You can’t walk down most busy city streets without passing a popular frozen yogurt shop. With bright colors, rows of flavor options, and, of course, the toppings, who can resist this delicious treat? Popular during the hottest months of the year, but available year-round in most areas, frozen yogurt is quickly becoming a sharp competitor for popular traditional ice cream shops. Chances are, if you love ice cream, you will enjoy a few flavors of frozen yogurt. But is frozen yogurt healthy?
Many health advocates have started debating this question as yogurt sales soar. We will sort through some of the hype in the paragraphs below so that you can make the best decision for your health.
What Is Frozen Yogurt?
Frozen yogurt is simply that: some type of yogurt (usually traditional or greek), flavored with natural or artificial flavors, and frozen using a variety of methods from a traditional ice cream machine to liquid nitrogen or even an anti-griddle.
Items that Contain Frozen Yogurt
Frozen yogurt is usually served on its own in a fro-yo shop. You can also make your own frozen yogurt at home. Most people enjoy frozen yogurt with fruit or candied toppings. The following nutritional profile is characteristic of one serving of vanilla frozen yogurt:
- 221 calories;
- 5 grams of protein;
- 38 grams of carbohydrates;
- 6 grams of fat;
- 4 grams of saturated fat.
Dangers of Frozen Yogurt
Health officials agree that frozen yogurt can be a better option for people looking for a sweet treat to enjoy in moderation. However, there are some tricky factors when eating frozen yogurt that you need to consider.
- Tempting toppings: Most frozen yogurt shops provide a smorgasbord of tasty toppings from chocolate candies to crunchy cereals and hot fudge sauce. These toppings can easily add up calories, grams of sugar, and fat content. This may negate the reason you chose yogurt instead over ice cream in the first place.
- All things in moderation: When people hear that frozen yogurt contains fewer calories and less fat than ice cream, some may feel that this means they can enjoy a large cup of it several times a week. Unfortunately, excessive consumption of frozen yogurt (with or without toppings) can deal the same damage to your weight that frequent ice cream treats can.
- Very similar to low fat ice cream: This doesn’t make frozen yogurt inherently dangerous. Yet, consumers should know that low fat ice cream offers the same reduction in calories and fat that most frozen yogurt brands do.
- Lactose-intolerants beware: Yogurt, even when frozen, can still trigger reactions for those that are intolerant or sensitive to lactose. Some shops do offer lactose-free ice cream options that you can inquire about. Even with these options, be diligent in asking about the ingredients that add up to improve the texture and flavor.
Are there Benefits to Frozen Yogurt?
Frozen yogurt franchises have boomed in popularity and success rates around the world over the last decade. Independent franchising allows many people to own their own businesses and support local economies in their own communities.
- Is frozen yogurt healthy? In comparison to regular ice cream, the short answer is yes. Health professionals agree that frozen yogurt has a lower caloric and fat content than regular ice cream. You can, therefore, consume it sparingly if you are trying to lose or maintain your weight while making other healthy lifestyle changes.
- Is frozen yogurt healthy for diabetics? According to the American Diabetes Association, low-fat yogurt in particular has a balance of high quality carbs and protein, which can be beneficial for diabetics. However, be mindful of extra sugars and flavors in some low-fat yogurt brands. These can create blood sugar complications in those with type 1 or 2 diabetes. Also, you may want to skip the cone and opt for your frozen treat in a cup to further limit loading on the sugar and calories.
- Moreover, consuming foods like yogurt that are high in calcium can support a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Once it is there, however, you will need to be diligent and check with your health care provider to make sure your sugar levels can handle occasional consumption of frozen yogurt.
Frozen yogurt is a tasty, cold treat that you can eat in a variety of ways depending on your preferences. While it is a popular alternative to ice cream, you should consume it with the same amount of restraint and moderation. When deciding, is frozen yogurt healthy for me? you should consider that frozen yogurt, and all desserts, are best when you enjoy on occasion. Also, eat them without all of the extra crunchy goodies available in most fro-yo bars.
Do you love frozen yogurt? Let us know in the comments below! Tell us what kind is your favorite, and how you like to eat it.
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