Ice Cream vs. Frozen Yogurt

Food & Drink / Thursday, April 12th, 2018

A sweet treat on a warm spring or summer day is the perfect way to cool off and get a sugar fix. Ice cream and frozen yogurt are both sweet treat favorites. Frozen yogurt has often been thought of the healthier alternative to good old fashion ice cream, but depending on your toppings, serving amount, and type, you might be surprised at what the nutritional facts look like.

What’s in it?

Ice cream is a blend of dairy products like milk or cream, sweeteners, and other flavors that are mixed while it freezes. Ice cream must have at least 10% milk fat and weigh at least 4.5 pounds per gallon according to FDA rules. Frozen yogurt is made a mixture of yogurt, milk, and cream. The term “frozen yogurt” is not regulated by the FDA, so there is not a standard for how much yogurt is actually in frozen yogurt. Frozen yogurt still includes sweeteners and other flavors. Yogurt is a cultured milk which allows a bit of a sour flavor, compared to milk. Frozen yogurt can also have this sour flavor. The amount of actual yogurt in the product and the number of sweeteners or other flavors all affect the amount of sourness you can taste in frozen yogurt. Frozen yogurt is not made with cream and does not have a fat requirement.

Comparing Nutritional Value

Per each half-cup serving, frozen yogurt contains roughly 17 grams of sugar. Meanwhile, ice cream only has about 14 grams of the sweet stuff for the same serving size. Not all frozen yogurt is created equally. To get rid of the bitter taste that natural frozen yogurt has, companies often add sugar to get a more enjoyable taste. However, ice cream has more fat (there are roughly seven grams per serving in the frozen dessert compared to four grams in fro-yo.) This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, though because fat can slow the body’s digestion of sugar, meaning you’ll feel more satisfied and won’t experience a blood sugar spike like you might with a swirl of sweetened yogurt.

Which will you pick?

To wrap it up, whether you love ice cream or froyo, there’s no wrong choice as long as you keep your serving sizes in check. It is recommended that around a half a cup is appropriate portion size. You should pick the one that you enjoy the taste of more, and portion control accordingly. It’s better than double downing on the “healthier” option, as you might end up breaking even if not over boarding calories.  If you choose to eat frozen yogurt, remember to still moderate your portion size and choose the healthier toppings. Choose toppings such as fresh fruit, granola, and nuts. These toppings will also likely be lower in calories, fat and sugar than other toppings. If you prefer ice cream, try decreasing your fat intake elsewhere in your diet to make up for the higher fat content. Another alternative is to choose reduced-fat ice cream. So now that you know a little bit about the differences, you can make an informed choice for your dessert. So what will it be, ice cream or froyo?

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