6 Probiotic-Added Foods That Aren't Worth Buying

No amount of added good bacteria can redeem these foods.

May 19, 2017
added probiotics in food
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Packaged foods made with a shot of probiotics are kind of like those boxed cereals that boast about being fortified with extra vitamins or minerals. You know you're probably better off just eating something that doesn't come in a box or bag, but the added dose of nutrition makes the item in question seem so…wholesome.

But is it, really?

In the case of probiotic-added foods, the answer is still largely up for debate. (Vitamin-fortified ones are another story.) More and more, patented probiotic blends like GanedenBC30 are showing up in packaged foods—and manufacturers say that these strains can give you a health boost. 

And in the case of certain products—like probiotic-infused dark chocolate—that very well might be true. But when it comes to some other foods, there's no amount of added good bacteria that could make them worth eating. Here are 6 of them.

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Related: 7 Foods You Never Knew Contained Probiotics


Most cereals are high in added sugar and low in nutrients that will actually keep you satisfied, like fiber or protein. Lacing your O's or flakes with a few strains of good bacteria—even if they are beneficial—won't change that. (Looking for better cereal? Here are the 10 best low-sugar cereals that actually taste good.)

Snack foods
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Snack Foods

Yes, probiotic-infused snack foods like tortilla chips and granola bars are actually a thing. And no, you shouldn't bother wasting money on them. Because even with probiotics, they're still an empty source of calories that serves up almost nothing but refined carbs and salt. (Instead of processed foods, try these tasty fermented foods that are probiotic powerhouses.)

Bottled smoothies
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Bottled Smoothies

If you want a probiotic-rich drink, you're better off adding plain yogurt or kefir to a smoothie recipe. Homemade drinks are fresher, so they're higher in nutrients compared to a sipper that's been sitting on the shelf for weeks (or longer). And when you make your own, you're in charge of the added sugar content

Baking mixes
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Baking Mixes

For starters, a plate of probiotic brownies or cookies might be sort of dangerous. ("What the heck—I'll have another. They're good for me!") But more importantly? They might not actually do you any good. Delicate probiotics are no match for the high heat of your oven. By the time those treats are fully cooked, all the good bacteria will probably be destroyed.

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Sipping a probiotic-infused tea won't hurt you. But it probably won't help you, either, since the beneficial bugs might not survive the steeping process. (That water is hot!) Which means there's a good chance you're paying a premium for a brew that's not much different than the tea bags that are already sitting in your cupboard. 

Related: 10 Amazing Beauty Tricks With Coconut Oil

Nuts and seeds
Nuts And Seeds

Probiotic-infused nuts and seeds like almonds or flaxseeds might pack a slightly stronger nutritional punch than their non-fortified counterparts. But you might pay a hefty price for that small benefit, since they tend to be considerably more expensive than the regular nuts and seeds you'd find in the bulk bin. Save your money, and get your good bacteria from fermented foods like yogurt or sauerkraut instead. 

Related: 4 Delicious Recipes For A Healthier, Happier Gut

The article 6 Probiotic-Added Foods That Aren't Worth Buying originally appeared on Prevention.