If anything we eat deserves the label "health food," it has to be yogurt. Of all the probiotic foods, yogurt has to be the most popular. The good bacteria in yogurt help protect our bodies from toxins, infections, allergies, and some types of cancer.
In the early 1900s, the Russian scientist Ilya Mechnikov discovered that more people lived to the age of 100 in Bulgaria than in any other country. He attributed this to yogurt, which was probably invented there, and is the mainstay of the traditional Bulgarian diet.
Nowadays, it’s an important part of the diet of many people who have diabetes. It’s certainly something I eat regularly, and I have frequently extolled its benefits here.
But, until recently, I couldn’t find what I knew had to be the best combination of characteristics. I know that I could make yogurt at home, and I did that at one time, but now I would rather spend my time doing other things.
The best yogurt, it seems to me, is whole milk, plain, Greek style, and organic. None of the nearby supermarkets and health food stores carried yogurt that met those requirements, as I wrote in my previous review here of "The Best Yogurt for People with Diabetes."
A few months ago, a reader named Bakur wrote to tell me that exactly the kind of yogurt I was looking for does exist. I looked for it here in Colorado without success, but on a recent trip to northern California, I found it at a Whole Foods Market.
Straus Family Creamery in Petaluma, California, has this new product: "Organic Greek Yogurt is made with two simple ingredients, organic milk and live, active cultures." Made with whole milk, it "is also certified kosher, gluten free and the only Non-GMO Project Verified, organic Greek yogurt on the market."
Being healthy is just one of the two requirements for what I put in my mouth; it has to taste good, too. And from the first spoonful, I was in love.
The Straus website has a helpful guide showing the stores that carry their specific products. Eventually I found it nearby but at stores that I don’t usually shop at. Straus customer service told me that the Rocky Mountain Region of Whole Foods had decided not to carry it, so I protested to Whole Foods and learned that they will carry it in a month or two.
I was even happier when I found that this is not the only whole milk, plain, Greek style, and organic yogurt. A few days ago, my friend Janice, a reader who has diabetes, told me over lunch to check out the Wallaby yogurt brand. Sure enough, they also offer whole milk, plain, organic Greek yogurt.
The Wallaby name comes from the Australian inspiration for the company. But the company is headquartered in American Canyon, California, just 29 miles from the Straus headquarters. Each company gets its milk from a handful of farms in two lush northern California counties, Sonoma and Marin.
Wallaby’s yogurt is even creamier than the Straus yogurt. My problem now is deciding between the two, so I guess I’ll have to keep working on it!
David Mendosa is a journalist who learned in 1994 that he has type 2 diabetes, which he now writes about exclusively. He has written thousands of diabetes articles, two books about it, created one of the first diabetes websites, and publishes the monthly newsletter, “Diabetes Update.” His very low-carbohydrate diet, current A1C level of 5.3, and BMI of 19.8 keep his diabetes in remission without any drugs. He can be found on Twitter @davidmendosa and on Facebook at David Mendosa.