To fro-yo or not to fro-yo?

frozen yogurtIs frozen yogurt really good for you? Patricia Terry, R.D., professor and director of the dietetics program at Samford University, gives us the scoop.

It has the word yogurt in it, so of course it’s healthy. Right?

Not necessarily. Regular yogurt is a fermented product that contains live, good bacteria cultures that help keep the gastrointestinal tract and immune system healthy. Although frozen yogurt is a fermented product, Terry says it’s not equal to regular yogurt. Frozen yogurt doesn’t have as many live, good bacteria cultures as regular yogurt.

For those desiring frozen yogurt with the same health benefits as regular yogurt, look for frozen yogurts with the National Yogurt Association’s Live and Active Cultures seal or a similar one from another association.

Well at least it’s low-fat. Shouldn’t that make it a healthy choice?

Terry says frozen yogurt has more air incorporated into it, making it a lighter product. However, while frozen yogurt can have less fat than ice cream, it often has the same caloric content.

“I think people are tricked sometimes by low-fat anything,” Terry says. “Low-fat frozen yogurt is just the same as a low-fat ice cream.”

frozen yogurt toppings

Well then, where does this leave me?

People start with the intention of choosing a healthier dessert, but by the time they dish out their huge portion and finish piling on the candy, cookies and chocolate syrup, the point of eating a healthier dessert diminishes.

Despite the negative elements, Terry doesn’t see frozen yogurt as a bad thing.

“If you put fresh fruit on top, that’s awesome, but, I mean, how many people are going to do that? I just think everything in moderation is okay,” Terry says. “It’s just another good frozen dessert choice with all the other frozen dessert choices.”


Photos by Jennifer Ferry