Is Frozen Yogurt Bad for You?

017-frozen-yogurt-imageNow that I’m living in Los Angeles, it seems that there’s a frozen yogurt shop on almost every corner. The stores are bright, cheerful and the self-serve yogurt machines are labeled with health benefits like “low fat” or “fat free.” But what’s the scoop? Is frozen yogurt really as healthy as marketers would like you to believe?

Most frozen yogurt is a step up when compared to traditional ice cream. In fact, many ice cream varieties contain five times more fat and three times the amount of calories as frozen yogurt. But calories and fat are just part of the story. Most frozen yogurt is still loaded with sugar – and even sugar-free options can increase cravings for other sugary foods. A large Pinkberry frozen yogurt, for example, can contain nearly 100 grams of sugar. That’s as much sugar as two and a half cans of coke.

And that’s before you add the toppings. While fresh fruit is a wise choice, many of the toppings are loaded in added sugar, calories and unhealthy fat. From candy bars to sweet cereals to fudge and sauces, toppings can make your frozen yogurt snack go from bad to worse.

Here are a few tips to keep in mind.

  1. Add the toppings first. Before you select your frozen yogurt, load your cup up with fresh, nutrient-rich fruits. Then, use a few swirls of frozen yogurt to top your fruit cup. It’s an instant upgrade.
  2. Select a smaller cup. Because most frozen yogurt chains charge per ounce, the cups look more like vats. Select the smallest cup available (sometimes there are smaller cups not on display). With a smaller cup, less frozen yogurt will look like more.
  3. Be mindful of portions. Regardless of the cup size, a serving of frozen yogurt is about the size of a tennis ball. As you make your frozen yogurt selection, keep this in mind – even if it means not filling your cup to the top.

The bottom line: Just because frozen yogurt is a step up from traditional ice cream doesn’t mean it should be a daily indulgence. It’s a treat for special occasions. As with anything, moderation is key.

 

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Comments

  1. Portion control is definitely important. I don’t think the fat content is too relevant when it comes to snacks, since the bigger problem is always the sugar content. There’s also some research that suggests that fat, even saturated fat, in dairy may have some health benefits.

    The primary reason to choose frozen yogurt should be the taste, if that’s what you prefer. Sometimes people over consume when they believe the food is healthier than the alternative. So, if you do choose frozen yogurt try have the same amount you would have had of ice cream.

  2. Serbian-Canadian in Macau says:

    Do you follow your own “[a]s with anything, moderation is key” motto also when it comes to indulging in the “sins of the flesh”? :-p

    Because it might be a waste, you know. When you are 50, the number of men who will crave your abs and thighs… and glutei (to remain on the curteous side of describing my lust ๐Ÿ˜€ ) however possibly still pleasing will defintiely be several TIMES smaller than today.

  3. Have some high-fat, high-sugar frozen custard if you like that creamy deliciousness, but infrequently and in small amounts. I’m with Julia Childs on that score.

  4. Hi, I thought this was a great article. Apreciate you posting.