It is 9 p.m. on a Friday, and Froyo World on High Street is jam-packed with Yalies looking for a special treat at the end of the week. Like most foods, frozen yogurt, a.k.a. “froyo,” poses little harm when consumed in moderation. But what if you are one of the regulars, spooning up the delicious treat two, three or even four days of the week? … Multiple times per day? You probably want to know the health merits and the best ways to “indulge yourself,” as they say in the frozen yogurt lounge.
Right off the bat, froyo is a relatively calorie-efficient way to satisfy your sweet tooth. Compared to ice cream, the stuff is relatively low in calories, checking in at around 110 calories per half cup. It is also low in fat and sugar content, and some flavors even have dietary fiber.
Many benefits of frozen yogurt lie in the nutrient richness generated by yogurt’s milk base. In fact, yogurt was used thousands of years ago as a cure-all in ancient Mesopotamia. The food provides calcium that strengthens teeth and bones, and ensures proper muscle and neurotransmitter function. Milk is also high in protein, which provides energy and is crucial for building up muscle.
Frozen yogurt is chock full of probiotics — microorganisms that are known to benefit human immune and digestive systems. The beneficial microbes are incorporated into the yogurt product as added live cultures, and they encourage further growth of helpful digestive bacteria in your gut. Probiotics also have potential for cancer prevention and the reduction of inflammatory bowel disease, irritable bowel syndrome, constipation, diarrhea and lactose intolerance.
The toppings themselves also have a number of beneficial health qualities, but only a select few of the whopping 45 choices carry beneficial health qualities. The fruit bar offered is chock-full of healthful exotic fruits, like mangos, blueberries and kiwis. Especially for those who don’t like eating fruit, this treat is a good way to consume it — masked in a bath of sweet frozen yogurt. Froyo World often rotates fruit toppings throughout the week, which not only keeps you coming back for more in seek of a new flavor or fruit, but offers you a good amount of health variety.
Just as the wholesome fruit options lack added sugar or syrups, the nut toppings are lend wellness without sugar or salt coatings. Roasted almonds, peanuts and walnuts offer the protein and healthy fats associated with these foods.
There are only a few caveats to these virtues of Froyo World, and their prevention lies in your own decision-making. Its self-serve policy makes it very easy to ruin a good thing. Dousing your self-made delicacy in unhealthy toppings like cheesecake bites, sugary cereals and chocolate candies can spoil your start to a healthy snack. These toppings are chock-full of saturated fat and sugar, and they provide little nutritional benefit. Steer clear of these. It is also easy to exceed the half-cup serving size (about one small apple). Finally, if you are concerned about your mental health, you might get a little worried about the cost. Froyo World charges a whopping $0.49 per ounce, which adds up quickly. But for those who love the stuff, this is a small price to pay.
Froyo’s negative aspects are pretty minute, and it is so darn good, they are unlikely to deter the frequent froyo indulger from his or her guilty pleasure.
Rebecca Stern is a junior in Berkeley College.