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.
About the Author
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.