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Nutrition

Frozen Yogurt: A Healthy Dessert Alternative

By Dina Bystryak for Summit Medical Group
Reviewed by Susan Canonico, RD
 

Now that the warm weather is here, many of us crave cold, refreshing treats to cool down. For a healthier option to ice cream, try frozen yogurt! It has the same creamy and delicious texture as ice cream, but less fat and fewer calories. For example, ½ cup of a leading vanilla ice cream brand has 230 calories and 14 grams of saturated fat, whereas the same serving size of a leading vanilla frozen yogurt brand has only 110 calories and no fat!

Why Fat and Calories Matter
Research shows that a diet high in fat can increase risk for heart disease — the number one killer of Americans.1 Obesity, which contributes to heart disease, is rampant in the United States. Over one-third (33.7%) of US adults (almost 75 million) are obese .In addition, 1 in 3 American children are obese, with the condition now exceeding smoking and drugs as the number one health concern among children.3

For these reasons, finding low-fat, low-calorie alternatives to many foods, especially treats, can help fight obesity and heart disease in children and adults. The good news is that it’s possible to make healthy food choices without depriving you and your kids of sweet tastes you crave! Frozen yogurt is a good start.

Benefits of Yogurt
In addition to saving fat and calories, frozen yogurt has other benefits. For example, people who cannot tolerate lactose can enjoy frozen yogurt because the lactose is more digestible. Its probiotics help fight off bacteria. It also has antioxidants that help prevent chronic diseases. In addition, frozen yogurt has other important nutrients, vitamins, and minerals such as protein, potassium, folate, magnesium, vitamin B12, and zinc.

A survey of 520 men and women aged 21 or older showed that 97% of Americans eat dessert an average of 3 times a week or more. If an adult male weighing 150 pounds substituted 1 serving of frozen yogurt (110 calories) for ice cream (230 calories) for one dessert a week for an entire year, he could save 120 calories per week or 6240 calories over the course of a year. That many calories can translate into losing or preventing the gain of almost 2 pounds! Although 2 pounds might not seem like a lot, they add up when you continue cutting calories with healthy changes throughout your diet.

So don’t sacrifice your sweet tooth this summer! Try yogurt to satisfy your desire for a cold, delicious summer desert and save on fat and calories!

If you'd like to learn more about healthy alternatives
that can you help you control your weight, our nutritionists can help!

Call Summit Medical Group Nutrition Services today
at 908-277-8731.

  1. Livestrong Web Site. Statistics on Heart Disease. Accessed July 21, 2011.
  2. American Heart Association Web site. Obesity Information. http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/GettingHealthy/WeightManagement/Obesity/Obesity-Information_UCM_307908_Article.jsp.  Accessed July 21, 2011.
  3. American Heart Association Web site. Overweight in Children. http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/GettingHealthy/Overweight-in-Children_UCM_304054_Article.jsp. Accessed July 21, 2011.
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