As fashion week comes to an end, the real trendsetter is yogurt. With zero artificial flavors, zero gluten, low sugar, and diabetic friendly ingredients, yogurt has much to offer. Yogurt can fit into many diets—no carbohydrates, vegetarian, and all natural.
If you are entering the diary aisle for the first time (or, after a longtime absence) selecting the right yogurt can be confusing. There are many brands, each touting its special benefits. While some have tons of fruit, these also may have lots of sugar. The best strategy is to read labels carefully, avoiding yogurt that has too much sugar or fat.
Here are some recommendations:
Fage (pronounced FA-Yah), found in almost all grocery stores and many deli’s, is fat free and only 90 calories with 6 grams of carbohydrates and 15 grams of protein. A great choice for to breakfast or a quick snack. The price is high, ranging as high as $2.99 per container. The downside is that Fage Fat Free only comes in plain. Mix in some fruit for more flavor.
CHOBANI. Are you by a Stop and Shop? Pull in. You can buy ten containers for $10 and this brand offers variety—plain, blueberry, strawberry, peach, honey and vanilla. Plain has about 100 calories and 7 grams of carbohydrates with 18 grams of protein, while the flavors have around 140 calories, 20 grams of carbohydrates, 14 grams of protein and of course NO FAT. This yogurt is perfect for someone who needs some pizzazz in a diet friendly food and who really enjoys fruity flavors at a great price. Every major grocery store and some specialty stores such as Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, Eli’s, Amish Market and Gourmet Garage carry this brand, making it easy to locate.
Greek Gods. Yes, this is actually the name of the brand and hard to miss with their royal blue label and miserly 60 calories! YES 60 calories per container with 10 grams of carbohydrates and 6 grams of protein. This brand costs around $1.79 per container and only a few smart establishments now carry it, including Food Emporium, Whole Foods, The Amish Market and some health food stores. Worth the price and a healthy choice.
Siggi’s, an Iceland descendant. Everything about this brand is extreme—the price, flavors and the protein, oh the protein! Per each 6 ounce container, you will get between 17 and 20 grams of protein and approximately 100 to120 calories. Flavors include plain, blueberry, orange and ginger, pomegranate/passionfruit, acai, pomegranate, grapefruit and, of course, vanilla. All of these delicious choices have zero fat, but enough protein to make sure you will be full much longer then with a more mainstream brand. The price is higher, between $2.99 to $3.99 per container. Siggi’s is worth the price. Each flavor is unbelievably rich and filling, all while packing much needed nutrition. Pick some up at Whole Foods, Dean & Deluca, Eli’s, The Amish Market, Grand Central Market or Agata & Valentina.
Looking for some sweetness? Here’s a trick—put a yogurt in the freezer for one hour and throw one pack of Splenda on top. Heavenly! Who knew dieting and eating healthy could be so much fun and creative? You do now!
These yogurts can be a meal alone or you can substitute one for your typical high calorie snack. You can even use them to enhance a favorite recipe. Are you a slave to smoothies? If yes, swap the typical protein powder, milk, or sugar-laden yogurt with one of these yogurts. The result will be a drink that has more nutrition and tastes better.
Looking for a low calorie dessert? Take a container of your choice and add some blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, or all three, and sprinkle some light granola on top. Voila! A low calorie, low fat parfait. Want to wow your guests? No problem. Mix a container of yogurt with some diced cucumber and dill and serve with cut up pita bread. They will never know that they are eating healthy and you will get massive kudos for your creative and delicious appetizer!
One last thing before you run out to the store: These yogurts also provide an abundance of calcium which helps women’s bones and can aid in weight loss. Try some of the yogurts recommended and stock up on the one that fits your life style and taste buds. Visit the Food Emporium, Stop and Shop, D’Agostinos or your local gourmet grocer or health food store and get in on this affordable and healthy trend!
Jen Smolen— Fetta lives and works in the city and is currently pursuing her dream to be a writer. Her food blog includes diet friendly tips, recipes and fun food facts. Please visit her at www.jensfoodienews.blogspot.com.