Q: What’s the deal with pinkberry/red mango? is it the same as eating regular yogurt? and can i consider it a meal if i load it with fruit and nuts?
A: Summer = Sunshine and fro yo/ice-cream trucks. Side note, have any of you seen the big gay ice cream truck?! The “Salty Pimp” sounds like heaven.
So onto the question. Fro Yo. Is it really just yogurt, frozen??
Keep dreamin’, kids! While it has to have probiotics in it to call itself yogurt, it’s loaded with sugar (and fake sugar) to give it the right “mouth-feel” and texture.
The Cali-based chain Pinkberry took off the past few years ago (followed by Red Mango, Yolato, and the revamping of Tasti-d-lite and TCBY) because it tastes the way you imagine something “healthy” should taste.. like crap! So much so you want to load it up with toppings. With names like green tea you assume you’re getting all these added benefits and antioxidants. In reality, for a small original flavor, pre-toppings you’re getting 150 calories and only 4.5g Protein. For a large? ~400 calories. You’re not saving yourself much by refraining from ice-cream.
On to the good stuff, what’s it made of???
In regular, good ol’ plain yogurt, like Stonyfield or Whole Foods brand or Fage, ingredients include: skim milk and live, active yogurt cultures.
Compare that with the list of ingredients in Pinkberry Fro Yo:
Original flavor: nonfat milk, sugar, cultured pasteurized nonfat milk with live and active cultures, contains less than 2%: cultured nonfat milk powder, fructose, dextrose, natural and artificial flavors, citric acid, guar gum, maltodextrin, mono-and diglycerides, lactoglycerides, propylene glycol esters, rice starch
Ick!! In addition to plain yogurt having a tenth of the ingredients that Pinkberry has (or Red Mango, or 16 Handles, or whatever chain is on your corner), it also has less calories, way less sugar, way more protein and more calcium. Advantage: Plain yogurt.
What I do like about these fro yo chains (there is one thing!!) is that they offer great toppings like fresh fruit and nuts – with out all that nasty syrup.
…But that still doesn’t make it a meal! There is no where near enough protein and you’re not getting any good fats unless you’re loading up on nuts. And you still have to say no thanks to all the oreo/fruity pebbles/granola toppings. So really, you’re left with sugar and sugar alcohols (fake sugar). Not such a healthy dinner, after all, right?
Bottom line: Enjoy fro yo (or ice-cream or whatever your vice may be) as a treat, after a healthy, well-balanced meal. Don’t eat it cause you think it’s super healthy. If you do love it, keep on loading it up with fruit and a handful of nuts- And maybe instead of having fruit on your fro yo have a little fro yo with your fruit!