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EAT: THE JOY OF FROYO

“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.”

–Neale Donald Walsch

There is no shortage of frozen yogurt shops these days, especially in beautiful and sunny Southern California. Walking into a frozen yogurt store—colorful walls lined with cool, delicious, creamy goodness—has been known to inspire feelings of intense happiness.

The self-serve shops allow you to become a frozen yogurt artiste, creating new flavor combinations and adding any number of delectable toppings. (Oh, the toppings! So many choices to top off your wonderful creation…the possibilities are endless!)

As you sit down to eat your 20-ounce creation, there’s not a twinge of guilt. This isn’t an ice cream shop. This is frozen yogurt. It’s healthy! Isn’t it? Well, that depends.

Frozen yogurt is a great source of healthy and helpful bacterial cultures, which increase digestive function and health. Research suggests that certain probiotic strains (“good” bacteria) in some frozen yogurt might help with stomach trouble like diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome, and certain intestinal infections. Not to mention, yogurt also offers nutrients such as calcium, magnesium, and potassium.

So far, it sounds healthy, right? Absolutely! But…make sure you mind your portion size. Maybe you don’t need 20 ounces of probiotic goodness. And watch out for those toppings. Fruit and nuts are definitely good for you. But those brownie bites, the mochi, and the gummy bears? Not so much.

Next time you’re in the mood for some fro-yo, treat yourself, but limit it to one cup (that’s 8 ounces, not 20) or less of your favorite flavor. Fat-free flavors are the best choice, with about 80-120 calories per 3-3.5 ounces of the plain and vanilla varieties. Add a few different types of fruit, a pinch of chopped nuts, skip the hot fudge, and enjoy!​​