweetened, low-carb department. Just enough of a sweet flavor to enjoy, but reasonably low amount of added sugar and (I think) no artificial sweeteners.


#3

[quote]ActivitiesGuy wrote:
I would rather have the delicious full-fat yogurt and all of the accompanying benefits; much of the nutritional value from dairy is in the fat, anyway.
[/quote]

Agreed.


#4

Chobani 4% greek yogurt is my go to.
Here’s why:
Higher in Protein and Fat than other brands
Lower in Carbs (!) than other brands
No artificial additives, colors or flavors.
This means i get to add my own berries/fruit as i see fit.

It does have a bit of a bitter flavor, but overall i am good with that
because of the aforementioned benefits.


#5

Siggi’s is great. I’m eating the plain, nonfat version as I type this. Per 8 oz it has 120 kcal, 23 g protein, 8 g carbs (6 sugar).

The Vanilla flavor has a little more sugar but is even better, flavorwise.


#6

I also stick with Fage and Siggis. Usually the fat free versions to fit my macros since the full fat doesnt make that big of a difference to me, at least when it comes to the Fage.

Although the Siggis full fat version is very rich and oily kind of buttery. I sometimes mix a cup of that into the fat free versions.


#7

Full fat. great with preworkout meal, really gives training a boost and weight has been going down steadily