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Your Cool Guide to Frozen Yoghurt

Is it yoghurt? Is it ice cream? This creamy frozen treat has surged in popularity, claiming shelf space in grocery stores, and prompting the opening of trendy new shops dedicated to it. So why is it gaining this much attention, and is it truly worth it? This guide gives you the details on what it is; offering insights into its diverse flavours, nutritional benefits, and the important considerations that come with indulging in this frozen delight.


A Cool Guide to Frozen Yoghurt by a dietitian

What is Frozen Yoghurt?

Frozen yoghurt, lovingly known as fro-yo, is the cool cousin of traditional yoghurt. It's a creamy, frozen dessert that boasts the tangy goodness of yoghurt, but with a chilly twist. It’s rise in popularity is attributed to consumers perception of it as having a lower fat content compared to ice cream, and because it contains the beneficial probiotic bacteria for gut health. It’s known as a spoonful of joy that doesn’t feel as ‘guilty’ as ice cream, but just as satisfying. Before we go any further, let’s take away food labels like ‘good’ and ‘bad’ or ‘guilt’ associated with foods.

 

Common types and flavours

Just like in a lolly stop, the options for frozen yoghurt flavours are practically endless. From classic vanilla and chocolate to tropical flavours like mango and pineapple, to modern Caramilk and Biscoff, your taste buds are in for a treat. Some shops even get fancy with swirls of caramel, bits of brownie, and sprinkles galore. The flavours and toppings are never-ending. There are also dairy-free varieties, so our lactose-intolerant friends can join the frosty festivities.

 

Nutritional Benefits of Frozen Yoghurt

You might be wondering, is frozen yoghurt good for you? Well, buckle up, because fro-yo has some nutritional powerhouses! They contain a good amount of calcium and protein (especially if it’s made from Greek yoghurt), just like its non-frozen sibling. They also contain probiotics, the friendly bacteria, which works wonders for your gut health, leaving you with a happy tummy.



Additionally, unlike ice cream where cream is used as its base, frozen yoghurt uses cultured milk. This means that compared to ice cream, it is often lower in fat, making it a lighter choice. Still, there are a couple things to note with some other ingredients…


Can fro-yo be bad for you?

Not all frozen yoghurts are created equal. Some store-bought varieties may contain added sugars and artificial ingredients depending on the brand, making them less of a health superhero. If you’re watching your sugar intake, take note that some frozen yoghurts can contain as much or more sugar as ice cream to balance out the tanginess of the yoghurt.  Yogurta be kidding me!


Frozen yoghurt stores also have those amazing display benches with toppings to suit everyone’s varied tastes! You might be ready to load up your cup with your favourite flavour and top it up with the endless selection of toppings. Just remember that how you build your cup will play a part in the nutritional benefits of it. Choose the smaller cup and opt for fruity and nutty toppings, so you get those additional vitamins, antioxidants, and fibre, while ensuring you’re not loading up on extra sugar.  This might save you some money too!


Frozen Yoghurt vs. Yoghurt vs. Ice Cream

Let's talk health comparisons, shall we? If you’re ever in the grocery store switching gazes between ice cream and frozen yoghurt, wondering if the frozen yoghurt is a healthier choice, you’re not alone. While ice cream and frozen yoghurt may seem like siblings, they have their differences. Frozen yoghurt is typically lower in fat and energy, but higher in sugar, compared to ice cream.


On the other hand, traditional plain yoghurt is the OG of gut health, providing a hearty dose of probiotics. If you are seeking out probiotic benefits, traditional yoghurt is still the number one option. That’s because not all the live cultures in frozen yoghurt can survive the freezing and overall manufacturing process. If you like flavoured yoghurt, these contain more sugar, but possibly lesser than frozen yoghurt. It’s important to consider that there are endless varieties of frozen yoghurt and ice creams available, so blanket comparisons between them can be difficult. Bottomline is, each member of the trio has its strengths and drawbacks. What to choose all depends on your personal taste preferences and health goals.


The table below shows a quick comparison between traditional yoghurt, frozen yoghurt, ice cream, and no-sugar added ice cream. You’ll notice that between yo-chi’s frozen yoghurt and peters no-sugar added ice cream, they have similar protein and fat content, but higher amounts of sugar in the fro-yo. If you are watching your sugar intake, the peters tub might be a better option. But if you’re simply going for some frozen tangy goodness, yo-chi will hit the spot.


Table: Quantity per 100g

Protein

Fat

Sugars

Probiotics

Chobani Greek Yoghurt Vanilla

13.3g

0.3g

15.4g

Yes

Yo-Chi Vanilla Frozen Yoghurt

3.9g

2.0g

20.1g

Yes

Bulla Vanilla Ice Cream

2.9g

12.4g

21.7g

No

Peters No Sugar added Vanilla Ice Cream

4.7g

2.8g

7.6g

No

Healthy frozen yoghurt homemade ideas

If you’re feeling just a tiny bit overwhelmed with the choices out there, don’t sweat. At home, you can try whip it up with just a few ingredients. Simply blend some Greek yoghurt with your favourite frozen fruits and add a drizzle of honey or a sprinkle of mixed nuts for that extra crunch. Get creative with your toppings! If you have popsicle moulds, you can pour the mixture in there, let it completely freeze and enjoy them on a hot day.

 

Dietitian Tips

Before you go, our friendly dietetic team has a few tips to elevate your frozen yoghurt experience. If you’re making them at home, toss in some extra fruit for added vitamins and antioxidants. Sprinkle in a dash of fibre-rich nuts or seeds to keep your digestive system happy. If you’re doing some shopping, look out for the nutrition labels to see if the frozen yoghurt is labelled with containing live and active cultures, and keep an eye on the sugar content.  


Remember that moderation is key. While frozen yoghurt can be a delightful addition to your dessert rotation, aim for a balance. If you have specific dietary concerns or health goals, don't hesitate to reach out to an Accredited Practising Dietitian (APD). They're the real MVPs when it comes to guiding you towards a well-rounded and delicious diet.


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