Frozen yoghurt has been very popular for a few years now, and that’s because it seems to be a tasty treat without the guilt of calories. Often billed as a healthy alternative to ice cream, froyo (as it’s known) has emerged as a popular after-dinner treat. Even brands as big as Ben and Jerry’s have gotten on board the bandwagon.
But is froyo as good for you as it’s marketed to be? Is this a tasty dessert you can eat tubs of without gaining weight? Too much of anything is bad for you – but let’s dig deep and look at a few of the facts regarding frozen yoghurt and its nutrition.
Frozen yoghurt is generally billed as a low-calorie alternative to ice cream. It’s mainly made from milk and sugar – much like ice cream – but some will hold key differences, such as sweeteners and artificial flavourings.
You can buy frozen yoghurt in fat and fat-free varieties. Generally, fat-free froyo is likely to be higher in carbs, and only slightly better for you in the calorie department. When checking fat-free yoghurt, keep an eye on the sugar content – it’s this which will make you gain weight, not necessarily the fat content!
Frozen yoghurt may be healthier to digest than ice cream due to the probiotic content. However, not all froyos contain probiotics, so make sure to read the label carefully. Probiotics are thought to help lessen the digestive strain you might experience through lactose.
Calorie and sugar content in froyo can stack up when you add toppings. While there are healthy toppings out there, it can be tempting to add sprinkles and chocolate, for example. It is much healthier, and just as tasty, to add fruit on top, which has natural sugars and none of the additives.
Frozen yoghurt should not be eaten as a full meal. It can make a healthy accompaniment, but even low or non-fat varieties can be extremely unhealthy to eat wholesale.
However, froyo can contain a fantastic amount of calcium, and it’s also a great source of protein. This means, therefore, that it’s a treat likely to help support healthy bones and growth.
Added sugar is always something you should look out for in froyo. While some fat-free varieties may seem healthier than ice cream, they will likely top up with artificial sweeteners. Ongoing studies show that these chemicals and additives are just as likely to harm you as all those calories and grams of sugar. Be careful!
Surprisingly, you may find that froyo contains more sodium than the average portion of ice cream. Sodium and salt may not be easy for us to taste, but it can be very harmful for us in the long run. Too much salt can lead to heart problems later in life.
The question ‘is frozen yoghurt healthier than ice cream’ hasn’t really been answered. The closest experts have to say is, of course, that it is still a dessert – and that it must be enjoyed in moderation.
Do you know any nutritional or interesting facts about frozen yoghurt that we’ve missed? Share them here, in the comments section below!