Churning Through Yoghurt

Everyone who knows me knows that I love my yoghurt. Whether its flavoured yoghurt with fresh fruit and oats for breakky, natural yoghurt topped on some freshly cooked falafel, or as my post-workout snack – yoghurt is a product that is always present in my fridge!

But it seems I’m not the only one who loves it…

Emily Scott

Emily Scott is currently completing her last two months of a three year bachelor degree in Food and Nutrition at Deakin University. After finishing her degree, Emily endeavours to continue studying and complete her masters in dietetics. With a newfound passion for social media, Emily thoroughly enjoys utilising the web to portray her love, knowledge and ideas about food to others. Emily is currently completing a year-long internship with Nutrition Plus in Melbourne, is volunteering with Eating Disorders Victoria and is President of the Food and Nutrition Students committee at Deakin University. Make sure you watch out for Emily’s blog, Taste Testing Melbourne, which is to be released this month. Until then, follow her on instagram @emscott26

If you could eat only one food for the rest of your life what would it be?

The other day a friend and I were having a chat about food (most of my chats are generally about food). I asked my friend the question you see at the start of this article. For her it took a while to choose, but eventually her answer was rice paper rolls. For me, yoghurt has to take the crown, hands down, no question.

Now not just any yoghurt will do. No, it has to have the right amount of creaminess, have the right amount of sweetness and generally has to be either vanilla or natural in flavour. Trust me I’ve got my checklist, as most people do, about particular foods. But I digress.

This conversation lead me to thinking about what the healthiest yoghurt on the market is, and more importantly does it taste as good as other yoghurts? Or do we need to compromise on flavour for health purposes?

Join me in my discovery of this undeniably beautiful ingredient yoghurt.

Now, it would be rude if we jumped straight into the nitty gritty of the yoghurts, without introducing it first. To make sure I gave it the proper respect it deserved, I went straight to Diary Australia for an explanation. According to the experts, yoghurt has been around for centuries. Today, yoghurt is known as a diary food that is a blend between milk and live bacterial cultures. The yoghurt process begins with the addition of live cultures, which causes fermentation of lactose, giving you that great taste and texture. Yoghurt is high in an abundance of nutrients including calcium, vitamin A, vitamin B12 and riboflavin. However, perhaps one of its most important features is its high level of protein – helping maintain muscle mass and giving you a fuller feeling after consumption.

So on to my investigation…

I decided to cap myself at 10 yoghurts. To make it easier I selected Greek yoghurt and avoided flavoured types except for CoYo. I also went for the low-fat option for those brands that had it. Lastly all yoghurts were compared per 100g. Personally I think choosing the yoghurts was the hardest part! Who knew there were so many yoghurts out there? Also I apologise in advance if your normal yoghurt was not selected. So here is the list:

1. Vaalia Natural Yoghurt
2. Danone Greek Yoghurt
3. CoYo
4. Five:am
5. Barambah Organic Yoghurt
6. Chobani
7. Ski
8. Soy yoghurt
9. Jalna
10. Yoplait

The nutrition information, per 100g, was as follows:

yoghurt nutrition information

In terms of yoghurt this is pretty much what is out there. Now I am not sure about you, but to me there is a clear winner in the overall nutrition.

The winner is….

CHOBANI YOGHURT

Wow. Look at that protein level. No other yoghurt comes close. Not to mention its non-existent fat levels. Calcium levels are similar to other yoghurts out there, but the protein and fat levels of this yoghurt are very impressive.

I also did some research into the added flavours as well. With an enormous variety to their name, Chobani yoghurt can be found in strawberry, apple and cinnamon, vanilla, peach, mango, blueberry, raspberry, cherry and that’s just to name a few. In terms of nutrition, flavours are available in fat free or low-fat (2%) and the protein level still remained the same. Usually with addition of fruit, it is normal to see a higher carbohydrate level, and this is very much the case with the flavoured yoghurts – some doubling in carbohydrate level. However, in this case the reason is due to the natural sugars in fruit, there is no actual added sugars to the product.

When it came to tasting Chobani, personally I found the natural yoghurt to be very watery and had too much of a tart flavour for me. However I did quite enjoy the flavoured varieties. My favourite being the apple and cinnamon flavour which tasted like apple pie! Yum!

One thing I really did like about Chobani yoghurt is that it comes in a convenient little pot size and by adding some muesli to the yoghurt, it became a perfect on-the-go breakfast or snack.

chobani muesli

Now I could go on forever about all these yoghurts, but I am going to highlight the clear winners for me.

In terms of taste, I can’t go past Danone Greek yoghurt. It is by far the creamiest out there and has such a lovely, smooth vanilla flavour. I use this yoghurt normally and it goes perfectly with most cereals or is a great addition to healthy recipes.

Coming in for a close second is Five:am yoghurt. I have to say, I have a soft spot for this yoghurt. Coming from Melbourne, I really do enjoy buying their products in an attempt to support local business’. If that is not reason enough, their innovative ways of serving their yoghurt should be. With their power packs and squeezies, they make consuming yoghurt not only easy but also fun.

fiveam yoghurt

The winner for the most unusual yoghurt would have to be CoYo. Having heard good things about this yoghurt and the coconut craze being in full swing at the moment, I had to check this one out for myself. I have to say before even tasting it, it lost me.

For a small tub (250g) I paid $8.90 and for the 400g tub, it was $12.50. No matter how good it tasted, there is no way I would pay that on a weekly basis. In terms of nutrition, CoYo is a difficult product to compare with the other yoghurts. I did notice that it had a very small serving size (100g) compared with the other yoghurts. This serving size is concerning. Personally I am use to consuming more than this in one sitting, making over consumption an issue. There is also the issue of very high levels of saturated fat in CoYo. With this current coconut craze I think people will view this as an alternative to yoghurt, however, in my opinion I see this more as a dessert or an occasional snack due to the high kilojoules and fat content. CoYo also has no calcium, which I believe is extremely important when it comes to any yoghurt.

In terms of the taste of CoYo, I wasn’t sold either. I am unfamiliar with the coconut taste, so I am not sure if it was simply because I wasn’t use to it, but it left a very strange, oily aftertaste in my mouth, which I was not too fond of. However the creamy texture was a plus.

Although I had high hopes, my verdict for CoYo is a negative one. It has no calcium, is low in protein and has almost double the amount of saturated fat than any other yoghurt. Too much of CoYo can’t be a good thing.

The last yoghurt I wish to highlight was the soy yoghurt. I really enjoyed this yoghurt. Although not as good as the real thing, if I was lactose intolerant I don’t think I would complain about having to have this as a substitute. I was also surprised at the level of calcium. It is great to see there is not too much of difference in comparison to other yoghurts.

So there you have it! My take on the yoghurts out there. Just remember when choosing any dairy-based product (or alternative) a good checklist to have in mind is this:

– Is it high in calcium?
– Is it high in protein?
– Is it low in saturated fat?

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