You’re out running errands for the day and as the clock approaches noon, you’re starting to get hungry. As you head to the checkout at the local drug store, a bag labeled Probiotic Trail Mix catches your eye. You think to yourself, “What would my RD do?” Is it healthy or not? There are many benefits to probiotics, such as improving digestive function and immune function, so this must be a healthy choice.  But what else are you consuming to get the benefit of the “probiotic bacillus coagulans gbi-30 6086” found in this product. Here at New Jersey Bariatric Center, the dietitians always stress to look closely at products such as trail mix, protein bars and granola because of the added sugar.  This product is no exception, regardless of whether it has probiotics. Let’s take a closer look at the label and break it down. We highlighted the sugar in the nutrition facts and the amount of times sugar is listed in the ingredient list to help.

Per 1/4 cup serving
  • Calories: 220
  • Fat: 13gm
  • Saturated Fat: 7gm
  • Total Carb: 20gm
  • Fiber: 3gm
  • Sugars: 20gm
  • Protein: 4gm
Ingredients: Probiotic Yogurt Raisins (Yogurt Coating [Sugar, Vegetable Oils (Palm Kernel Oil, Whey Powder (Milk), Dry Non Fat Yogurt (Milk) Soy Lecithin (An Emulsifier), Salt, Vanilla], Raisins [Sunflower Oil], Corn Syrup, Modified Starch [Tapioca], Confectioner’s Glaze, Probiotic Added [Bacillus Coagulant GBI-30 6086*]), Dark Chocolate Cranberries (Dark Chocolate [Sugar, Chocolate Liquor (Processed with Alkali), Cocoa Butter, Milk Fat, Soy Lecithin (An Emulsifier), Vanilla], Dried Cranberries [Cranberries, Sugar, Sunflower Oil], Corn Syrup, Modified Starch [Tapioca], Confectioner’s Glaze), Almonds.
The verdict? There are other, better ways to get probiotics without consuming close to a day’s worth of added sugar. Try a probiotic supplement, yogurt or kefir.  If it’s a snack you’re looking for, a small 100-calorie pack of almonds is great to fight off hunger when you’re on the run. Remember, don’t fall for products with claims like this before taking a closer look at the nutrition facts and ingredient list.