Is Frozen Yogurt a Healthy Choice?

Trying to lose weight often means dropping beloved high calorie foods from your diet. Sometimes a swap is barely noticeable – skim milk for whole, low fat cheese for full fat – but when trying to drop ice cream, you may not be pleased with your choices. Low fat or no fat ice creams are indeed lower in calories and fat, but many times have a different mouth feel or slightly bitter aftertaste. One of the most popular lower fat frozen desserts is frozen yogurt.

Drive through your city, and you’ll see an overwhelming number of businesses offering frozen desserts. Ice creams, custards, Italian ices, and the newest fad – frozen yogurt. From scoop shops to dispense your own, and many with massive topping choices, these dessert bars are popular for the ability to create a dessert that is exactly what you want – be it loaded with sugar and fats, or a more restrained, less calorically dense choice. Fro Yo (Frozen yogurt) is most often thought to be a healthier choice, with less fat and lower in calories, but is it really?

Frozen yogurt, at its most basic, is just yogurt that has been frozen. Pop a container of your favorite yogurt into the freezer, though, and you will soon see that it bears no resemblance to the creamy treat dispensed at yogurt shops. It freezes solid, unlike the creamy soft mixture commercially sold. Yogurt is a wonderful food for you, containing probiotics and active live cultures that are beneficial to your digestive tract. (These incredibly helpful flora, though, are only beneficial when they are live, so be certain that your yogurt bears those words on the label.)  Freezing live cultures does not kill them, but places them into a state of suspended animation that become active when they warm up in your stomach. That’s the good news – so what’s the bad news? The bad news is that, due to the nature of creating frozen yogurt, which requires heating milk to boiling and then adding live yogurt – the mixture is too warm and it kills the cultures. Just about every brand of frozen yogurt sold commercially does not contain the active live cultures.

TCBY, arguably the county’s most well known frozen yogurt company, has created a new Super Fro Yo.  Offered in many of their standard popular flavors, the new yogurts are part of a strict classification.

The Super Fro Yo:

  • Must have a minimum of three grams of fiber
  • Must have a minimum of four grams of protein
  • Must have a minimum of seven types of probiotics
  • Must meet a minimum of 20% DV of vitamin D
  • Must meet a minimum of 20% DV of calcium

In addition, the Super Fro Yo must be lower than 120 calories per serving and contain one gram or less of saturated fat. From the press release:

“We are in the business of selling indulgence to the American consumer,” states Timothy Casey, CEO of TCBY. “However, we believe it can be done in a legitimately healthy way without compromising taste and that sense of indulgent satisfaction. The ‘Super Fro-Yo’ classification is important to us for two reasons: One, not all frozen yogurt is created equal and we want consumers to be clearly educated and informed as to why TCBY is better, and two, as we place our ‘Super Fro-Yo’ nutritionals up against ice cream and other frozen yogurts, we are confident our customers will feel a great deal better about enjoying TCBY products.”

Whether you chose the new Super Fro Yo, regular frozen yogurt, no fat ice cream or premium full fat ice creams, remember – a little goes a long way and moderation is the key to a healthy body. Fresh fruit is always a great choice to top any frozen dessert choice.

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