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Frozen Yogurt: Is It Healthy Or Is It Hype?


You see them everywhere: Pinkberry, Yogurtland, TCBY, the list goes on and on.

Within the past few years, frozen yogurt has become a major hit.

Companies claim that frozen yogurt is healthier than ice cream while tasting just as delicious. 

And one thing’s for sure: people buy it up.

However, frozen yogurt isn’t the perfect healthy treat you may think it is.

Here’s why…

#1 It doesn’t contain very much real yogurt.

#2 It can make you hungry and/or thirsty.

#3 The toppers are packed with sugars and calories. 

You would think that frozen yogurt is just yogurt that has been frozen, but it’s not.

Actually, frozen yogurt contains little or no real yogurt.


Real vs Frozen Yogurt

Real yogurt contains 2 types of bacteria:

  • Lactobacillus bulgaricus
  • Streptococus thermophilus

That bacteria multiplies at a certain temperature, changing lactose into lactic acid, which gives yogurt that tart flavor.

To be considered frozen yogurt it only has to contain a small amount of these cultures.

According to National Dairy Council’s John Nicholson, “You can take a whole vat of frozen anything, add a cup of yogurt, and call the mix frozen yogurt.”

Here are some things to think about when it comes to the differences between real yogurt and frozen yogurt:

  • Sometimes the bacteria cannot survive the cold temperatures of frozen yogurt, and you will not gain the benefits of real yogurt.
  • Frozen yogurt contains only 4 grams of protein, while the same amount of yogurt contains 12 grams. 
  • From a cup of yogurt, you’ll get 40% of the calcium you need in a day. A cup of frozen yogurt only provides 20%.
  • Frozen yogurt might be healthier than ice cream, but it doesn’t compare to regular yogurt.


It’s Good, Just Not As Good As Most Think

Some people believe that frozen yogurt is the perfect snack: tasty, healthy, yet satisfying like ice cream. However, believe it or not, frozen yogurt can make you hungry and thirsty – not exactly satisfying.

Since there is so little fat in it, frozen yogurt isn’t very filling. With only 0% to 4% fat by weight compared to ice cream with 10% to 16% fat, frozen yogurt takes only about 15 minutes to digest. Ice cream, on the other hand, can take over an hour. And when those 15 minutes are up, you’ll be hungry all over again.

Because frozen yogurt isn’t filling, most people eat more of it than they should. You might have noticed that the cups at frozen yogurt shops are bigger than any ice cream cone. What frozen yogurt lacks in fat, it makes up for in sugar. Those sugars, milk solids, and gums can really dry out your mouth. It isn’t the same as dehydration, but it will make you thirsty.

The main difference between frozen yogurt and ice cream is the addition of yogurt cultures, which can help keep up the “good bacteria levels in your stomach and help prevent digestive issues. Problem is, not all yogurt cultures survive freezing, and since dead ones don’t do you any good, you’re better off choosing based on taste and fat and calorie content.  Source

Don’t Forget The Toppings
At every frozen yogurt shop, you will find tubs and tubs of cereal, nuts, brownies, crushed candies, etc. Those little toppings that seem so innocent are actually piling on more and more sugar and calories.
By itself, 8 ounces of frozen yogurt can be anywhere from 200 to 280 calories.
Just 1 tablespoon of nuts or candy alone can add up to 70 calories, 80% of them fat. (Mind you, most people put more than 1 tablespoon of toppers on their frozen yogurt.) 
Frozen yogurt also has a lot of carbohydrates. With 30 to 45 grams of carbohydrates, 20 of those grams are sugar.
Also, all of the toppers offered contain sugar, even fruit (but fruit doesn’t have that much).
With or without those tasty toppers, frozen yogurt isn’t as healthy as you might have initially thought.
You Might Want To Think Twice
Frozen yogurt isn’t yogurt frozen and it definitely isn’t the ideal, healthy, fallen-from-heaven dessert that many people think it is. It contains only a small amount of real yogurt, it isn’t very filling, it can make you even thirstier, and it’s loaded with sugars and calories.
People may say, “It’s as healthy as yogurt!” “It’s as delicious and satisfying as ice cream!” “It’s low in calories and sugar.”
Research shows that none of these comments is true. While frozen yogurt has less fat and calories than ice cream, you might want to stick to regular yogurt instead of frozen yogurt if you want the maximum health benefits.