Magazine

Is frozen yogurt good for you?

Amy Gardner of Newton-based Metrowest Nutrition has the answer.

Vanilla frozen yogurt with mango and strawberry toppings at Red Mango in Boston.

Aram Boghosian for The Boston Globe

Vanilla frozen yogurt with mango and strawberry toppings at Red Mango in Boston.

COMPARED WITH ICE CREAM and traditional (supermarket) frozen yogurt, the brands I looked at do offer some nutritional benefits. They are lower in calories and fat. (The froyos generally have 100-150 calories and no fat per half-cup serving, compared with 250-300 calories and 5-10 grams of fat for ice cream.) The yogurts offer the advantage of probiotics, the healthy bacteria we rely on for digestive and immune functions.

However, frozen yogurts are still high in sugar, and the amount varies considerably — from 20 grams in a half-cup serving in the more basic flavors to 52 grams in others. Once you start piling on chocolate, gummy bears, and other candy toppings, you’re increasing the sugar content and calories. For the healthiest option, stick to the fruit toppings.

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If you’re looking to satisfy a sweet tooth, go for frozen yogurt. But for a sustaining afternoon snack, it would be even better to opt for a refrigerated Greek yogurt [such as Fage or Chobani] since it has even more protein and less sugar. That leads to a lower glycemic impact and longer satiety. Top it with fruit, and you’ve got the perfect thing to hold you over until dinner.

Analysis has been edited and condensed.

Send comments to magazine@globe.com.

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