Choosing between frozen yogurt and ice cream can be tough. While both are delicious desserts, when compared there are slight differences when it comes to ingredients, health benefits, flavors, and FDA requirements.
Frozen yogurt and ice cream ingredients
The biggest difference between frozen yogurt and ice cream is how it is made. While both are dairy products, ice cream is made from cream and frozen yogurt is made from cultured milk. Cream naturally has a higher fat content than milk. Ice cream needs to be at least 10% milk fat while its competition needs to be at least 3.25% milk fat. However, that requirement doesn’t make as much difference as you might think. You need to remember that whatever flavorings and toppings are added can up the fat content.
If you are looking to watch fat and calories, the low fat and nonfat versions of ice cream and frozen yogurt are identical. The FDA is specific about the low fat and nonfat requirements. Low fat ice cream and frozen yogurt both have to contain less than 3 grams of fat per serving, while nonfat varieties must contain less than .5 grams of fat per serving.
Other dairy products, sugar and other sweeteners are allowed in frozen yogurt, just as they are in ice cream. The sugar content of these two treats is about the same, with plain vanilla versions of both products running between 25 and 50 grams of sugar per half cup serving.
Frozen yogurt and ice cream health benefits
Dairy products do have health benefits such as calcium, protein, potassium, and usually vitamins D and A. Many people opt for frozen yogurt over ice cream because of the live and active cultures, also known as probiotics. Those active cultures are good for your digestive tract and immune system. For that reason, many people with lactose intolerance can tolerate a little yogurt.
However, there is currently some debate as to how many of those cultures actually survive the freezing process. Some research suggests that the cultures may just go dormant and become active again once inside our digestive system.
Frozen yogurt and ice cream flavors
While frozen yogurt has made huge improvements in this area, there are still many more flavors of ice cream. Manufacturers just don’t offer as many different products when it comes to frozen yogurt. If you are in the mood for something a little more unique, there is a better chance you can fill your craving with ice cream.
Frozen yogurt and ice cream FDA requirements
There are no FDA identity requirements specifically for frozen yogurt, as there are for ice cream. The only mention is in regards to serving size. The FDA requirements for the refrigerated variety of yogurt make no mention of whether those requirements apply to the frozen variety. The main requirement for refrigerated yogurt is that it needs to have live and active cultures.
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