There’s nothing like a creamy ice cream cone on a hot summer day. But should you go for a scoop of chocolate chip, or the healthier sounding frozen yogurt?
Frozen yogurt sales have been on the rise in recent years, with more and more fro-yo shops opening up in cities around the world. If you think frozen yogurt is healthier, you’re not alone – most people believe that it’s a better choice than ice cream. While yogurt may sound like a more nutritious option at face value, dig a little deeper and you’ll see a different story. Here’s why you may want to rethink your nightly fro-yo run.
While frozen yogurt has fewer calories and less saturated fat compared to regular ice cream, it often has more sugar. Yogurt is naturally tart, so companies have to add in more sugar to balance out the tartness.
A half-cup of ice cream contains about 140 calories, 4.5 grams of saturated fat and 14 grams of sugar. Compare this to frozen yogurt with 115 calories, 2.5 grams of saturated fat and 17 grams of sugar. The calorie and fat difference is fairly minimal, but if you include the toppings at the fro-yo bar, that cup of fro-yogurt will end up being higher in calories.
The “Health-Halo” effect
Most of us wouldn’t sit down to three scoops of ice cream and think we were making a healthy choice. But many think that filling up a large container of fro-yo is a smart dessert option. This health halo around fro-yo means that you may end up eating more than you realize, since you believe it to be good for you.
Self-serve fro-yo containers hold anywhere from 16 to 24 ounces of yogurt. Fro-yo averages about 100 calories per half-cup, so if you fill it up to (or past) the brim, you may be eating over 500 calories from the yogurt alone. Add on some treats from the toppings bar and you’re well on your way towards having a hefty dessert.
Which to Choose?
No matter which choice you make, remember that size matters. If you go for fro-yo, don’t fill your cup up to the brim; instead aim for about one cup or less. For toppings, load up on fresh fruit and choose just two or three small spoonfuls of sweet treats like chocolate or candy. A sprinkle of nuts is a great way to add in some healthy fats.
When you do have it, pick the one that satisfies you most. For me, that is ice cream – I’d rather have a small cone of real ice cream than a large container of fro-yo. Not only is it more satisfying taste-wise, but the fat helps to fill me up and keep me satiated.
Are you an ice cream person or a fro-yo lover? Let us know in the comments section!
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