A Response to John’s Attack on Frozen Yogurt

Comparison of the Nutritional Elements and Prices of Ice Cream and Frozen Yogurt
By: Emily Tryon

Abstract

As a devoted frozen yogurt worshipper, I had quite a bit of trouble forcing myself to finish reading this vicious attack on my dessert of choice.  I’ve decided to research and compare the nutrition facts and pricing information of frozen yogurt and ice cream to see if your claims had any substance.

Introduction

Frozen yogurt is admittedly not health food and for the most part it contains more calories and sugar than non-frozen yogurt. This is due to the carbohydrates that it contains (from the sugars naturally occurring in milk as well as the added sugars), not because of fat like ice cream.  Though ice cream and frozen yogurt share similar sugar contents, roughly half of the calories in ice cream come from fat. Fat contains 9 calories per gram and carbohydrates contain 4 calories per gram, causing ice cream to have a waayy higher caloric content than frozen yogurt (1). 

Methods

I combined my knowledge of ice cream and frozen yogurt pricing and nutrition with data compiled from a variety of sources.

Results

Half a cup of Graeter’s Black Raspberry Ice Cream contains 290 calories (180 calories from fat) 19 grams of fat (and over half of your daily requirement of saturated fat at 55% btw),  and 27 grams of carbohydrates (2).

Half a cup of Yogurtland’s Dutch Chocolate Frozen Yogurt contains 118 calories (0 calories from fat) 0 grams of fat, and 26.9 grams of carbohydrates (3).

One “Like It” sized ice cream (142 grams, roughly 5 ounces) at Coldstone Creamery (includes one mix-in) costs $3.00. Each additional topping costs $0.50 (4).

At Yogurtland, frozen yogurt with unlimited toppings costs $0.30 per ounce.

At Menchie’s, frozen yogurt with unlimited toppings costs $0.39 per ounce.

Discussion

As the results clearly demonstrate, of the particular brands and flavors in the study, frozen yogurt contains significantly fewer calories than ice cream.  Furthermore, none of the calories in frozen yogurt come from fat, while 180 of the 290 calories in a serving of ice cream come from fat.  Ice cream and frozen yogurt are almost identical in their carbohydrate content.

As far as price goes, an approximately 5 oz. serving of frozen yogurt at Yogurtland would cost $1.50, whereas an equal amount of ice cream at Coldstone Creamery costs $3.00.  The cost of Coldstone Creamery is with only one topping. Each addtional topping is $0.50.  At Yogurtland, one can apply all of the toppings one wants. 

Furthermore, at Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt, frozen yogurt costs $0.39 an ounce.  A 5 oz. serving of ice cream at Menchie’s would cost $1.95, still about a dollar less than Coldstone. Menchie’s also allows its customers to apply as many toppings as they wish at no charge per topping (pricing is by weight) 

Conclusion

Frozen yogurt, though it would not be considered a healthy, nutritional food choice, is a much smarter choice for dessert than ice cream from a nutritional standpoint.  This is due to the fact that frozen yogurt is lower in both calories and fat than ice cream. From a price standpoint, it really depends on where you’re getting your product. However, when three places (Coldstone, Menchie’s, and Yogurtland) were compared, the frozen yogurt cost less.  From a taste standpoint, beauty is entirely in the eye of the beholder.  Some prefer ice cream because it is sweet, creamy, and delicious,  and  some prefer frozen yogurt because it, along with coke zero, is the food of the gods. 

Literature Cited

1. http://www.brianmac.co.uk/nutrit.htm
2. http://www.dietfacts.com/html/nutrition-facts/graeters-black-raspberry-chip-ice-cream-with-hand-selected-black-raspberries-from-oregons-prem41527.htm
3. http://www.thedailyplate.com/nutrition-calories/food/yogurtland
4. http://www.epinions.com/review/Cold_Stone_Creamery/content_114334666372

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3 thoughts on “A Response to John’s Attack on Frozen Yogurt

  1. First, I am stunned at the level of dedication taken to make this argument scientific, however, when it comes to QUALITY the science of ‘fro-yo’ compared with ‘GRAETERS NOT COLD STONE!!!!’ seems to unravel, or as you science people say ‘denature.’ Let me be the first to say, cold stone and Graeter’s aren’t even in the same ballpark, league, or sport. If cold stone was Chuck Norris, Graeter’s is his iron-fisted-pistol-packing mother whose more than ready to open up a case of whoop-ass.

    As someone coming from a scientific background, certainly you can respect my point of illustrating the discrepancy between the methodology used in crafting ‘fro-yo’ versus that of the ‘french-milled’ method used by Graeter’s. ‘Fro Yo’ is served and crafted in mass quantities, the customer simply pulling a lever and yogurt being dispensed from a machine. Not only does this methodology lack in the overall personalized ‘craft’ and ‘service’ of making frozen food, but also the dispensing method makes portion control difficult and most likely OVER SERVES the customer. If frozen yogurt eateries were really concerned with portion control, then they would hire people to SERVE their customers, or place the scales used to weigh the yogurt next to the dispensing areas instead of right next to the register, so customers can check the weight of their frozen treat before purchase.

    Graeter’s, believes in quality ingredients, only using the finest cream, the world’s oldest chocolate producer, serving only what they consider to be their absolute ‘best product.’ This is why they only make two gallons of ice-cream at a time, because THEY are dedicated to their craft, and they are willing to take the TIME necessary to produce the best quality product. Additionally, Graeter’s hires a staff of individuals to accommodate the customer, rather than simply hiring register jockey’s as seen at any yogurt eatery.

    Lastly, I would argue that your data concerning the caloric content of frozen yogurt and Graeter’s ice cream is skewed, due to the lack of inclusion of any toppings what so ever. The Graeter’s ice-cream I wrote about contains ‘chocolate chunks’ which greatly contributes to the calories from fat versus that of carbohydrates. A more even comparison would be the caloric content of 8 oz. of dutch chocolate frozen yogurt and three tablespoons of chocolate chips. With fairness in mind, let’s compare apples to apples, and not apples to oranges.

    I get that ice-cream, made of…cream would have more calories from fat because the main ingredient is…cream. Yogurt is clearly a ‘healthier’ main ingredient. BUT, once put on a level playing field the TOTAL caloric content is relatively similar, with ice-cream having a slightly higher total. My point was, if one is making the choice to eat some kind of frozen something, then you might as well get what YOU enjoy most, because at the end of the day, NOTHING is guilt free. I personally feel frozen yogurt is being peddled as ‘guilt free’ and it shouldn’t be! Be sinful….and embrace what you love.

    Thanks,

    JONATHAN

  2. Jon,

    i am deeply sorry that i misspelled your name. i agree that when you want a delicious frozen dessert, you should get what makes you happy. because that’s the whole point of eating dessert, right? my inability to eat anything without feeling guilty about the fat/sugar/calories makes me inclined towards frozen yogurt. but i am a fan of people who take pride in what they do and pay attention to detail, so this Graeter’s ice cream that you speak of sounds like something that i would like to try one day.

    Emily

    • Emily,

      Forget trying, I would love to buy you, your first cup or cone of Graeter’s! I appreciate your tenacity when it comes to frozen lovelies. Just let me know your preferred flavor, and I’ll try to pick it up in Kentucky, before I swing by Elon : )

      Jonathan

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