5 Myths of Frozen Yogurt

Is Frozen Yogurt Healthier than Ice Cream?


What is your best choice in Boulder County?

Yes, summertime in Colorado is hot! Especially this summer.
What is more refreshing then a bowl of froyo topped with fresh fruit.

But how healthy is frozen yogurt?

Does fro-yo offer all the same health benefits as regular yogurt? Is this seemingly guilt-free pleasure truly low-fat?

Here are 5 myths that will help you to make better healthy decisions this summer.


Myth 1. Frozen yogurt is full of healthy probiotics that support my immune and digestive systems. 

Fro-yo might remind you of your favorite probiotic-rich morning Chobani — but not all "yogurts" are created equal. The freezing process used to make your dessert may kill some of the healthy gut bacteria found in regular yogurt. To compensate, some manufacturers of fro-yo (and standard yogurt, too) add extra probiotics after production.

“Look for the 'Live and Active Cultures' seal" when browsing the dessert aisle, says Alissa Rumsey, R.D., a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. This seal, created by the National Yogurt Association, confirms that a product has 100 million cultures per gram, which, among other health benefits, can help lactose intolerant people digest milk-based products. Chains like Pinkberry and RedMango and prepackaged pints from Haagen-Dazs and Cold Stone Creamery all carry the seal.


Myth 2. "Real" or "natural" frozen yogurt is better for me than the Ben & Jerry's version. 

While all frozen yogurts are not created equal, they are fairly comparable. Pinkberry, one of the leaders of the "real" frozen yogurt movement, serves up 116 calories, 0g of fat and 20g of sugar per half cup. TCBY boasts 98 percent fat free vanilla, which weighs in at 120 calories, 2g fat and 17g of sugar. Ben & Jerry's frozen yogurt is basically on par with 130 calories, 1.5g fat and 16g of sugar in half a cup of their vanilla frozen yogurt.


Myth 3 . Frozen yogurt is naturally nonfat or low-fat, so I can have as much as I want. 

While most frozen yogurt is nonfat or very low in fat the calories still add up. Most nonfat "original" or "plain" (typically the lowest-calorie flavor at most frozen yogurt shops) is about 30-35 calories per ounce with about 20g of sugar.

Portion control is also common problem with frozen yogurt. The smallest cup at self-serve shops tends to be pretty big - usually 16 ounces. You’ll get something that’s 300 to 400 calories-worth.  (In comparison, a half-cup serving of vanilla ice cream is roughly 140 calories.)

Tip:

  • Visit yogurt shops that serve the yogurt for you. They often will offer a small 4-ounce cup.  
  • Visualize 4 ounces if you are at a self serve shop. A 4-ounce serving of frozen yogurt is slightly less than the size of your fist.

Myth 4. Those toppings don't pack many calories. 

Trueif you go for fruit. Stay away from popular "healthy" snack toppers like granola. Other "healthy" frozen yogurt add-ons to avoid or go light with include yogurt chips (150 calories, 8g fat per ounce), dried cranberries (96 calories, 0.4g fat per ounce) and mixed nuts (168 calories, 15g of fat per ounce).


Myth 5. Frozen Yogurt is better for you than ice cream

When comparing sugar in frozen yogurt to the same size serving of a higher-end ice cream, frozen yogurt had twice the sugar. Ice cream, though, boasts more fat (there are roughly seven grams per serving in the frozen dessert compared to four grams in fro-yo, according to the USDA). This isn't necessarily a bad thing, though. Fat can slow the body's digestion of sugar, meaning you'll feel more satisfied and won't experience a blood sugar spike like you might with a swirl of sweetened yogurt


What is the Scoop on Boulder County's Options

 

Ripple, Boulder
Milk from Front Range dairies and yogurt made right in Boulder. They try to source their ingredients and toppings local and organic. Electricity offset by wind power.  Cups, spoons, water glasses are all compostable. 

TCBY, Longmont
They offer Vegan, GMO Free and Gluten Free. TCBY has partnered with SILK® to offer vegan and GMO free frozen treats. Their yogurts have received the Live and Active Culture Seal of Approval.

Menchie’s, Longmont
Made with milk from their California cows that have not been treated with artificial growth hormones (rBST). Product line boasts gluten-free, vegan, and no high fructose corn syrup options and we strive to use natural flavors including real cake, cookies, spices, fruits and nuts. Received the Live and Active Culture Seal of Approval.