Frozen Yogurt vs. Soft Serve Ice Cream: Which is the best frozen treat?

Frozen yogurt with berries. Photo by Lisa Wiltse (Photo by Lisa Wiltse/Corbis via Getty Images)
Frozen yogurt with berries. Photo by Lisa Wiltse (Photo by Lisa Wiltse/Corbis via Getty Images) /

Perhaps the debate is one that has been going on for quite some time; especially since the dawn of frozen yogurt at least. Health buffs and foodies have been asking themselves or rather fighting for either side for decades. But which one is better, dear readers? Well, I’ve taken it upon myself to do a little digging and finally answer the age old question: Frozen Yogurt vs. Soft Serve Ice Cream?

My first taste of soft serve came rather late I guess. My parents weren’t into the whole deal back when my sister and I were small children and really why would they be? As I’ve stated numerous times, my parents were foodies themselves, my dad a chef.

They had fed us Italian ice cream and Italian Granita (frozen lemon treat)—even freshly made ice cream that my father whipped up at his reception hall—so to say my sister and I already had a favorite chilled dessert would be an understatement.

Plus we were exposed to ice cream in Italy of all places to only further my above point, Guilty Eaters.

I must warn you though, that nowadays, my sister, who has two small children of her own (and yes both are adorable little ice cream monsters too), has completely changed sides on that front, and no, not to the side of frozen yogurt, but she is a fan of soft serve ice cream big time, and perhaps she regrets only not being served this heavenly treat from an even younger age.

But back to that first time…

I was maybe six or thereabouts, and we had just visited my grandparents at their country place up north, and no Northern Canada isn’t all about igloos contrary to popular belief.

It was in northern Quebec that they had this home, and it was there that I tasted soft serve at a mom and pop location…the milk fresh from the farm about a stone’s throw across the country road. It changed my life, as it obviously did my sister’s, and perhaps much in the same way that soft serve changed other people’s lives I’m sure…perhaps even you, Guilty Eaters.

And why is that?

What makes frozen yogurt and soft serve ice cream so delicious to us? What can the reasons be for liking one over the other? And statistically, which one is actually better for us?

The Face/Off

Well…because it’s so soft and yet so perfectly held together…so creamy and delicious. But is it better than frozen yogurt?

I don’t know about that anymore, as they’ve come a long way in making some pretty delectable frozen yogurt over the years.

Dairy Queen has got some good soft serve, sure; as does McDonald’s, but it is perhaps best at the mom and pop locations strewn about the entirety of North America…just like the aforementioned location where I myself tasted my first helping of soft serve.

But does any of this help in answering that age-old question? Let’s look at some statistics, shall we?

As per a piece at Women’s Health, frozen yogurt is better for you than ice cream. Dietician, Gabby Geerts says:

"“Ounce for ounce, frozen yogurt has about 25 fewer calories than ice cream—and only a third of the fat and saturated fat…Frozen yogurt begins like refrigerated yogurt, by adding two essential live cultures (Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilis) to milk…Most of the live bacterial cultures survive freezing, however, varying production methods and added ingredients mean all frozen yogurt products are not created equal.”"

Of course perhaps in the end, and like anything else, moderation is the key, but let me tell you and you may already know, that isn’t always easy to execute…sometimes you want the whole dang carton, so if you are plunging into the carton after say a date gone horribly wrong, then you might as well choose the lower calories, or else you’ll be spending all of the next day on the treadmill  while your friends get to help themselves to another moderate helping of calorie rich ice cream. The choice is yours.

Devil may care

But we must remember that sometimes we just don’t care! The day is long, the week is hard…we just want to enjoy our guilty pleasures….

Well…in that case, I say go for it, but in the end, try to take it easy if you’re choosing the ice cream over the yogurt.

Choices, choices, choices…

Take it from me…sometimes even the healthier option will let you down. If you’re trying to go for the yogurt, you’ll notice that the sugar content can sometimes be high and if you have blood sugar issues, then that can be tricky too.

The middle ground is key in eating the foods you love, but if you can’t nestle yourself in that friendly domain where all the foods you try are neutral to your system, because you don’t hit them quite as hard as say the next guy, then stay away from that territory altogether. Bleak but true.

And if in the end you just don’t care and want to indulge, I say indulge and pay the toll later. Life’s getting expensive anyways.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some miles to run on that treadmill as I indulged on a large soft serve and now must pay the consequences.

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Which is best for you, dear readers? Soft Serve or Frozen Yogurt? Let us know.