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Let me introduce myself. My name is Mark Sisson. I’m 63 years young. I live and work in Malibu, California. In a past life I was a professional marathoner and triathlete. Now my life goal is to help 100 million people get healthy. I started this blog in 2006 to empower people to take full responsibility for their own health and enjoyment of life by investigating, discussing, and critically rethinking everything we’ve assumed to be true about health and wellness...

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March 12 2010

Yogurt Mania

By Mark Sisson
180 Comments

How did we survive all these years without functional yogurt products? If it weren’t for Yoplait and Dannon enhancing our digestive facilities, I bet we’d never get anything done in the bathroom. I, for one, can’t recall the last time I had a satisfying bowel movement without concurrently sucking on an extra large Purple Gogurt as I sat astride the toilet.

Yoplait and Dannon are responsible for injecting more culture into our lives than Warhol, The Smithsonian, The New Yorker, and ancient Athens combined. I love the way those two superpowers ultra-pasteurize their yogurt so as to rid it of any naturally-occurring, unpredictable, rogue probiotic cultures (unfettered bacterial growth? – no thanks) before supplanting them with nice, orderly probiotic cultures (and not too much of them, thanks). Mother nature? Natural selection? Ha! As if natural foods could improve my immunity and digestive health better than multi-national corporations. You think sauerkraut has your best interests in mind?

There are downsides to the addiction, though. And it is an addiction. Make no mistake about that. The cravings can hit me hard, fast, and without warning. My blood sugar drops, my knees weaken. Visions of Danimals dance about my tormented psyche, laughing and pointing and beckoning. Normally, I rush to the nearest grocer, head straight to the healthy dairy section, and thrust my probing tongue through the foil seal and into the soothing bath of HFCS, whipped skim froth, carrageenan, and single-file probiotic formations. Normally, all is well, but I’m not always within range of a Dannon/Yoplait distributor. Like last week.

I was driving through LA, just south of Hollywood, when I got the cravings. It wasn’t pretty, and my options were extremely limited. Check cashing places and carnicerias abounded, but there were no grocery stores. I needed my Activia, and I needed it immediately. My wild eyes betrayed my intent; even the fidgeting methamphetamine enthusiast (with whom I sensed a strange sort of community) gave a wide berth. Next thing I knew, I was across the street, apparently having successfully navigated traffic. A Greek market lay before me, a small, unassuming ethnic grocer full of olive oils, labna and mediocre red wine. I entered, approached the counter, and inquired as to their yogurt selection. Greeks are supposed to make yogurt, right? (In the Yoplait online forums, the “Upcoming Product rumors” thread made mention of a “non-fat, Greek-style yogurt coming soon,” so I knew there was some precedent.) They did, and the clerk produced a small nondescript tub of white yogurt, which I immediately purchased. Don’t worry – I made sure to ask if it was low-fat. The clerk, a stout man with an impressive white mustache, just laughed off my silly question. What was I thinking? No one makes full-fat (ugh, the thought just makes me sick) yogurt, I told myself. He was right to laugh at me.

So I popped the top and grabbed a spoon. It smelled pretty sour, and it didn’t even smell like vanilla (but what other flavor could white yogurt be?), but I was desperate. I was about to take a massive spoonful of the stuff when, luckily, the clerk chimed in once again.

“Best yogurt in all of Los Angeles! It’s made from raw sheep and cow milk in Greece, then shipped directly to us! You will like!” I just looked at his bristly ‘stache.

Raw milk? This stuff wasn’t ultra-pasteurized. It was probably teeming with barbarian hordes of probiotic cultures. Ferocious little milky versions of Gauls, Thracians, Ostro-goths, and Visi-goths running rampant over the pristine splendor of Rome, with Yoplait Caesar’s mighty praetorian guard nowhere to be found. I was at an impasse. I needed yogurt in my body, but I didn’t want to face the uncertainty of consuming rogue probiotic cultures. What was I to do?!

Then I remembered my recent pharmacy pick-up: antibiotics. (I’d gone in for a nasty cold; the doctor really didn’t want to write the prescription, citing some nonsense about the cold being a virus and therefore unaffected by antibiotics, but I just slipped him my favorite malpractice lawyer’s card, and he got the idea). I figured antibiotics could counteract the nasty probiotics in the dangerous Greek yogurt, so I tossed a handful of pills down on the counter, crushed them with my Purell aerosol canister, and immediately insufflated the powder. Once I could feel the tell-tale signs of antibiotic powder penetrating my nasal membrane and reaching my blood stream, I tossed down the yogurt. I distinctively heard several dozen death knells signifying the probiotic cultures’ complete assimilation into my body. Sure, it may not technically be assimilation if they’re dead, but this ain’t no melting pot.

This definitely wasn’t vanilla. I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt and assume they forgot to add the flavoring. But, I’ve gotta say – it was the best damn non-fat yogurt I’ve ever had. It was so rich, so creamy, and so filling. I’ve never had a full-fat item in my life – I avoid direct eye-contact with cartons of whole milk and I’ll spend as long as it takes to whip enough air into skim milk to get it to stand up on its own and solidify into cream (1:1:1 ratio of skim milk to powdered sugar to cornstarch) – but if they taste as good as this yogurt did, I think I understand why people are willing to risk obesity, heart disease, and diabetes just for a shot of half-and-half in the morning coffee…

In case it isn’t abundantly clear to my regular readers (or if you’re new here and your worried about my sanity) I’m just having a little fun with this article. Functional yogurt fans may not be quite that crazy, but you wouldn’t know it by the sales figures of these probiotic-enhanced brands of sugar slurry. They’re billed as the healthiest, simplest choice for people on the go, growing children, women interested in slimming down, and folks with digestive troubles. The kids love it because it’s got funny cartoons on the carton and it’s loaded with sugar. Hell, everyone loves the sugar. And because it’s “healthy,” low-fat, and “packed with probiotics,” people don’t feel bad slurping down all the sugar.

It’s nonsense, people. Probiotics are indeed healthy and helpful members of any digestive system, and consuming them in supplement or fermented food form is a good move with many potential benefits, but wasting your money on fortified processed food (food should never require “fortification”) and its obscene packaging and advertising campaign is silly. Those probiotic-enchanced sugary yogurts are stripped of their natural bacteria via pasteurization. Even the “natural” full-fat yogurts, however delicious they are and whatever other benefits they confer, are usually pasteurized with probiotic cultures added afterward. There’s nothing magical about Yoplait or Dannon.

Regular yogurt has probiotics, too. The clinical doses of probiotics – the amounts that have shown promise in trials – are far higher than anything you’ll get in a tiny 80 calorie container of Key Lime Yoplait yogurt. I’m talking at least 20 billion cfu (colony forming units). If you want the real benefits of probiotics, make fermented foods a regular part of your daily diet. Eat sauerkraut, kimchee, full-fat Greek yogurt (Fage is a good one, or look for a local Greek market), or kefir (if you tolerate dairy). Naturally fermented foods will have good levels of bacteria. You may not get a label listing all the strains, but you’ll know that they’re the same probiotics people have been consuming for thousands of years. Obtaining probiotics this way is generally safe, but if you want a bit more precision, a good supplement will have a label listing the specific strains (and in greater numbers). I regularly use this method for a number of reasons: for its convenience, because I don’t generally do dairy, and to ensure I’m getting precise amounts of certain strains in my system. As my upcoming Primal Flora supplement (30 billion cfu) nears release, I’ll discuss this more at length. Whatever you do, just don’t rely on sugar-filled functional yogurt products to get your probiotics.

What about you guys? Any ridiculous yogurt hyperbole sightings in the wild? Share in the comments section.

TAGS:  humor, marketing

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180 thoughts on “Yogurt Mania”

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  1. I love The Greek Gods plain Greek Yogurt. It is fantastic and I have to beat the kids away to have it last for more than a day.

    1. i did like this one ok, but THEY use stabilizers like carnageen and guar, whereas fage does not.

      1. Carageen is a stabilizer made from seaweed. I do not find it objectionable.

        1. its not toxic, but it is cheap, and good yogurt doesnt need anything but cultures and milk/cream in my opinion.

        2. carrageenan gives me a headache. i’ve read it has msg in it. i’m very sensitive to msg. actually all gums give me a headache.

      2. I happen to have this one in my fridge and just checked the ingredient list. It just said “Pasteurized Grade A Milk, Cream, Pectin” (and then the cultures).

        Is that not something they report in ingredients?

        1. my bad, its pectin, which is not toxic either, but is a filler/stabilizer. i just think it is cheap and good yogurt doesnt need this.

        2. Mine too -organic milk ingredients in various forms,pectin (the fiber) and the bacteria.It is certainly not cheap in Canada. One of the more costly in fact. Also one of the few that actually has “any” fiber(pectin).( 1 g/serving)reducing the net carbs compared overall to other brands/serving. It has very low count compared to other plain yogurts. I only eat high fat yogurt of 6% fat or more.>>>>>>Pectin is a natural fibre found in plant cell walls and most concentrated in the skin of fruits. It is water-soluble and binds with sugar and fruit acid to form a gel.<<< It is CERTAINLY not bad or junk or just a filler.I am soooo happy that my local grocer carries a wide range of brands full fat in organic and non organic!!

        3. Btw, they cannot use fillers and emulsifiers in probiotic yogurt such as activia (hence the smaller format) because it kills the good probiotic bacterias…

      3. I like Fage too, but since they make a 0% fat yogurt you can’t hardly find the full fat anymore.

        1. I have only one source in my town for Fage full fat. It’s scarce, but it’s the only kind I buy.

        2. “Full Fat” Fage no longer exists. They kept the label the same, but they cut the fat content in half (from 20 grams to 10 grams) sometime in 2012. So all Fage products, no matter what they say on the label, are low or no fat. Voskos is the only mass produced full fat, real Greek Yogurt the typical American might, if they are lucky, have access to. But despite being a 5 billion dollar industry, most Americans have access to not a single real, full fat Greek Yogurt. Sad.

    2. What about Nancy’s organic live yogurt. It lists the specific probiotics and count and has no sugar is raw and tastes amazing . Would this be a safe dairy product

    1. Your lucky you have a Trader Joe’s in your area. I wish there was one in Grand Rapids, MI. Thankfully I will be moving somewhat soon out of this ole town 🙂

      1. I will be travelling to an area with a Trader Joe’s soon an I am SO excited. I haven’t been to one in almost 3 years. My first stop? Yogurt aisle. Greek yogurt rocks.

    2. Unfortunately they stopped selling the full-fat Fage at all of the TJ’s in my area months ago. And just recently they all stopped carrying the Mediterranean Cheese Yogurt — super fatty and low carb. But they still carry the lesser greek yogurt, low fat greek yogurts, and an alarming array of colorful sugary yogurts masquerading as healthy, real-food.

      the bastages

      1. You know, my Costco carries Fage at a great deal–but it’s non-fat! I’m like, “Hello, people, do we not even get the choice?” Sure, sell the low- or non-fat for the fat-phobes out there, but please leave some of the good stuff for the rest of us that don’t fear real food!

        1. We should all write to Costco or go to customer service and request the full fat. I’ll do it on my next visit!

      2. This happened to me, too! I am so annoyed. All the stores that used to carry full fat Fage, which I love, have now started selling ONLY the 2% and the 0%. Drives me crazy.

    3. I find the TJs brand gritty! Dont know why… But I love about everything else they do, including GAOT MILK yogurt.

    4. double check the label- it is not the real thing. It is a greek “style” I stopped buying it

    5. I just discovered the TJ’s full-fat Greek yogurt too! I was looking for Fage, but they only carry the 2% and 0%. THEN, I saw the TJ’s brand. Excellent!
      Some smaller specialty markets, near where I live, still carry the Fage full fat, so I guess I’m lucky to have 2 choices.

  2. Haha! Loved this article, Mark. Your satire pieces always give me a good laugh. 😀

  3. “Normally, I rush to the nearest grocer, head straight to the healthy dairy section, and thrust my probing tongue through the foil seal and into the soothing bath of HFCS, whipped skim froth, carrageenan, and single-file probiotic formations.”

    After a brain melting calculus test, this is EXACTLY what I needed to read.
    Thank you for making my day, Mark! =)

    I have to agree with you though; I can’t stand how these companies will pick up on the latest health discoveries and turn them into gimmicks.
    Give me sauerkraut over HFCS filled “yogurt” any day!

  4. “I, for one, can’t recall the last time I had a satisfying bowel movement without concurrently sucking on an extra large Purple Gogurt as I sat astride the toilet.”

    Ha, ha. It’s not just the yogurt market that’s being hit by the digestion “craze”. You’d think that constipation has become a national crisis if your sole source of vital information came from commercial advertisement. Between Activia, PlumSmart (people don’t like the word “prune” anymore) and a plethora of food products loaded with super-fiber, it looks like our lacking colon health has reached pandemic status.

  5. Recently, full-fat plain greek yogurt, with half of a sliced banana, almonds, and coconut chunks took care of a full-on dessert craving threatening to break my sugar detox. It was a thing of beauty.

    1. OMG that sounds good! Never thought of adding those things, but I will now!

    2. Try microwaving the banana for 30-50 seconds. Makes it even better – sweeter, with a taste like banana pudding and it even creates it’s own syrup. I’m sure it makes the sugar content go up, but if I’m eating a banana in the first place, I just don’t care. ^.^

    3. My husband and I have been having greek yogurt for dessert for a while now. We came back from Sonoma with some Dry Creek Olive Oil Company Meyer Lemon olive oil and I add about a teaspoon to my bowl of Greek Gods yogurt and 5 drops of liquid stevia. It’s HEAVEN! The oil is naturally produced by ‘crushing Meyer Lemons and California Mission olives on hammer mill’ and it gives a richness to the mouth-feel of the yogurt.

      It sounds weird but I swear it’s fantastic. Plus, I’m always figuring out ways to add fat to my diet.

  6. Hahaha! You are inspired today, Mark. Your writing is more acidic than the six-month-old kefir in the back of my fridge.

    “I tossed a handful of pills down on the counter, crushed them with my Purell aerosol canister, and immediately insufflated the powder.”

    That killed me.

    Honestly, supermarket yogurt is a sugar delivery system in disguise. I can’t believe the amount they manage to fit into those tiny containers.

    Did you know the Institute of Medicine has a set of school nutrition guidelines that they want to enact all over the country? To be considered “Tier 1” (or “healthy”), a food must have less than 35% of its calories as sugar — except for yogurt which is specifically allowed 30g of sugar per 8-oz. serving. Insane! You couldn’t make this stuff up.

    1. 30 gm of sugar!?!?!? Holy moly, that is a shade over 1 ounce of sugar or 12.5% of the 8-oz serving of yogurt. Goddy mighty.

  7. I agree with Dozer. Just went to a local health food store and bought some full fat Greek God Yogurt. Fantastic stuff. Also bought some coconut milk kefir. Worst tasting stuff I have ever swallowed. A spponful of The Geek yogurt completely wiped out the bad taste. Great stuff.

  8. Too funny!

    Those brainless Activia ads make me want to curl up and die – alongside my back-issues of Prevention magazine.

    Speaking of which, I wanted to share this with some folks who would appreciate it, and this seems like the place. While waiting in line at the grocery store last month, I flipped to an article on Prevention’s “healthiest food choices.” Their “healthiest choice” for milk was fat-free organic milk.

    The reason? Organic milk has been shown to contain more heart-healthy fatty acids, like omega-3’s and CLA.

    Er, do they think that they’re going to find those in fat-free milk?

    Proof that a low-fat diet causes brain damage.

    Do these people think at all? When they’ve made it their business telling us what to think?

    1. wow that kind of cognitive dissonance is actually kind of disturbing

  9. Any thoughts on Chobani’s? I’m a fan, but I try to keep it for a post-workout meal or a treat because its fairly carby at 20 g (14g Protein).

    1. They make a regular yogurt without the fruit. The container is pink and white. I think it is fat free though, although I can’t remember.

  10. The Trader Joe’s and Greek Gods stuff is OK, but if you can get your hands on some “Fage” brand, it is the best. (It’s made in New York, so it’s still not real Greek yogurt from Greece; but I’ve had the same brand from Greece and I can’t tell the difference.)

    Fage is thicker and generally yummier than the others I’ve tried. The down side is, my local TJ’s randomly stopped carrying the full fat stuff, and now I can only find it at Whole Foods.

    1. Get it while you can! My Whole Foods stopped carrying the full-fat Fage months ago. I cant find it anywhere. Grrrrrr.

      1. Our food coop only carries non-fat or 2% fat FAGE. Depressing, knowing that the full fat would be so much better.

        So, I sometimes make yoghurt (though I’m off dairy at the moment.) I take the 2% FAGE for a starter — ah, but what to do? I certainly don’t want HOMOGENIZED milk, with all the fats wrecked, and I certainly want lots and lots of butterfat in the FAGE-offspring yoghurt. It’s supposed to be Greek — they like lots of butterfat! No wonder it’s so delicious.

        What I’ve been doing is either buy raw milk (there’s one place I can get it, “for animal use” — I think humans are also animals) and add some whipping cream, or I buy skim milk (can’t homogenize skim milk, right?) and then add LOTS of whipping cream.

        Then, I make the stuff in the oven, from a hint in Elaine Gottschall’s book “Breaking the Vicious Cycle”. She suggests putting a 60 watt bulb in your oven, and then leaving the door open just the right amount that bottles of milk and yoghurt culture are the right temperature. My oven has a fancy fixture you can’t get into, so I put a little lamp in the oven, with a 60 watt incandescent bulb, and a thermometer in one of the jars. Then I culture it all a LONG time.

        In fact, I’ve bought extra incandescent bulbs the right size, in case they disappear from stores.

        I like the oven method because you don’t get just a couple little containers — you can make as much as you want, it’ll all fit inside the oven.

        1. Not only does our Whole Foods carry the full fat, they are on sale 4 for $5.00 until 3/16. I stocked up.

      2. Today I discovered a use for the reduced fat and low-fat Fage tubs, which are the only ones stocked in the break room at my new place of employment, or apparently anywhere else in the entire town where I now commute to work. I just added the fat back in by adding a few teaspoons of my homemade ghee (from grassfed Kerrygold butter). Stir a few times and it blends right in. Tastes great and should restore at least some of the health benefits of the real stuff.

  11. This article is hilarious! What a fun way to “mock” processed food companies. It is a shame what they do and it is a blessing what Mark does. Go Mark!

  12. LOVED this article! I make my own full-fat yogurt and get the craziest looks from friends whenever I explain that the large white container on my counter is in fact a delicious pot of (gasp!) homemade yogurt in-the-making.
    “You mean you can make yogurt? I thought only Dannon could do that!”
    Thanks for spreading the word that good food doesn’t have to come in a technicolor plastic package!

  13. I love yogurt. I ferment my own using whole milk and Stonyfield brand yogurt as a starter. I usually let it go for about 24 hours so there is little to no lactose left. The slightly bitter flavor gives my morning shakes a nice bite to ’em!

  14. We are yogurt-a-holics in our household, although I haven’t purchased store made in almost 2 years. For those of us with damaged gi tracts and autoimmune issues, getting good bacteria back is vaital. However, the sugar and junk in the yoplait and others isn’t going to benefit you. We make our own, it’s super easy, and when it’s fermented for 24 hours it’s almost lactose free. The lactose is broken down by the bacteria and you get a highly digestable dairy product. Yogurt made with half and half tastes identical to sour cream. Our son cannot digest lactose so I always have a batch and use in recipes in place of other dairy. We make frozen yogurt and creamsicles with it too.

  15. I’m going to California (LaMirada) tomorrow. Anyone know of any paleo friendly restaurants nearby?

    1. Pretty much every restaurant I’ve eaten at is Paleo friendly. I’ve never been turned down when I ask to replace the pasta or potato with seasoned veggies or fruit, and only rarely has it cost extra to do it.

  16. Great post, Mark.

    What people don’t realize is that if they eat yogurt with sugar, they negate all of the beneficial activity of the probiotics. Plain whole milk Greek yogurt is delicious, but home made yogurt, made from raw half and half, is sublime. Too bad I have to limit my casein…

  17. I, too, make my own full-fat yogurt. Then drain the whey overnight in the fridge and it looks and tastes just like Fage. The best stuff ever! With a little bit of berries, it’s like ice cream!

  18. I started reading and thought this must be a guest column, because this doesn’t sound like him at all! I’ll have to try Fage once I’m done with the eight-week paleo challenge I’m doing.

  19. I try to avoid dairy, for the most part, but I do love yogurt (and Fage IS great stuff), but before discovering MDA and PB, I used to substitute soy yogurt. Now, there is a far better alternative for those who don’t or can’t consume dairy, although it costs literally twice as much:

    http://www.turtlemountain.com/products/coconut_yogurt.html

    Coconut Yogurt! (Cocogurt?)

    1. not a good choice for diabetics- only high sugared flavors. I use a lot of coconut products but this one is not a replacement for Total Fage.

    2. Just so you don’t eat any more of the damned soy. Lierre Keith’s book opened my eyes. I started wondering why it’s even legal to grow soy beans for food!

      (pardon the flame …)

    3. if coconut milk yogurt tastes as nasty as the coconut milk kefir, NO THANKS. this is from a person who actually LIKES coconut.

  20. Thank you for posting this today. I really struggle with the family on their purchase of the ‘convenience packs’ of the kid’s yogurt. Forwarding this post on to help.

  21. I started out on Chobani (the kind with the fruit already in it). Now that I’m really keeping my carbs low and have cut out sugar, my taste for sweet has declined dramatically. It was pretty easy to drop the Chobani and switch to Fage total and mix in just a handful of blueberries myself. Heck, I even like it plain! Food doesn’t have to taste like a salt lick or sugar bowl to be good…we just have to heal our palates sometimes to appreciate it.

  22. Hilarous, wonderful post, Mark.

    I try to limit dairy, but when I buy greek yogurt I go for Oikos because it’s the only organic brand I can find. I do find that Fage tastes a bit better, but I’d rather buy organic.

    Someone mentioned Coconut Milk Kefir above and I actually wanted to ask Mark about it. I recently bought some of the original/unsweetened variety (although haven’t tried it yet) to get some dairy-free probiotics. [http://www.turtlemountain.com/products/coconut_milk_kefir.html] I know it doesn’t have the protein of a real dairy kefir, but how does it stack up otherwise? Primal enough?

  23. I’ve been making my own yogurt for a couple years, and drain some of the whey off to pickle some vegetables. Two of the easiest things to do in the kitchen.

  24. http://www.sweetsurprise.com

    And you think seeing Danon commercials telling you to take the 30 day Danon challenge was laughable? Try sitting through the 23second spot about 2 women pouring red liquid from a gallon jug into a kids sippie cup and telling the other woman “It’s just as natural as regular sugar.”

    I threw my kettlebell at the TV last night I was so angry.

    Oh, and FAGE Total is FTW! If you can find it. 2% and 0% are worthless.

    1. i also see a 5% but i will not buy any and show a demand for it. Total or nothing. please people support the good stuff by not buying the fake stuff. Consumer power is all we have in the long run.

  25. Fish Friday = yogurt for dinner tonight! Baked wild salmon topped with horseradish dill Fage yogurt!

  26. I almost spit my grass-fed beef liver lunch all over my keyboard reading today’s post! My kids love FAGE total yogurt. It also makes a great smoothie base. We blend frozen wild blueberries, farmer’s market strawberries, and sometimes a banana in the food processor and then mix it into a large bowl of FAGE Total yogurt. The best dessert I can think of!

    My older daughter just started drinking greek-milk kefir, too, and she loves it.

  27. Your yogurt rage reminded me of one of my favorite books, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. It cracked me up when you crushed and snorted the antibiotic. But it had to be done.

  28. Very chucklesome, thanks.
    We can’t get un-pasteurised stuff in Australia. It’s against the law except for a couple of kinds of cheese, I think.

    It’s bizarre. We can buy cigarettes and smoke ourselves to death but we can’t buy or sell un-pasteurised milk!

    What a species! A model of modern scientific, cultural and social behaviour and thought.

    Cheers,
    Andrew.

    1. Hi Andrew

      I assume you are talking about pasteurised milk from shops. Surely you can get direct from farmer’s markets?

      Bill (Perth)

    2. For any aussiea out there . . Check local organic and.coop storez ive found unpasteurized milk sold as “bath milk” . . To use for.milk baths. They cant legally sell it for consumption but all it is. Is 100% unpasteurized.cows.milk sold in bottles.like ya normal milk 😉 yum yum

  29. Great Post Mark!

    I have problems trying to convince my GF that the full fat stuff is the way to go. She’s too dug into CW. She is starting to eat Fage though and it is delicious. Now if i can just get her to stop putting so much darn honey in it we’ll be good to go!

  30. Been making my own Kefir for over 3 years now. Takes NO time and has the same thick consistency as Fage at a fraction of the price. Great article!

  31. I envy of you who can get real raw stuff. Unfortunately, unless something’s changed dramatically in the past year, Ontario doesn’t allow raw milk/yoghurts to be sold. There have been many farmers that have been taken to court (probably by the likes that Mark pretended to be at the beginning of the post) and have lost.
    I’ve seen some cheeses, but they’re few and hard to come by at most commercial markets. even farmers markets don’t stock many if any. There’s one place I can think of that MAY have some, but it’s about an hour commute.

    1. It drives me crazy. How many farmers, and their families, do you think are in the U.S.? In Canada? All these people drink raw milk straight from the cow. (I did back in my youthful days.) How many of them get sick from bad milk? Damned few I bet. If there was an epidemic of raw-milk sicknesses among farming families you can bet the pin-headed news media would be blaring the news. The Big Milk interests bribing the politicians are the problem.

      1. Yeah, the countryside is riddled with dairy families these days. And every single one of those MILLIONS of dairy families drink raw milk. And NONE ever get sick! No, but seriously, this is one of the most logic-broken posts I’ve ever seen on teh intarweb. Your post is an embarrassssssment to Earth and all of Earth’s inhabitants. If aliens were monitoring us, they would see your post and think “There is absolutely no chance that this planet will ever pose a danger to anyone but themselves”, and then they would likely mount an intra-universal program to subsidize outfitting our planet with a gigantic helmet and sippy cup for our own protection.

  32. “Yoplait and Dannon are responsible for injecting more culture into our lives than Warhol, The Smithsonian, The New Yorker, and ancient Athens combined.”

    ROFL!

    I just made a big batch of yoghurt with raw milk and used Fage full-fat yoghurt as starter. I would have liked to use “Brown Cow” starter, which has a nice tang to it but I’d run out it. The raw milk yoghurt turned out great.

    1. A question for anyone who has made their own yogurt: Yogurt-making requires heating milk, correct? So does this mean raw milk still stays technically “raw,” with all the healthy bacteria intact?

      1. You can get “countertop ” yogurt cultures where you literally leave the milk on the counter and don’t heat it. This will preserve the enzymes. Even the heated kind can be done at 110º, which leaves most of the enzymes intact. Cultures for Health had lots of fun looking starters:
        http://www.culturesforhealth.com/Yogurt-Starter-c2/

      2. I have had this same question. I’m not sure I have the full answer, but here’s what I’ve figured out so far. I also make 24hr fermented homemade yogurt from half-and-half like some of the people on this comment board. The instructions do tell you to sterilize the milk first to at least 180 degrees. I asked the wife of the farmer I sometimes get raw milk from whether that step could be skipped. She said yes, but that the yogurt won’t really work so well. I think I’m to understand that in order for the new bacteria (the culture you introduce, I use a half cup of Fage) to take over and colonize, you gotta get the old bacteria out of the way. She said that they heat the milk, but not to 180, maybe to 140 or something, so that it’s not quite as “pasteurized”. I’m not sure, but I think that this will result in runnier yogurt. I haven’t done a lot of experimenting, because I love my heated-to-180-half-and-half-with-Fage-cultures-24-hour-yogurt sooo much that I haven’t bothered. Best thing EVER: put a clump of yogurt, with a little honey mixed in, in a tupperware in the morning, and drop in a big handful of frozen berries (TJ’s or Whole Foods are great). The frozen berries refrigerate the yogurt until they thaw and it makes this amazing messy thing that you can eat a few hours later, so it’s great to bring along, since it doesn’t need to be refrigerated.

        1. OMG, you just have to tell me how to begin making this yogurt recipe of yours! I grew my own Kombucha scoby and now have homemade Kombucha, it would be great to “grow” yogurt too!

        2. Hey Ailu (below), I got the recipe from Breaking the Vicious Cycle by Elaine Gottschall, and some of the tweaks from a blog called http://www.eatingscd.com. Look for his “rich yoghurt” recipe.

      3. I tried making it once by just warming the milk and not boiling it and it didn’t turn out well. I let it ferment for 2 days and even then, the yoghurt hadn’t set.

      4. Emily, if you heat raw milk even up to 130 degrees, it can change the protein structure and higer temparatures destroy all the good bacteria. I have used raw organic milk for making yogurt and it tastes much better than any store ones. It tends to be more watery, but you can strain it and make it thicker.

  33. I love this post; so funny and so true! Real Greek yogurt is the best. When you’ve eaten the real stuff for a while you really can’t go back, you’ll never get the same satisfaction [plus who wants to eat a ton of additives?].

  34. Hehehe.. very entertaining yet educational. Your style of writing makes it easier for the assimilation of non-PBers 🙂

  35. Living in Maine I can get raw dairy and unpasturized yogurt and cheese. I like to buy it straight from the farmers at the farmers’ markets.

  36. This post inspired me to pick up some Fage Total. Had it with a banana and black berries–very satisfying.

  37. I find it interesting yet again that your topic is closely related to a discussion some of us were having about the new Smart Balance 2% milk and sour cream…the stupid commercials, where french fries are mentioned as well…anyway, my point is if you have to ADD crap to your crap to make it better, healthier, faster than a speeding bullet, able to leap tall buildings in a single bound, then its CRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAP!

    I loooooooooooooves my Greek yogurt, but i go from full fat to low to sometimes 0 just because…not sure why now that you made me think about it.

    FULL FAT IT IS! ;o)

  38. I mistakenly bought fat free greek yogurt. I didn’t think it was possible. Why would it exist?

    I usually frequent a local polish deli that sells “settled milk.” I believe it to be raw milk gone bad. Oh so good.

  39. its getting personal. It has been getting tougher and tougher to buy Fage Total anywhere these days. I made it a point to buy it on a very regular bases, even if I didn’t really need any (I do go on a diary fast from time to time)just to show that it is in DEMAND. BUt more fat f_n Free bougurts take there place on the shelves because the masses are brain washed. Time the choir preaches out to the streets louder. Save my lipids

    1. if im at a whole foods, or a co-op i ask every time if they dont have the total variety. im often told they will consider stocking it.

  40. Hold on here….Unless I am missng something I am totally confused.

    Stated in this article it says from Mark “I’ve never had a full-fat item in my life – I avoid direct eye-contact with cartons of whole milk and I’ll spend as long as it takes to whip enough air into skim milk to get it to stand up on its own and solidify into cream (1:1:1 ratio of skim milk to powdered sugar to cornstarch) – but if they taste as good as this yogurt did, I think I understand why people are willing to risk obesity, heart disease, and diabetes just for a shot of half-and-half in the morning coffee…”

    I just finished reading the Primal Blueprint & Mark lists that full fat itmes are the best of all in milk & that he drinks cream in his coffe, which correct me if I’m wrong is Full Fat. Did I miss something?

    1. Oh nevermind. I reread & realized it’s a joke. PHEW! I was begining to doubt him for a second.
      Making Raw Yogurt is Oh so fun & easy, & CHEAP! I went through great many lengths so get raw milk where I live. It is illegal here to purchase it for any reason where I live.
      So I always keep my fingers crossed that some cop won’t pull me over for raw milk, 😉

  41. First off, let me say I am a fan. I am a frequent visitor and I am about half way through the Primal Blueprint.

    But with regard to the below quote, NOT cool!

    “I’d gone in for a nasty cold; the doctor really didn’t want to write the prescription, citing some nonsense about the cold being a virus and therefore unaffected by antibiotics, but I just slipped him my favorite malpractice lawyer’s card, and he got the idea”

  42. Watching people choose yogurt is always an amusing experience. Standing there, blank-faced, baffled by the sheer variety of kinds. This one is low fat… but this one has more sugar… but this one has probiotics… but this one has fiber.. but this one has more added vitamins… but this one…

  43. Another fantastic post. I was beginning to wonder until I got into the 2nd or 3rd paragraph and came to the comclusion that this is one of Mark’s funny posts!

    Does anyone know where to get FAGE or a similar product in Edmonton Alberta? My wife would not allow me to make homemade yogurt so I will bypass that idea and go for something which is a close second.

    1. I just buy my favorite yogurt and strain it – tastes even better than Fage. Line a sieve with cheesecloth or paper towel or large coffee filter and let it sit in the frig overnight…

      1. ive done this too, but the awesome part about fage is its made with half whole milk and half cream, whereas even if you strain whole milk yogurt its still only 3.5% fat, not 10% fat.

  44. This post is genius!!! This goes up there as one of my favourite posts along with your letter to Taco Bell. Please keep up the sarcasm and bashing of the packaged foods industry!

    One of the other faux-foods I love to hate is the whole wheat bread that ‘looks and tastes like white bread’ so your kids won’t know the difference. GAH!

  45. Yesterday I bought Greek yogurt for the first time, but today when I went to eat it I noticed on the back: “Reduced Fat”. I was upset at myself for not noticing this offensive detail prior to purchase. I look forward to buying some real greek yogurt next time.

  46. Can you guys get easy-yo yoghurt makers over there? Best thing I own. Super simple and I make full-fat greek yoghurt teeming with live bacteria right at home. I buy the freeze-dired sachets to make it with, which you can get an organic version but I prefer the taste of the regular greek one. The milk is from New Zealand pastured dairy cows. Tastes way better than anything I have had from anywhere else, and so easy to do! Yum, its my quick easy brekkie when I don’t have time for eggs.

  47. We like Siggi’s yogurt, which is actually skyr. It has 16 grams of protein, no fat and 4 grams of carbs. It’s thick, rich, nicely sour and produced in upstate NY.

    1. $iggi’$ looked like a nice option but it is fat free which makes it a poor choice

      1. Some people prefer the taste or texture of fat free. You can always eat fat from other sources. Somewhere, someone’s eating butter from the fat left out of that yogurt. 🙂

      2. Siggis tastes better than full fat Fage. Try it, you’ll see. It has more protein than full fat yogurt, fewer carbs and a great taste. It’s not as if you need the fat in everything.

  48. I’m new and you had me wondering if there was a guest writer or something. Nice article.

  49. Hey guys, what about Kombucha? Does anyone else value the probiotics contained in the average bottle of raw kombucha tea?
    Cheers
    W.

  50. Making real yogurt with raw milk is super easy. Greek yogurt cultures require a yogurt maker but there are other cultures that don’t require a yogurt maker…You just let your yogurt sit & ferment for 12-18 hours on the counter, refrigerate 6 hours and voila!

    Clabbered milk if fun & tasty. Leave your bottle of raw milk open on the counter for a few days. The milk will separate in 2: clabbered milk (naturally fermented, reminds me a bit of cottage cheese) & raw whey!

  51. My parents used to have fresh unpasteurized milk delivered to them back in the USSR. The milk man would make the rounds every day. They made kefir, cottage cheese, and various soups based on kefir loaded with grasses, herbs, etc.
    It was so easy, because the milk was not pasteurized. All they had to do back then was simply leave the stuff overnight, and it began to ferment on it’s own, collecting wild bacteria.

    My dad came to the U.S. and, not knowing anything at the time about the freak obsession in the U.S. of utterly destroying any trace of life forms in any food product, tried to do the same with some milk from the grocery store. “Grade A ultra-pasteurized.”

    The stuff went sour and he had to throw it out.

    Recently, after going primal, my Dad has gotten us back into the custom of making our own fermented products from milk. My parents found a package containing bacteria necessary to start a culture in powder form being sold at Wegmans. You simply pour regular pasteurized milk into a pot, add the powder, and it will act as a starter. From there, the fermentation process begins. The end product is real, full-fat, unpasteurized kefir, cottage cheese, etc. We even save the liquid by-product that get’s left over when you drain fermented milk to separate the liquid from the solids that form on the top to make cottage cheese. This liquid is full of nutrients, tastes somewhat sour, almost like kefir, and is very refreshing when cold.

    Also, now we don’t even need the powder. My Dad just uses some of the leftover kefir to seed the next batch of milk with bacteria.

    No HFCS, no stabilizers, no advertising and silly cartoons. Best part is, a bottle of kefir at the store costs an exuberant price of $5.00 for full fat. Absurd that it’s such an exotic product here in the U.S. that it costs so much when it’s so cheap and a staple of diets in so many other countries. The cost of making fermented dairy products at home is the cost of the milk only. For the price of one bottle of Kefir, we can make an entire pot of several gallons of the stuff. I highly recommend anyone who wants real, high-fat, fermented products at an affordable (dirt-cheap more like) price, to try to find a culture starter kit at a grocery store, or otherwise look into doing it at home. You could also drink supplements, but why scarf down a pill that probably costs a lot when you can actually get everything you need from delicious food.

    1. Oh and, personally, I love to eat cottage cheese with daisy sour cream and blueberries tossed in. Sometimes I add some dried cranberries and walnuts. Give it a try.

  52. I have my own jersey cow. You can imagine the milk, butter, and yogurt that’s made from her-out of this world.

  53. LOL
    a very fun read!
    I like yogurt, I have to admit, but I only buy organic, non sugar, full fat ones.
    YUM

  54. Mark,

    I am new to your site and enjoy a lot of the information you seem to offer your viewers. People definitely need to be educated and awaken regarding the Food Industry and what they’re consuming on a daily basis.

    My thoughts regarding Milk products, however, do differ from yours.

    Wouldn’t you agree that Mother Nature designed Milk as the perfect dietary supplement for newborn Mammals? If so, wouldn’t you also agree that Mother Nature went a step further (she’s an A-Student) and specifically and uniquely designed each Species’ Milk to best feed and nurture the Specific and Unique needs of their young?

    Now, if you agree with the top two statements…what do you think would happen if one species, say Rabbits, developed some sort of technology to manually harness and store the Milk of a Doe for consumption as a part of their daily diet after, or even during, their own specific Weaning period?

    Well, if Mother Nature did in fact go the extra mile in specifically designing each and every Mammal’s Milk for their own species’ unique needs, then a species, say the Rabbit again, who decided to regularly drink the Milk of another species, say the Deer once more, would not be consuming a dietary product that was specifically manufactured over a period of hundreds of thousands of years (a lot of blood, sweat and tears, if she indeed can cry, on Mother Nature’s part)… What then would be the result?

    Well, I posit something very similar to the plight of “non-species specific” (NSS for short) Milk consuming Human Beings… An overall rejection and/or adverse reaction to this product that was Not designed for the Species consuming it, and in high quantities for that matter. More and more Human beings are becoming “Lactose-Intolerant” daily, – our body’s can only take so much – “digestive problems” abound, skin dis-ease such as Acne is running rampant and while I am not blaming the full force of this by any means on the sole consumption of NSS Milk products, I do believe they play a vital role.

    Mother Nature designed MILK, in the first place, as the perfect dietary “Bridge” between direct, liquid, umbilical nutrition (feeding while inside their Mother’s Womb) and SS (species-specific), indirect, solid nutrition (the diets, once again, that Mother Nature had in mind while designing each unique species’ genetic code). MILK was Mother Nature’s prize-winning product that allowed for the perfect “Weaning Process” or the journey from internal, direct ingestion from the Mother to external, indirect ingestion from themselves.

    MILK, (and it would of been quite convenient if Mother Nature put an FYI label on it, very much like McDonalds finally putting “Coffee is Extremely Hot” labels on their cups after those nasty lawsuits) therefore, is and was meant to be a Temporary (hence the name ‘Weaning’) dietary supplement given and only given until the newborn Mammal developed enough to ingest more and more of what will become its regular diet – and I can ensure you, that MILK was and is not a part of that regular diet (again, hence the Mother’s milk production ceasing as soon as their young begins to ingest external SS foods).

    As you can plainly see, I am having a little fun with my comment as you did in your above blog, which, by the way, was quite informing and engaging to read. I would agree that products such as Full Fat Greek Yogurt are better than HFCS-ridden, nutrition-deficient, dare I say anti-nutrition rampant, products such as Yoplait’s and Dannon’s versions of Yogurt… So, if you’re going to Defy Mother Nature’s original intentions, then by all means “Go Greek.”

    I guess I was a little taken aback when I got towards the end of your blog and realized that you were indeed still advocating the consumption of Milk products as a part of a regular Human diet when your entire philosophy, website and book seems to be dedicated to “Living Primal,” which, to me, means living as Mother Nature intended, whom you quote at least once in the above article and no doubt throughout many more.

    Again, in no way am I discouraging your seemingly successful attempts at Re-Educating society regarding their lifestyles and the ways in which to live healthier, more fulfilling lives. Kudos to you for developing such an attractive site, philosophy and student-base allowing for a highly influential medium of information (something I yearn to create for myself in the near future).

    I guess our opinions of Mother Nature’s original, or “Primal”, intentions simply differ.

    – Brian

  55. Oh I loved this, as a fellow primal enthusiast who cringes every time I happen to catch sight of an Activia commercial, and as someone who is sorely disappointed at the lack of full-fat anything nowadays. Kombucha all the way for me!

  56. OK, someone help me out here. I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. I’m convinced that the meat I eat needs to be “clean” which not only means organic but grass-fed as well in order to get the proper spectrum of amino acids, etc.
    Factory beef is fed grain to its detriment. Should I not also be concerned that the cows that produce my yogurt be fed grass only? What are organic cows fed? What are non-organic dairy cows fed? I buy organic butter and yogurt but worry that the cows might be eating cardboard made from recycled paper just to fulfill the requirement to be organic.

    1. Where I live, Farmer’s All Natural Creamery makes vat pasteurized (lower temp), grassfed, organic milk, sour cream, cottage cheese and yogurt which I can find at Whole Foods. I buy the whole milk and make yogurt out of it when I have planned in advance.

  57. Take it from a genuine Greek guy! FAGE Total 10% rocks. Use it with anything!

  58. I’m new and was freaking out at first but then when you said “if you’re new…” then I said “ohhhhhh. oookay. I get it now.” Funny. Thanks for the scare and big laugh right after! Loved it!

  59. I only eat full fat yogurt. I’ll never go back to the 2% stuff. I NEVER ate the fat free crap!

  60. I hope your kidding! I eat raw anything, I can get my hands on- meat, chix, dairy you name it, everyone thinks im nuts but I’m still alive and healthier than all my peers.. and full fat is the best-plus I have a shiney coat 😉

  61. Here in Ohio, there’s a natural grocery store called Raisin Rack (In Columbus and I believe Akron) that sells a nice organic goat’s milk yogurt that is augmented with live cultures, 4.5 grams fat per serving and good. I had some mixed with walnuts and blueberries this AM.

  62. Roget,
    Cows that aren’t 100% grass fed are fed corn & soy as part of their diet. Organic cows are not different, except that they might not necessarly get GMOs (GM alfalfa is also a big thing lately).
    If you haven’t seen the movie Food Inc, I suggest you do so…
    From the quality of the feed depends the quality of the meat and dairy items.

    1. Alchemille: I’m aware. Food Inc. does, though, focus on beef cattle rather than dairy. It certainly doesn’t seem that grass-fed dairy products are as widely available as beef. In fact, I can’t seem to find any, anywhere. Or am I just not looking hard enough?

  63. As usual a great dairy based post has stimulated a great dairy debate 🙂

    I haven’t come across this FAGE total yogurt in the UK but I think we have the Greek Gods. I love the taste of natural full fat organic Greek yoghurt, frozen wild berries with a sprinkle of cinammon ..mmm – great breakfast or sweet treat!

    1. You can get FAGE in most supermarkets in the UK. My local Morrisons has always got the full fat version in, usually on 2 for 1.

  64. / I, for one, can’t recall the last time I had a satisfying bowel movement without concurrently sucking on an extra large Purple Gogurt as I sat astride the toilet. /

    Haven’t laughed this hard thinking about dairy since SNL spoofed Jamie Lee-Curtis’ yogurt commercial.

    Great post! Yogurt is for the cows er birds…

  65. Roget,
    Whole Foods was carrying grass feed dairy products until now (from Organic pastures and 1-2 other brands) but right now they are having issues (FDA related?) with their insurer so hopefully they’ll just remove them temporarely from the shelves.
    Check farmers markets (often raw milks are sold for “pets only”) and natural foods stores, you might find something there…

    1. Thanks Alchemille.
      Unfortunately I’m about 800 miles from the nearest Whole Foods.
      Most farmers in the middle of the Canadian prairies have drunk the Kool-Aid of conventional wisdom.
      We do have great sources for local clean beef but dairy producers are few and far between here so the chance of dealing with producers directly is slim.
      Appreciate the advice.

  66. Mark! You totally had me going there – I was reading how you would NEVER eat full fat products and have these crazy cravings….. I flipped from the top to the bottom of the article (several times) wondering what was this parallel universe I was in!
    Great article by the way. Since I have started my primal journey I was so disappointed to realize that youghurt isn’t as good for you as we are made to believe. I am learning slowly, and surely and so far, so good!
    Hopefully I will learn not to be fooled next time……

  67. Would anyone happen to know any resources that can be used to find one’s local Greek market? I’ve never seen one and would like to go to one.

  68. It must have been the day for surreal pieces … my brother emailed me the following … ‘the last time I saw Paddington bear, he was definitely tubby! So if you want your kids to grow up short and round (and hairy), feed them marmalade sandwiches – but don’t forget to use low fat I-can’t-believe-it’s-not-clogging-up-my-arteries spread (with added e-numbers for that authentic yellow colour, and nicely hyperactive temperament, just like Bart Simpson!); or better still, just squeeze the sugary gloop straight down their gullets, and make a nice pudding with the bread instead.’

    Here in the UK our BBC has a radio 4 programme called the Food Programme – last week it featured the marmalade industry and chirpily reported how they were trying to modernize the brand and bring in the youth market by adding extra sugar to marmalade and marketing it in a squeezy tube with Paddington Bear on the label – he is one of our long time Children’s characters who traditionally ate marmalade sandwiches he stored under his hat)

  69. The first time I ever really checked what I was eating happened when I was on holiday in LA years ago. I bought a huge tub of low fat yogurt to eat in my hotel room. I started eating it and boy it was sooo creamy and delicious and I thought god the Americans are fantastic at food – I wonder how they get this low fat product so creamy. Well I looked at the contents and saw about 15 ingredients I didn’t recognize and couldn’t even pronounce. It was my white light moment about the food industry. I threw it away (it was hard because the stuff was so good!) and from them on have always read the labels.

  70. I have the same problem I see others reporting. I love Fage yogurt- have been a fan since I discovered it years ago. But these days I have a harder and harder time finding the full-fat version. It’s all the 0% and 2%. Even took a trip to Trader Joe’s last night (30 minutes from home) and that was all they had too.

  71. For those that may have Indian (like in East India) Food stores around, you can get a 5Lb tub of yougurt (Desi Natural Dahi) for about 6/7 dollars. Whole milk only, and only ingredients listed are Cultured pasturised milk,nonfat milk solids (not sure what these are)and yogurt cultutres.

    has 3.3 % milkfat

    Pretty yummy too

  72. Funny article. The low fat – high sugar thing cracks me up. I spent a month in Greece and ate Greek Yogurt for breakfast each morning. Wow, it is amazing! So rich and creamy because it is high in fat, and you don’t have to sweeten it!

    Now I only buy Greek yogurt instead of the “regular” stuff.

    Isn’t it funny how North American food is such crap compared to the original European versions?

  73. Don’t be fooled, European food is crap compared to original European versions, too.

    My girlfriend is from Europe and says that we can find as many quality items here as there (and just as much crap), it’s just that we each have different things that we care enough about to keep purist.

  74. I love how FAGE is so sought after in the States. It’s a Greek yogurt and here in Greece it’s just there. All the time! I can’t quite remember a time when we didn’t have FAGE yogurt in our fridge. However, it’s always been of the 2% fat variety. Should I look for a higher percentage? Maybe it will taste better and help me overcome the overwhelming bitterness of it…

    1. make Greek yogurt at home right in your clay pot. the micro-pores of the clay draw out the water and thicken the yogurt naturally. i use MEC’s pure-clay yogurt making pots to make my Greek yogurt. its so thick & silky, i can use it for making icing on cakes too… love the taste of yogurt that’s made in clay, no taste of metals.

  75. When I was little, my mom used to make home-made yogurt. She’d scald a gallon of milk and put it in a tub with some culture to ferment every other day because the whole family couldn’t keep their hands off it! I fondly remember early mornings with my dad, scooping up a bowl of this rich, creamy, smooth yogurt (that was not sour) and sprinkling rye-bread crumbs just like my Farmor (Danish for Grandmother) used to do for him.

    I still do this to this day, 30 years later. It is SO easy to make your own homemade yogurt, doesn’t take much time, and it will be far superior and cheaper to anything you buy. I highly recommend folks here look up how to do it. 🙂

    1. Yogurt is simply milk or cream that is cultured with active live cultures. These cultures are the key to many of yogurt’s health benefits. Active live cultures are basically good bacteria that are necessary for the body to function at its best. These good bacteria prevent the growth of harmful bacteria that cause bacterial infections and diseases.

  76. I’m curious, what was the name of the store where you got the yogurt?

    1. Drew, try Papa Cristo’s Greek Market on Pico and Normandie.

  77. My favorite words on my container of greek yogurt are “10% milk fat”. Makes me giddy every time.

  78. I’m living in the middle east and sometimes we can find Fage but often it is low/non fat.

    What are the thoughts on “Labna”? I can’t find a product label although the taste is quite similar to good greek yogurt.

    Appreciate any input.

  79. I know I’m a bit late to this post, however, I thought it was interesting you didn’t mention anything about Making your own yogurt.

    I’m been making my own full fat Yogurt for the past two years. Using unpasteurized 1/2&1/2. We let it “cook” for 24 hours reducing the Lactose completely. Not to mention it is amazing!

  80. You could definitely see your enthusiasm within the work you write. The arena hopes for even more passionate writers like you who aren’t afraid to say how they believe. All the time follow your heart.

  81. magnificent post, very informative. I wonder why the other experts of this sector do not notice this. You should continue your writing. I am sure, you’ve a huge readers’ base already!

  82. Great article!
    I now make my own yogurt and it’s so good and so cheap to make! 😀 The stuff at the shops (Yoplait etc) are just rubbish!

  83. Wonderful article! I love my fage full fat yogurt but even better is creme fraiche(cultured cream), it’s not as tangy as yogurt but has less carbs and is soooo filling, YUM!!!

  84. One of the things I like about living in Italy is the food. For three and a half years now, I have been buying a brand of Greek yogurt actually made in Greece. I normally buy the whole milk kind, but today the only one in the store was the 2%. Oh well. A while ago, I gave in and started buying it two tubs at a time. I have just started eating paleolithically, and today for the first time checked the ingredients list on the tub: Milk. Germs. No sugar. No colour. No HFCS. No nothin’, just the moo and the goo. I might do some scouting around to find some sheep and cow milk mix yogurt now that you’ve given me the idea. There has to be a Greek deli somewhere in Rome. Italians are all insane health nuts, so there must be some awe-inspiring health food stores in the City that I haven’t looked at yet. But I’ve fallen madly in love with Greek yogurt, as is evidenced by the enormous stack of empty plastic tubs, enough to start pioneering a new recycled-plastic building material.

  85. Oh, and it might be interesting to hear that long before I’d ever heard of Grok, I knew about milk fat being good for you. I fell dreadfully ill some years ago, and spent a year hovering around in some netherworld between being alive and being a zombie. I had been dosed up with several different kinds of anti-depressants, anti-anxiety and sleep drugs, and what no one bothered to find out was if any of it was contraindicated by my preexisting mild epilepsy. Whoops! if it has been the US, I would certainly have sued, but I’m Canadian so… Anyway, I had a long road to recovery after losing 60 pounds and being at death’s door. One of the first things I did was swear off skimmed or even 2% milk forever. I had spoken with a nurse who was a lactation consultant for new mothers, and she said that if a child isn’t lactose intolerant, he needs the fattiest kind of milk he could get. She told me that it works together with B vitamins to make an infant’s brain develop. A year later and a combination of high-fat dairy, meat, fish and fresh vegetables, a diet I instinctively created out of … oh yes, common sense, and I was back on my feet, fully functional and looking for my first job in two years. Never looked back, and even though my weight crept up to an uncomfortable level over the next ten years, I have always known that the low-fat, high carb thing was a lie. My poor old mum got hooked on those kinds of diets for most of her life, constantly yo-yoing, losing and regaining the same 20 pounds over and over, and finally dying of cancer, after nearly a lifetime of “dieting”. I looked at that, and just figured out for myself, without looking up a single research study, that the food you could catch yourself, or pluck off a tree, or fish out of the sea, was going to be better than anything that came in a package. Maybe it was my hippie upbringing.

  86. Tempeh is a great fermented food. You really need to challenge your assumptions about beans.

  87. Paleo experts advise you to never eat yogurt.

    On a paleo diet, is there any yogurt that might be acceptable? (Chobanl?)

    Thank you immensely

  88. I love Fage Greek yogurt but it can get a bit pricey if you eat as much as I do— so rather than go to Costco and buy greek yogurt, I go to Costco and buy 2 gallons of milk for less than the Fage costs and make my own. very easy to do and nearly foolproof. Try it, you’ll like it— and the only thing in it is milk

  89. “Yogurt” is super good for you, in the same way that fiber is… If you eat a whole lot of terrible food, like most people do, you need a bunch of fiber to grab it all up and expel it as waste. Eat better foods, you have no use for 50g of fiber a day, or a pound of yogurt in your fridge.

  90. Like many others have mentioned, it’s easy enough to make your own yogurt.

    And I love it!

    I bought a local “yogurt maker” (basically a large flask with an inner container). Brand is “Easyio” or something like that. From NZ I think.

    Sadly I have to use store-bought dead (but full cream) milk. I just use the container I was using, without cleaning it :o)

    It loses the flavoring but does make yummy yogurt.

    Easiyo’s flavors are pretty delicious but most (not all) contain sugar. I’d happily buy their stuff if they’d quit with the sugar but they don’t, so I just breed my own bacteria!

  91. Just glancing around your website – love the idea! But you are wrong on one thing – those antibiotics you bullied your doctor for. He was right. You should have skipped those. You have a great responsibility with this website. DO your research!

  92. Yes, homemade yogurts are the healthiest and also work cheapest. But I recommend preparing it in clay pots, cause when prepared in metal or ceramic ware there is always fear of metal or chemicals getting into our food and when prepared in clay pots you don’t have to be worried about it. I got mine from mecware.us they are amazing and is always up to my expectations. Since the time I started to cook with it the food has tasted much better and I feel it’s allot healthier.

  93. I am having the chance to go through some of the archives on marksdailyapple and I really enjoyed this – and loved this “sugar slurry” –

    and well, this article was written many years ago (2010) and one thing that has changed since then (as it is now 2014) is that there are Greek yogurts everywhere on store shelves – and many are just a little thicker than the traditional brands (likely with guar gum added!) but many of the Greek yogurts are now just thicker sugar slurs – and so not always the best option.

    anyhow, another great article.

  94. Where did you buy the Greek yogurt? I’m in Boston and there is a tiny store here that sells sheep and goats milk yogurt. It is incredibly good. Honey coconut yogurt. Who needs dessert!

  95. I found this post via Google, and the first half made me cringe and think, “What is this guy thinking?” (Among other things, lol.)

    I’m on a course of antibiotics and I’m nursing my daughter and it was recommended that I get us both a probiotic. The one thing my girl will eat regularly with relish is full-fat yogurt.
    I’m thin by nature and I rarely eat anything with “low fat” on it. Plus Dannon and Yoplait make my mouth feel weird (I think it’s the aspartame) so I go without if I can’t find a good yogurt.

    Thanks for telling me that fermented foods like sauerkraut also have probiotics. I can definitely do something with that,lol.