What You Need to Know about Frozen Yogurt

185919750You may see frozen yogurt as a health food. But that just proves the old adage about beauty being in the eye of the beholder.

Nutritionally frozen yogurt is a step up from ice cream, that is undeniable. And it can certainly be included as part of a healthy diet. But it is neither as benign nor beneficial as you may have been led to believe, or as you would like to believe.

Debunking Frozen Yogurt Myths

Here are some mistaken ideas people have about frozen yogurt …

The myth: Because it is a non-fat/super-low-fat food, frozen yogurt can be consumed in fairly large quantities without elevating your calorie intake into the danger zone.

The reality: Frozen yogurt lacks fat but is abundant in sugar. A plain, 16-ounce serving purchased in a yogurt shop and consumed without toppings contains nearly 400 calories, a good portion of which is pure sugar. And most of us don’t eat it plain or without toppings.

The myth: Frozen yogurt is beneficial to digestion and the immune system because it is loaded with probiotics.

The reality: Most of the probiotics in frozen yogurt never reach the digestive system. They are either lost during manufacturing or storage, neutralized by stomach acids or shut down by exposure to extreme (freezing) temperatures.

The myth: The toppings provided in yogurt shops have few calories and can be eaten without worry.

The reality: Unless you stick to fruit there is plenty to worry about. Most of the toppings sold in yogurt shops have a decent number of calories and can quickly elevate the calorie count of the final product you consume. Even fruit is problematic if it comes in a sugary syrup.

The myth: A medium-sized cup of frozen yogurt is enough for the occasional lunch. You wouldn’t want to eat it exclusively for lunch often but every once in a while is okay.

The reality: A cup-and-a-half serving of frozen yogurt contains less calcium and protein than a glass of milk. It is also loaded with sugar, which makes frozen yogurt far from ideal as a stand-alone food.

The myth: So-called “real” or “natural” frozen yogurt is healthier and lower in calories than the commercial kind.

The reality: These claims are a marketing strategy and are not based in truth. Calculations show only marginal calorie or nutritional differences between the various types of frozen yogurts sold in shops or stores.

Frozen Yogurt is Delicious, That is No Myth

Frozen yogurt is tasty, popular and can be a solid addition to most diets. As a “sweet treat” it is a much better bet, nutritionally, than ice cream or many other kinds of sugary foods. But it is not a health food in the classical sense and if you eat too much of it you will not be doing your body any favors. ‘All things in moderation,’ as the saying goes, and that certainly applies to frozen yogurt, as delicious as it might be.

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How Is Yogurt Made?

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There are lots of treats that could be hiding in your refrigerator, but none is creamier and tastier than yogurt. Whether it’s plain or fruity, it’s a healthy alternative that will make your parents proud. Plain yogurt may seem boring, but you can take it to a whole new level. It makes the perfect snack and it’s a great source of dairy that contains live bacterial culture. Although it can be bought in stores, it can also be made at home with fresh, wholesome ingredients and without any preservatives.

How Is Yogurt Made?

The bacteria added to the fresh milk must be heated so the lactose (sugar) becomes converted into lactic acid, which then thickens and gives it its tangy flavor. This all must happen in a controlled environment. Use a food thermometer to reach the ideal temperature when heating the milk in a pot, and again when it’s left to cool before it’s poured into the yogurt maker. A thicker, tangier yogurt will result the longer the bacteria is allowed to ferment. Yogurt can be made without a yogurt maker, but such a small appliance can simplify the process to ensure better results.

For a creamier texture, add gelatin. Sweeteners, fruit, and other flavorings may be added once the desired consistency has been achieved. For an even thicker consistency, consider straining the yogurt. This will result in what’s commonly referred to as Greek yogurt.

Enjoy a fun snack by making a yogurt parfait with your favorite fruit. Try adding raspberries and pineapple, or substitute them with others for a change. Keeping it fresh is the best way to go. Yogurt, topped with crushed walnuts, cinnamon, and organic honey can be an extremely healthy and hearty breakfast, too.

Yogurt is a delicious, healthy snack because it’s chock full of protein and minerals. Don’t avoid yogurt if you’re lactose intolerant, as the lactose can be broken down in the intestines, thanks to its special enzyme. It can also be made with whole milk, low- or non-fat, and other varieties, and with the milk of other animals.

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