Is Frozen Yogurt Healthy?

Photo credit: Bigstockphoto
Photo credit: Bigstockphoto

When given the choice between ice cream and frozen yogurt, many health conscious people choose the frozen yogurt, believing it to be the healthier alternative Is frozen yogurt healthy or is it mostly hype?

Is frozen yogurt healthy when compared to ice cream?

If offered the choice between ice cream and frozen yogurt, in most cases, yogurt will be the healthier alternative, although you’ll need to read labels carefully to avoid surprises. Some “healthy frozen yogurt” can have a fat content of up to 15 grams per cup which exceeds that of many ice creams. If choosing between a low fat ice cream and yogurt, unless you’re selecting a healthy frozen yogurt, the low fat ice cream could win out, depending upon the brand and the nutritional profile.

When comparing frozen yogurt to standard ice cream, the yogurt will generally have the advantage. Most regular ice cream is ten to twelve percent fat by weight while frozen yogurt varies from two to four percent. Keep in mind that many low fat frozen yogurts compensate for the lower fat content by adding extra sugar. That low fat “healthy” frozen yogurt may not be such a good option if it has twenty grams of sugar. Again, read the label before purchasing.

Is frozen yogurt healthy when compared to regular yogurt?

When it comes to nutrition, standard yogurt seems to have the advantage over frozen yogurt. Frozen yogurt, as a generalization, is lower in calcium and protein than yogurt found in the dairy case. In fact, the calcium content of regular yogurt is almost twice that of the frozen variety. Both standard and frozen yogurt can be quite high in carbohydrates since companies use sugar to add taste appeal. If you’re concerned about the sugar content, look for brands of frozen yogurt without added sugar or brands that are sweetened with Splenda.

Are there any additional health benefits of frozen yogurt?

One of the major benefits of healthy frozen yogurt is the probiotic content. There are frozen yogurts that advertise they contain live bacterial cultures which help to promote better digestion as well as give all of the other advantages these “good bacteria” have to offer. It appears that these friendly bacteria are able to survive the freezing process required to make healthy frozen yogurt and still retain their ability to positively affect your gut. Look for a brand that advertises that it contains live cultures.

Another additional health benefit of healthy frozen yogurt over ice cream is the lactose found in frozen yogurt appears to be more digestible than the lactose in milk. This is particularly important for people with lactose intolerance who may experience bloating and diarrhea after a lactose load.

The bottom line? Although frozen yogurt may not be as healthy as standard yogurt in terms of protein and calcium content, it does have some advantages over ice cream including greater digestibility and the presence of probiotic cultures in some brands. In terms of fat and sugar content, it pays to read labels closely.


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