Ice Cream vs. Greek Yogurt In a Smoothie
Author: Melissa Lahti
October 7, 2012
I have a new love and it’s Greek Yogurt. I had heard so many good things about it and finally got the gumption to try it out. There were a couple different kinds including plain, vanilla, honey, and honey with strawberry. I bought the honey flavored since I planned on using it in a smoothie. I normally use Vanilla Ice Cream in my smoothies but that adds so many extra calories, I wanted to try the yogurt instead. When I compared the calories between the two, the Blue Bell Vanilla Ice Cream I use is 160 per ½ cup while The Greek yogurt is 160 per 4oz. This proves to be exactly the same since there are 8oz in a cup. Comparing the fat content, the ice cream has 70 calories from fat while the yogurt has 90 calories from fat. Knowing this, what is the benefit of switching from ice cream to yogurt in my smoothie?
The first thing I noticed was that I needed at least half the amount of yogurt in the smoothie. I used about 1 ½ tablespoon while I used at least 2 or 3 scoops of the ice cream. 1 ½ tablespoon is equal to 0.75oz which is (at 40 calories/oz.) only 30 calories. The average ice cream scoop holds about 2.5oz therefore, would contain about 80 calories. If I add 2 scoops of ice cream to my smoothie, I am adding 160 calories. Using the Greek yogurt has cut my calories by 120.
Next, I compare the ingredients of the two products. Most people never really look at the ingredients as long as something tastes good. I know I rarely do. The Greek Yogurt contains: Pasteurized Grade A Milk, Cream, Pure Cane Sugar, Honey, Pectin and Active Cultures (S. Thermophilus, L. Bulgaricus, L. Acidophilus, Bifidobacterium, L. Casei). This pretty much stays within the 5 ingredient rule. (Don’t eat anything that contains more than 5 ingredients.) It also mostly stays within the “don’t eat anything you can’t pronounce” rule. Especially since the only words I cannot pronounce, I know are the good essential bacteria my body must have. The container also states: “from cows not supplemented (or treated) with rbST/rbGH”. Judging by the ingredients, I would classify this as “good for me food”.
Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla Flavored Ice Cream contains: Milk, Cream, sugar, skim milk, high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, natural and artificial vanilla flavor, cellulose gum, vegetable gums (guar, carrageenan, carob bean), salt, annatto color. The first four ingredients are fine but then there are a whole slew of others.
- High fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is a cheap version of modified sugar. Companies use it because it is much cheaper than real sugar but studies have shown that HFCS is most likely linked to obesity.
- Corn syrup is another type of cheaply modified sugar that is slightly better for you than HFCS.
- 60 Minutes did a great segment on Natural and Artificial vanilla flavoring. Natural flavors are made from “natural flavors” but not the ones you would expect. For example, natural vanilla flavoring is not made from only vanilla. Artificial flavors are made from artificial chemicals and both natural and artificial flavorings are created to make a person want more. No wonder I can’t get enough of this ice cream.
- Cellulose gum is used to improve texture in ice cream and is said to be “safe” for our bodies because our digestive system does not absorb it. It does not ever enter our bloodstream and simply passes through.
- Vegetable gums are used as thickeners.
- Salt is proven to cause heart disease if too much is consumed.
- Annatto color comes from the seed coatings of a tropical tree called Bixa orellano. It is also used to color cheese, butter, margarine, and microwave popcorn.
Although this may be one of the better ice creams out there, I will most likely switch to Greek yogurt as it is by far the healthier way to go. Not only by saving 120 calories but by having more natural and real ingredients. We tend to go more for the “bad” stuff because it tastes better, but this is one thing that tastes good and is good for you. Packed with protein and calcium this yogurt is low in carbs and sodium. I do want to caution though, as with any dairy product, you want to keep consumption to a moderate amount as it is loaded with saturated fat which increases the bad LDL Cholesterol and increases the risk for heart disease. Next time I buy it I am planning on trying the low or no fat version.