Ice Cream vs. Frozen Yogurt

I love my ice cream but I hear that frozen yogurt is better for you. I will do a comparison between the 2 different frozen deserts to find out if that is really the case. I will not go into what tastes better, because that is very subjective and I know that I like Ice Cream better than Frozen Yogurt.

I went to my local Wegmans supermarket to get 2 containers of the same brand:

Perry’s ice cream is a great local favorite, so I chose 2 vanilla flavors in an attempt to keep things equal. This is not to bash Perry’s ice cream, they make quality products that I do buy if I don’t have home made ice cream.

Vanilla Ice Cream Vanilla Frozen Yogurt

Ingredients side by side:

Vanilla Ice Cream Vanilla Frozen Yogurt
CREAM, MILK, LIQUID SUGAR, SKIM MILK, BUTTERMILK, MILKFAT, CORN SYRUP, WATER, VANILLA EXTRACT, MONO- AND DIGYLCERIDES, CELLULOSE GUM, GUAR GUM, CARRAGEENAN, DEXTROSE, ANNATTO COLOR. SKIM MILK, BUTTERMILK, CULTURED SKIM MILK*, CORN SYRUP, MILK, LIQUID SUGAR, CREAM, VANILLA EXTRACT, CELLULOSE GUM, MONO- AND DIGLYCERIDES, GUAR GUM, CARRAGEENAN, VITAMIN E, ANNATTO EXTRACT, ASCORBIC ACID, VITAMIN A PALMITATE, VITAMIN D.

*CONTAINS ACIDOPHILUS, BIFIDUS, AND OTHER ACTIVE YOGURT CULTURES

From this list it is immediately noticeable that the frozen yogurt has more ingredients.

  • The yogurt has added vitamins A, C, D and E.
  • In the Yogurt, the cream and milk have been replaced by the skim milk, which results in a lower fat content

So, what are all those other ingredients anyway?

  • CORN SYRUP : Syrup made from corn starch, used to soften texture, add volume, prevent crystallization of sugar and enhance flavor. This is not the high fructose corn syrup that you hear about often.
  • MILKFAT : This is the fat in the milk and cream.
  • WATER : H2O (why is there water in my ice cream?)
  • VANILLA EXTRACT :¬† is created by extracting the flavor of the vanilla bean by soaking the beans in alcohol for a longer period of time. The vanilla infused alcohol is the vanilla extract.
  • MONO- AND DIGLYCERIDES : Additives commonly used to prevent fat from separating from the water in the product. thus extending the shelf life of the product. Since they are made from fatty acids, they may contain trans fats, depending how they were processed.
  • CELLULOSE GUM : a thickening agent used in all kinds of food products. Many diet and low-fat products will use food additives like cellulose gum to give the food a thicker and creamier consistency.
  • GUAR GUM : Is a guar bean extract that is used a s a thickening agent in dairy products and is also used as a stabilizer.
  • CARRAGEENAN : is similar to the guar gum, it’s a thickening, binding and stabilizer but it is extracted from sea weed.
  • DEXTROSE : is a sugar that is derived from starches, mainly corn. It is less sweet than sugar but it is used a lot of packaged and processed foods.
  • ANNATTO : is a natural orange-red food coloring¬† derived from the seeds of the achiote tree.

 

Nutrition labels side by side:

Serving Size 1/2 cup ( 65 grams ) Serving Size 1/2 cup ( 72 grams )
Amount Per Serving Amount Per Serving
Calories 140 Calories from Fat 70 Calories 120 Calories from Fat 20
% Daily Value * % Daily Value *
Total Fat 7g 11% Total Fat 2.5g 4%
Saturated Fat 4.5g 23% Saturated Fat 1.5g 8%
Trans Fat 0g Trans Fat 0g
Cholesterol 25mg 8% Cholesterol 10mg 3%
Sodium 35mg 1% Sodium 15mg 1%
Total Carbohydrate 16 g 5% Total Carbohydrate 21 g 7%
Dietary Fiber 0 g 0% Dietary Fiber 0 g 0%
Sugars 15 g Sugars 19 g
Protein 2 g Protein 4 g
Vitamin A 6 % Vitamin A 15 %
Vitamin C 0 % Vitamin C 15 %
Vitamin D % Vitamin D 20 %
Vitamin E % Vitamin E 15 %
Calcium 8 % Calcium 15 %
Iron 0 % Iron 0 %
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA. * The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.
Kosher Dairy Kosher Dairy

What do these labels tell us?

Clearly, Yogurt has less fat than the real ice cream. This makes it look like the frozen yogurt is better for you. The fat however has been replaced by sugar.

Everybody understands the impact of fat on our bodies, but what happens to sugars in our body? The body breaks down the sugar as glucose and fructose. The glucose gives you a the sugar rush, and your body creates insulin so that your body can use the glucose as energy (=calories) for your body. If you don’t use the calories they will cause weight gain. But if your body has too much insulin, your body cannot use it and it will end up in your blood and cause diabetes. The fructose works a little different, as it will bring your good cholesterol down and raises the triglycerides, which bring on heart decease if not kept in check.

So, what is better for you? Either you have more fatty food, or a more sugary food. In my opinion if you have either one in moderation you will be OK and from staring at the numbers above I don’t see a big winner as far as health is concerned.

The added vitamins make the yogurt a healthier choice, that in itself have nothing to do with the with the yogurt itself, and is just an attempt to tip the scale toward the frozen yogurt desert.

If you are really concerned about your health and crave a frozen snack maybe fat free or sugar free options are the way to go.

Ice cream or frozen yogurt are a frozen treat and should be eaten in moderation, all that said, I will pick the more creamy, richer option.

Keep licking people!

Nico

Sources: Perry’s ice cream website: http://www.perrysicecream.com/

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