Yogurt is a wonder food. It’s a good source of calcium and protein. It’s also big business, with more than 4 billion dollars in sales last year, according to Nielsen.
The dairy aisle is crammed with all kinds of yogurt. Many claim to contain probiotics, beneficial bacteria that can ease digestive problems. Probiotics also may lower your cholesterol and in some cases can strengthen your immune system.
Is there a difference between yogurts that claim to contain probiotics and those that don’t? To find out, Consumer Reports sent samples of strawberry yogurts to an outside lab. The tests included the leading brands Dannon, Yoplait, and Stonyfield. It turns out that all of the yogurts tested, whether they were labeled probiotic or not, had high levels of bacteria that were good for you.
However, there were differences when it came to nutrition and taste. The Greek yogurts Consumer Reports tested had more protein, and they were thicker and creamier. But with any yogurt, look at the label for total sugar content. Several products contain about 25 grams of sugar per serving. That’s equal to about 6 teaspoons of sugar!
Consumer Reports also had its trained taste testers try the yogurts. All rated at least good, and two were excellent. They were thick and creamy, and they had more real fruit flavors. Both are Greek yogurts, Fage Total 2% and Chobani Low-Fat.
If you don’t like yogurt, you can take a supplement that contains probiotics. Consumer Reports tested four and found Culturelle Digestive had the highest levels of probiotics. But if you have a compromised immune system or a major underlying illness, you should consult with your doctor before taking probiotics
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