Why frozen yogurt may not be as healthy as you think
Frozen yogurt: it’s everyone’s favorite summertime treat. With tasty flavors ranging from birthday cake to dulche de leche, and the ability to mix and match with both nutritious and sugary toppings, it’s hard to pass up the popular dessert.
As the fro yo craze has taken off – now a multi-million dollar industry – more people have been heading to the self-serve stores for a healthier alternative to ice cream. But the unfortunate truth is that this type of yogurt may not be your best option.
While some may criticize frozen yogurt for the tempting toppings that pack on the calories, the problem actually starts with the fro yo itself.
Just because it contains fewer calories doesn’t necessarily mean it’s better for you. Ever wonder where the yogurt gets its tasty, sweet flavor from? The Huffington Post surveyed six of the most popular national fro yo chains – including Pinkberry, TCBY and 16 Handles – about the ingredients they contain, and found some surprising results.
The online news site concluded that many flavors contain additives such as guar gum, maltodextrin, sodium, citrate, cellulose gum, disodium phosphate, and other artificial ingredients of which experts warn against excessive consumption.
“There’s every reason to think that adding chemicals to foods that aren’t really part of food per se has the potential to do some harm,” David Katz, M.D., founding director of the Yale Universtiy Prevention Research Center, told the Huffington Post.
One of the other additives found in fro yo, carrageenan – a thickening agent extracted from red seawaeed – has been associated with adverse health effects, such as stomach problems.
Another thing to be wary about is the fact that the fro yo might contain more sugar than you think. Sugar might be represented on the label by a bunch of other names that you may not recognize, such as fructose, dextrose, corn syrup, and juice concentrates.
"One of the things they'll [frozen yogurt stores] do is in the same product list sugar by three, four, five different names," Katz told the Huffington Post. "Sugar is sugar and we eat too damn much of it."
Experts suggest that you should not eat frozen yogurt if it has more than five ingredients or if you don’t recognize an ingredient as food.