Dispelling nutrition myths, ranting, and occasionally, raving

Probiotic yoghurt vs regular yoghurt

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I often hear people talking about probiotic yoghurt. It’s a bit of a pet peeve of mine as all yoghurt should, by its very nature, contain probiotics, not just the stuff marketed as probiotic.

Probiotics are simply the bacteria used to make the yoghurt. If you look at the label of your yoghurt container it should list “active cultures” in the ingredients. There are your probiotics. The types of bacteria present in each brand of yoghurt vary and, unfortunately, we don’t know which are the most beneficial. There have actually been very few studies on the benefits of these probiotics. Despite the lack of research into the specific microorganisms present in yoghurt, we still know that, at the very least, low-fat yoghurt (preferably plain or at least sugar-free) is a good source of protein and other nutrients such as calcium.

Don’t feel compelled to choose the special probiotic yoghurt. Go with the brand you prefer as you’ll be getting probiotics regardless of marketing.

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Author: Diana

I'm a registered dietitian from Nova Scotia, living and working in Ontario, Canada. My goal is to help people relearn how to have a healthy relationship with food.

2 thoughts on “Probiotic yoghurt vs regular yoghurt

  1. Hmm… I was always under the impression that for *some* regular yogurts, there are so many additives or the yogurt’s been processed to the point where the bacteria are all dead, so not beneficial from a prebiotic standpoint. There are of course good regular yogurts that still have the live cultures that don’t advertise it though…

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    • You may be correct. I know that plain yoghurt still has active culture (I used some last week as a starter to make my own batch). Not so sure about flavoured yoghurts. I think that as long as the label lists “active culture” then, in theory, it should have probiotics. Although, how much can we really trust food labels?

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