The 20 Best and Worst Greek Yogurts
Like the majority of Americans, Greek yogurt is also an immigrant and landed in the good old U.S. of A. around 10 years ago. Since then, the dairy product has rightfully earned itself a spot as a consistent healthy breakfast idea—and it’s easy to see why. The Mediterranean yogurt’s creamy, smooth, and slightly thick texture is comforting but indulgent. Its pleasantly sour and moderately sweet taste is intriguing yet familiar. And between the gut-friendly probiotics, healthy fats, and muscle-building protein, it boasts an impressive display of health benefits.
And it isn’t just a great replacement for your sugary cereal. Its ratio of protein to carbs makes it an ideal post-workout snack for repairing muscles and replenishing spent energy stores, while a full-fat carton is a primo appetite-stabilizing treat to quell those angry 3 p.m. hunger pangs. And did we mention it can help you lose weight? Researchers have found that adding low-sugar, high-protein snacks to your daily diet can help fuel weight loss efforts by boosting metabolism and minimizing hunger pangs.
Unfortunately, navigating the dairy aisle is no easy task. With tons of companies offering “authentic” 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.
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The Worst Greek Yogurts for Your Health
These yogurts are low in what makes the Mediterranean dairy product so helpful for burning fat—protein—and high in ingredients that really don’t deserve a place in these small containers.
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: sugar, water, modified food starch, malic acid, and sodium citrate. So, while it does contain those active cultures we love, there are better options for your morning parfait.
Yoplait Greek 100
They might be lower in calories and sugar, but don’t be fooled—these light yogurts don’t deserve a place in your fridge. 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. Plus, to keep sugar levels low, Yoplait adds artificial sweeteners acesulfame potassium and sucralose. Artificial sweeteners have been linked to altering our gut microbiome, which can result in worsened digestive issues.
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 others, but also less protein than sugar,” explains Stephanie Middleberg, MS, RD, CDN, and founder of NYC-based health and wellness practice Middleberg Nutrition. Which is odd considering this ‘gurt has no sugar added. That’s a deal breaker in the dairy aisle. And while the company claims that all milk used in its 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. That’s a surefire way to undo the benefits of yogurt.
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Zoi Greek Yogurt Vanilla
For a Greek yogurt, this Zoi is unbelievably low in protein. What’s worse, the company actually had to add a milk protein concentrate to even get it to 8 grams! While we’re all for protein powders, they don’t seem necessary in our Greek yogurt where there should be enough naturally occurring.
Dannon Light & Fit Greek Nonfat Vanilla
Ingredients we don’t like seeing in our yogurt: artificial sweeteners, artificial flavors, modified corn starch, and fructose. And each is found in Dannon’s Light & Fit Greek yogurt. You can find a better ingredient list with the same number of calories below on our best list.
Tillamook Farmstyle Greek Yogurt Whole Milk Mexican Vanilla
We’re all for whole milk yogurts, but we’re not huge fans of the sugar to protein ratio of this tub from Tillamook. We know it’s a bit unfair to pick a vanilla-flavored yogurt since we’re comparing it to other plain yogurts, but Tillamook doesn’t offer any single-serve plain yogurts. Once you add a quarter cup of blueberries to this tub, you’re looking at a breakfast that contains 17 grams of sugar.
The Best Greek Yogurts for Your Health
High in protein and made with the fewest, simplest ingredients (just milk and live active cultures), grab one of these containers and you’ll soon see that the benefits of yogurt will help you reach your body goals in no time.
Wallaby Organic Aussie Greek Low-Fat Plain
We love this Wallaby offering and Stephanie Middleberg, MS, RD, CDN, and founder of NYC-based health and wellness practice Middleberg Nutrition agrees: It’s the perfect go-to Greek yogurt. Although Wallaby has both low-fat (2%) 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. Not only does fuller-fat dairy contain more nutrients, but those healthy fats will play a key role in helping your body absorb vitamins A, D, E, and K.
Maple Hill Creamery Greek Yogurt
Maple Hill Creamery’s yogurts are made with 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 considering their high protein content will help you lose 10 pounds.
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 larger-than-industry-average 7-ounce container. (For comparison, that’s equivalent to 15 grams per 5.3 ounces.) 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. We explain here in our exclusive report every added sweetener ranked by nutrition.
Powerful Foods makes a great Greek yogurt because they keep things simple and basic. As a general rule, Middleberg recommends that her clients “choose ones that list only two ingredients: milk and live and active cultures.” Luckily nearly every yogurt on our “best” list meets these criteria. While Powerful’s Greek yogurt contains just those two ingredients, it unfortunately only comes in nonfat versions (and larger-than-industry-average, 8-ounce containers). Don’t miss out on healthy fats’ satiating benefits—toss this yogurt into a blender with some frozen bananas, almond milk, and fat-rich nut butter for the perfect weight-loss smoothie.
Stonyfield Organic Greek Whole Milk Plain
We love that Stonyfield recently introduced a full-fat version to their Greek line. This carton is made with just live active cultures, and organic, non-GMO, pasture-raised milk—which is great because organically-raised cows aren’t subject to the same hormone and antibiotic treatment that conventional cows are. And no antibiotics for them means no antibiotics for you! Plus, a review published in The British Journal of Nutrition found that organic milk has an average of 50 percent more anti-inflammatory omega-3s than its conventionally-raised counterpart.
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 blackberries 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 digestive issues.” Which doesn’t sound like great news if you’ve been searching, how to get rid of bloating.
Voskos Greek Yogurt Nonfat Plain
While Voskos only offers a nonfat option for single serve packages, they do provide an original plain with fat in their 16-ounce option (but we don’t recommend it—an equal ounce serving contains a whopping 13 grams of fat!). Luckily, their nonfat option provides a blank canvas for you to add whichever healthy fat you’d like—nuts, avocado, flax seeds, or chia seeds. And for a double dose of probiotics on top of Voskos’s five live and active cultures, add some chocolate! This fermented treat provides you with even more helpful bacteria which can help you get your gut health back on track.
Green Mountain Creamery 0% Greek Yogurt, Plain
Based in Vermont, this small creamery makes a big impact on the Greek yogurt scene. Their cows are raised without hormones, and they use five different strains of cultures to form the yogurt—whereas many just use three.
Chobani Non-Fat, Plain
Chobani also offers a whole milk version of their plain yogurt—resulting in a 4 percent fat yogurt—but you’ll have to buy the larger tubs for that. This pick is high in protein and very low in sugar. (In fact, there are zero added sugars or sweeteners in this container.)
Clover Sonoma Organic Greek Yogurt, Whole Milk Plain
For an organic take on a whole milk Greek yogurt with no added sugars, look to Clover yogurts. Milk used to make this yogurt comes from cows raised on countless small family farms in northern California.
Maia Low-fat Greek Yogurt, Plain
While Maia used to have prebiotic oat fiber in their blend, they opted to ditch it for a cleaner label: now with just low-fat milk and 40 billion live and active cultures.
Dannon Oikos Triple Zero Greek Nonfat Yogurt, Plain
While we commend this triple-zero yogurt for being free of added sugars, artificial sweeteners, and fat, that same description could easily fit any other yogurt on this best list, so Dannon’s is just a marketing ploy. We do commend them for adding chicory root fiber—6 grams—which acts as a prebiotic and can minimize spikes in insulin after a carb-heavy meal. An extra bonus? Vitamin D supplementation, a vitamin which helps your body absorb all that bone-strengthening calcium.
Dannon Light & Fit Vanilla Greek Nonfat Yogurt, Zero Artificial Sweeteners
As you can see above, there are plenty of options that have the same number of calories, sugar, and protein, but they’re unflavored. So if you’re looking for a yogurt that’s lower in calories than the Oikos Triple Zero option that has a bit more natural sweeteners (and less stevia), this is a solid option, and we’re happy to see Dannon offering a zero-artificial-sweetener yogurt.