Froyo is a cute word that marketers gave frozen yogurt years ago. This clever little word breeds curiosity while at the same time creating confusion as to it’s true nature. Is it something new, or is froyo simply a new word for something you already know? There are a few local companies out there that have hijacked this fun little word as their own. Froyo is kind of like a hashtag on social media; it doesn’t necessarily mean the same thing to everyone, and anyone can use it however they want—#froyo? For the sake of discussion however, we’ll assume that anyone claiming froyo is ultimately trying to reference frozen yogurt. Yogurt is a fermented food product made from dairy milk, and contains many beneficial natural probiotic microorganisms. Not all commercial yogurts offer these beneficial bacteria, and freezing yogurt almost always destroys them.

What is Froyo

Froyo is just frozen yogurt, named in a cute and innocent manner to distract from nutritional makeup. It’s easy to regard yogurt as being more healthy than ice cream, end even easier when you hear it called froyo. Innocence and ambiguity are two dangerous combinations when it comes to ingredients. It is very easy to try to personify things in life—and the cuter the personification the milder the perceived threat. For instance, try naming an unsightly mole Annabelle and you’ll likely have a better perception of it should you have chosen to name it Adolf. This is a play on our inherent associations with words, names, and language in general. When in doubt, we fall back on what we know. Froyo offers us a bit of ambiguity to let our imaginations take over. No one really seems to know what the word means—beyond a simple abbreviation for FROzenYogurt—but everyone seems to agree that it sounds harmless and fun! This can distract from the fact that froyo may not be very nutritious, and you should never let its name distract you from carefully reading the label.

It’s easy to regard yogurt as being more healthy than ice cream, end even easier when you hear it called froyo

The debate between the healthiness of yogurt vs. ice cream has waged on for years. Frozen yogurt was advertised as a healthy alternative to ice cream for along time, simply because of its reduced fat content. In order to be legally considered ice cream, a product must have at least 10% milk fats by volume. Frozen yogurt does not fall within this window of restriction, and usually contains much less fat. Less fat means healthier in the minds of the masses, but such is not always the case. Fat adds a lot of flavor to ice cream, along with much of the appetite appeasement. The dangerous reality is that many frozen yogurts are loaded with artificial dyes, tons of sugar, and many synthetic ingredients that far outweigh any potential health benefit from eating a reduced fat product. Froyo is just the frozen version of yogurt, which is (legally speaking) just a low-fat version of ice cream.

Benefits of Yogurt

Yogurt stands to offer several notable health benefits, depending on what type of products you are consuming. Natural yogurts that are cultured from raw, unpasteurized milks are rich with beneficial microbial life. This type of yogurt is a powerful natural probiotic, and contains many beneficial bacteria such as Lactobacillus Acidophilus. These types of bacteria are able to help digest food and help to fight against more harmful bacteria, particularly within our digestive tract. There are many, many (MANY) different types of bacteria that can be found in our digestive tract, and each can contribute positive and negative effects on our health. The key to a healthy amount of gut bacteria is largely regarded to be achieved by working to maintain a healthy balance of those bacteria. For example, Candida Albicans is a often pesky yeast that is naturally found in the human body. This particular yeast is notorious for becoming an issue in modern times, contributed largely to large amounts of sugars and refined grains in our diets. In moderate amounts, Candida is beneficial to us—but can be woefully difficult to manage should it get out of balance. Yogurt’s many beneficial probiotic bacteria can help maintain a balanced microbial ecosystem within your gut—but only certain types of yogurt contain these beneficial bacteria!

Froyo should only ever be regarded as a splurge-type food—eaten only in sparing amounts with the awareness of it offering negligible nutritional value

Froyo is not a type of yogurt that contains any healthy bacteria. The kinds of healthy bacteria found in probiotics (like the ones from ProThera) are very susceptible to extremely high and low temperatures. These bacteria thrive in conditions similar to the human gastrointestinal tract, and will perish if frozen or exposed to high temperatures for extended periods of time. Frozen yogurt, by definition, isn’t able to support these types of beneficial bacteria. Before you go cursing your favorite frozen yogurt brand for killing all your beneficial bacteria—realize that many of them likely never had any present at all. Yogurt is a fermented food that is derived from dairy milk. This means that the bacteria growing within milk actually turn milk into yogurt after a period of time. Now, when it comes to commercially produced yogurt, a lot of yogurt is really just ‘yogurt’—meaning it was never a truly fermented product at all. These products are finally losing their favor as more people cultivate deeper awareness of the dangers of many modern foods. Still, if you are in the market to buy yogurt for the beneficial bacteria make sure you read the label carefully. Chances are, if the label has more than 10 grams of sugar per serving, artificial flavors, aspartame, or any other pseudo-ingredients—there aren’t many beneficial bacteria in there at all. Many manufacturers have begun to place listings of known beneficial bacteria on their labels now.

Final Considerations

Froyo is just a cute little name given to frozen yogurt, and doesn’t actually entail any added benefits. Yogurt is a powerful probiotic food, rich in beneficial micro-organisms—though freezing yogurt kills them off. Froyo has regularly been marketed as a fun and cute alternative to ice cream, though many products contain potentially-harmful ingredients such as aspartame, artificial flavors, and high levels of sugar. When deciding on a froyo product to meet your needs, make sure you read the label carefully. Froyo should only ever be regarded as a splurge-type food—eaten only in sparing amounts with the awareness of it offering negligible nutritional value. Froyo products that contain nuts, fruits, or other beneficial ingredients may lend more nutritional value. You should always pay close attention to the labels of any products you purchase—even the harmless sounding ones like Froyo!

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