When people are trying to avoid frozen treats but still want something that's good for them, they usually turn to frozen yogurt. Why not, right? It's yogurt (green flag number one), it's healthier for you than ice cream, and they don't seem to pack any calories or gross amounts of sugar. But, is frozen yogurt really the healthier option or is that what we've been led to believe?

For years people have thought that frozen yogurt is the way to go when you want a frozen treat, but don't want to pack on the calories or grams of sugar. This is true depending on where you buy it from, but be careful which FroYo you decide to reach for because not all are made the same.

FroYo Pros:

  • Just like yogurt, some frozen yogurt can contain probiotics.
  • Probiotics can help reduce the level of lactose contained in a serving of frozen yogurt. This means that people with lactose intolerance may be able to eat certain frozen yogurts without developing any digestive issues.
  • Frozen yogurt provides a lot of the same benefits as regular yogurts, such as calcium, protein, and vitamin D.
  • Compared to ice cream, frozen yogurt has fewer calories.
  • It has fewer grams of fat because it's made with milk and not cream.

FroYo Cons:

  • Frozen yogurt can be high in sugar, even if it's low in overall grams of fat or calories.
  • It often comes in large portions, which make can encourage a binge-eat rather than a small snack.
  • Some chain FroYo places include a lot of weird ingredients like guar gum, maltodextrin, sodium citrate, cellulose gum, disodium phosphate and propylene glycol monoesters.
  • Adding toppings to frozen yogurt adds calories, sugar, and grams of fat.
  • Experts have called frozen yogurt "an alternative to ice cream," not an alternative to yogurt.

Is Frozen Yogurt Closer To Ice Cream Or Yogurt?

Let's talk about that, shall we? Is frozen yogurt closer to ice cream or plain ol' yogurt?

If you take a quick look at Pinkberry's product list you'll see the low down of the caloric content. While frozen yogurt is lower in grams of fat, basic FroYo cups like strawberry has 22 grams of sugar. The coconut one has 28 grams, blueberry has 19, and grapefruit has 21. If you take a closer look at the sugar in your favorite ice creams, you'll see that frozen yogurt isn't far behind in that department. Drumsticks have 27 grams of sugar, Fudgesicles have 11 grams, and popsicles have about eight grams of sugar a pop.

This is just frozen yogurt on its own. If you consider some of the toppings available such as Oreo crumble, coconut pieces, M&Ms, or chocolate drizzle, you're only adding to the unhealthiness (albeit deliciousness) of it all.

However, when it comes to regular yogurt, the sugar content is significantly lower in some brands. Most yogurts only have about four or five grams of sugar, though a lot of companies add tons of added sugar to their yogurts.

To put all of this into perspective, the American Heart Association recommends that men should only have 37.5 grams of sugar a day while women should be aiming to consume 25 grams.

How To Keep FroYo Healthy

Of course, there are ways to ensure that you're not adding unnecessary calories to your frozen yogurt!

  • Look at the labels and do your research before digging into any frozen yogurt. What may lack in grams of fat makes up for it with grams of sugar. You'll also want to take a look and see what kinds of ingredients are going into what you're eating.
  • Be careful with portion sizing. A lot of people convince themselves that FroYo is a healthy snack, so they feel like they can eat more of it. This isn't true and just like anything you want to be sure that you're aware of how much you're consuming. If you think of frozen yogurt like ice cream, you really shouldn't be having more than one scoop at a time.
  • Pay attention to what you're adding to your frozen yogurt. You're better to top it off with fruit than with Reece's bits or strawberry drizzle.
  • Even if you're choosing the smaller size cup, don't fill it to the brim.
  • Consider having frozen yogurt without toppings, especially if you've already been snacking throughout the day.

It's important to remember that you shouldn't deny yourself having frozen yogurt (or any snack for that matter) because of new information you might have picked up. It's a good idea to take a look at the kind of FroYo you've been indulging in, but that doesn't mean you need to swear it off entirely. So long as you're more mindful of the treat, you'll know how to keep it healthy and indulge whenever you feel like!

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