I can remember when the fat-free craze first came into my life. My mother was told to drink skim milk, much to the disgust of the rest of the family. In the early days, skim milk was a translucent blue due to the fat content being removed. Nowadays, the fat content is still removed but sugars, emulsifiers and additives have been added to give milk the same texture and taste as regular full fat milk.
This method of fat removal and sugar addition has seeped into many other foods—most noticeably, frozen yogurt.
Many women, as they reach menopause, find themselves putting on weight even when watching what they eat had never before been something they worried about. Now that their hormones are playing havoc with their waistlines, certain foods that they may think are healthy may be adding to their weight problems.
Promoted as being a healthy treat, this latest fad should not be addressed as a healthy snack, but as a sugar-laden treat. Here are five of the headlines made by the groups selling frozen yogurt.
1. Frozen yogurt is being touted as made with real milk, yet is naturally fat free.
Real milk is not naturally fat free. A process has occurred in order to remove the fat while sugars have been added to give it the smooth texture and taste that make it so enjoyable.
Unlike natural yogurt that is made with just two ingredients—milk and cultures—frozen yogurt contains quite the cocktail:
- milk solids, processed milk product
- some kind of refined sweetener—usually a few different kinds like evaporated cane syrup, corn syrup, or Mexican agave syrup.
- yogurt culture (although the freezing process as well as added sugars decreases the power of any probiotics found)
- natural or artificial flavourings and colourings
- sometimes trans fat
- sometimes preservatives
- stabilizers and thickeners like guar gum or carrageenan
- other fillers like cellulose gum (a.k.a. the stuff made from wood pulp)
2. When yogurt is frozen, the probiotics, which are good for the immune system and digestion, no longer work.
Yes, probiotics are good for the immune system, but once the yogurt is frozen, the probiotics are rendered useless.
3. Yogurt is made with Mexican agave syrup instead of sugar.
This heading is so annoying. Agave syrup instead of sugar—so what? Agave is actually worse than sugar for the harmful effects it plays on your body. Being expressed as a “sugar free” yogurt is giving false information. Agave is high fructose, which may not spike blood sugar levels like sugar does, but it is just as harmful to the body when taken in large doses.
4. Frozen yogurts are a great meal on the go.
Do not have frozen yogurt in place of a regular meal. Even if you add fruit to the yogurt, you are getting a chemical-laden cocktail but without the guilt—if you believe in the hype coming out from the frozen yogurt outlets.
The fruit will have an addition of sugar/agave syrup in order to prevent it from adding more calories to your meal.
5. It is low in fat and high in taste.
While frozen yogurt is fat free and sugar free, you will not feel satisfied. Fat makes you feel fuller for longer. Therefore, you may not feel satisfied after a small cup and will opt for a larger cup.
Agave syrup and other sugar substitutes do not cross the blood brain barrier; hence you do not get the sugar kick you may be looking for when eating frozen yogurt.
If you are a lover of frozen yogurt for the taste then enjoy, but if you were eating it instead of an ice cream (for example) and feel deprived, then go for the ice-cream. Frozen yogurts are treats and should be acknowledged as one, and not as a “healthy” snack.