Frozen yogurt, also known as “froyo” is among the most popular dessert among people of all ages across the world. Slowly but steadily, frozen yogurt is continuing to replace ice cream as the go-to option for dessert, making you ask the question, “Is frozen yogurt good for you?”
But before we actually go on to discussing the point of whether frozen yogurt is good for you, let us first understand what frozen yogurt is really. Froyo is a very popular dessert and is made from milk and yogurt. Frozen yogurt is essentially cultured milk and has a distinct tangy and tart flavor and a creamy texture.
Froyo is similar to ice cream, but the main difference is that frozen yogurt is made with milk and not cream. Also, like ice cream, frozen yogurt is sold in cones or cups and you can have it with toppings like fruit, chocolate chips, etc.
Frozen yogurt mainly contains liquid or powdered milk and yogurt cultures -- Streptococcus thermophilus and Lactobacillus bulgaricus. Often sugar or sweeteners are added to the frozen yogurt to counteract the tangy and sour flavor. And, flavorings and stabilizers are also added to the froyo in order to improve its texture and taste.
Frozen yogurt is made by mixing the milk and sugar and this mixture is then pasteurized, where it is heated to very high temperatures in order to kill the harmful bacteria. Then yogurt cultures are added to the mixture and it is allowed to rest, after which it is frozen.
While in recent years frozen yogurt has become more popular and is being considered as a healthier alternative to ice cream, it brings us back to our question, “Is frozen yogurt good for you?” Let us look at some of the health benefits of froyo.
When frozen yogurt is compared to other types of frozen desserts, it may have some benefits. Frozen yogurt can contain beneficial bacteria and nutrients, fewer calories as compared to other desserts such as ice cream and lower lactose levels, making it a healthier option. So, let us discuss these benefits in-depth.
Some frozen yogurts contain probiotics, which are essentially live active bacteria cultures. When consumed, these probiotics offer many health benefits such as improving digestive health, immune health, chronic fatigue, high blood pressure, mood disorders, allergies, and osteoporosis.
However, the benefits of probiotics in froyo depend on the bacteria surviving the process of manufacturing. If the frozen yogurt has been pasteurized after adding the probiotics, then they will be killed by pasteurization. Also, the good bacteria can be reduced when the yogurt is frozen. It is also a good idea to check the label to see if the frozen yogurt contains “live and active cultures” before buying.
Just like regular yogurt, frozen yogurt also contains reasonable amounts of protein and calcium which can have good bone health benefits.
If you are lactose intolerant, then consuming dairy products can cause problems such as digestive problems, gas, bloating, etc. However, many people who suffer from lactose intolerance can tolerate dairy in small amounts if it has probiotics because the bacteria breakdown the lactose, thereby reducing the per portion amount.
And, people with lactose intolerance may be able to consume frozen yogurts containing probiotics without experiencing any digestive issues. However, if the froyo does not contain live bacteria cultures, then it may not offer the same benefits. Also, there are frozen yogurts made from non-dairy milk such as soy, almond, hemp, rice, oat milk which can be consumed by lactose-intolerant people without any problems at all.
If you are trying to reduce the number of calories you are consuming, then frozen yogurt can be much lower in calories compared to other frozen desserts like ice cream. If you compare half a cup of vanilla-flavored ice cream with half a cup of vanilla-flavored frozen yogurt, this is what you’ll be consuming.
While you may be avoiding the calories and fat by choosing frozen yogurt instead of ice cream, the sugar may be adding up to your diet.
So, overall, frozen yogurt can be good for your health and offer many benefits. However, when choosing your frozen yogurt, ensure that you watch your portion sizes and toppings because these can easily add to the calories too, making your froyo unhealthy.