You’ve seen the ads. Dannon would have you believe their yogurt with active cultures in the greatest thing since sliced bread. I am on a road trip to Colorado launching my book for dietitians at the annual American Dietetic Association conference. This morning while having breakfast at the hotel I had the chance to see what Activa actually contains and here is the ingredient list:
Cultured grade A reduced fat milk, strawberries, fructose syrup, sugar, whey protein concentrate. corn starch, modified corn starch, kosher gelatin, natural flavor, carmine, sodium citrate, malic acid and active cultures
One serving is four ounces and contains 110 calories, 19 grams of total carbohydrate (more than a medium slice of bread), 4 grams of protein, 2 grams of fat and approximately 150 grams of calcium.
Let’s compare a regular Greek or plain yogurt – the same serving contains 70 calories, 4 grams of carbohydrate, 2 grams of fat and approximately 200 grams of calcium.
Here is the ingredient list from a plain yogurt:
Grade A pasteurized skimmed milk, live active yogurt cultures. 2 ingredients, the same cultures, 75% less carbohydrate and more calcium.
Why the hype about Activa? Marketing. Why choose an alternative plain yogurt? Less sugar including fructose corn syrup, corn starch, and additives and the same great cultures to help with healthy gut flora for less cost and more nutrition. If you need the sweetness add some fruit, a little honey or some raw nuts for crunch. Your gut and your body will thank you!