Ever since Seinfeld called out some frozen yogurt chains for having way more calories than they claimed, there has been a lot of confusion surrounding frozen yogurt. New chains have been popping up every day, and it can be very hard to tell which brands are actually healthy and which ones have more fat than Haagen-Dazs ice cream. Well, we love frozen yogurt and we eat so much of it that we consider ourselves fro yo connoisseurs. We know which brands are hard to swallow and which are hard to burn off. Read on so that as the days get warmer, you can indulge stress-free in a cool, satisfying treat.
#1 - Tasti D Lite
Tasti D is pretty much our favorite place on earth, but unfortunately it's only available in certain parts of the country right now. (However, more of these gems will be popping up around the country soon, so stay tuned.) This stuff is incredibly delicious, has only 20 calories per ounce for most flavors, and is all natural! That means no crazy chemicals, so you can feel good about indulging in this stuff. Plus, it comes in literally hundreds of unique flavors like fluffernutter, cake batter, mudpie, cinnamon crunch, etc. We've found that Tasti D makes a great lunch when you add healthy toppings like almonds or granola, or a perfect snack when swirled on a cone with a few sprinkles. Just be careful about licking your cone while walking down the street - a few construction guys may notice.
#2 - Pinkberry
The Pinkberry craze is sweeping the nation - so much so that there are now tons of Pinkberry knock-off chains with stupid names like Cantaloop, Diet Berry and Red Mango. This stuff is not your typical frozen yogurt. It's more like a really cold version of regular, plain yogurt. It's light and refreshing, but without toppings it tastes like that palate cleanser sorbet they give you at fancy restaurants. Make sure to always add toppings, especially because their toppings are the best thing about Pinkberry. They have the most beautiful, perfect, most likely genetically manipulated raspberries and blueberries on the planet. As far as nutrition goes, Pinkberry is kind of confusing. It tastes like real yogurt, but doesn't actually have any of those active cultures that make yogurt so healthy. However, for less than 20 calories an ounce for the "original" flavor, you can eat Pinkberry without guilt. Just remember to eat some real food during the day to balance it out.
#3 - Carbolite
This is Atkins-friendly frozen yogurt and we hate it almost as much as Dr. Atkins himself. Sure, you can eat buckets of this stuff and it'll do nothing to your waistline, since it only has about 10 calories an ounce and very few carbs. However, if your taste buds are so dead from eating other chemically, fake Atkins foods that this actually tastes good, then we feel very sorry for you. Carbolite tastes like pure chemicals and is incredibly hard to digest, if you know what we mean. Not worth it.
#4 - TCBY
This is one of the most superfluous brands around the country and it's not bad. It tastes pretty good and is a great alternative to McDonald's at all those freeway rest stops. Just remember that this stuff can pack on the calories a bit more than most of the other brands. Their frozen yogurt has up to 50 calories per ounce, which is more than Breyer's vanilla ice cream! If you love TCBY, go ahead and eat it for dessert or on the road, but if you're trying to lose weight and are eating this every night, you're not doing yourself any favors.
#5 - Colombo
This is another common brand, especially around college campuses. Colombo tastes more like ice cream than almost any other chain and has slightly fewer calories per ounce than TCBY, so this is a good option for college students who are on the run. Just be careful with all the crazy toppings they have. Adding smashed up Oreos to your frozen yogurt can be really fun, but totally cancels out the healthy factor.
For more tips, pick up a copy of HOW TO EAT LIKE A HOT CHICK: Eat What You Love, Love How You Feel, by Jodi Lipper and Cerina Vincent.