Does all yogurt have probiotics in it? The short answer is no. Manufacturers can label a product “yogurt” and have killed all the live cultures in it.
Why would manufacturers kill off the good stuff of Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus? They are looking to extend the shelf life of their yogurt.
To be called “yogurt” the milk must be cultured with Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus BUT manufacturers can then heat treat the yogurt thereby killing off these healthy, living organisms that can help our gut. The heat treatment means that the yogurt will prolong its shelf life (even though it is refrigerated).
I must say that it is a bit crazy that yogurt can say “made with live active cultures” and then not have any still alive in the container. How frustrating is that?
Why would you want live active cultures?
I used to tell my students in biology lab that we are all walking bags of bacteria. There are more bacterial cells in our gut than are own cells! If you don’t want to end up like that guy up there - you have to take care of your gut bacteria.
You can do that by eating fruits, vegetables, beans and not too much processed foods. Plenty of raw foods have bacteria in them that are healthy for our gut.
Yogurt actually has living, gut healthy bacteria in it so it seems like an obvious choice when you are looking to support you microbiome.
Activia seems to have cornered the market on the probiotic health claim though all yogurts are made with Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus (both probiotics).
Activia has a an exclusive probiotic culture that has been shown to help with minor digestive discomfort including bloating, gas, abdominal discomfort, and rumbling. You must eat 2 Activia yogurts per day for two weeks to see the effects of the yogurt.
My problem with Activia? 13 grams of sugar per serving!!! Sure, I would like a special probiotic stew for my gut but not with 23 grams of added sugar per day.
What about my favorite yogurts? Do they have live active cultures? The good news is that the yogurts in my non fat plain Greek yogurt review (Chobani and Fage) and Siggi’s yogurt all have live active cultures in them.
If I ate 2 Fage non-fat Greek yogurts, I would be consuming 10 grams of sugar and plenty of good bacteria for my gut. In addition, I would be eating 36 grams of protein!
My advice is to look for live active cultures AND for the amount of sugar per serving. You can have your probiotics and eat a healthy product!!
Which yogurt do you eat? Does it have living cultures? Thanks for sharing!!
Other posts you might like:
This non fat plain Greek yogurt review is in response to readers who want someone else to go try all the options.....
Siggi’s yogurt has done what I only dreamed could happen....