Frozen Yogurt Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits

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Max Falkowitz

A staple of date nights, family outings, and after-dinner treats, you can locate frozen yogurt products in specialty shops across the country and in almost every grocery store.

Available in standard flavors, such as chocolate, strawberry, and vanilla, and more creative ones with toppings, such as banana pudding with vanilla wafers (found in Menchie's), frozen yogurt is the choice dessert of millions around the world.

With a lower fat content than its main competitor—ice cream—frozen yogurt remains the premier alternative for anyone looking to consume a cold treat. For an even healthier option, you should look for no-sugar-added or low-fat on the label. You can also blend frozen yogurt with fresh fruit for a low-fat milkshake. 

Frozen Yogurt Nutrition Facts

This nutrition information, for 1 cup (174 grams) of frozen yogurt for flavors except for chocolate (which is higher in calories), is provided by the USDA.

  • Calories: 221
  • Fat: 6.26g
  • Sodium: 110mg
  • Carbohydrates: 37.6g
  • Fiber: 0g
  • Sugars: 34.6g
  • Protein: 5.22g

Carbs

Although a dairy product and lower in fat than ice cream, frozen yogurt contains a high amount of carbs, the majority of which come from sugar (34.6 grams). The sugar is typically table sugar and not an alternative form such as agave.

You can find low- or no-sugar frozen yogurt brands on the market, but most of these contain higher amounts of fat. Fat helps to add more sweetness created by the lack of sugar.

Fats

Frozen yogurt is typically lower in fat than ice cream. Most of the fat comes from milk, which could be either liquid milk or powdered milk, depending on the brand. To stave off the fat content, look for “non-fat milk” on the ingredients list.

Protein

Because frozen yogurt contains dairy, there is a small amount of protein. The milk contains whey and casein, both of which are considered high-quality proteins containing essential amino acids.

Vitamins and Minerals

Macronutrients found in frozen yogurt include the following:

  • Calcium (174 mg), which is good for bone health.
  • Iron (0.8 mg), which aids with proper blood flow.
  • Potassium (271 mg), which helps with regulating sodium levels.
  • Vitamin C (1.22 mg), which helps boost your immune system.
  • Magnesium (17.4 mg), which helps muscle and nerve function.

Calories

Calories in 1 cup of frozen yogurt vary by brand but typically run approximately 200 to 250 calories. This includes brands labeled low fat and no-sugar-added.

Health Benefits

The nutritious ingredients found in frozen yogurt contribute to its health profile. Here is a closer look at some of the health benefits you may get from frozen yogurt.

May Include Probiotics

When it comes to probiotics, yogurt is often a staple that people look to provide what they need. What's more, it accounts for the largest share of sales. According to the journal of ISRN Nutrition, probiotics can provide the following health benefits:

  • Enhancing intestinal health
  • Strengthening immune response
  • Reducing cholesterol
  • Helping prevent cancer
  • Preventing diarrhoeal diseases and diarrhea
  • Improving lactose metabolism

May Be Easier to Digest

For anyone who experiences gastrointestinal issues when consuming ice cream, frozen yogurt might serve as a less painful substitute. According to the Journal of Dairy Science, frozen yogurt contains no more than 10% milkfat and a minimum acidity of 0.3% lactic acid. In ice cream, the minimum milk fat content is at least 10 to 16% and the lactic acid percentage can hit as high as 1%.

May Improve Bone Health

The calcium found in yogurt can help your muscles and cells work properly. As you age, your hormonal signals need to take calcium out of the bones every day to regulate your blood calcium levels. You need to consume calcium products to keep your bones strong, especially as you grow older.  

May Protect Against Depression

To combat potential depression symptoms, consuming calcium could help. In one study of 105 females 41 to 57 years old and in good health who did not take nutritional supplements or medications, researchers looked at their individual, 3-day dietary records. They found that those who consumed the least amount of calcium were the most likely to be associated with self-rated depression.

May Help Prevent Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is a disease found mostly in older women, in which bones become prone to fractures and breaks. The National Institute of Health states that this health condition is a serious issue in the country, affecting more than 10 million adults over the age of 50. Following a diet that includes calcium can help prevent or stave off an osteoporosis diagnosis for as long as possible.

Allergies

Because frozen yogurt is made with milk, it is not suitable for someone with a milk allergy. There are non-dairy frozen yogurts for those with milk allergies. But be sure to read the label, especially if you have other food allergies like allergies to soy, peanuts, or tree nuts because these ingredients could be present in both the dairy version and the non-dairy version.

If you suspect that you may have an allergy to milk, talk to a healthcare provider about your symptoms. Signs of an allergic reaction include a rash, hives, swollen lips or tongue, difficulty breathing, and more. A healthcare provider can help you determine if you have a true food allergy or an intolerance.

Adverse Effects

Those who are lactose intolerant (unable to fully digest sugar or lactose) in dairy products, might be able to eat frozen yogurt in small quantities. According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), most people with lactose intolerance can eat or drink some lactose without experiencing bloating, pain in the stomach, and diarrhea.

Although most frozen yogurt brands contain less dairy than ice cream, you may still experience serious gastrointestinal issues after consumption. Try a small amount at first to see how your body responds. If your reaction is severe, you should speak with a healthcare professional.

Varieties

When shopping for frozen yogurt—whether in a grocery store or at a market with an attendant who scoops the treat for you—you can choose from dozens of varieties. This includes no-sugar, fat-free, and low-sugar options. Flavors can range from one fruit (such as strawberry) to a variety of inventive, colorful options. There are even non-dairy versions.

Picking up or ordering a fruit flavor will at least get you some extra vitamins and minerals, making your dessert a little more nutritious than other candy-based choices. And, if you visit a frozen yogurt shop in which you add your own toppings, piling on fresh fruit and nuts is a great way to add vitamins and minerals. 

Storage and Food Safety

You can store frozen yogurt in the freezer in a number of ways. For instance, you can move the yogurt into an air-tight container or scoop the product into a plastic bag that is tightly shut and use the frozen goodness in smoothies. You also can put it in an ice-cube tray for small servings.

The yogurt can stay in the freezer for up to 2 months. Do not leave your yogurt out of the freezer for more than 2 hours or you risk bacteria growth and potential food poisoning. Bacteria can enter the food at temperatures between 40 °F and 140 °F and make you extremely sick.

Recipes

 

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Article Sources
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  1. USDA, Food Data Central. Frozen yogurts, flavors other than chocolate. Updated April 1, 2019.

  2. Kechagia M, Basoulis D, Konstantopoulou S, et al. Health benefits of probiotics: a reviewISRN Nutr. 2013;2013:481651. doi:10.5402/2013/481651

  3. Skryplonek K, Henriques M, Gomes D, et al. Characteristics of lactose-free frozen yogurt with κ-carrageenan and corn starch as stabilizersJournal of Dairy Science. 2019;102(9):7838-7848. doi:10.3168/jds.2019-16556

  4. U.S. National Library of Medicine. Calcium and bones.

  5. Bae Y-J, Kim S-K. Low dietary calcium is associated with self-rated depression in middle-aged Korean womenNutr Res Pract. 2012;6(6):527-533. doi:10.4162/nrp.2012.6.6.527

  6. National Institute of Health, Office of Dietary Supplements. Calcium. Updated March 22, 2021.

  7. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Lactose intolerance.