European Yogurt

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Greek yogurt has been plotting a quiet invasion for some time now. It’s one of those things that you might not have noticed, but that more and more of your friends have probably started using. But it’s not just Greece that has been capturing the Yogurt market either; with their own brand of sweeter yogurt and (sometimes dubious) health claims Actimel and Muller have similarly been filling up our Supermarket isles. But what is this weird European yogurt? And is it really that good for you?

Greek Yogurt: Greek style yogurt is yogurt that normally comes plain and that’s known for being thick and strained to remove the whey (making it almost like cheese). It’s got a sour flavour and is certainly an acquired taste, but I suspect many people eat it just to sound exotic. Of course this is the healthiest option because it’s not normally packed with added sugar, but it’s a shame they take the whey out because that’s a brilliant source of lean protein.

Actimel: Actimel is essentially the European version of Activia and comes from the Spanish/French company ‘Danone’. It’s a sweet yogurt that’s marketed largely on the strength of its probiotic claims. In other words it has some healthy bacteria in it which may help to prevent gut problems. The adverts will have you believe that you’ll suddenly found boundless energy after a spoonful but it’s important to note that many of the claims surrounding probiotic yogurt have yet to be backed up by hard evidence. You can actually get this Yogurt in American where it’s known as DanActive.

Muller: Muller is a European brand of yogurt that’s making its way to America via a joint venture with PepsiCo. In Europe it’s enjoyed in a range of different versions – ‘Muller Light’ being the fat free version and ‘Muller Corner’ being the version where you get extra chocolate biscuits to drop in like cereal (the free fat version?). Muller make fewer claims regarding their health benefits than companies like Actimel, and are primarily meant as a desert. Which is good news because their yogurts are pretty tasty.