The Real Scoop: Frozen Yogurt vs. Ice Cream

6 Nov

In October I decided to give up ice cream for the month and have found that I haven’t really been tempted to reach for that cold snack food in the middle of the night. Because of that I am determined to continue my no ice cream days through November. I didn’t struggle with this goal until yesterday and here’s why.

I spent the day with my friend where she wanted to go out for fro-yo (frozen yogurt). I was all in until we realized that fro-yo is so similar to ice cream we didn’t know if it would count as breaking my no ice cream goal or not. I quickly researched it online and the few website I looked at it stated that there are few differences between the two but ultimately frozen yogurt is NOT ice cream. I was thrilled when I read this and we went to Sweet Frog for a nice cold treat.

Frogs Right    At starters I tried to make it a healthier snack, I promise I did, but those darn chocolate and cookie dough pieces ended up in my cup somehow!

froyoAfter I consumed every last bite of this (not so healthy) treat I went home and really researched the differences between ice cream and frozen yogurt.

—> Here’s the Scoop

For a dish to be labeled as ice cream it has to contain at least 10% milk fat, though it usually contains more because of the cream that has been added to it. Frozen yogurt, on the other hand, is not made with heavy cream and does not have a requirement of fat. It is made of cultured milk such as yogurt. Does that mean that frozen yogurt is healthier?

When it comes to calories there isn’t much difference. One cup of plain vanilla ice cream is said to have 275 calories while a cup of frozen yogurt has 221 calories. There isn’t much of a difference there so lets look at what people who are on diets always seem to reach for… the ‘fat-free’ option.

A lot of the time when people are on a diet or trying to loose weight they reach for the ‘low-fat’ or ‘fat-free’ option on the shelf thinking that will help them along in their process. Reality is in most of these products just because it’s free of fat doesn’t always mean it’s healthier. Typically these options hold more SUGAR and added chemicals making them unhealthy in the long run. This goes for both frozen yogurt AND ice cream.

I found this chart (HERE) that shows us the biggest nutritional differences between frozen yogurt, plain yogurt, and ice cream.

benefits_of_frozen_yogurtThe obvious best choice here is plain yogurt as it doesn’t hold any extra sugars, carbs, or calories. Ultimately fro-yo is a better choice than ice cream but only if you not only watch your portion size but also your toppings! Yesterday when I went to get fro-yo I may have been better off just getting a scoop of ice cream with all the sweet that were piled high on top of my bowl! There are people who believe that if you are having frozen yogurt you are automatically eating healthier but I believe it all comes down to the portion and the toppings!

Whenever I get a craving for something sweet I’m going to try and reach for fro-yo with fresh fruit and nuts (high in protein) instead of creamy ice cream! This will make my goal of not having any ice cream this month easier as I now know frozen yogurt and ice cream are different! That doesn’t mean I need to be go for fro-yo twice as much though.

What’s your favorite topping for ice cream / fro-yo?

One Response to “The Real Scoop: Frozen Yogurt vs. Ice Cream”


  1. Update on my Goals This Month | Running Races Coast to Coast - November 11, 2014

    […] fro-yo incident last week was my first temptation… TECHNICALLY fro-yo isn’t ice cream but is it close enough it still […]

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