I’ve had a long history with “soft-serve” and it’s various incarnations. I consumed Tasti-d-Lite (vanilla in a wafer cone with chocolate sprinkles) around three times a day, every day for a year in high school. After I graduated, the frozen yogurt wave hit New York. Pinkberry, 16 Handles, Frannie’s YoArt (Plaza Hotel), etc… endless choices of flavors, toppings, and sauces. Then Instagram became a thing and frozen yogurt became an art form. Photos of cups overflowing with graham cracker and birthday cake frozen yogurt, topped with cookie dough bites, fluff, cookie crumble, cinnamon toast crunch, with caramel sauce dripping off the edge flooded my feed. And both posters and followers, somewhat, buying into the idea that this is food? Or even worse, that frozen yogurt is healthy.
Recently, I walked into my local frozen yogurt shop and just when I was about to start filling my cup, an employee opened up one of the panels that revealed the inside of the machine. Two big buckets filled with a viscous-y glue-like substance. The employee continued to poor more glue into one of the buckets and the sound of the sloshing liquified froyo had me leaving the store empty handed and stunned.
Sure, I knew what I was consuming all these years wasn’t actually yogurt (with all it’s good bacteria and protein) that was frozen. But I think I’ve officially been turned off of the substance. Because, like really, what is frozen yogurt?
No, I won’t leave you hanging. I did some research… and it’s not pretty, people.
Besides all of the added chemicals giving you that “creamy coconut” flavor, the main ingredient most detrimental to your health is SUGAR. And due to the low-fat, low-protein, zero-fiber nature of frozen yogurt, the sugar gets absorbed into the bloodstream faster.
Regular ice cream could actually be “better” for you than frozen yogurt, because it has some fat. If you’ve been keeping up with nutrition studies of late, every one of them has been saying that fat is good for you. The low-fat fad has been long disproven as an effective way to regulate your weight, so why is frozen yogurt so popular?
- Sugar is Addictive
- Marketed as a “Health Food”
- People Like Choices and a Self-Serve Option
- Because “Treat Yourself”
I try and make a conscious effort to never tell people what or how they should eat, but I do think it’s important to be informed about what you are putting into your body. I’d rather advocate for local, full-fat, dairy ice cream without chemical additives than tell people to consume fat-free frozen chemical goo. At least personally, I think I’ve finally put the goo behind me…
Health is wealth!