Ice cream vs. frozen yogurt

Ice cream vs. frozen yogurt

It can be hard to resist ice cream on a hot summer day. Some crave the simple sweetness of a vanilla cone, while others desire the richness of a hot fudge sundae.

Whatever you prefer, you might be indulging in the tasty treat without considering the calories or even the digestive issues you may have to suffer later. The moment that frosty delight hits your tongue, you surrender and declare it all worth it.

If you think choosing frozen yogurt over ice cream the next time would be a healthier choice, you might want to think again.

“The main difference between frozen yogurt and ice cream is the fat content,” says Caitlin Beranek, lead dietitian in food and nutrition services at Advocate Condell Medical Center in Libertyville, IL. “Frozen yogurt tends to be low in fat or fat free, while ice cream can be much higher in fat, especially those with a high cream content.”

So, if you’re looking to reduce fat, you might choose the frozen yogurt. But you should know that both creamy confections will set you back in calories. A half cup of frozen yogurt is only about 28 calories less than an equal amount of vanilla ice cream, but that number can easily spike when adding toppings at “build your own” places — nearly doubling or tripling your calorie count for the dessert.

“Neither ice cream or frozen yogurt is a health food, so the best choice would just be a small serving of whichever option you prefer,” says Beranek. “A small serving like a half cup is a fine treat to have; however, most people eat much more than the recommended amount, as a half cup is a lot smaller than most people think.”

When it comes to finding ways to minimize the impact of enjoying these favorite summertime treats, Beranek suggests adding berries or other fruit as a topping instead of going for the fudge or candy.

This alternative can help you add another serving of fruit to your day and minimize the chances of overloading on toppings, but keep in mind this won’t necessarily make the ice cream or frozen yogurt healthier.

Also remember with most desserts and sweets — portion size is key. If you must have that ice cream cone, opt for one scoop instead of two. You can satisfy your cravings with a wide variety of summer treats if you pay attention to how much you’re eating and limit your portions.

Learn more about your healthy weight range by taking a free online quiz.

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  1. A better choice would be to skip the dairy altogether and eat the whole fruit and nothing but the fruit. A yonanas machine is inexpensive and will turn frozen bananas and other fruit into creamy goodness. Skip the fake sugar and the saturated fat! Eat fruit!

  2. Where does gelato and custard (like Culver’s) fit into the range of your two examples?

  3. Jerrold Swanson July 8, 2019 at 12:33 pm · Reply

    I look forward to your Advocate emails everyday. Keep it going and keep it practical advice for just plan people like me.

  4. So will it be beneficial to almost freeze plain Greek yogurt? Almost freezing
    gives the yogurt that ice cream consistency. I then add seasonal fruit for more

  5. What about ice milk? Some places have that and hopefully less calories?

  6. Portion control and don’t make this an everyday treat. But for some of us the fruit is a better option but if pre-diabetic or diabetic even the fruit eaten has to be monitored.

  7. Ice milk has less fat calories but may have more sugar calories. Ice milk may not satisfy your fat cravings either and you may end up eating more of it than you would ice cream. The article says eat what your body craves just watch your portion size. Take a little walk too to burn some calories.

  8. If craving chocolate flavor without the calories, try Stevia sweetened NuNaturals cocoa syrup. I keep a bottle on hand at home for such cravings. It satisfies the chocolate craving with 0 calories and is much thicker and more concentrated than the sugary counterpart, so a little goes a long way.

  9. What about Carbohydrates in both Ice Cream and Yogurt

  10. I found that placing greek yogurt (with fruit in it) into the freezer for about 15 minutes, tastes just like a frozen yogurt dessert and it’s only 120 calories.

About the Author

Toya Campbell
Toya Campbell

Latoya Campbell, health enews contributor, is a Public Affairs Coordinator at Advocate Aurora Health. She has a BS degree in Communications/Broadcast Journalism from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and previously worked in digital and graphic marketing for a public library. She enjoys spending time with her family and friends, fitness activities and a good spa day.