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How ‘Healthy’ Is That Fro-Yo?

frozen yogurt dessert

Fro-yo can go from healthy-er to not-so in a matter of toppings! Credit: moonlightbulb

A do-it-yourself frozen yogurt shop just opened up in our neighborhood. It’s one of those places where you can choose from many different flavors of fro-yo and build your own delicious dessert concoction with the insane number of toppings available. It’s ridiculously yummy and slightly addictive. I went several times the first few weeks it was open, but luckily the newness has worn off a bit (plus the heat wave passed, so it’s not so blazing hot that I want to dive into a bucket of fro-yo).

One of the interesting things about the frozen yogurt shop is the sign in the window. “Healthy!” it proclaims. I had to do a double take. Because, seriously? Is anyone fooled into thinking that this is healthy? Maybe it’s slightly lower-calorie than ice cream, but you have to watch out and have some self control, or your “healthy” treat can turn into a disaster in a hurry. First of all, the smallest container they have is enormous. Way larger than any single-scoop ice cream container I’ve ever seen, so you have to be careful not to get too heavy handed with the fro-yo lever. Second of all, the toppings. There is fruit, yes. But there is also every crushed-up candy and sugary cereal you could hope for, plus an abundance of flavored sauces. I’m pretty sure that sign in the window can’t be referring to the hot fudge or the smooshed Butterfingers.

When I head in for a sweet treat, I practice serious portion control. After all, it’s not a meal; it’s a dessert. And just because all the toppings are there doesn’t mean I have to use them. And just because the container is a million ounces doesn’t mean I need to fill it. (You do pay by weight, after all!) Restraint is the name of the game when you’re a kid in a yogurt store!

Have you ever seen health claims that made you laugh? Ever been to one of these places? How do you keep your fro-yo on the light side? —Erin

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  1. Ivori says:

    I go to 3 Spoons Yogurt and their frozen yogurt has active live cultures, all of their flavors are either sugar free or fat free, they use fresh fruits to flavor their frozen yogurt and are certified by the NYA.
    The idea that frozen yogurt is healthy is not far fetched; it is better for your health than ice cream. Of course the frozen yogurt shops are going to have crazy toppings like crushed candies and hot fudge, but that doesn’t mean you have to eat it; it’s there for when you DO want to eat. You know, that awesome right we have called choices/options ?
    I liked the idea of Self Serve because that lowers the cost of the product for the consumer and we are in control of what we want. I know you can not seriously suggest that we NEED an employee to help us CONTROL how much we should eat.

  2. Jen says:

    This sounds like 16 Handles to me! I ADORE that place. It’s soooo good. Most of the time when I go there, I get a small portion of the froyo and then do fruit toppings. But occasionally I splurge and go crazy with the toppings… but there’s no way it’s healthy!!

  3. Julia Haeger says:

    We have a fro yo place ~ 1 mile from the house…perfect way to cool down after a run. I have mastered the art of the $1 pull of fro yo!

  4. Jaclyn says:

    My coworkers and I have a serious yogurt habit. It can be so sneaky-unhealthy though! I keep it light by sticking with the original tart yogurt (usually the lowest in cals/sugar, plus I just like the way it tastes better than the artificial flavors) and only topping it with fruit. It’s still a treat, but I don’t feel horrible after!

  5. Kacie says:

    I absolutely love frozen yogurt. It’s definitely one of my guilty pleasures. It’s obvious it isn’t “healthy” but just like anything, it is fine in moderation. My downfall? I tend to fill that too large of a cup and put a hefty topping of chocolate chips on the top. Oh well. We all have our weaknesses. 😉

  6. James Heath says:

    Ah i loove frozen yogurt but know its a lot of sugar….what tricks do you have for baked goods? Do you like Sprinkles Cupcakes? http://www.jiggyhealth.com/uncategorized/curse-of-the-sprinkles-cupcakes/

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