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Flaxseed, Frozen Yogurt, and Red Bell Peppers: Your Nutrition Questions Answered

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Frozen Yogurt

Does frozen yogurt offer the same benefits (probiotics, etc.) as regular yogurt?

Fact: "Frozen yogurt is a sweet treat that can provide some bone-strengthening calcium. However, it contains only about half as much calcium as regular yogurt. Some frozen yogurts are made with a starter culture (Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus) that aids digestion and has other health benefits, but if these frozen yogurts have been heat treated, the cultures are destroyed. Look for the 'Live and Active Cultures' seal on the label to obtain a frozen dessert with these cultures. Some frozen yogurts can have added probiotics, but the amounts may not be adequate to confer a benefit," says Joan Salge Blake, MS, RD, LDN, registered dietitian and nutrition professor at Boston University and author of Nutrition & You (Benjamin Cummings, 2007).

Fiction: That all frozen yogurts contain live and active cultures.

Concern: Many individuals overindulge in frozen yogurt thinking that it is low in calories, a good a source of calcium (compared with regular yogurt), and has live and active cultures, says Salge Blake. Also, according to the National Yogurt Association, be on the lookout for the following other types of yogurt that might not contain live and active cultures: yogurt-covered pretzels, yogurt-covered candy, and some yogurt-containing spreads and salad dressings.

Bottom Line: "If you choose a frozen yogurt because of its added probiotics, be sure to call the manufacturer to ascertain the type and amount in the product," says Salge Blake. Or look for the National Yogurt Association's Live and Active Culture seal.

Charles Stuart Platkin is a nutrition and public health advocate, founder and editor of, the health and fitness network and author of The Diet Detective's Calorie Bargain Bible. Copyright 2008 by Charles Stuart Platkin. All rights reserved.

Reprinted with permission from, June 2008.



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