After what many called a fad, the frozen yogurt business is still successful today and is constantly going against its obvious competitor: ice cream. But why has it remained so popular? And the better question: Is frozen yogurt really healthy for you?
More and more people are interested in leading healthier lifestyles, which includes their food intake. And indeed, frozen yogurt can seem like a healthier alternative to ice cream. To begin with, their main difference is their fat content. In order for ice cream to even be labeled as its own name, it has to contain at least 10% milk fat which are added through the use of cream, something frozen yogurt doesn't necessarily have. One cup of vanilla ice cream on average contains around 275 calories and 9 grams of saturated fat, while one cup of vanilla frozen yogurt contains 221 calories and 4 grams of saturated fat. Yet ice cream has less sugar than frozen yogurt (usually about 14 grams to the 17 grams found on average in frozen yogurt), which needs the sweetness to rid of the tangy, sharp taste.
Both of these points are valid - however, two follow-up notes should be made. First of all, a higher fat content is not necessarily a bad thing. In fact, higher fat levels can slow the body's digestion of sugar, leading to a more full and satisfied feeling and a lower overall intake. Recent studies have also led many to focus more on reducing their sugar intake than their fat intake.
Another benefit cited of FroYo is that it is comprised of yogurt which carries probiotics. These help the immune system, help with digestion, and contain vitamins such as B1, B2, A and D. That sounds really important, right? Just remember that in the freezing process of making frozen yogurt, much of the healthy gut bacteria may get killed off, so it might not have all of the bacteria you were hoping it would.
Another reason why FroYo is still as popular today is because of the ability to mix as many flavors and pile on as many toppings as your heart desires. Yet like everything, moderation is key. Frozen yogurt quickly loses its healthy appeal if appropriate portions and toppings aren't taken, which not only increases fat but sugar and calories as well.
So, what's our conclusion? The truth is that any sweet treat should be eaten in moderation. Ice cream contains more fat, but may make you feel more full. FroYo has some probiotic benefits, but it also has a higher sugar content and its consumption could encourage overeating after adding *ALL* of your favorite toppings & flavors.
Whatever you choose to enjoy, embrace it! There's no reason winter temps mean that you can't cheat with a bowl of FroYo, ice cream or whatever your heart desires.
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