Froyo shops seem to be popping up everywhere these days. You can find a Pinkberry even on Hanover Street. While it’s uncertain whether it can truly compete with the authentic gelato shops, froyo’s popularity is undeniably soaring. Whether you prefer the taste or believe it’s a healthier option, it’s essential to be aware that indulging in frozen yogurt with an array of delicious toppings might lead to consuming more calories than you actually realize.
The Basics: Serving Size
Self-serve yogurt containers typically hold between 16 and 24 ounces of this chilled treat. On average, yogurt stands at around 100 calories per 1/2 cup. Do the math. If you fill your cup to the brim, you might unknowingly be consuming over 500 calories solely from yogurt. And that’s before adding the sweet toppings like brownie bites and gummy worms! Before you know it, your yogurt cup could contain more calories than a Big Mac.
FroYo vs. Ice Cream
When comparing ounce for ounce, frozen yogurt has fewer calories and less saturated fat than regular ice cream. However, if you opt for low-fat ice cream, the calorie and saturated fat content becomes quite similar. For instance, Breyer’s “1/2 the Fat” vanilla ice cream has 100 calories and 2 grams of saturated fat per 1/2 cup. In comparison, the same amount of original flavor frozen yogurt from Pinkberry has 100 calories and 0 grams of saturated fat. It’s worth noting that some flavors of frozen yogurt may have more added sugar than ice cream. Nowadays, many ice cream and yogurt companies provide their nutritional information online, which serves as a valuable resource to check out.
Probiotics in FroYo?
Probiotics can be a source of confusion. While yogurt and fermented foods are known to contain beneficial bacteria that aid digestion, the question arises as to whether these bacteria survive the freezing process. As the Food and Drug Administration lacks a standard definition for frozen yogurt, not every brand will guarantee the presence of probiotics. To ensure you’re selecting a yogurt with probiotics, look for the National Yogurt Association Live & Active Cultures seal. Brands like Pinkberry and Red Mango proudly carry this seal.
Tips for a Healthier FroYo:
- Don’t go overboard with your portion size. It might feel a bit ridiculous to cover just the bottom of the container with a single layer of frozen yogurt, but by keeping your portion to a 1/2 cup, you’ll stay within a healthy calorie range. If it’s being served to you, be sure to choose the smallest size available.
- Load up on fresh fruit. Many frozen yogurt establishments offer a variety of fresh fruits to complement your cup. This is an excellent way to add natural sweetness without piling on extra calories.
- If you crave a sweet treat to enhance your yogurt, choose just one. For example, my personal favorite combination is original frozen yogurt with strawberries, mango, and brownie bites. Remember, some toppings can add up quickly with up to 50 calories per serving.
Remember, indulging in a frozen yogurt treat should be a delightful experience. By keeping an eye on your portion sizes and making mindful choices when it comes to toppings, you can savor your favorite frozen treat while maintaining a healthier balance. For more ice cream-related content, check out Ice Cream.