Forget what you thought you knew about your favorite warm-weather
snacks and sweet treats. We’re dishing the good, the bad and the absolutely
delicious right here, right now. Grab a spoon and dig in!
The skinny: If you’re
looking for the ultimate, original Greek yogurt, Fage is your brand. Their 0%
line offers no fat and 36 percent of your daily recommended allotment of
protein, packing a whopping 18g. A plain flavor has only 7g of sugar.
Not so fast: For the whole
story, though, you’ve gotta look at the flavored varieties, too. Strawberry,
our pick, triples the carbohydrates and more than doubles the sugar. And
somehow, there is 10 percent less protein. The good news? It’s also loaded with
calcium, and it’s sweetened with cane sugar, which may be processed, but is
also pretty natural, especially compared to chemical sweeteners like aspartame.
Bottom line: Like anything
else, yogurt is all about the labels. Compare carefully. When it comes to the
Greek variety, look at protein and sugar in particular, then scan the
ingredients list. A quick peek at Dannon’s Light & Fit Greek Nonfat
Yogurt’s blueberry flavor reveals a coloring agent to get that lovely blue
color, plus, fructose and sucralose instead of sugar, potassium sorbate to
lengthen shelf life and a few more chemicals we can’t really pronounce.
The skinny: A 4oz serving of
TCBY’s Golden Vanilla frozen yogurt has 20 more calories than a 6oz serving of
Fage 0% Greek Yogurt and the same amount of sodium. It has 2g fat, 17g sugar
(on par with the strawberry Fage flavor) and 4g protein. The first three
ingredients are milk—whole, skim and condensed skim. Next up is real sugar.
And, it’s got 10 percent vitamin A, 20 percent vitamin D and 20 percent
calcium, plus seven different strains of GI-healthy bacteria—more than Fage.
Not so fast: There are some
not-so-savory ingredients, like the list of possible stabilizers and
emulsifiers. The Dutch Chocolate flavor improves on the nutrition facts with
less sugar, fewer calories, and the Strawberry flavor includes a gram more
sugar and a gram less protein, as well as some added chemicals in its
strawberry base (including the coloring agent Red #40). If you take a look at a
grocery store brand, like Yoplait’s Greek Low Fat Frozen Yogurt in Honey
Caramel, you’ll see a smidge more fat and sodium as well as 4g more sugar and
6g of protein—that’s 12 percent of your recommended daily value. The
ingredients are pretty great though—it’s mostly milk, sugar and natural
flavoring, as well as five different strains of bacteria.
Bottom line: Froyo is
definitely a dessert you don’t need to justify. It has less sugar than most of
your other run-of-the-mill picks, and as long as you check the labels, you
won’t be eating a ton of chemicals (and you’ll get probiotics, too!).
The skinny: We took a look
at full-fat ice cream—none of this fat-free or low-fat nonsense (which might
not be fair, in hindsight, given that we looked at the Fage 0%). And Breyer’s
Natural Vanilla does have 20 percent
of your daily recommended value of saturated fat. But the sugar is a pretty
typical 14g, and its protein an acceptable 3g. It also offers 4 percent of your
vitamin A and 8 percent calcium.
Not so fast: Indulging in
insane flavors and crazy quantities is what will get you in trouble here. A
serving size of ice cream is a half-cup. That’s just a few heaping spoonfuls of
creamy goodness. But hey, Vanilla Fudge Swirl has half the fat and the same
amount of sugar
Bottom line: The problem
with ice cream is…who eats the recommended serving size? In all honesty, ice cream
stacks up pretty competitively, given that it’s a legit dessert item. It does
have more fat than any yogurt you’re bound to pick, though the quantity of
sugar goes toe to toe with regular and frozen yogurt, depending on the flavor
you choose. It does have some protein (a little less than froyo) and calcium (8
percent daily recommended value).
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BY BRITTANY TAYLOR ON 3/21/2014 12:23:00 PM
POSTED IN healthy eating 101, nutrition