With over 20 different flavors and 15 different toppings, Sprinkles Frozen Yogurt has become one of the most popular new spots on campus. You build your own sundae and are charged by the ounce. Advertised as a “nutritious” snack at only about 90-100 calories, many students flock there to treat themselves without the guilt. However, with huge bowls and toppings such as cookie dough and Reese’s Cups, are these treats really as “healthy” as they appear? Now, while there’s nothing wrong with occasionally splurging on these tempting treats, be aware that not all frozen yogurt is as “healthy” as you may think.
The frozen yogurt fad has been sweeping the nation for the past few years. Places like Red Mango, Pinkberry, and now Sprinkles draw customers in under the pretense of providing a better, less fattening alternative to ice cream. Frozen yogurt offers many health benefits people don’t think about. First, frozen yogurt contains high levels of probiotic cultures which aid indigestion. Calcium is another important nutrient found in frozen yogurt. It promotes bone density which prevents osteoporosis and also helps decrease hypertension with the aid of potassium and magnesium. Recent studies have shown that calcium reduces the risk of colon cancer as well. In addition to calcium, frozen yogurt is also a good source of protein, potassium, and B vitamins. Because of all these fantastic effects, it is easy to understand all the frozen yogurt hype.
Be warned, however, there are two things you should to take into consideration when enjoying one of these delectable desserts. First, pay attention to the portion size. One serving of frozen yogurt is ½ cup, which is equal to about 4 ounces. Because you are given such a large cup that you fill up yourself, it’s easy to get way more than you need. Be sure to pay attention to how much it weighs when you pay so that you have an idea how much you actually eat. It is also important to take note of the toppings. Even when people do stick to reasonable portion sizes, the cheesecake, Butterfingers, hot fudge, and marshmallows they pile on top ruin their attempt at a healthy snack.
There are, however, a variety of nutritious and satisfying combinations available. For example, you could get the Bananarama yogurt with peanut butter and granola. This provides a good mix of unsaturated fats from the peanut butter and carbohydrates from the granola. I also suggest getting the New York Cheesecake yogurt with strawberries and almonds to make a sort of strawberry cheesecake treat. In general, try having about 4-6 ounces of frozen yogurt with 2-3 toppings max. It’s a good idea to get some nuts with fruit, cereal, or granola. With this mix, you get a perfect combination of protein, carbohydrates, and unsaturated fatty acids. Finally, although you should definitely indulge yourself every once in a while, be wary of the traps of frozen yogurt. Be sure to follow the guidelines above if you want a truly wholesome and nutritious snack.
By Maja Warrum