Jewels Doskicz is a registered nurse, freelance writer, patient advocate, health coach, and long-distance cyclist. Jewels is the moderator of Diabetic Connect’s weekly #DCDE Twitter chat, and she and her daughter both live healthfully with type 1 diabetes.
A sad truth about frozen yogurt: it's not far removed from ice cream on the health spectrum—it's just trendier.
Frozen yogurt is a multi-million dollar business dishing up many unnatural ingredients with loads of sugar and some active cultures for good measure. Don't be fooled. Comparatively, it's much closer to ice cream than yogurt.
What's wrong with frozen yogurt?
Frozen yogurt can be a carbohydrate bonanza. Think salad bars: the ingredients may seem healthy, but it's easy to exceed 1,000 calories.
"Sugar can be represented by a whole host of sneaky aliases on an ingredient list: fructose, dextrose, corn syrup, juice concentrates, polydextrose, and pure cane sugar," writes the Huff Post, adding that one product might list sugar by several of these names to keep it from topping the ingredient list.
Nutritional information at most fro-yo shops isn't usually front and center either; if you want the information, you have to ask for it. But here it is for you:
A one-cup serving of most frozen yogurts has about 220 calories, five grams of protein, six grams of fat, and 35 grams of sugar, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s nutrition database.
6 ways to make frozen yogurt healthier
1. Reverse the cup. Put the toppings in your cup first and the frozen yogurt on top to moderate carbohydrates and calories.
2. Portion control. Fill your cup halfway or ask for a smaller one. One size (giant) cups at self-serve spots tempt customers to fill it up.
3. Weigh before adding toppings. Four to five ounces is a good serving. Think about the size of a tennis ball.
4. Pick a low-sugar option. Some frozen yogurts are made with Splenda for instance.
5. Go for healthy toppings. Fresh berries or nuts are great; fresh fruit gives the appearance of a full cup, satisfying a hungry eye.
6. Eat frozen yogurt as an occasional treat.
What are your favorite healthy frozen yogurt toppings?