Fro-Yo Is Tasty, But Is it Good for You?

I scream, you scream, we all scream for... fro yo?


[See: Unusual Uses for Avocados.]

But the extent to which these bacteria support your health is another question.

"Probiotics are very strain-specific in their benefits," says Lisa Brown, assistant professor of nutrition at Simmons College in Boston. "It's really hard to say that [frozen yogurt] will translate the same way fermented foods do in terms of probiotic benefit."

Still, Brown approves of many of the new frozen-yogurt options, noting that tart flavors slow down the release of sugar in the body, which stabilizes appetite and energy levels. Greek yogurts, in particular, are a good bet, she says, due to concentrated protein, which makes them creamy, yet they are low in fat and carbohydrates. (In fact, a lot of folks like to simply freeze their own cup of Greek yogurt for a healthy dessert.)

The key, of course, is to note the nutrition facts. Take, for example, a half-cup of Ben & Jerry's Banana Peanut Butter Greek Frozen Yogurt, which has 210 calories and 8 grams of fat, when compared with Yocream's nonfat Greek frozen yogurt, which has, at most, 100 calories per half-cup and, as mentioned, no fat. A half-cup of YoCream's "cake batter," the company's No. 1 flavor— which it says has knocked vanilla out of first place for the first time in 25 years—has 130 calories and 3 grams of fat. Whatever you choose, Brown says it's "reasonable" for treats to account for 10 percent of your daily caloric intake. Assuming you follow a 2,000-calorie diet, you don't want more than 200 calories taken up by fro-yo.

Bottom line: Watch your portions and take care with toppings.

And another tip from Brown: go with the sprinkles. They're a happy, low-calorie way to round out your dessert, and not you. "Rainbow sprinkles make everything look fun."

[See: Unusual Uses for Greek Yogurt.]