The Girl Who Could (Formerly) Eat Anything

Getting fit and taking names

Ice Cream or Frozen Yogurt: The Art of Fooling Onesself

“I like frozen yogurt because it’s a lot healthier than ice cream,” said Couch while eating Rocky Cupcake-flavored frozen yogurt. “I can even give it to my kids and not worry about them having too much sugar.”

“I think there’s a lot more (frozen yogurt) places in town because people prefer the taste. It’s not heavy and it’s guilt-free,” Couch said.

These are quotes from an article in yesterday’s Tallahassee Democrat about the trend of frozen yogurt businesses in the city. Apparently, there are more frozen yogurt businesses than ice cream.

I read the article with my eyeballs firmly affixed to the top of my head. Do people really believe those things? Are they really so delusional? I suppose this explains the vast number of people who tell me they just “can’t” lose weight, that programs like Weight Watchers or counting calories “don’t work.” These are many of the same people who think carbohydrates make them fat and vast amounts of protein will make them thin.

I hate to bring facts into the picture, but I’m going to have to. I looked up the nutritional information on for half a cup of vanilla frozen yogurt and half a cup of vanilla ice cream:

  • You would save 28 calories by eating the frozen yogurt (that’s about a three-minute run or a five-minute walk, give or take and depending on weight and fitness level).
  • The frozen yogurt has 17 grams of sugar. The ice cream has 15 grams.
  • They’re equal in protein and close to equal (by 1% difference) in calcium content.
  • Yogurt has half the fat of ice cream (4 grams versus 8 grams). But that only really matter if you honestly believe fat is the evil some tout it to be — a “fact” that’s been disproven time and again by those pesky nutrition scientists. The fat gram content accounts for the disparity in calories.

As a former journalist, I’m just a little disappointed that the article writer included those quotes without actually looking up and providing the facts. It took me about twenty seconds.



August 29, 2011 - Posted by | Tips


  1. When it comes to sugar content, ice cream has less sugar in it than most yogurts (non-frozen) out there. It is sad that said journalist didn’t research the facts before publishing their article.

    Comment by Christina | August 29, 2011 | Reply

    • The statements were all quotes, but that doesn’t make them correct and it leaves readers thinking it’s true when the writer doesn’t dispute it.

      I say if you enjoy frozen yogurt or ice cream, have at it. I’m all about having a treat — especially in moderation. But why fool yourself into believing it’s some kind of health food?

      Comment by Renee | August 29, 2011 | Reply

  2. I guess some people NEED to fool themselves about it being healthy and some are just ignorant. For me, I can give up the chips, soda, cookies, cakes, but I will NEVER give up ice cream. I know that eating a whole pint isn’t good for me or what I am trying to do for myself, so now I stick to a serving.

    Comment by Christina | August 29, 2011 | Reply

  3. The major health benefit in yogurt is the active cultures, which of course aids in digestion. I think a lot of people hear that yogurt is healthy fo this reason, but unknowingly manipulate it to mean more. Yogurt is a great way to ingest calcium for someone who may be lactose intolerant, as the cultures convert the lactose to lactic acid, which people can be digested quickly and easily. The sugar that is added to frozen yogurt is alarming, but I know NuBerri always has at least one, if not two, no sugar added flavors (instead utilizing sugar substitutes). I worked at a yogurt shop for some time, and while the nutritional facts may not be as different as some guests would dream them to be, the plus in the new trend is that you choose how much you get. There is no small, medium, and large, it’s just you with a cup, and the control. Also on a side note, you may be interested to know that the average of 4 ounces of FroYo is worth 3 weight watchers points.

    Comment by JEB | September 5, 2011 | Reply

    • Frozen yogurt doesn’t have the same properties that yogurt has, just like ice cream doesn’t have the same properties milk has (neither does ice milk).

      I haven’t been in an ice cream parlor in years that didn’t offer a sugar free option, but unless you’re diabetic, I don’t think that’s necessarily healthier. Just fewer calories — but more chemicals. And I hate the taste of artificial sweeteners.

      Four ounces of ice cream is also 3 Weight Watchers points. A serving of ice cream (which is far smaller than most people realize) isn’t a point killer or a ton of calories.

      I’m not saying people should choose one over the other. I personally like both ice cream and frozen yogurt and will eat either if the mood strikes. I’m just pointing out that the idea that the yogurt is somehow healthier is a form of delusion people use to justify eating it when they’re not really doing themselves any favors.

      The self-serve idea is a good one, though. I don’t know why more ice cream places don’t go that way, as well. Perhaps they’ll move in that direction. But for everyone who eats less that way, there will be five people eating more.

      I’ll also add that I recently developed a bit of lactose intolerance, and cow milk yogurt is one of the things that triggers it. I can have ice cream and frozen yogurt and cooked milk, but uncooked milk and yogurt do not agree with me at all! Thank goodness for goat milk yogurt.

      Comment by Renee | September 6, 2011 | Reply

      • Frozen yogurt must have the same qualities as yogurt, at least to an extent because regular Dannon non-fat yogurt is the base of the frozen yogurt mixture.

        Comment by JEB | September 7, 2011

      • And the basis of ice milk is milk, but if you look at the nutritional information of milk and ice milk it’s VERY different. I suspect you’ll find, if you compare the NI of Danon non-fat yogurt and frozen yogurt, you will find a signifant number of differences.

        Comment by Renee | September 7, 2011

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