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By Helen West
Frozen yogurt is a dessert that's often promoted as a healthy alternative to ice cream. However, it isn't just regular yogurt that's been in the freezer.
In fact, it can have a vastly different nutrient profile than regular yogurt.
This article is a detailed review of frozen yogurt, exploring its nutritional content and health effects, particularly as a substitute for ice cream.
What Is Frozen Yogurt and How Is It Made?
Frozen yogurt is a popular dessert made with yogurt. It has a creamy texture and sweet, tangy taste.
Frozen yogurt is quite similar to ice cream, but the main difference is that it's made with milk instead of cream.
Additionally, like ice cream, it is often sold in cups or cones with a wide range of topping options, such as fruit, cookies and chocolate chips.
You can buy frozen yogurt in stores or make it at home. It's also sometimes used as an ingredient in drinks like smoothies or in desserts as a substitute for ice cream.
Ingredients can vary slightly between brands, but the main ones are:
- Milk: This can be liquid milk or powdered milk. Powdered milk is referred to as "milk solids" on the ingredients list.
- Yogurt cultures: These are "good" bacteria like Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus.
- Sugar: Most companies use regular table sugar, but some brands use alternative sweeteners like agave nectar.
Many frozen yogurts also contain ingredients like flavorings and stabilizers to improve their taste and texture.
To make frozen yogurt, manufacturers mix together milk and sugar. They pasteurize the mixture, heating it to a high temperature to kill any harmful bacteria.
The yogurt cultures are then added and the mixture is allowed to rest for up to four hours before it's frozen.
Bottom Line: Frozen yogurt is a frozen dessert made with milk, yogurt cultures and sugar. It has a creamy texture and a tangy taste.
Nutrients in Frozen Yogurt
The nutrition content of frozen yogurt can vary depending on the type of milk, sweeteners and flavorings used in the yogurt mixture.
For example, frozen yogurt made with nonfat milk will have a lower fat content than varieties made with whole milk (1).
Additionally, the toppings you choose can add extra calories, fat and sugar to the final product.
Because of the variations in recipes, always check the label to make sure what's in your frozen yogurt.
Bottom Line: Frozen yogurt is low in fat and protein, but can be very high in sugar. The fat and sugar content depend on the amount of fat in the milk.
Health Benefits of Frozen Yogurt
Frozen yogurt may have some health benefits, compared to other frozen desserts.
It can contain beneficial nutrients and bacteria, lower levels of lactose and fewer calories than desserts like ice cream.
It Can Contain Good Bacteria
Like regular yogurt, some frozen yogurt contains probiotics.
However, the benefits of bacteria in frozen yogurt depend on them surviving the manufacturing process.
If your frozen yogurt was pasteurized after the good bacteria were added, then they will have been killed off.
To see if your frozen yogurt contains probiotics, check for the claim "live cultures" on the label.
It May Contain Lower Levels of Lactose
However, most people with lactose intolerance can tolerate small amounts of dairy, especially if it contains probiotics (10).
This is because probiotic bacteria break down some of the lactose, reducing the amount per portion.
Because some frozen yogurts contain probiotics, people with lactose intolerance may be able to eat them without any digestive problems.
However, it's important to note that not all varieties contain live bacteria, so they may not have the same benefits (11).
It May Provide Nutrients That Benefit Bone Health
However, despite this potential benefit, it's worth noting that you can also get these nutrients from regular yogurt.
It Can Be Lower in Calories Than Regular Ice Cream
However, make sure to watch your portion sizes and topping choices. If you're not careful, these can easily bump up the calories.
Bottom Line: Frozen yogurt may contain beneficial probiotics, lower levels of lactose, nutrients for good bone health and fewer calories than ice cream.
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As a growing number of states move to pass laws that would criminalize pipeline protests and hit demonstrators with years in prison, an audio recording obtained by The Intercept showed a representative of a powerful oil and gas lobbying group bragging about the industry's success in crafting anti-protest legislation behind closed doors.
Speaking during a conference in Washington, DC in June, Derrick Morgan, senior vice president for federal and regulatory affairs at the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM), touted "model legislation" that states across the nation have passed in recent months.
AFPM represents a number of major fossil fuel giants, including Chevron, Koch Industries and ExxonMobil.
"We've seen a lot of success at the state level, particularly starting with Oklahoma in 2017," said Morgan, citing Dakota Access Pipeline protests as the motivation behind the aggressive lobbying effort. "We're up to nine states that have passed laws that are substantially close to the model policy that you have in your packet."
Big Oil is now using its political power to try and criminalize protests of oil & gas infrastructure.— Friends of the Earth (@foe_us) August 19, 2019
"This legislation has potential to punish public participation and mischaracterize advocacy protected by the First Amendment."https://t.co/bmiHjONEhy
The audio recording comes just months after Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed into law legislation that would punish anti-pipeline demonstrators with up to 10 years in prison, a move environmentalists condemned as a flagrant attack on free expression.
"Big Oil is hijacking our legislative system," Dallas Goldtooth of the Indigenous Environmental Network said after the Texas Senate passed the bill in May.
As The Intercept's Lee Fang reported Monday, the model legislation Morgan cited in his remarks "has been introduced in various forms in 22 states and passed in ... Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Missouri, Indiana, Iowa, South Dakota, and North Dakota."
"The AFPM lobbyist also boasted that the template legislation has enjoyed bipartisan support," according to Fang. "In Louisiana, Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards signed the version of the bill there, which is being challenged by the Center for Constitutional Rights. Even in Illinois, Morgan noted, 'We almost got that across the finish line in a very Democratic-dominated legislature.' The bill did not pass as it got pushed aside over time constraints at the end of the legislative session."
Many of the state bills restricting the right to protest have been "drafted by companies and passed through groups like ALEC, the secretive group of corporate lobbyists trying to rewrite state laws to benefit corporations over people." @greenpeaceusa https://t.co/ZxpTjWdrwT— Stand Up To ALEC (@StandUpToALEC) May 6, 2019
Reposted with permission from our media associate Common Dreams.