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greek-style-yoghurt

Greek style yoghurt vs greek yoghurt

So the question is do you know the difference between greek and greek style yoghurt?

I’ve used yoghurt as a sugar busting staple for years now. I put it in low sugar smoothies; mix it up with sugar-free granola and/or fruit; and quite often eat it as a dessert with a few cacao nibs sprinkled over the top.

So one day I figured I wanted to know the difference between greek style yoghurt and greek yoghurt and understand the differences.  So here’s the lowdown and a few other greek style yoghurt facts to keep you in the know.

greek style yoghurt

Greek style yoghurt vs. greek yoghurt

A while back I went for a super healthy lunch with yoghurt pro Alison White from Total Greek (also known as FAGE).

We chatted all things yoghurt, life and sugar-free foods whilst drinking a glass of sparking wine ha!

greek style yoghurt vs. greek yoghurt

Here are some handy Greek yoghurt facts you may not know that will help you make informed decisions without getting lured or misled by marketing or packaging.

  • A really thick yoghurt has either got there in two ways:

1) it was either strained a few times to remove the whey or

2) it has had milk protein powder, starch or other additives added to it to get there. The easiest way really to determine this is to look at the ingredients list.

  • In the UK there is a difference between ‘Greek yoghurt’ and ‘Greek Style Yoghurt’. Greek yoghurt now has to be authentically made in Greece. Greek style yoghurt is just made to seem like it and can be thickened by either one of the two processes above.
  • In America, anything can be called ‘Greek’ – basically this whole Greek style yoghurt thing in the UK is the result of a big court case between Total and Chobani. Total (or FAGE) yoghurt is at present the leading authentic Greek yoghurt brand on the market.

This post isn’t sponsored FAGE UK, I simply wanted to share this because I think it’s quite useful to know and found it personally interesting. Buying sugar-free yoghurts can often be utterly confusing and I know I get a lot of questions about it via e-mail.

I do personally think Total Greek are one brand with a very good quality product for lower sugar living. They also have some superb healthy (& many sugar-free) yoghurt infused recipes on their website too – these sweet potato fries with rosemary garlic yoghurt dip being one of my favourites.

However there are other cheaper Greek yoghurt style yoghurts made by the supermarket brands that are still sugar-free and healthy.

I’ll also mention that have the Total Greek Cookbook which generally has a great selection of yoghurt infused recipes. There are some that use sugar though too so you have to filter through a little.

The difference between Greek yoghurt vs. natural yoghurt

Now you’ve got Greek style yoghurt vs. greek yoghurt sorted, here’s a video I made explaining the difference between Greek yoghurt and natural. Yes let’s go yoghurt crazy today!

What’s worth remembering is that when it comes to managing hunger, Greek yoghurt has a higher protein count – 10g per 100g compared to 5-6g in natural yoghurt – thus it will keep you fuller for longer.

Also remember that about 4-7g of the sugars listed in yoghurt are the natural lactose sugar, which doesn’t count as sugar (of the fructose kind) on a sugar-free or lower sugar diet.

Always check for added sugar in the ingredients list though.

greek style yoghurt protein

My transition off sugary yoghurts

In my former sugary years I used to eat a ‘Muller Light’ or low fat fruity yoghurt pretty much every day, sometimes 2-3 a day.

I did this for literally years.

A fruity yoghurt was often my ‘healthy’ post meal sweet fix – anyone used it the same?

At University I would chose the cheapest and – shame-shock-horror – I even used to buy those Sainsbury’s basics low fat fruity yoghurts at one point. Yes I did, sins confessed!

When I moved to London I would buy Muller Lights, Shapers, Activia brands or whatever was on special offer. I am still in awe of the entire supermarket aisle that is awash with colourful wide variety of sugar laden yoghurts.

When people today ask me why I started Happy Sugar Habits, I often say it’s because I was simply mortified at discovering some of the yoghurts I loved had a shocking 15g of sugar in them and no-one back then was talking about this.

greek-style-yoghurt

So I wrote a blog post on the lower sugar yoghurts and things went from there.

These days I don’t touch fruity sugar-filled yoghurts – they just don’t appeal. Of all the sugary things out there, I really don’t miss these. A mouthful of one every now and then confirms this to me – they are way too sweet, sickly and taste a bit artificial. I would rather drizzle some brown rice syrup or good quality honey on some full fat natural yoghurt to get something a bit sweeter when I do fancy it.

Do you eat yoghurt and what with? Breakfast? Dessert? Any more questions just hit me up with a comment below.

Review: Sarah Wilson’s I Quit Sugar 8 week program and cookbook

Are you thinking about buying the Sarah Wilson I Quit Sugar 8 Week Program and cookbooks? Want to know if they’ll work for you and your stubborn sugar habits? Here I share my thoughts on the books and programmes – which I have purchased and used myself over the years.

The I Quit Sugar hardback book & cookbook

A few years ago I first bought the digital copy and then I got the hardback when it came out. When I was first getting into low sugar and getting into things, Sarah’s book was one of the early ones I referred to often and I started cooking many of her recipes in it. Quite simply, she’s been a massive inspiration to me and I will forever thank her for the work she’s done in this area.

My loves

There’s no doubt about it, Sarah Wilson’s I Quit Sugar is a fantastic resource to kick off your low sugar journey. Sarah researches well and then conveys information clearly in a easy to digest fashion. Sarah takes you through 8 weeks step by step – although really for me things started in Week 2 (as week one reduced refined sugar and I wasn’t actually eating that much of it).

Many of the recipes are easy and practical, with limited ingredients. I like this simplicity. The coconutty granola, like many others, I loved. The book also gave me some great savoury breakfast ideas and really got me started on this track which is a very important part of changing your tastebuds. Sarah opened me up to cooking a lot more things I usually wouldn’t have.

I love the gentle approach Sarah offers and this much aligns to my approach when coaching. Similarly I’d encourage you to try low sugar without trying to do everything ‘perfectly’.

Read my separate reviews of Sarah’s I Quit Sugar for Life book and the I Quit Sugar Chocolate Cookbook.

Things to note

Obviously because Sarah is based in Australia, some references are Australian. Courgettes are zucchinis, pumpkin seeds are pepitas and there are some other local references. This didn’t bother me so much but something just to note. I found it’s more prominent in her online programme which runs throughout the year e.g they reference seasons (which are going to be out of sync).

Sarah is a strong advocate of two sugar substitutes: stevia and brown rice syrup. Whilst these two are valid sugar substitutes that are fructose free, sometimes I feel they are used a little too heavily in the books, programmes and recipes – sometimes in quite large quantities. On occasion, I felt that instead of ½ cup of rice syrup, you’d be better off with a banana – yes a bit more fructose, but natural and more nutrient dense.

I’m also in the view that you should focus on the frequency of your sugar substitute use rather than which one i.e. if it’s only once a month, then really you could even have real sugar because that is moderation.

Read: Why I don’t stand by one single sugar substitute.

When you are shifting to lower sugar, you are shifting to more savoury overall – not just trying to eat more ‘sugar-free’ treats and bakes. For this reason, I wasn’t a big fan of the second Chocolate cookbook – I just didn’t cook much from it very often. On the other hand the I Quit Sugar Slow Cook Meals book I used heaps. Loads of time saving savoury practical day to day feasts 🙂

The recipes, the practicality and the factual information in the I Quit Sugar resources are great but I’m not a fan of the ‘Quit Sugar’ name.

Don’t underestimate the bigger picture where you want to really trust yourself with sugar rather than ‘quit it’. Beware not to get caught up in sugar grams detail of focus too much on ‘perfect’ nutrition. There is some mention of habits, social sugar and emotionally using sweetness in the I Quit Sugar resources, but not loads. This really is the bigger piece here in long term healthy behavioural change.

Read: Why you need to build trust with sugar rather than quitting it

Know that Sarah’s resources and programmes will help you get started, but you’re going to need to also self reflect, overcome emotional eating in a healthy holistic way, find a way to hold yourself accountable and manage some social awkwardness if you really want this as a long term lifestyle shift.

In summary

The I Quit Sugar website, resources, books and programmes are fantastic in my opinion, they really are. They are a great place to start your low sugar journey. Just be mindful of a few things – the Australian references, the strong promotion of two sugar substitutes and the fact the primary focus is on what you’re eating rather than what you’re feeling (where the latter is very likely more important in your change efforts).

Have you got any of Sarah Wilson’s books or completed her programme? What did you love about them?