Not All Probiotic Yogurts Are Created Equal Does Yours Measure Up
This article was published more than 5 years ago. Some information may no longer be current.
If you eat probiotic yogurt to ease irritable bowel symptoms such as bloating and gas or to ward off colds and flu you might want to rethink your reason for doing so.
It turns out that many probiotic yogurts sold in grocery stores contain too few good bacteria to offer the health benefits determined in clinical trials.
That’s the conclusion of a review of 92 probiotic products sold in major Canadian grocery chains, just published in the journal Nutrients.
This doesn’t mean, however, that probiotic yogurts aren’t good for you. It simply means they might not offer the health perks you were hoping for.
What are probiotics?
Probiotics are live organisms that, when consumed in certain amounts, exert health benefits.
They’re identified by their genus, species and strain. For example, for the probiotic bacterium Lactobacillus acidophilusNCFM , the genus is Lactobacillus, the species is acidophilus and the strain is NCFM.
Different species and strains deliver different benefits and their effects may vary from person to person. Because each of us has a unique microbiota, we may respond differently to probiotics.
Once reaching the large intestine, most or all probiotic organisms inhibit the growth of disease-causing bacteria, regulate bowel transit time and help maintain a healthy microbiota.
Not all yogurts are probiotic
How probiotic yogurts measure up
Current labelling an obstacle
To Answer This Question We Must First Distinguish Yogurts From Fermented Milks And Define Probiotics
Yogurts contain only a starter culture of specific bacteria required for their manufacturing, whereas fermented milks may contain other added bacteria, specifically selected for their benefits . Some of those bacteria can be defined as probiotics. The WHO defines probiotics as Live microorganisms that, when administered in adequate amounts confer a health benefit on the host.
The specific bacteria required to produce yogurt are Streptococcus thermophilus and Lactobacillus bulgaricus. They ferment the lactose from milk into lactic acid, giving the characteristic texture and taste of yogurt. These bacteria have certain health benefits, such as helping digest lactose for lactose intolerant people . According to EFSA, yogurt must contain at least 108 CFU of live microorganisms per gram of yogurt to obtain this probiotical beneficial effect on lactose digestibility .
In comparison, fermented milks can be fermented by other bacteria, because of their proven benefits. The most common are from Lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria species. Again, some of those ferments may have been selected for their capacity to provide a benefit to overall health.
Yogurt With Active Cultures
According to the National Yogurt Association, the Food and Drug Administration requires all yogurt to be made with active bacterial cultures. However, many yogurts are not considered to be probiotic foods because the final product lacks these cultures.
The National Yogurt Association has a Live and Active Cultures Seal that can help you differentiate yogurt with active cultures from yogurts that lack them. Yogurts without this seal are likely heat-treated products, which means that the beneficial bacterial cultures have likely been killed, making this product less healthy. Those that are not heat-treated retain their live and active bacterial cultures.
In fact, according to the National Yogurt Associations guidelines, to receive this seal, the final products have to contain a minimum of 100 million live cultures per gram. The only exception to this are frozen products, which should contain at a minimum of 10 million live cultures per gram in their final form. This means that all yogurts, even alternative products like drinkable yogurts, blended yogurt products and plant-based yogurts, can be probiotic foods that can benefit your gut microbiome.
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Does Dannon Lowfat Yogurt Have Probiotics
The yogurt comes with 60 calories, 0 grams of sugar, and 0 grams of fat. Its filled with the delicious taste of fruit, along with billions of Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillusbacteria.
The probiotics in this yogurt have been shown to reduce the risk of certain types of cancer, including colon and rectal cancers, as well as improve the quality of life for people with irritable bowel syndrome , Crohns disease, ulcerative colitis and other inflammatory bowel diseases, according to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology in 2013.
The study also found that people who consumed the yogurt had lower levels of inflammatory markers in their blood than those who didnt.
Califia Farms Probiotic Dairy Free Drinkable Yogurt Strawberry 254oz
If youre after a vegan, non-dairy, plant-based yogurt then this could be the one for you! Califia Farms have created a delicious drinkable yogurt from almond and coconut milk that comes in strawberry, plain, mango and super berry flavors! With over 10 billion CFU in each serving and 3 different strains of probiotic, you definitely wont be compromising on flavor or the amount of friendly bacteria youll consume with this vegan option.
- Contains S.thermophilus, Bifidobacterium and L.bulgaricus
- Higher amount of sugar than other options
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Is Dannon Greek Yogurt A Probiotic
Dannon® oikos® triple zero yogurt is a great source of beneficial probiotics, and is also a great source of prebiotics. Prebiotics help to maintain a healthy balance of good and badbacteria in the gut. They also help to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria, such as E. coli, which can lead to food poisoning.
Does Greek Yogurt Have Probiotics
Probiotics are microorganisms or good bacteria that are ingested into the body, typically through foods or supplements. Research has revealed evidence that probiotics may help treat gastrointestinal problems, improve the immune system, treat/prevent yeast infections, lower blood pressure, fend off bacterial infections, aid in curing urinary tract infections, prevent early age eczema, and aid in weight loss for women. Note that probiotics need to be taken routinely for the health benefits to be realized.
It is not guaranteed that all Greek yogurt brands have probiotics. When shopping for yogurt, look for Greek yogurt having the verbiage live and active cultures on the label. You can see by the Dannon Oikos label below that their brand meets the National Yogurt Association criteria for live and active culture yogurt.
According to the NYA website, their Live & Active Culture seal program includes All yogurt manufacturers whose refrigerated products contain at least 100 million cultures per gram at the time of manufacture, and whose frozen products contain 10 million cultures per gram at the time of manufacture. This level was based on a survey of leading research scientists involved in clinical studies of the health attributes associated with live and active culture yogurt. The seal appears on yogurt packages and indicates this level of live and active cultures is present in the product.
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What Non Dairy Yogurt Has Probiotics
Daiya. The base of this yogurt is coconut cream and pea protein. Its loaded with real fruit and probiotics and has 8 grams of plant-based protein in each serving. Flavors include peach, strawberry, blueberry, and black cherry.
How can I increase my probiotics naturally? The most common fermented foods that naturally contain probiotics, or have probiotics added to them, include yogurt, kefir, kombucha, sauerkraut, pickles, miso, tempeh, kimchi, sourdough bread and some cheeses.
Is SKYR a probiotic? Skyr yogurt is an Icelandic product made by putting skimmed milk through multiple straining processes with biocultures using four times more milk than regular yogurt. Its probiotic/bacteria content is similar to ordinary yogurt.
Is It Better To Consume Probiotics Through Pills Or By Eating Foods With Probiotics
There are several reasons why probiotic foods are the preferred choice for getting probiotic bacteria over pills. Consuming probiotics through dairy foods allows the stomach acids to be buffered and increases the chance that the probiotics will survive and make it to the intestine. Probiotic supplements in the form of pills dont usually provide nutrients that the cultures found in probiotic foods like yogurt produce during fermentation. Finally, fermented dairy products, like yogurt, are also a source of nutrients that are critical for good health such as calcium, protein, and potassium.
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Probiotics In Dannon Light + Fit
Aside from providing significant amounts of protein and calcium, yogurt is a major source of probiotics. However, different types of probiotics have different effects. For example, a specific type of Lactobacillus may help prevent an illness, but it does not necessarily follow that another type of Lactobacillus will do the same.
There are 2 specific live and active cultures present in Dannon Light + Fit. Both are traditionally used in the manufacture of yogurt and are considered probiotics because of the benefits that they provide to the digestive system. They are the following:
Otherwise known as Lactobacillus bulgaricus, L. bulgaricus is a beneficial bacteria that reside in the digestive tract. The Lactobacillus strain all produce lactic acid after consuming lactose, the sugar found in milk. L. bulgaricus has all the characteristics of a standard probiotic bacteria. It helps maintain the proper balance of gut microflora to keep intestinal walls strong, prevents bad bacteria from increasing, and reduces the risk of developing chronic disease.
It should be noted that the US Food And Drug Administration has not approved probiotics, including L. bulgaricus, to treat disease. To get the approval, it would have to undergo intense clinical trials and meet stricter requirements. In addition, the National Institute of Health warns that probiotic research is inconclusive.
- gum disease and other oral health problems
- water-holding capacity
Osteoporosis And Bone Health
Osteoporosis is a condition characterized by weak and brittle bones.
It is common among older adults and is the main risk factor for bone fractures in this age group.
Dairy products have long been considered protective against osteoporosis.
In fact, dairy is associated with higher bone density, an effect linked to its high calcium and protein content (
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Is It Better To Eat Yogurt Or Take Probiotics
While taking a probiotic supplement can be more effective than yogurt at introducing all that beneficial bacteria into your digestive system, keep in mind that not all supplements are created equal. Your probiotic supplement can beat yogurts probiotic benefits if you pick one that displays certain key characteristics.
Can you eat yogurt and take probiotics at the same time? While one is in food , you can also take probiotic supplements. Foods and refrigerated supplements must be kept in a cool fridge to keep the bacteria alive.
How do you know if probiotics are working?
Signs Your Probiotics Are Working
When you take a high-quality probiotic supplement, you may notice several positive changes in your body, ranging from improved digestion and more energy, to improved mood and clearer skin. Oftentimes, the first and most immediate change individuals notice is improved digestion.
How can I get probiotics without dairy? The best vegan probiotic foods include:
Worst: Greek Gods Greek Yogurt Nonfat Plain
The gods muscles were not built on this yogurt. This Greek-style yogurt not only has less protein than some others, but also less protein than sugar, explains Middleberg. Which is odd considering this gurt has no sugar added. Thats a deal-breaker in the dairy aisle. Were happy to hear the company uses milk from cows that are not treated with rBST/rBGH growth hormones. However, that doesnt mean the resulting yogurt isnt free from additives. The yogurts do include pectin and inulin, which are chemically engineered to improve taste, texture or nutrition profile but can lead to very uncomfortable digestive issues in some people, she details. Thats a surefire way to undo the benefits of yogurt.
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Coyo Coconut Yogurt Alternative
Those who don’t eat dairy aren’t safe from unhealthy yogurts, as plant-based can provide the same amounts of fat and sugar as traditional versions. The Coyo Coconut Yogurt Alternatives are an example of that. Their yogurts, including their Natural flavor, are made from pure coconut, which may sound healthy, but that’s not necessarily true if you’re eating it in excess. Although you see coconut as a beloved topping on most things , eating large amounts of this high-calorie, high-fat food may have the same weight gain-promoting effects as “unhealthier” options.
This plain traditional coconut yogurt comes in at 390 calories for a 5.3-ounce serving. There are also 38 grams of fat and 36 grams of saturated fat per container, which is the equivalent of 180% of your daily recommended intake of saturated fat.
How Do I Know If My Yogurt Has Probiotics
Also question is, which yogurt has most probiotics?
Some brands of yogurt contain Lactobacillus acidophilus and other beneficial probiotics.Yogurt brands that contain L.acidophilus
Additionally, what is the difference between probiotic yogurt and regular yogurt? The definition of a probiotic is Live microorganisms that, when administered in adequate amounts, confer a health benefit on the host.Yogurt is the product resulting from the culturing of milk with bacterial cultures that contain the lactic acid-producing bacteria, Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus
In this regard, does all yogurt contain probiotics?
While all yogurts have live and active cultures, not all yogurts have probiotic strains that provide specific health benefits such as supporting gut health and contributing to the maintenance of a balanced gut microbiota.
Which yogurts have live and active cultures?
In order to help people differentiate between brands containing live cultures and those that donât, the National Yogurt Association has created a live and active cultures seal.Which yogurts contain it?
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Yogurt With Lactobacillus Acidophilus
When it comes to shopping for yogurt with Lactobacillus, the number of products to choose from is extensive. However, some brands including, FAGE, Chobani, Stonyfield, Yoplait and Siggi’s seem to be more popular than others. Dannon yogurt probiotics vary, so it’s best to check each label. They carry Dannon traditional yogurt and Dannon Activia Probiotic Yogurt.
- FAGE Yogurt.FAGE Total Plain Yogurt in 0%, 2% and 5% fat and FAGE TruBlend are Greek-style yogurts that contain L. acidophilus and four additional live and active bacterial cultures including S_. thermophilus_, Bifidus, L. bulgaricus and L. casei.
- Chobani Yogurt. All Chobani Greek Yogurts include the active cultures L. acidophilus, S. thermophilus, L. bulgaricus, Bifidus and L. casei on their ingredient lists. Some varieties include additional probiotics such as L. rhamnosus.
- Stonyfield Organic Yogurt. All Stonyfield Organic Yogurts contain L. acidophilus, S. thermophilus, L. bulgaricus, Bifidus, L. paracasei and L. rhamnosus.
- Yoplait Yogurt.Both Yoplait Original and Yoplait Light have L. acidophilus, L. bulgaricus and S. thermophilus.
- Siggi’s Icelandic Skyr Yogurt. The simple ingredients and low sugar make Siggi’s yogurt a great choice. The live active cultures include L. acidophilus, S. thermophilus, L. delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus, B. lactis and L. delbrueckii subsp. lactis.
Benefits Of Greek Yogurt On Keto
Studies show that full-fat dairy like Greek yogurt provides benefits including:
- Enhanced weight loss
- Reduced inflammation
And a bonus benefit is that in general, people with lactose intolerance can tolerate Greek yogurt thanks to its probiotic cultures. 34
For instance, Chobani Greek yogurt is less than 5% lactose, which makes it part of a low lactose diet.
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Do Probiotics Clean You Out
However, research has proven that consuming probiotics will enhance a persons health. They have the ability to fight off a significant amount of toxins that we come across each day. Most importantly, they have been proven to improve nutrient absorption, immune system health, and digestion.
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Are There Other Products Similar To Activia On The Market
Activia products from Dannon are the only yogurt products in the United States with their formulation that includes a probiotic culture called Bifidobacterium animalis lactis DN-173 010/CNCM I-2494. Activia may help reduce the frequency of minor digestive discomfort when consumed twice a day for two weeks as part of a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle. Minor digestive discomfort includes bloating, gas, abdominal discomfort, and rumbling.
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Live And Active Cultures In Yogurt
Probiotics are living microorganisms that help stop bad or undesirable bacteria from overgrowing in the gut. They may help fight diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome, and colon diseases.
If youre buying yogurt for its health benefits, no matter what its base ingredient, the key to making the right choice is being sure it contains live and active cultures. The label on the container will tell you what probiotics are in the yogurt. Some yogurts carry the National Yogurt Associations Live and Active Culture seal, but if that label is not on the container, look at the ingredient panel.
Yogurt is a healthy addition to the diet because it contains calcium, protein, and active cultures, said Lori Rosenthal, MS, RD, CDN, a registered dietitian in the department of surgery at the Montefiore Medical Center in New York. âBut its not a major cure-all for GI disorders because it just doesnt have enough cultures to fight serious problems.
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Best Sweetened Yogurt: Siggis 4% Milkfat Touch Of Honey
I love these big tubs because they make better yogurts so much much affordable! Siggis is also one of my favorite brands, so I was delighted to find this version called Touch of Honey. They lightly sweeten it with organic honey, bringing the sugar content to 16g per 8 oz, which is still lower than most other sweetened yogurts. I find it to be quite sweet enough! If you often sweeten your yogurt yourself with honey or maple syrup and wonder if youre adding more sugar than would be in the packaged sweetened yogurts, this yogurt is for you! The only reason I dont buy this yogurt all the time is that I often use plain yogurt for sour cream and mayo.
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