These days, there is an array of “healthy” foods on the shelves, but knowing which ones are the best is difficult, and frozen yoghurt is no exception. For the purpose of this article frozen yoghurt is referred to as the tubs of frozen yoghurt that can be purchased from the supermarket freezer section or an ice cream/frozen yoghurt shop.
Is Frozen Yoghurt Healthy?
To really answer this question we need to first look at the nutritional value of the frozen yoghurt. This can be done by looking at the nutritional information panel on the back of the tub which appears similar to the table below:
*Values in this table are obtained from Calorie King
As you can see by looking at the above table, the frozen yoghurt is significantly lower in total fat when compared to the full fat ice cream and in this instance many people would often see this as frozen yoghurt being a healthier alternative to ice cream. However, this is not the case; in fact the biggest red flag is the sugar content. Ideally when choosing foods it is best if they have less than 15g of sugar per 100g. Another way to look at this is the number of teaspoons of sugar in each of the foods:
|Frozen Yoghurt 97% fat free|
5 teaspoons of sugar
6 teaspoons of sugar
|Ice cream – full fat|
5 teaspoons of sugar
|Ice cream – 98% fat free|
4 teaspoons of sugar
So from this we can see that the fat is in fact lower in frozen yoghurt than in ice cream, but the sugar is approximately the same. In addition, the calorie content is not considerably different when comparing reduced fat ice cream and 97% fat free frozen yoghurt (although both are lower than full fat ice cream).
So what could be healthy about frozen yoghurt? As you can see in the table the only beneficial additions to frozen yoghurt compared to full fat ice cream is the addition of calcium and protein which contributes to the average daily consumption.
What is the bottom line?
Overall, frozen yoghurt should be considered a “sometimes” food – just like ice cream. Ensuring the right portion size (1-2 scoops) is eaten will also help to form part of a healthy balanced diet, bearing in mind the age old saying of ‘everything in moderation”.
Is there a healthier way of making frozen yoghurt?
There is in fact a clever way to make your own “Fro-Yo” without having to consume all the added sugar that you get from the in-store frozen yoghurts. It is as simple as buying a reduced fat yoghurt (in individual tubs is best), pouring it into a tub, placing an ice cream stick in it and freezing. It also makes a great healthier treat for kids in summer!
This article was written by our dietitian Rhiannon Welsh who is a Dietitians Association of Australia member and Accredited Practising Dietitian.
If you have questions healthy eating and nutrition, contact your local doctor who will arrange for you to see a dietitian in Sydney, Contact us today!
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