Q: What are some guilt-free frozen treats that can satisfy my sweet tooth?
A: Nothing beats the heat like the traditional ice cream cone or frozen yogurt. These days, there are many frozen options to choose from and indulging in them does not necessarily mean you have gone off-track. As long as you are sensible about your dessert choice and portion size, there is room for a sensible splurge in a healthful diet.
Plain vanilla ice cream can have from 130 to 300 calories in each half-cup serving. Fat content can be anywhere from 4.5 to 19 grams of fat, depending on the brand. Different flavors and add-ons, such as chocolate chunks or candy bar pieces will only add to the calorie and fat content. Ice cream does contain more calories and fat than frozen yogurt. If possible, select lower fat choices, which have come a long way in the past few years.
Ice cream manufacturers have since mastered the art of creating great tasting low-fat and fat-free products. Frozen yogurt is typically less than 130 calories in each half-cup serving, and is low in fat as well, about 3 to 4 grams. The nutrient content of frozen yogurt is more similar to that of low-fat ice cream than it is to actual yogurt, which provides more calcium.
Sherbet is similar to frozen yogurt in calories per half-cup serving, however, it is lower in fat, having about 1 to 2 grams. Sherbet contains considerably more sugar, 24 grams in comparison to 13 grams that is from ice cream or frozen yogurt.
Juice bars are a low-calorie choice that may provide vitamins and minerals from the fruits that are used, but the amount of sugar in these treats outweighs their nutritional benefits. Chocolate pops tend to have less sugar and are another low-fat or fat-free option.
Consuming low calorie treats is important for managing a healthy body weight. Low-fat desserts are healthier for the body as a whole. Also, be mindful of the serving size, which is one half cup. If that portion size is less than your usual splurge consider adding these items for added crunch and flavor: unsalted mixed nuts, granola, dried fruit, or fresh cut-up fruit pieces.
For nutritional counseling, Norman Regional Health System offers the guidance of registered dietitians. Those interested can schedule an appointment for an assessment with a referral from their family physician.