By Nooshig Varjabedian
The sweet trend of frozen yogurt has become popular within college communities in recent years as a healthier exchange for ice cream.
Nearby Fitchburg State University, there are three frozen yogurt shops, two of them directly across the street from each other. Chill Frozen Yogurt is located on John Fitch Highway in Fitchburg, while YO2GO and Orange Leaf are located on Merriam Avenue in Leominster; all conveniently located for university students.
Though it is winter and the days are bitter cold, people continue coming in and out of these frozen yogurt shops daily. Is this because of the “health benefits” that frozen yogurt offers or simply the deliciousness of this growing trend?
With flavors like “Chocolate” and “Brownie Batter”, how healthy can this treat actually be? Well, frozen yogurt is made without cream—unlike ice cream—giving you less calories, sugar and fat to consume. At Orange Leaf, “No Sugar Added Vanilla” is a good way to get less sugar in, and their “Pineapple” and “Orange” flavors are dairy free, which is also a good way to cut back those calories. The healthiest flavor, offered at most yogurt shops, is “Original Tart” due to no added flavors or sugars of any sort.
What about the toppings that are laid out in front of you? With the large variety of toppings offered, it is easy to get off track attempting to be healthy, but by sticking to fruits and nuts as your topping, you can keep your dessert much healthier, rather than adding candy and sugary cereal.
“People tell me that frozen yogurt tastes just like ice cream, as if it were soft serve,” states Orange Leaf manager Pratik Patel. “I often find myself correcting people when they walk in saying they’re going to get some ice cream.” Though it may taste and seem like ice cream, nutrition wise, it is a much healthier option.
“It’s all about how you serve yourself,” Patel says when it comes to making healthy choices with this sweet treat. Not filling the cup to the top and loading it with candy is a great start. Trying the healthier flavor options such as “Original Tart” and adding only fruit toppings will leave your taste buds happy, as well as your tummy.