Both ice cream and frozen yogurt are frozen desserts with a very similar texture. They’re both creamy, rich, and sweet. The main difference between the two is that ice cream has more milk fat than frozen yogurt because it’s made from heavy cream. And since Frozen Yogurt typically has less fat than Ice Cream, its manufacturers often add in artificial thickeners like pectin (a natural thickener found in fruits) or carrageenan (a seaweed extract). However, there are some real benefits to choosing Frozen Yogurt over Ice Cream: It’s generally lower in calories, sugar, and fat (especially saturated fat). In this article, we’ll cover the pros and cons of each dessert so you can decide which one is best for you.
What is Ice Cream?
Ice Cream is a frozen dessert made from milk, cream, and sugar. It contains no eggs, like some other frozen desserts like frozen custard or gelato. It is served as a snack or dessert and is also used in mixed drinks. While ice cream can be enjoyed year-round, it is particularly prevalent during the hot summer months. Eating ice cream is a popular pastime, and it has been gaining popularity since the early 17th century. It has been linked to health benefits, like improving mood and aiding in weight loss. Despite these positive effects, ice cream can be high in calories, fat, and sugar. Ice cream usually contains between 14-16% milkfat, compared to the 8-10% in frozen yogurt.
What is Frozen Yogurt?
Frozen Yogurt is a low-fat, high-protein frozen dessert made with ingredients like milk, sugar, and thickeners. It is often described as “healthier” ice cream because it has less fat, sugar, and calories. Frozen yogurt is prepared like ice cream, but it uses lower-fat starter cultures and less sugar. To make it thicker, manufacturers may add thickeners like pectin (a natural thickener found in fruits) or carrageenan (a seaweed extract) to give it the same creamy, rich texture as ice cream. Frozen yogurt is more affordable than ice cream, and it can be served in many different ways. It can be eaten straight out of the tub, used as a topping or in a recipe, or put into cone-like ice cream. Frozen yogurt can also be used as a dessert or snack, and served with toppings like fresh fruits or granola.
Differences between Ice Cream and Frozen Yogurt
- Fat content: Ice cream can contain up to 16% milkfat, while frozen yogurt only has 8-10%. This higher percentage in ice cream means that it is much higher in saturated fat, which has been linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.
- Sugar: Frozen yogurt contains less sugar than ice cream. This is because there is no egg in frozen yogurt like there is in ice cream. The sugar in frozen yogurt is sucrose, which is found in table sugar, whereas the sugar in ice cream is usually more complex and comes from milk.
- Calories: Calories in ice cream can vary greatly, but they generally average around 500 calories per serving. Frozen yogurt also has a wide range of calories, but it is usually lower, at about 100 calories per serving.
- Protein: A ½ cup serving of ice cream contains about 4 grams of protein. Frozen yogurt, however, contains about 10 grams of protein per ½ cup serving.
- Textures: The texture of ice cream is rich and creamy, and frozen yogurt is generally thicker and creamier than ice cream, so it is smoother and silkier in your mouth.
How are Ice Cream and Frozen Yogurt Made?
Ice Cream – Traditionally, ice cream is made from a custard base. It is made with a mix of milk, cream, and sugar that is heated, coagulated by eggs, then cooled. Once it is cooled, the mixture is poured into a container and frozen. New, modern techniques use standardized ice cream formulas and temperature-controlled equipment that produces a consistent product with a smooth texture and balanced flavor. New techniques are used to reduce fat and calories while keeping the same creamy texture. As a result, manufacturers use a variety of thickeners, emulsifiers, and stabilizers.
Frozen Yogurt – Frozen yogurt is made with high-fat milk like 2% or whole milk. The low-fat milk used to make ice cream cannot thicken without adding more sugar. The yogurt is then cultured with a starter and sweetened with a low-calorie sweetener. The yogurt is then strained and cooled before it is poured into containers and frozen.
Which one should you choose?
If you are trying to reduce fat, sugar, and calories, then frozen yogurt is the healthier choice over ice cream. However, if you are looking for a more indulgent flavor and a richer, creamier texture, then ice cream is the better choice. If you have a specific dietary need, such as dairy or gluten sensitivity, then you can choose a frozen yogurt without the need for substitution.
Ice cream and frozen yogurt are both delicious desserts that are high in fat, sugar, and calories and low in protein. They are often thought to be healthier than ice cream because they are made with low-fat milk and lower sugar, but there are differences in their makeup that can affect their health benefits. Ice cream is made with cream, milk, and sugar, while frozen yogurt is made with milk, sugar, and thickeners. The higher-fat content in ice cream means that it contains more saturated fat than frozen yogurt, which has been linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. The lower-sugar content in frozen yogurt also means that frozen yogurt has fewer calories and fewer carbohydrates than ice cream.
But there are still differences between the two. Since ice cream is made with a custard base, frozen yogurt contains more protein than ice cream does. This is because frozen yogurt is made with a set of milk proteins known as caseins and globulins, which contain a lot of amino acids and are high in the 8 essential amino acids. These protein powders help keep frozen yogurt from curdling while it cools and also help to give it a smooth, creamy texture. Because of this, you can get more protein in an ice cream sundae than you can in frozen yogurt.