What's the go with Froyo?
Walking down George St in Sydney recently, literally 4 shops out of 10 in the span of roughly 100m were frozen yoghurt stores. Why??
It baffles me as to why they even set up shop so close to one another - is there really that much demand for this frozen treat?
What they claim:
It's easy to believe that froyo is the magical treat that won't affect your weight. It's yoghurt, it’s low in fat, and some are even sugar free!! It sounds like a perfect treat to cool off with in summer.
Here’s the home truths.
Yes, the base is 'yoghurt', but low or fat free - we usually know what this means.....more added sugar. The no added sugar kinds? Well…..
How can it be low in fat AND sugar free?
Apparently sugar in a high number of marketing campaigns only ever refers to the white stuff. Refined table sugar.
Before you think I’m anti-fructose and about to preach sugar is poison, I want to advise you right here that this isn’t the case. I love my fruit and cutting fruit completely out of your diet would not only be really sad (because fruit tastes awesome and looks amazing), but you’ll be cutting out a really simple, delicious source of nutrients that support your body to function at its best. What I don’t believe in is a diet full of highly processed added sugars, and misleading marketing.
Right, now that’s out of the way…
How do they sweeten it?
One company uses fructose (fruit sugar) – which they claim guarantees low calories when combined with their low fat yoghurt. Huh? Fructose sugar has the equivalent calories to regular sugar. They also quote ‘Lots of Vitamin & Fiber contents will not only make you think you are getting healthier, but actually revitalize your body and make them healthier & fresher’ – I’m sorry, what? Yes frozen yoghurt has a few grams of protein, and some calcium, but what’s the vitamins and fibre you’re talking about? And how does my body get fresher exactly? The only fibre sources I found were inulin, numerous gums and cellulose. Natural sources, but inulin is known to cause some tummy trouble in those with IBS. Before you go thinking froyo is a great fibre source though, check out the stats. In all of the different range of flavours across various chains, one half cup serve provided a whopping 0-1g of fibre. Don’t get carried away there froyo!
Yes, the majority of frozen yoghurt companies serve up low fat varieties. This is to reduce the calorie content so they can claim to be the healthier cousin of full fat, dairy ice cream. A 100g serve of Cold Rock full fat Aussie Vanilla provides a 14.8g scoop of fat, whereas the average froyo contains around 2-3g of fat. Big difference. Though take a look at the calories….
CALORIES IN FROYO VS ICE CREAM
Original vanilla frozen yoghurt peaks at around 120kcal/504kJ. Regular full fat vanilla ice cream comes in at 234kcal/980kJ. Big difference again. Low fat ice cream however comes in at around 127kcal/531kJ – pretty damn close to the froyo.
So what’s the sugar comparison then? 19.4g in a 100g serve of low fat ice cream, 21.1g in full fat, and 19.8g in a typical 100g serve of frozen yoghurt. This means they all have about 4 tsp of sugar per serve. Remember though, not all of the sugar content is added sugar as dairy naturally contains lactose. Even the no added sugar varieties come in at around 6g of sugar for this reason.
How great is it that instead of standing behind the glass countertop painstakingly watching the ice cream girl scoop a teeny serve onto your cone, you get to take full reign and serve yourself? Not only is it novel to serve yourself, you get to mix all the flavours you want without feeling embarrassed of your desire to mix some seriously bizarre pairings. Throw in the ability to chuck on a whole bunch of random sugary toppings and on the scale it goes. Boom! You just spent $15 dollars on froyo, and completely forgot about portion control. If this is an issue for you, maybe it’s best to leave the scooping to the ice creamery girl.
Like I said previously, frozen yoghurt does have some good qualities. It’s got good gut friendly bacteria, and contains protein and calcium.
Protein – around 2.3g per 100g serve
Calcium – 85-115mg per 100g serve
Not quite a ‘protein packed’ snack.
This is the stuff that makes me rather uneasy. Why when the key ingredients are so simple, must they add all these extra bits and pieces that just make food no longer like food, and more like a science experiment?
From the sites that actually showed their full ingredients list, these are some of the items I found in their mixes:
‘Nature identical yoghurt flavour’, hydrogenated vegetable fats, high fructose corn syrup, vegetable oil shortening and soy flour, among a very long list of others.
Random and unnecessary. Anything hydrogenated increases the chances of trans fat being created. Trans fats = really bad for our heart. High fructose corn syrup – well that’s a whole other blog post; and shortening and soy flour just don’t need to be there!
I'd personally avoid it, but I know that's difficult to do for most of us who can tolerate dairy.
So, what to do?
Not all chains promote sugar free, and most are actually lower in fat than regular ice cream. So, if you really want some frozen dairy on a hot summer day, opt for the non-sugar free froyo as it at least has a dose of healthy gut bacteria. Limit yourself to one r two teaspoons of topping and take the small cup. Yes it has sugar, but you’re only having it as a rare treat, right?
Ultimately, (and definitely my preference) you can be really awesome and make your own at home, and serve it up to your friends. They’ll love you forever!
Here’s a delightfully simple recipe from the ladies at Refinery29:
Enjoy being you,
Note: Calorie content sourced from calorieking.com.au