Marketed as a health related product by Dannon, in the United States, and Danone elsewhere, Activia yogurt, a probiotic dairy product, can be found in your grocer’s dairy section. Activia or yogurt in general, is considered a “functional food,” meaning the food item provides health benefits beyond its basic nutritional value.
Original Activia is available in seven flavors, Activia Fiber in three flavors, Activia Light in eight flavors, Activia Dessert in four flavors and Activia Parfait Crunch is available in four flavors. Dannon also makes a line of Activia yogurt-based drinks, similar to kefir, which are available in five flavors that come in 7 oz. bottles. Dannon claims that all of the Activia products naturally aid in digestion when consumed on a daily basis for a minimum of two weeks.
Original Activia contains cultured grade A reduced-fat milk, sugar, water, fructose or fruit sugar, modified food starch, less than 1 percent milk protein concentrate, modified corn starch, kosher gelatin, agar, guar gum, lactic acid, calcium lactate, vitamin D3 and sodium citrate. Each flavor may contain additional ingredients such as natural vanilla flavor. Activia Fiber also has inulin, red wheat bran, rolled oats and rolled white wheat flakes. Activia Light has aspartame and sucralose in place of sugar.
One serving of original Activia yogurt, equal to one small container, or 113 g, has 120 calories, 2 g of total fat, 5 mg of cholesterol, 60 mg of sodium, 150 mg of potassium, 22 g of total carbohydrates with 18 g of sugars and 4 g of protein. Activia Fiber contains 3 g of dietary fiber, 3 g of protein and 16 g of sugars. Activia Light has only 70 calories, no fat, 7 g of sugars and 5 g of protein. Activia Dessert has 140 calories with 4 g of fat, 19 g of sugars and 6 g of protein.
Probiotics are defined as, “live microorganisms that when taken in adequate amounts, providing a health benefit to the user.” Solid, semi-solid and liquid yogurt contains active, live cultures of Bifidobacteria, which improves the intestinal flora by killing or inhibiting the growth of bad bacteria in the digestive system.