Is Frozen Yogurt Good For You?

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Is frozen yogurt good for you?
Health And Wellness

Is this sweet treat healthy?

Frozen yogurt came to fame a few decades ago as a low-fat, healthier alternative to ice cream. It can now be found in every strip mall in the country, but is frozen yogurt good for you?

It's hard to say, actually. In fact, some experts maintain that frozen yogurt isn't really any healthier than ice cream.

“The reason most people consider frozen yogurt to be a lighter choice than ice cream is because when frozen yogurt first became popular, it was during the low-fat craze,” says Alix Turoff, a registered dietitian, nutrition consultant, and certified personal trainer.

RELATED: Sugar Officially Worse For You Than Fat, Says Science

People just assumed because something was low-fat, it was healthy. But it's not necessarily unhealthy either; just don't think you're getting a bargain. According to Turoff, “The big issue with frozen yogurt is the toppings, and the fact that the portion you actually get is usually double what you think you're getting.”

1. It’s kind of comparable to ice cream.

What about frozen yogurt calories? It turns out that you may be taking in more calories than you think with your serving size. An equivalent amount of soft serve ice cream will be a little more caloric, but not substantially so.

Turoff says, “For example, a small cup of frozen yogurt probably holds at least 1 cup, especially if you over fill the top, which most do. A 1/2 cup serving of frozen yogurt is about 100-140 calories depending on the flavor, whether it's sugar free or fat-free. A small cup holds a little more than a 1/2 cup, but that's only if there's no swirl.”

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2. Serving size matters.

Although this treat could be low in calories in a small serving, some people order the pail size. Not all of these yogurts are low in calories, fat and sugar, so check the labels and posted signs.

3. It can cause gas and bloating.

If you eat too much frozen yogurt you could end up with a side of gas, pain, and a distended abdominal area better known as belly bloat. According to Bonnie Taub-Dix, RDN, creator of BetterThanDieting.com, “You might feel even worse when you choose yogurts made with artificial sweeteners called sugar alcohols which are know for increasing bloat.”

4. Choose your toppings wisely.

“Most will be higher in calories than the yogurt itself. I often joke that if you’re looking to squelch the gassy side effects of froyo, a perfect topping would be crumbled up antacids!” warns Taub-Dix.

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Aly Walansky is a NY-based lifestyles writer. Her work appears in dozens of digital and print publications regularly. Visit her on Twitter or email her at alywalansky@gmail.com.

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