Quick Chat About Yogurt and Probiotics

The other day, as I was working on my computer, a friend of mine instant messaged me to ask a health related question. I thought the exchange was kinda funny, and kind of informative, so I decided to post it.

The square brackets [] are text that I added in later to clarify a few things or add information. Also note that I’m not picking on, or endorsing, any particular brands. These are just the examples my friend and I happened to be using in this instance.

j: hey you there? I have a question.

me: i am here.
[after waiting at least 30 seconds for a response]
this is taking too long.

j: Ok, what are your thoughts on “Activia” yogurt vs. health store probiotic yogurts like Bio-k?

me: health store stuff is waaaaaay better. Activia is a processed food that has probiotic added as a gimmick.
Bio-k is a supplement.

j: ok, thats good. I just dropped 40 bones on the Bio-k and thought, “what about BL-Regularis (bacterium from the same family as bifidobacteria)!”, lol

me: yeah, don’t believe the hype on that garbage. it’s loaded with crap [like sugar, fructose, “natural flavour” which is always anything but natural, colouring and preservatives. Not to mention the fact that all the fat is removed, (including conjugated linoleic acid, which prevents cancer) meaning they have to artificially thicken it with corn starch and gelatin just to make it yogurt-like – talk about a processed food!]

j: really, good to know. you would think there would be a market for true probiotic yogurt, no? Why fake it?

me: well, it’s not fake, per se. it’s yogurt, but it’s loaded with additives.
[I should have mentioned here that all yogurt is “probiotic” yogurt unless it’s been treated or pasteurized after fermentation. Any yogurts that say “active culture” have probiotic in them. Some brands may try to come off as unique because they have live probiotic, but all of them do]

j: oh, i don’t care about that, i just want the goods. [I can only assume he was talking about probiotic bacteria here]
if i were generally concerned about what I eat I might care. well why not use the same cultures? Why invent one?

me: i wouldn’t get too caught up on the particular named cultures. your intestines have hundreds of different strains of bacteria. it’s hype.

j: where does BL-Regularis fit in? lol.

me: lol. I’m sure it’s in there somewhere.

j: k, thanks for the input, I had some post-purchase guilt there. that sh* is pricey.

me: yeah, but don’t you only need like a spoonful a day?

j: yeah, i think half a bottle. there are 15 bottles. then you’re supposed to stop, if i recall.

me: 30 doses for $40? that’s not that bad if you consider it as a supplement that happens to be delicious and not a snack.

j: yeah I guess that true, especially since it actually does something. I’ve paid more for less.

me: yeah, you got a deal!

j: YEAH!
I’M GONNA BUY MORE! k i have to go cover my naked body in yogurt now.
thanks for the info.

me: you might not absorb it through your skin so well, but at least the bacteria on your outside will be healthy… l8r.

The Healthy Foodie is Doug DiPasquale, Holistic Nutritionist and trained chef, living in Toronto.