Shopping Guide

11 Best & Worst Greek Yogurts for Weight Loss

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By Daisy Melamed

Nutrient-dense Greek yogurt is as buzzed about as any pop culture icon, with some brands boasting their own pop-up shops in SoHo and YouTube spoof videos. But does it have the staying power of, say, Beyonce? All signs points to yes.

Good Greek yogurts are low in sugar, high in protein and creamy enough to make you think they’re sinful, making this weight loss staple a perfect breakfast-on-the-go or snack to quell that angry 3 pm hunger. But navigating the dairy aisle is no easy task; with tons of brands offering “authentic” Greek yogurt lined up on your grocery store shelves, you may need a little help weeding out the good from the bad. That’s why we’ve rounded up the best (and worst) Greek ‘gurts: so you don’t have to stress or even read nutrition labels on your next grocery trip.

Wallaby Organic Greek Plain Low-fat Yogurt

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Wallaby Organic Greek Plain Low-fat Yogurt, 6 oz

Calories

130

Fat

3 g

Saturated Fat

2 g

Carbs

7 g

Protein

17 g

Fiber

0 g

Sugar

4 g

Wallaby Organic Greek Plain Low-fat Yogurt

We love this Wallaby offering and Stephanie Middleberg, MS, RD, CDN agrees: It’s the perfect go-to Greek yogurt. It’s easy to find, so you won’t have to make any extra trips to the specialty health food store to get it. And while Wallaby has both low-fat and non-fat Greek yogurt options, Middleberg recommends keeping some of that fat around. “Choose low-fat or full-fat versions over fat-free,” she says. “Whole-milk dairy contains more nutrients.” Just make sure to stay away from their flavored varieties; at 22 grams of sugar per tiny pot, their Vanilla Bean recently earned a “Not That!” in our newest Eat This, Not That! 2015 Edition.

Maple Hill Creamery Greek Yogurt

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Maple Hill Creamery Greek Yogurt, Plain, 5.3 oz

Calories

130

Fat

6 g

Saturated Fat

3.5 g

Carbs

6 g

Protein

12 g

Fiber

0 g

Sugar

5 g

Maple Hill Creamery Greek Yogurt

Maple Hill Creamery’s yogurts are made just two ingredients: grass-fed milk and live cultures. That difference in milk might be reflected in the price, but it’s well worth the extra cents if you can afford it. “Grass-fed yogurt contains more omega-3s and conjugated linoleic acids, both of which help prevent heart disease, inflammation, diabetes and various cancers,” Middleberg explains. Bonus: Maple Hill Greek yogurts are rich, creamy and taste way more decadent than they are.

Fage Total 2% Greek Yogurt

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Fage Total 2% Greek Yogurt, Plain, 7 oz

Calories

150

Fat

4 g

Saturated Fat

3 g

Carbs

8 g

Protein

20 g

Fiber

0 g

Sugar

8 g

Fage Total 2% Greek Yogurt

There’s a reason Fage is one of the most popular Greek yogurts available. “While it’s not organic, Fage is one of the–if not the–best-tasting Greek yogurt available,” Middleberg says. They’re also impressively high in protein, packing in 20 grams per 7-ounce container. Just make sure you side-step flavors like honey, which can pack a massive 29 grams of sugar into your morning meal. Honey might be better than table sugar, but that doesn’t mean you should eat it by the cup. (Fage also earns a spot on our list of the 9 Best Brand Name Yogurts for Weight Loss.)

Brown Cow Greek Smooth and Creamy Plain

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Brown Cow non-GMO Greek Smooth and Creamy Plain, 5.3 oz

Calories

80

Fat

0 g

Saturated Fat

0 g

Carbs

6 g

Protein

15 g

Fiber

0 g

Sugar

6 g

Brown Cow Greek Smooth and Creamy Plain

Brown Cow Farms makes a great Greek yogurt because they keep things simple and basic. As a general rule, Middleberg recommends that her clients “choose brands that list only two ingredients: milk and live and active cultures.” If you can find an option at your local grocery store that meets this criteria, we couldn’t agree more. Brown Cow’s non-GMO Greek yogurt contains just those two ingredients, but only comes in nonfat versions, so you’ll have to sacrifice some of the nutrients in other brands with higher fat content. Craving something on the sweeter side? Their vanilla-flavored Greek yogurt has practically-balanced sugar and protein counts, making it by far one of the best sweetened options in the aisle.

Stonyfield Organic Nonfat Greek Yogurt Plain

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Stonyfield Organic Nonfat Greek Yogurt, Plain, 5.3 ounces

Calories

80

Fat

0 g

Saturated Fat

0 g

Carbs

6 g

Protein

15 g

Fiber

0 g

Sugar

6 g

Stonyfield Organic Nonfat Greek Yogurt Plain

While Stonyfield, like Brown Cow, does not make a fuller-fat variety of Greek yogurt, their nonfat versions are pretty delicious. If you’re looking for a sweet morning treat, pick up their honey variety. Though sugar slightly outweighs protein in this yogurt, it’s a perfectly acceptable once-in-a-while treat, not a breakfast blunder like some other flavored kinds.

Chobani Greek Blended 4% Plain

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Chobani Greek Blended 4% Plain, 5.3 ounces

Calories

130

Fat

6 g

Saturated Fat

4 g

Carbs

7 g

Protein

13 g

Fiber

0 g

Sugar

4 g

Chobani Greek Blended 4% Plain

Chobani Greek yogurts have low sugar content and are packed with plenty of satiating protein, so they can make a great choice to keep around the house. But, if you’re trying to avoid GMO-based ingredients, hold on this buy for now. In 2014, Chobani partnered with Green America to explore GMO-free options. Check their blog if you want updates on their progress, and pick a different pot for the time being. Don't be scared away by the 4% on the label, though. The fat will keep you full and focused all morning so you don't reach for a less-than-nutritious snack mid-morning.

Dannon Light & Fit Greek Yogurt, Nonfat Vanilla

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Dannon Light & Fit Greek Yogurt, Nonfat Vanilla, 5.3 ounces

Calories

80

Fat

0 g

Saturated Fat

0 g

Carbs

9 g

Protein

12 g

Fiber

0 g

Sugar

7 g

Dannon Light & Fit Greek Yogurt, Nonfat Vanilla

Sometimes you need something slightly sweet in the morning. If you’re looking for something beyond a bare yogurt, Dannon’s vanilla makes our list and their cherry version was given a thumbs up in our Eat This, Not That! 2015 edition. You won’t find much higher protein counts or lower sugar counts in flavored yogurts. Plus, we can’t argue with its diminutive 80 calories per serving. If you’re sensitive to artificial sweeteners, though, this pick might not be for you; Dannon uses acesulfame potassium, a zero-calorie sweetener, in their yogurt pots.

Dannon Oikos Greek Nonfat Yogurt Plain

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Dannon Oikos Greek Nonfat Yogurt Plain, 5.3 ounces

Calories

80

Fat

0 g

Saturated Fat

0 g

Carbs

6 g

Protein

15 g

Fiber

0 g

Sugar

6 g

Dannon Oikos Greek Nonfat Yogurt Plain

If you’re choosing plain, Oikos gets the green light from us. Low sugar, high protein: that’s the winning combo in any yogurt. Just steer clear of their fruit flavors: Blackberry has more sugar than actual blackberry and Pomegranate uses questionable additives potassium sorbate and calcium lactate. As Middleberg explains, “These additives most likely contain synthetic pesticides. Potassium sorbate has been known to cause skin allergies like eczema and calcium lactate can lead to kidney stones, digestive and skin issues.”

Dannon Activia Greek Vanilla

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Dannon Activia Greek Vanilla, 5.3 ounces

Calories

140

Fat

0 g

Saturated Fat

0 g

Carbs

22 g

Protein

12 g

Fiber

0 g

Sugar

21 g

Dannon Activia Greek Vanilla

We’ve all seen the catchy commercials, but Activia is not your best bet when it comes to Greek yogurts purely based on its sugar to protein ratio. In fact, this little pot packs more sugar than you’ll find in a Double Chocolate Glazed Cake Donut from Dunkin’. To top it off, their ingredients list is less than appetizing, including: milk, water, sugar, modified cornstarch, carob bean gum, lactic acid and sodium citrate. So while it does contain those active cultures we love, there are better options for your morning parfait.

Greek Gods Greek Yogurt Nonfat Plain

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Greek Gods Greek Yogurt, Nonfat Plain, 6 ounces

Calories

100

Fat

0 g

Saturated Fat

0 g

Carbs

16 g

Protein

9 g

Fiber

2 g

Sugar

14 g

Greek Gods Greek Yogurt Nonfat Plain

The gods’ muscles were not built on this yogurt. “This Greek-style yogurt not only has less protein than some other brands, but also less protein than sugar,” explains Middleberg. That’s a dealbreaker in the dairy aisle. And while the company claims that all milk used in Greek yogurt production are not treated with rBST/rBGH growth hormones, the yogurts do include pectin and inulin, which are “chemically engineered to improve taste, texture or nutrition profile but can lead to very uncomfortable digestive issues in some people,” she details.

Yoplait Greek Vanilla

Not That!

Yoplait Greek Vanilla, 5.3 ounces

Calories

140

Fat

0 g

Saturated Fat

0 g

Carbs

22 g

Protein

11 g

Fiber

0 g

Sugar

18 g

Yoplait Greek Vanilla

As you can probably guess from the name, Yoplait’s Greek yogurt isn’t exactly authentic. But more than that, the high-sugar/low-protein combination will not have you powering through the day as you’d hope and, sadly, won’t help you stave off those mid-morning donut cravings.

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