Trendy tart frozen yogurts start out as skinny treat, but it’s wickedly easy to bring them into hazardous nutrition territory.
Text: Maureen Callahan, RD
July 28, 2011
1 of 6Photo: John Autry
FroYo Gone Bad
Giant self-serve cups and a dizzying array of colorful toppings have a way of tempting even the most scrupulous froyo eater to scale their dessert to unhealthy new heights. After watching friends, family, and scoopers at five different shops, we couldn’t help but notice a few combos that demonstrate how easy it is to go horribly wrong. See if you find yourself in any of these five scenarios.
2 of 6Photo: John Autry
1. Flavor Mixer
Pull down the nozzle on four different flavor favorites (plain tart, pomegranate, blueberry, white peach) so you get a taste of everything and before you know it you’ve filled the smallest size self-serve cup to the top and crowned it with a generous swirl. End portion: probably 2 cups. Calories: 370. And sugar? You’ll be mainlining 20 teaspoons (85 grams) right down the old gullet.
Instead, stick with one flavor and get a variety of flavor and textures from our Monkey Business topping combination.
3 of 6Photo: John Autry
2. Butterfinger Baby
Oops, that creamy peanut butter flavor came out so fast that almost half the container (1 cup) is full of yogurt. Well, it’s still less calories than ice cream, right? So you sprinkle on four spoonfuls (about 1/4 cup) of crushed Butterfinger and guess what? You just dumped almost a whole candy bar—230 calories, 9.4 grams fat, 4.8 grams saturated fat, and 36 grams of sugar—on a 240 calorie portion of froyo. Total damage: 470 calories, not to mention the saturated fat.
Instead, try our Candy Queen combination which features equal amounts of Kit Kat, chocolate-covered raisins, and crushed Butterfinger.
4 of 6Photo: John Autry
3. Zen Princess
Feeling smug about the health benefits of a medium serving of green tea laced yogurt you cap off your Asian treat with 2 scoops of mochi (glutinous rice cubes.) Yes, the yogurt delivers 8 grams of protein and 20 percent of your daily calcium needs, and maybe a few benefits from the green tea. But there’s nothing Zen about the mochi; each scoop harbors a tablespoon’s worth of sugar. And the medium portion is a whopping nine ounces. Total calories: 413. Total carbs: 94 grams. Can you say sugar rush?
Instead, combine mango, pineapple, and shredded coconut for a 50-calorie Tropical Treat topping.
5 of 6Photo: John Autry
4. Banana Split
A little vanilla, a little chocolate and a little strawberry go in the cup (to the tune of 6 ounces) and you crown them with 6 banana slices and 4 tablespoons hot fudge sauce. Skinny banana split? Not really. Froyo may be fat-free but it’s plenty high in sugar (sugar is often the second ingredient.) Coupling a big portion (213 calories) with a few banana slices is ok. But a fourth cup of hot fudge sauce adds another 266 calories, most of it sugar with a little bit (7grams) fat. Total damage: 479 calories, 94 grams carbs.
Instead, get your hot fudge fix for only 160 calories with our Toffee-Fudge topping.
6 of 6Photo: John Autry
5. Kiddie Cocktail
A half cup of peanut butter cup froyo topped with two tablespoons crushed iced animal crackers might sound reasonable. But here’s the deal, speciality froyo flavors are sometimes double the calories of plain. Just a half cup of peanut butter cup weighs in with 188 calories and 2.5g fat. The cookies? Like some candy toppings at froyo bars, cookies might contain partially hydrogenated oils (aka trans fats) so go easy. Two cookies (40 calories) crushed won’t put you over the edge, but larger servings could.