The Yogurt Aisle

by Emily LoTurco, TCM Intern

Walking down the yogurt aisle of the grocery store can be intimidating. What are all of these different kinds of yogurts? How do they compare? Which is the least expensive when considering all the nutrients it contains? Which has more protein? Which uses artificial ingredients?

We were wondering about these same questions at Twin Cities Midwifery, and decided to find the answers. We visited the yogurt aisles in three different grocery stores, Lund’s, Kawalski’s and Cubs, and wrote down the price and nutrition facts of the different yogurts. We only looked at the vanilla flavoring of each brand, unless there was no vanilla.  Also, we only looked at the original varieties, so no “light and fit” or “sugar free.”

After analysis, the results are these:

Top 5 Yogurts: Grams of Protein/Oz of yogurt

1. Stonyfield Oikos 2.83 g/oz
2. Chobani Greek 2.67 g/oz
3. Siggi’s 2.64 g/oz
4. Fage Total 2.57 g/oz
5. Yoplait Greek (Plain flavor) 2.50 g/oz

Any greek yogurt will have more protein than a regular yogurt. If possible, choose one of these five, but Dannon Oikos and Olympus also have high amounts of protein relative to non-greek yogurt. It’s true that their price sticker may be higher than other choices, but comparing the amount of nutrients you will get for each dollar shows that they are a great deal.

Top 5 Yogurts: Grams of Protein/Per Dollar Spent

1. Chobani Greek 11.5 g/$
2. Fage Total 10.7 g/$
3. Yoplait Greek (plain flavor) 10.3 g/$
4. Siggi’s 10.1 g/$
5. Dannon Oikos (however, high in sugar) 8.63 g/$

These results are based on the normal, non-sale prices. At each of the three stores, there was a different sale happening for a different yogurt brand, but we did not take these into account for our data. This means that the average shopper may be able to get yogurt for cheaper than we have here, and therefore get more protein per dollar.

In terms of protein per dollar, greek yogurt comes out on top yet again. Even though the price tag might be 50 cents or so higher, the amount of nutrient you will be getting for that 50 cents is well worth the price.

What about sugar? If a yogurt has a lot of protein, but has just as much sugar, the snack becomes considerably less healthy. Therefore, we compared the amount of protein with the amount of sugar for each yogurt.

Top 5 Yogurts: Gram of Protein/One Gram of Sugar

1. Fage Total 2.25 g protein/g sugar
2. Yoplait Greek (plain flavor) 1.88 g/g
3. Siggi’s 1.56 g/g
4. Stonyfield Oikos 1.36 g/g
5. Chobani Greek 1.23 g/g

These are the brands of yogurts that have the least amount of sugar for the most amount of protein. Again, we see that it is the greek yogurt that comes out on top. Out of all the greek yogurt we evaluated, Dannon Oikos, Olympus have the highest amount of sugar, and would be better to stay away from. Well, what if someone doesn’t like greek yogurt, and mixing it with blueberries or granola just doesn’t make it better? Here are the results if we exclude greek yogurt:

Non-Greek Yogurt Results

Top 5 Protein/oz Top 5 Protein/$ Top 5 Protein/sugar
1. Swiss Yogurt 1.50 g/oz 1. Cascade Fresh 7.07 g/$ 1. Nosa (blueberry) 1.00 g/g
2. Activia 1.25 g/oz 2. Stonyfield 7.07 g/$ 2. Activia 0.71 g/g
3. Cascade Fresh 1.17 g/oz 3. Yoplait Original 6.33 g/$ 3. Cascade Fresh 0.44 g/g
4. Whole Soy & Company 1.17 g/oz 4. Brown Cow 6.19 g/$ 4. Whole Soy & Comp. 0.39 g/g
5. Stonyfield 1.17 g/oz 5. Wallaby 5.5 g/$ 5. Stonyfield 0.33 g/g

Of all of the brands, only Cascade Fresh and Stonyfield make it onto all three lists. When choosing a non-greek yogurt, these may be some of the best options. Yoplait Original, Amande, Old Home, and Silk Live have the highest sugar to protein ratio content of all the tested yogurts and should probably avoided. Other things to watch for when choosing a yogurt would be to avoid artificial flavoring/coloring and try to include live active cultures.

Happy Yogurt Eating!

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