If you’ve been regulary treating yourself to one of the city’s new probiotic-packed, sweet swirls of icy cold fro-yo thinking it’s a healthy way to satisfy your sweet tooth on a hot summer’s day, you may be getting more than you bargained for. “Frozen yogurt is lower in fat and higher in calcium than ice cream, but it’s also higher in sugar and carbs,” says Emily Rubin, an RD at Jefferson University Hospital. “So you still have calories and you need to watch your portions.”
To find out what’s really in your cup, we tracked down the nutritional stats on six of Philly’s favorite fro-yo joints — and it was a lot harder than you might think. Some spots claimed not to have access to their ingredient lists; others simply refused to hand them over; and many of the employees were just plain unhelpful. (And if you haven’t gotten the scoop on frozen probiotics yet, check it out here). But in the end, we were able to dig up the following stats so you can decide for yourself whether you need to curb your fro-yo consumption or if you can swirl away guilt free.
233 S. 20th St, 267-639-5287
The Skinny: Yogorino means “baby yogurt” in Italian, and the perfectly sweet
treat that swirls into the pretty blue, biodegradable cups here is not what
we Americans would consider fro-yo. Yogorino is actually part of the “soft-ice” industry because extra water is not added, giving it a creamier texture.
The stats: We were unable to get a full list of nutritional stats or an ingredient list, but here’s what we do know: There are 131 calories per six-ounce serving, 1.8 grams of fat, and 21 grams of total carbs. We were told that there isn’t any added sugar, and that the sweetness you taste comes from the lactose, natural sugar found in milk.
Topping tips: Stick to the fresh fruit or natural nuts. Avoid the
sauces (we couldn’t get the calories stats on them (we tried) but they are
sure to be more calorie-heavy) and the granola or muesli, which can pack 230 calories per ¾ cup.
2. Sook Hee’s Produce and Squeeze Juice Bar
1701 JFK Blvd, 215-568-2834
The Skinny: Sook Hee’s is now using the same fresh fruits they use at their juice bar (think blueberries, strawberries, raspberries and peaches) to top Sugar Creek tangy, plain fro-yo.
The stats: Sook Hee’s gave us everything, including a full list of ingredients and nutritional stats. A four-ounce serving has 100 calories, 0 grams of fat, 21 grams of total carbs, and 16 to 18 grams of sugar.
Topping tips: Avoid the Oreos, granola, and sugar-filled sprinkles
3. Palm Tree Market
717 N. 2nd St., 215-925-4707
The Skinny: This fresh and local NoLibs corner market, known for its extensive deli counter, is now serving their own creation: Pinkiss Yogurt in plain and green tea.
The stats: Palm Tree wouldn’t give up their ingredient list, but they claim that there is no added sugar (the sweetness here also comes from lactose). There are 90 calories per four-ounce serving, 0 grams of fat, 16 grams of total carbs, and 9 grams of sugar.
Topping tips: Avoid the M&M’s and go with the antioxidant-packed blueberries instea.
215-873-8361, 416 South St.
The Skinny: South Street’s fro-yo joint boasts 16 different flavors and a DIY toppings bar.
The stats: Phileo kindly gave up all their info, including an ingredient list. This fro-yo is sweetened with corn syrup and a four-ounce serving of their plain yogurt will run you 70 calories, 15 grams of total carbs, and 9 grams of sugar; A four-ounce serving of flavored runs at 40 calories more, coming in at 110 calories, 24 grams of total carbs, and 20 grams of sugar.
Topping tips: Toppings like mochi (Japanese rice gummy candies) pack more than 360 calories in a one-cup serving; one ounce of cheesecake has 90 calories; and one ounce of cookie dough has 130 calories. So do your best to avoid them or use them sparingly.
5. Sweet Ending
1800 Chestnut St., 215-568-0089
The Skinny: Also a self-serve joint, this fro-yo comes in everything from plain tart to flavors like peanut butter, watermelon, or pomegranate.
The stats: They wouldn’t give up the list of ingredients, but they claim everything is 100 percent natural. However, they use sugar cane to sweeten the yogurt, so there is added sugar here. A four-ounce serving of plain runs 100 calories, 0 grams of fat, 21 grams of total carbs, and 20 grams of sugar. Flavored runs 110 calories, 0 grams of fat, 23 grams of total carbs, and 21 grams of sugar.
Topping tips: Glide past the first section of sweets like sugar-filled Mike & Ikes to healthier treats like crumbled graham cracker along with fruit like kiwi, blueberries, and strawberries.
6. Marathon Grill
200 S 40th St., 215-222-0100; 1818 Market St., 215-561-1818; 121 S. 16th St., 215-569-3278
The Skinny: We already love Marathon’s homemade motzah ball soup and create-your-own omelets, but they now also have tart frozen yogurt.
The stats: Though Marathon’s new yogurt has less sugar than their last fro-yo, and each four-ounce serving has 110 calories, 2 grams of fat, 20 grams of total carbs, and 15 grams of sugar.
Topping tips: Enjoy one of the fruity, refreshing flavors of yogurt plain, sans brownies and cookies.