Comparing Calories: Ice Cream Versus Frozen Yogurt

It's a showdown of the sweets: ice cream vs. frozen yogurt. Is frozen yogurt as healthy as they claim? Read on to find out.

The first frozen yogurt shops opened in the 1980s and quickly grabbed the attention of health-conscious consumers. People started skipping ice cream and choosing TCBY (The Country’s Best Yogurt) and the like because they thought there were less calories. Now we have Pinkberry, Yogurtland and tons of yogurt products at grocery stores. The taste of yogurt has slowly evolved. There are now flavors good enough to rival your favorite ice cream.  So, should you load up your bowl with frozen yogurt just because a lot of people think it’s healthier?

Which Treat Should You Eat?

Ice cream and frozen yogurt are both dairy products and yogurt generally contains less fat and calories than ice cream.  Whole milk and cream aren’t generally used in frozen yogurt – they’re made with cultured milk. Of course, calorie counts skyrocket when chocolate, nuts, fruit, and more sugar are added to either.

In slightly less than a third-cup portion, plain vanilla ice cream clocks in at about 207 calories, 11 grams of fat, and 21 grams of sugar. Frozen yogurt provides 114 calories, 4 grams of fat, and 17 grams of sugar. However, yogurt generally has more added sugar to offset its naturally tart taste.

If this sounds like a no-brainer, it’s not. This only applies to plain vanilla. There are enough versions of frozen yogurt and ice cream out there to make your head spin. Using a self-serve option at a shop can be dangerous.  If you’re like most people, you fill the container to the top and haphazardly add toppings that are loaded with fat and sugar.

One ounce of granola adds 128 calories and every 10 chocolate chips sprinkled on top add another 24 calories!  A low-fat frozen yogurt sundae can easily add up to well over 1,000 calories and 35+ grams of fat.

Taking Control of Your Calorie Intake

Store-bought frozen yogurts list ingredients and spell out the nutrition information, so it’s easier to see what the healthier options are. Using measuring cups at home will control the portions sizes.

A calorie counter tool, such as our Lifesum weight tracker app, will clearly show and track your calorie intake. This is one of the most effective, useful resources you can use to lose weight because there’s no guesswork involved. It’s an especially handy tool if you’re eating out.

Paying attention to your body after eating will also help you achieve your weight loss goals. Eating a cup of whole-fat ice cream can leave you feeling more satiated than a full cup of fat-free ice cream, even if the calorie counts are similar. Our calorie counter app also tracks macros (fats, carbs, and proteins), which help monitor and make the most of your energy intake.

Avoiding both ice cream and yogurt completely is only for superhumans. Summer is the hardest time to resist cravings. Sometimes you just have to have it, so consider the facts. Reading food label, and understanding the calories, ingredients, fat, and sugar content of these two delicious treats can be enlightening.

All of the content and media on Lifesum is created and published for information purposes only. It is not intended to be used as a substitute for medical advice or treatment. Users should always consult with a doctor or other health care professional for medical advice.

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