Think Thin Thursday ~ Change the Culture, Invest in Yogurt

Real Estate Agent with Florida Supreme Realty SL514814

Yogurt is only two things: bacteria and milk. To make it, you heat milk, allow it to cool a bit then add live cultures (aka bacteria) let it incubate until it thickens and voilà, you have yogurt.

People have been doing this for thousands of years but there is an art to it. The basic formula can be manipulated in a multitude of ways to call it your own. Different kinds of milk (whole, low-fat, cow, sheep or goat milk even nondairy milk) will vary the specific types and combinations of bacteria, and use different vessels to make the yogurt. You can strain it in varying degrees, a little or a lot, to remove the whey and thicken the final product. We haven't even talked about the flavors.

These variables affect taste and texture but also make nutritional differences too. A yogurt's nutritional profile depends on what kind of milk is used, how much (if any) sweetener is used and whether the yogurt is strained. Most yogurts contain a wealth of good bacteria, protein, B vitamins and calcium, and they fill you up without a lot of calories.

Out of the more than 1,000 varieties available in supermarkets a typical yogurt contains more than half an adult’s daily recommended sugar allowance. In the hundred plus brands which are being  marketed toward children practically none are low in sugar and many exceed 13 grams per container. You night as well give your kids a soda.

With the exception of natural, Greek and ‘Greek-style’ yogurts, the average sugar levels in yogurt are well above the 5g of sugar per 100g, threshold required to be classed low sugar. Items labelled organic are often thought to be the healthier option but they could be the unrecognized source of added sugars in many people’s diets. It's recommended that children should be consuming no more than 20 grams of sugar per day and while the yogurts marketed to them average more than 10 grams oper serving only two could be labebeled as "low in sugar".A single serving of yogurt can contain the entirety of a child's daily sugar allowance and some major brands have been found to contain the equivalent of almost five teaspoons full.New studies highlight the mixed messages that come from the marketing of yogurt products so it pays to be sleuth-like in the supermarket aisle.

Yogurt itself is a nutritional powerhouse as part of a balanced diet, so there's no need to avoid it. Yogurt can be a great source of protein, calcium, iodine and vitamin B12. Fermented dairy products have long been considered to be beneficial to digestive health, and yogurt has even been associated with lower risk of obesity and cardiometabolic risk in both children and adults.Natural, plain and Greek-style yogurts were found to have a dramatically different nutrient profile from all other categories, containing much higher levels of protein, lower carbohydrates level and the least amount of sugars. You would be wise to stick to these. It's not the yogurt itself that's the problem, but what's added to it.  Avoid any yogurts that claim to taste like a dessert, especially one's that say fat-free or that it tastes like a banana cream pie. The reason these yogurts taste so good is that they have been packed full of sugar and/or other sweeteners which the fats that have been stripped from them.

Commercial yogurts tend to be pumped up with sugar and fruit purées to make them taste more like a dessert and less like a breakfast staple. By adding sugars to the mix, you are potentially causing your blood sugar levels to rise, which will start your day on a blood sugar rollercoaster, leading to less energy, more cravings and of course, hunger. You'll have to search but look for yogurts that contain 4-6g of sugar per 100g serving, as this is roughly the amount of natural sugars that are present in dairy products. Anything over that is most likely added 'free' sugar. "The best option is to choose plain, unsweetened, whole fat yogurt and top with fresh fruit.
Nutritionists say we should be wary of yogurts that purport to be flavored with real fruit. These are often concentrated fruit sources which still represent a significant amount of sugar. Also watch out for the other names for sugar such as dextrose, maltose, and barley malt, to name a few. Pure yogurt is supposed to have two ingredients: Organic milk & Live cultures! My best advice is to find a yogurt that you like which doesn't contain more than 6 grams of sugars, artificial additivesor that has ingredients you cannot  read or recognize. The less, the better!

Yogurt Isle

The Isle de Yogurt

What about full fat versus low fat? "The fat in dairy products is what makes them satiating, and by stripping dairy products of their fat, you are also reducing the amount of Vitamin A and D that they contain. Both are crucial vitamins and both are fat-soluble, which means that they need fat to be absorbed. So, even when you choose low-fat dairy products that have been fortified with these vitamins you may not even be absorbing them, due to the fact that the product has little fat left in it.

"Studies suggest that those who regularly consume high-fat dairy products are likely to experience a higher level of weight loss, than those who opt for lower fat dairy or dairy alternatives such as margarine."


Dueling prognosticators illustrate two different views on todays yogurt trends, one good the other not so good. Yogurt is projected to be a nearly $10 billion industry by 2020. Greek yogurt giant Chobani’s chief marketing officer Peter McGuinness characterizing the drop in yogurt sales as a “natural progression of a maturing category.” McGuinness  acknowledged that yogurt companies had essentially created their own problem by clobbering customers with way too many yogurt options at once. Note that the avereage grocery store in America may have as may as 300 yogurt varieties in a given store. The market bloat is self-inflicted. So how will Big Yogurt get Americans to eat more yogurt? With even more choices, of course. Companies like Chobani and Dannon are releasing lower sugar yogurt options, vegan yogurt, and yogurts marketed towards the children of millennials. The brands are also trying to make yogurt more of a snack than a breakfast food.

Yogurt may be facing a more challenging future, but it’s not alone in the dairy sector. The milk industry is also facing falling sales as consumers decamp for alternative non-dairy “milk” products.

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Re-Blogged 1 time:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Barbara Todaro 09/07/2019 07:09 AM
Just for Fun
low fat
sugar free
fat free
french style
non fat
100 grams

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Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hello Kevin - a classic Seinfeld episode!  I was thinking of it while reading your post.  I enjoy yougurt but find it interesting(maybe alarming) at the nutritional labels I have discovered before a purchase takes place.  

Sep 05, 2019 08:59 AM #1
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

PS - Glad to see Think Thin Thursday as it makes its return.  TTT!

Sep 05, 2019 09:00 AM #2
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy


As one who reads nutritional value labels, I have been alarmed too.  My mother used to make her own yogurt, and it was definetely delicious.  I buy organic milk yogurt, and there are no sugars added to it, like all those sugary fruity one... A

Sep 05, 2019 10:45 AM #3
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Hi Kevin- I was never much of a yogurt eater but have grown to like Greek yogurt with some fresh fruit and just a bit of honey. Once I started reading the sugar content in some of the yogurts, it made me stop and think twice before buying any yogurt. 

Sep 05, 2019 07:07 PM #4
Brian England
Arizona Focus Realty - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

I have heard so many differing opinions about yogurt, whether it is good or bad for our bodies.  I would be curious to also hear thoughts from Barbara Todaro, as she has become my healthy eating guru.  I definitely know that most things that are commercial are bad for us, even though their advertising tries to get us to believe it is good for us.  Reading the label tells a whole different story.

Sep 06, 2019 08:20 AM #5
Barbara Todaro
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Franklin, MA
Marketing Agent for The Todaro Team

Good morning Kevin J. May  and Brian England .... I can remember my aunt making natural yogurt by taking milk and adding a culture from the previous batch of yogurt she Armenian, that yogurt is called Matzoon.... that's a natural product with no added ingredients.... 

today's fruit yogurts are not a good product for you Brian.... plain yogurt is best and you can add fresh blueberries to it... blueberries, strawberries and black rasberries are good fruits....chop and add to plain yogurt... read the ingredients of everything you buy....and avoid sugar.... 

Sep 07, 2019 06:13 AM #6
Lottie Kendall
Compass - San Francisco, CA
Helping make your real estate dreams a reality

Hi Kevin - I'm glad Barbara Todaro pointed me your way with this post. One can spend hours reading yogurt labels.  I love the Chobani story but have yet to find a low-sugar yogurt with few ingredients in the line. Fage is OK but I find I tire of it. 

Sep 07, 2019 09:21 AM #7
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224


                                        Thank you, Kevin!!!

Sep 07, 2019 07:20 PM #8
John Henry, Florida Architect
John Henry Masterworks Design International, Inc. - Orlando, FL
Residential Architect, Luxury Custom Home Design

I grew up with Greek and Turkish yogurt and was appalled when the U.S. companies finally came out with Americanized versions.  This is the same with fruit roll-ups.   In Turkey they were natural sugars, dried apricot rolls that tasted amazing.  We could eat half a pound easily.

The American taste is geared towards sweetness.  Any sugar added makes thing much better is the thinking.  Marketable over a wider age group.  As you've pointed out, this is not good for any of us.

What you REALLY should do if you are serious about getting the benefits of Mediterranean yogurt is look for the all-natural jars that have Acidophilus in them.  This tends to make the taste completely unsweet and tangy, but it is of maximum benefit to your digestion and well-being. 


From an article by Emily Cooper: "Lactobacillus acidophilus, or L. acidophilus, is the most commonly used probiotic, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. It is especially beneficial for intestinal health because it breaks down foods to create substances such as lactic acid. This creates an environment that is not suitable for harmful bacteria. L. acidophilus is also beneficial for regular digestion, constipation, lactose intolerance symptoms and enhanced immunity. Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus are two bacterial cultures seen in most yogurts on the market. Some also include L. acidophilus."

Go to the link and see the brands at the grocery that have these bacterial cultures.  This is the way yogurt has been made for thousands of years and is the most beneficial.  Without the culture it is basically a heavy cream and does more harm than good.

My Dad used to take the curdle off the top of naturally made yogurt with a fork and twirl it, adding honey, and inhaling the stuff.  I loved it with that slightly tangy taste and NEVER threw fruit on it.  It may be too much for the American consumer and is the least purchased form of it.

Only the natives who know better buy it.  I am sure Barbara Todaro agrees...

For a real treat, add cucumbers and garlic to make Greek Tzaziki or Turkish Cacik   Add a few drops of olive oil!!

 For more thoughts on the Mediterranean Diet I posted here on AR, click here!

Sep 08, 2019 09:18 AM #9
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD

Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this important topic.

Yogurt with fruit is among my favorites.

Sep 08, 2019 12:12 PM #10
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Hi Kevin J. May - I ran to the refrigerator to check my wife's Chobani Flip.  Lots of numbers but I think it is 4%.

Sep 08, 2019 01:37 PM #11
Kristin Johnston - REALTOR®
RE/MAX Realty Center - Waukesha, WI
Giving Back With Each Home Sold!

I can see why Kathy chose to highlight your post this week!  

Sep 09, 2019 05:05 AM #12
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi Kevin:

Well I learned more than a few things from your post about yogurt. I will certainly be paying more attention when I buy yogurt which is not all that often.


Sep 09, 2019 05:19 PM #13
Sally K. & David L. Hanson
EXP Realty 414-525-0563 - Brookfield, WI
WI Real Estate Agents - Luxury - Divorce

My Mom made yogurt too....and we enjoy the low sugar variety adding our own fruit.

Sep 10, 2019 05:08 AM #14
Lawrence "Larry" & Sheila Agranoff. Cell: 631-805-4400
The Top Team @ Charles Rutenberg Realty 255 Executive Dr, Plainview NY 11803 - Plainview, NY
Long Island Home and Condo Specialists

Yes, having the plain one and adding some yummy fresh fruit would be the way I would go...

Sep 10, 2019 11:39 AM #15
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