Is frozen yoghurt healthier than ice-cream?

Yoghurt is certainly a food item with an established ‘health halo’.

Much like granola and wholegrains, there is something about yoghurt that makes consumers immediately assume it is good. Maybe it’s the natural whiteness (oh so pure) or the low lactose quality (great for IBS and digestive ailments) that has everybody dying to consume more and more yoghurt.

frozen yoghurt
Attribution-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-ND 2.0) https://www.flickr.com/photos/mr_t_in_dc/3783623276

However, with the onset of unhealthy high sugar varieties, and with so many different types (Greek yoghurt, Greek-style yoghurt, fat-free yoghurt, fruit yoghurts, Icelandic yoghurt), many consumers don’t actually know the difference anymore. But there is something they are all placing their bets on; it is that the creamy deliciousness they are consuming is actually 100 per cent healthy.

The ‘health halo’ status of yoghurt has led to an unsurprising rise in frozen yoghurt sales; up 21 per cent each year since 2008, with the number of yoghurt shops doubling within the last seven years. Ice-cream – the fat-laden, calorific, sugar-heavy first child – is now being shoved out of the way by its healthier, friendlier kid sister.

But is frozen yoghurt actually better for you than ice-cream? Let’s take a look at the facts.

Healthy bacteria

The healthy gut bacteria that naturally appears in yoghurt is lost during the freezing process of making frozen yoghurt. Manufacturers who may display the bacteria content on their packaging have likely added probiotics after production.

Sugar content

Many frozen yoghurts actually have more sugar than ice-cream. Per each half-cup serving, frozen yoghurt contains around 17 grams of sugar, while ice-cream has only around 14 grams.

Think about it: have you ever tried freezing yoghurt? It tastes sour and it smells weird. The way manufacturers make sure you keep coming back for more is by adding sugar. Simple.

ice cream

Fat content

Ice-cream carries more fat per serving than frozen yoghurt. The clue is in the name: ice-CREAM. Cream is the butterfat layer of milk, whilst yoghurt is everything in milk (including a little fat). Ice-cream generally has around seven grams of fat per serving, whereas frozen yoghurt has around four grams.

However, as ice-cream has more fat but less sugar, you are more likely to feel hungry sooner as blood sugar spikes. Sugar-free versions of frozen yoghurt are also likely to be substituted with sweeteners, which can lead to digestive issues and cramping.


The verdict? They’re both pretty crappy, but at least ice-cream is marketed correctly as high in fat but super delicious. Frozen yoghurt, while marketed as healthy, is not that much better for you than ice-cream. Watch out for shop-bought varieties; instead, make your own. Try this healthy gluten-free, low-fat and low-sugar ice-cream for an IBS-friendly pudding.

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