RadioBDC Logo
| Listen Live
< Back to front page Text size +

The Chilling Facts About Frozen Yogurt

Posted by Joan Salge Blake  May 21, 2013 11:36 AM

E-mail this article

Invalid E-mail address
Invalid E-mail address

Sending your article

What’s not to love about soft serve frozen yogurt?  It can be a delightful way to enjoy a frozen dessert and reap some bone-strengthening calcium to boot.  According to the USDA, a half cup of soft serve vanilla frozen yogurt can be enjoyed for only about 115 calories yet also provides 10 percent of the Daily Value (DV) for calcium. 

Unfortunately, if you visit a frozen yogurt shop where you have the liberty to choose the amount of frozen yogurt from a variety of dispensers, you may be portion-size challenged by the humongous size containers available.  (See the photo below of the containers from a local frozen yogurt shop.)

The container on the left in the photo holds 16 ounces while the hefty one on the right holds 32 ounces, both of which dwarf the ½ cup serving size that is pictured in the middle. Even if you only fill either container halfway, your portion size would be about 1 to 2 cups of yogurt, which translates into about 230 to 460 calories. 

These huge containers can be a calorie nightmare as research suggests ice cream bowl sizes can impact how much you eat.  In a study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 85 adults who were given a large ice cream bowl (34 ounces) served themselves over 30 percent more ice cream than those who used a medium bowl (17 ounces).   It appears from this study that when using a large bowl, individuals unconsciously increase the “appropriate” serving size in relationship to the size of the container.   Since it is estimated that individuals consume about 90 percent of the food that they serve themselves, the bigger the container the more you will likely eat.

Then, there are the toppings, which can also make your frozen dessert top heavy in the calorie department.  Here’s a listing of the calories in a variety of popular toppings:
Source: TCBY

If you fill a 16-ounce frozen yogurt container halfway, which will be about a cup of yogurt (230 calories) and decorate it with two candy or cookie toppings and some syrup, your dessert now weighs in over 400 calories. 

So, how can you enjoy frozen yogurt without compromising your waist?  Try these tips:
  1. Pick the smallest container available.
  2. Fill the container at least halfway with sliced berries, chopped manages, or whatever fresh fruit that is available.
  3. Then top it off with the frozen yogurt.  You will be surprised how much less yogurt you will take when the container is already stuffed with fruit. 
  4. Go easy on the toppings.
Doing all of the above tips will help keep your frozen yogurt dessert under about 175 calories (minus the toppings).  PS:  For fun, TCBY (The Country’s Best Yogurt) has an interactive, build your own frozen yogurt sundae on their website, which will give you the calorie content of your favorite flavor and toppings.  Click here to start building.

                                         Follow Joan on Twitter at:  joansalgeblake

Originally published on the blog Nutrition and You!.
This blog is not written or edited by or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

E-mail this article

Invalid E-mail address
Invalid E-mail address

Sending your article


About the author

Joan Salge Blake, MS, RD, LDN, is a clinical associate professor and registered dietitian at Boston University in the Nutrition Program. Joan is the author of Nutrition &You, 2nd Edition, More »

Health search

Find news and information on:

More community voices

[an error occurred while processing this directive]

Child in Mind

Corner Kicks

Dirty Old Boston

Mortal Matters

On Deck

TEDx Beacon Street


Browse this blog

by category