Today, we’re talking about frozen yogurt and its potential hidden secret of probiotics! So, let’s find out if this delicious treat packs a punch for our gut health.
What’s Frozen Yogurt?
Before we get to the probiotics part, let’s make sure we’re all on the same page about what frozen yogurt actually is.
Frozen yogurt, fondly known as “froyo,” is a creamy and refreshing dessert similar to ice cream but with a healthy twist. It’s made from yogurt, which is fermented milk containing good bacteria.
Alright, time for a quick science lesson! Probiotics are like the superheroes of the digestive system. They are live microorganisms (tiny living things) that can provide amazing health benefits when we consume them. These good bacteria can help keep our gut happy and healthy by maintaining a balance between the good and bad bacteria living inside us.
What Can Probiotics Do?
Probiotics help boost our immune system, aid in digestion, and even support our mental health. Imagine having little warriors inside you, fighting off the bad bacteria and ensuring everything works smoothly. That’s what probiotics do for our gut!
Are Probiotics In Frozen Yogurt?
So, does frozen yogurt actually contain probiotics? Well, the answer is… sometimes!
Yogurt is made by adding live cultures to milk to start the fermentation process. This process transforms the natural sugar in yogurt or lactose into lactic acid which helps convert the milk into yogurt.
Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus are the common bacteria added to milk to convert it into yogurt. Both are probiotics or good bacteria that provide health benefits to the body. Other safe bacteria can be added to yogurt as well.
However, during the freezing process to turn it into frozen yogurt, some of these good bacteria might not survive the cold temperatures. As Miller’s Bio Farm points out, the probiotics in frozen yogurt die off as they sit in the freezer.
The trend of studies appears to show that the probiotics in frozen yogurt keep diminishing as the yogurt sits in the freezer. You can expect up to a 50% reduction in probiotics after only two months in the freezer.
We wouldn’t suggest relying on frozen yogurt as reliable source to maximize your probiotic intake. We say this because by the time you eat your frozen yogurt most people have no idea how long the product has been frozen and slowly depleting its probiotic content.
However, to maximize the benefits of probiotics look for frozen yogurt products that are labeled or marketed as containing “Live & Active Cultures”.
A store-bought frozen yogurt with the “Live & Active Cultures” seal has a minimum of 10 million cultures per gram at the time of manufacturing. The 10 million cultures figure was established by the National Yogurt Association to help consumers find yogurt products with a level of live cultures to benefit your health.
It is possible for some frozen yogurt products to have little or no probiotics. Read the products label or ask at the yogurt shop about the probiotics in frozen yogurt to get an idea of the potential benefits.
It’s easy to focus on the benefits of foods but also lose sight of their negative qualities.
While frozen yogurt has the potential to offer the health benefits of probiotics, it is still a dessert.
Let’s take a look the nutrition facts of Blue Bunny’s Vanilla Bean frozen yogurt to give you an idea of the good and bad qualities of frozen yogurt.
As the table shows below, some of the good qualities of this frozen yogurt are its calcium, potassium, fiber, and protein content.
However, it also offers 28% daily value for added sugars, 10% daily value for saturated fat, and 10% daily value for cholesterol to highlight some negative aspects of this frozen yogurt.
While nutrition facts vary from product to product, the data reflected below shows the importance of factoring in all qualities of a frozen yogurt before you decide to purchase it.
|% Daily Value
|2/3 cup (89g)
|Includes 14g Added Sugars
Frozen yogurt can indeed be a sneaky source of probiotics, which is excellent news for your taste buds and your tummy. The next time you enjoy a bowl of frozen yogurt, remember you might just be giving your gut a delightful treat too.
Always keep an eye out for those magical words “live and active cultures” on the label, and you’ll be on your way to having a gut-healthy frozen yogurt experience. Happy snacking!