Frozen Desserts

• For frozen desserts, compare frozen yogurt, various ice creams, sherbet, and sorbet. The calories and fat in frozen yogurt (hard-frozen or soft) depend on its main ingredient: whole, 1 percent low-fat, or fat-free milk. Although frozen yogurt is made with lactic acid cultures, it may or may not have active, live cultures; to find out, look for the seal administered by the National Yogurt Association indicating active, live cultures.

Most frozen yogurt has less fat than ice cream— although you'll also find lower-fat brands of ice cream in today's freezer section, too. In a half-cup serving:

  • Reduced-fat (2percent) ice cream has at least 25 percent less fat than regular ice cream.
  • Low-fat (1 percent) ice cream has 3 grams or less of fat.
  • Light ice cream has at least 50 percent less fat.
  • Fat-free ice cream has less than 0.5 fat grams per serving.

To get the whole story, check the Nutrition Facts for the calories and fat grams in one serving.

You may prefer the creamy texture and rich flavor of premium ice cream, which contains more fat and thus more calories. If so, cut back on calories and fat elsewhere so you can enjoy premium ice cream, or eat a smaller helping.

Sold alongside ice cream and frozen yogurt, sherbet is sweetened fruit juice and water, 1 to 2 percent milk fat, and 2 to 5 percent milk solids, and stabilizers such as egg white and gelatin. While it has less fat, it contains more sugar than ice cream. Fruit sorbet— whipped and frozen fruit juice—is sold commercially. It may be counted in the Fruit Group.

• Buying a whipped topping? Frozen whipped toppings are convenient to keep in the freezer. Many have the same calories and contents as real whipped cream. If they're made with palm and coconut oils, frozen whipped toppings are high in saturated fat. If you enjoy the taste of whipped cream, buy it—then use just a dollop, not a heaping spoonful. Or look for light or low-calorie versions of frozen whipped toppings.

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