Frozen yogurt can be a healthy snack, but it can also quickly become a diet disaster, a Dallas dietitian says.
With about 25 calories per ounce and many fat-free choices, many people consider it a healthy dessert option.
"We like to kind of think that this is a healthier choice for our kids to have as a snack, instead of having ice cream, which is higher in calories and higher in fat," said Susan Sisto, who was at Yumilicious in Uptown Dallas.
Because they are relatively quick and inexpensive to open, there are now 22,000 of frozen yogurt shops nationwide.
Many are self-service shops where diners choose from an endless combination of flavors and toppings -- and that can be a problem.
"One little tablespoon of chocolate chips was an extra 100 calories and three grams of saturated fat," said Meridan Zerner of The Cooper Clinic in Dallas.
She recently wrote an article about how the seemingly healthy treat can quickly become a diet disaster.
"By the time we were all said and done, we were at close to 800 calories, and that is more than a meal for someone's day," she said.
Zerner said a proper four-ounce serving topped with a little fresh fruit adds up to about 200 calories and can easily be worked into a daily diet.
"I would say, dear consumer, please be aware of the portion size, because self-service can be self-destructive," she said.
Zerner also said people should not be fooled by healthy-sounding words such as "all-natural." Such terms are just marketing talk that doesn't mean anything about nutritional value, she said.