Cold Summer Treats – What’s your best bet?

Remember when Dairy Queen offered a choice between soft-serve ice cream OR yogurt in any of their desserts? Maybe you don’t. It was a L-O-N-G time ago. At any rate, I do remember, and I’ve been disappointed that they no longer offer it for all these years. There aren’t any frozen yogurt joints in small town Minnesota that I know of, though I am aware of at least a couple now that I’m in “the big city.” 🙂

I was thinking about the whole thing, and wondering if there is any benefit to choosing frozen yogurt over ice cream anyway. Maybe it’s one of those marketing tricks, where you FEEL like you’re making a healthier choice because you’ve been manipulated by someone’s ad campaign. I honestly had no idea, and I decided I’d like to find out more.

While I was at it, I thought I’d look at the difference between regular yogurt and frozen yogurt. That’s another perceived healthy choice. I often serve berries with yogurt as a dessert and feel like I’m offering something better for us than frozen yogurt or ice cream. But is it true? (Embarrassed that I never actually looked before.)

I searched online for nutrition data for a variety of ice cream or yogurt products. I tried to stick to vanilla so I’d be comparing apples to apples, or rather vanilla to vanilla. I did throw in a plain yogurt to see how that would compare to all the flavored options. Here’s what I came up with:

You’ll note varying amounts of calories, fat, carb and protein. If you’re talking vanilla frozen yogurt versus vanilla ice cream, I’d say the fat content would probably be the factor to consider. Are you concerned about 5 grams versus 1 gram of fat per serving? Do you think it tastes better with more fat? For my particular needs, though, I think the vanilla Greek yogurt is the clear winner. I’m not a big meat eater, so I’m always looking for protein. The Chobani Vanilla flavored Greek yogurt is pretty comparable to the others in calories, but look at all that wonderful protein!!

I feel somewhat redeemed. My perception of the healthiest treat turned out to be the actual best choice for me.

As far as going out for a nice cold treat, I suppose it doesn’t matter all that much if I go for ice cream or frozen yogurt, as long as it’s all done in moderation, eh?

Do you ever get carried off in food marketing claims? Have you ever been surprised to find that your perception of “healthy” didn’t necessarily match up to the nutrition facts? Like I said, in this case my perception was pretty accurate, but I’d be willing to bet there are other things that aren’t so accurate. I’m going to have to keep this in mind and put some of my other assumptions to the test as I think of them.

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