Yogourt: Plain & Simple
A dietitian in search of plain yogourt…
Trying to find a great tasting plain yogourt is like searching for a needle in a hay stack. Not only are they difficult to come by but those on the market tend to be higher in fat. I was recently stopped in my tracks when I noticed 2 plain yogourts on the dairy shelf, Liberté Greek Yogourt 0% and BioBest Probiotic Yogourt 1%. I decided they were worthy of a food fight taste test. I found them at Whole Foods (they are absent at discount grocery stores like No Frills) and the price may be slightly higher than other sellers.
Contender #1: Liberte 0% Plain Greek Yogourt 500g $4.39
Definitely an intriguing concept. I love Greek yogourt but it tends to be high in fat and I do recommend that one always chooses lower fat dairy products to limit total saturated fat intake. A 0% variety sounds fantastic but is it too good to be true? Absolutely not! I’m in love with it. It’s incredibly creamy, thick and doesn’t have the acidic aftertaste of other plain yogourts I’ve tried. It’s delicious and the ingredient line put me in a state of shock. There are ONLY 2 ingredients! Skim milk and bacterial culture. Wow, way to go Liberté! You’ve made my day. The nutrition is equally impressive. A 175g portion delivers 110 calories and 0.4g of fat. There are approximately 20-30 more calories in this product than other 0% flavoured yogourts but the source of these extra calories is unique, it’s all protein. In that same portion size you get 20g of protein. To put this into perspective 3 oz of chicken equals 21g. How do they do this? Well they’ve removed a great deal of the moisture to provide the thick creamy texture and my guess is that my doing so they concentrated the protein. If you like yogourt you’ll be converted for life. It’s more expensive than the BioBest but I have no problem paying a premium for a significantly higher quality product.
Contender #2: BioBest Plain Probiotic Yogourt 1% 750g $3.99
The whole probiotic concept has yet to be proven. Studies conducted to date are quite small and rare. One study that yielded positive results was conducted by the yogourt company itself so although I don’t doubt the results I am somewhat leery. But I’m not here to talk about that, I’m here to find my shelf space pick for plain yogourts.
Back to my taste test. I tried the Liberté first, which was probably a mistake. I opened the container of BioBest, stirred it up and immediately noticed a difference in texture and colour. Liberté was a bright white colour but BioBest had a slightly off white appearance. I took a big spoonful and rolled my eyes. It didn’t taste bad by any means but it’s less like yogourt in flavour and more gum, if that’s possible. This flavour must normally be masked in fruit varieties by fruit, sugar or sweetner. One look at the ingredient line confirms my suspicions, there are 2 gums present. There are also 10 other ingredients. To truly compare this to Liberté I must eliminate the extra bacteria used for probiotic qualities. That still leaves me with 6 more ingredients than Liberté. The nutrition looks good though, a more typical yogourt nutrition facts panel with 70 calories, 1.5g fat (it’s 1% vs. 0%) and 6g of protein. The main difference here is the protein and also the fat. This product contributes 1.1 more total fat grams and 0.7 more grams of saturated fat. Yes, the numbers are small but they count in my books. I will eat the rest of the container but only after I finish the Liberté.
M.E.’s Food Fight Winner: Liberté