Yogurt is one of my favorite ways to fill up on dairy. A tart creamy bowlful mixed with crunchy granola and sliced fruit betters even the worst of mornings. It has a sweet tang few foods can compete with and a list of health benefits to match.
Made by adding bacterial cultures to milk, yogurt has, on its own, some probiotic-tendencies, meaning it helps bolster your body and fight harmful bacteria with good bacteria. And many varieties have prebiotics – carbohydrates digested by beneficial bacteria that help increase the amount of said bacteria in your body. Regularly eating yogurt can lengthen your life, slim your waist, strengthen your immune system, build your bones and regulate your cholesterol. By itself, it’s one of the super foods. But there’s no harm in bettering it, is there?
Dannon didn’t think so. Over the past several years, it has launched three products – Activia, Activia Lite and DanActive – all of which claim to be scientifically proven to better your health. The addition of the bacteria bifidus regularis makes the yogurt better than any other on the market. You’ll have to pay more, but according to Dannon, it will be worth it. Your body will be stronger, your digestive system will be regular and your immune system will be more than ready to fight any harmful bacteria that may appear. There’s only one problem: none of it is true.
According to a class action lawsuit filed in mid-January, Dannon’s claims that its products are clinically and scientifically proven better, have no clinical tests or science behind them. There’s evidence, in fact, that the added bacteria does nothing to prevent illness or benefit the body at all. Dannon has used America’s desire for health to make millions of dollars, providing its customers with little more than a cup of yogurt and an inflated price tag.
So if you’re in the market for real health, cross these three off your list. In fact, forget about buying more expensive, enhanced products in general. Most of them lack enhancement. Instead, buy your yogurt and your probiotic separately. Opt for the plain yogurt, as it is the most nutritious and has the most versatility in terms of what you can add to it (almonds, flavored granola, raisins, bananas, berries, peaches, etc.), and look for probiotics made with either Lactobacillus or Bifidobacterium. They are the most commonly used.
With those two purchases you’ll know that you have a delicious breakfast or snack in your fridge and a capsule of health in your cabinet.
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