As the weather gets warmer, there’s nothing better than treating yourself to a cool dish or cone of ice cream. However, it is really no surprise that ice cream tends to be high in calories and fat. And lately, there has been a new and “healthier” cold dessert on the scene—frozen yogurt.

Is this the end of ice cream? Hardly. Even though frozen yogurt is considered the better option, many question if it really is. In general, frozen yogurt is a healthier alternative to high-fat ice cream, but when compared to low-fat ice cream, they have the same nutritional value.

Check out the nutritional breakdown of the two:

Calories

Both ice cream and frozen yogurt are made from dairy products. If both are made from whole fat dairy, the calories will be similar. One half-cup serving of vanilla ice cream has 130 calories, and a half-cup serving of banana frozen yogurt has 121 calories.

However, the calorie and fat content in ice cream will be a lot higher if it’s made with cream. A half-cup of fat-free, sugar-free frozen yogurt has only 80 calories, while the same serving of low-fat fudge ripple ice cream has 120 calories.

Fat

The American Heart Association does say your diet requires a bit of fat each day, but that doesn’t mean you can run to the store and stock up on frozen desserts—no more than 7% of your fat calories should come from saturated fats.

One serving of vanilla ice cream contains 7 grams total fat with 5 grams of saturated fat, while the same serving of banana frozen yogurt has 2 grams total fat with 2 grams of saturated fat. A half-cup of fat-free, sugar-free frozen yogurt contains no fat.

Carbohydrates and Sugar

While carbohydrates are the body’s main source of energy, sugars in processed foods, like those in ice cream and frozen yogurt, offer little to no nutrition and add on the calories. According to LIVESTRONG, “MayoClinic.com recommends limiting sugar calories to 260 for a 2000-per-day diet.”

One half-cup of vanilla ice cream contains 17 grams of carbohydrates and 10 grams of sugar, while a half-cup of banana frozen yogurt has 22 grams of carbohydrates and 12 grams of sugar. However, fat-free, sugar-free ice cream has neither carbohydrates nor sugar.

Sodium

Also an essential nutrient, too much sodium can lead to high blood pressure and heart problems. Ice cream, frozen yogurt and other processed foods have added sodium.

Ice cream and frozen yogurt do contain similar amounts of sodium per serving. A one-half cup serving of vanilla ice cream contains 45 milligrams of sodium, and the same amount of banana frozen yogurt cream has 67 milligrams.

All in all, there isn’t a solid answer on whether ice cream or frozen yogurt is the healthier frozen dessert—it all depends on the types you’re comparing! Frozen yogurt dominates when compared to high-fat ice cream, but ties with low-fat ice cream.

Lesson learned? Whether you prefer ice cream or frozen yogurt, stick to the frozen desserts with the lowest calories and amount of fats. The best options are low-fat or no-fat ice cream, frozen yogurt or sorbet. And try to avoid those unhealthy toppings—they pack on the calories quick!

For more nutritional information on ice cream and frozen yogurt, check out LIVESTRONG!

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