Frozen Yogurt vs Ice Cream: Differences & Which One is Healthier

When it’s hot outside, and you need a cool treat to cool down with, you’re met with two choices: ice cream and frozen yogurt. While I won’t say no to either of these delicious frozen treats, some choose frozen yogurt because it’s deemed “healthier,” while others opt for ice cream because they don’t like frozen yogurt’s tangy, yogurt-like flavor.

But what’s the difference between frozen yogurt and ice cream, and which is truly “healthier?”

My name’s Michelle, a self-taught baker, and an ice cream and frozen yogurt connoisseur. I enjoy both types of frozen goodies, but that doesn’t mean I don’t want to know the difference between the two. I decided to research these popular cold treats to find their dissimilarities and which is the healthiest. 

Who’s ready to learn something new?

5 Differences Between Frozen Yogurt and Ice Cream

The next time you debate the differences between frozen yogurt and ice cream with your friend, you better have the facts – and you can find them below.

Let’s closely examine the dissimilarities between these yummy frozen treats.

1. Ingredients

The first dissimilarity between frozen yogurt and ice cream is the ingredients.

While both frozen goods are made with dairy and sugar, the same dairy products aren’t used.

Ice cream is typically made with full-fat milk or cream.

Frozen yogurt, on the other hand, is typically made with cultured milk, yogurt, or both. Although these ingredients are designed to add probiotics to the final product, the cultures are usually killed during the pasteurization and/or freezing stage.

2. How They Are Made

Although frozen yogurt and ice cream look and feel almost identical, they’re not made the same way.

Cream is churned with several other ingredients, such as sugar and flavorings, to make ice cream. The churning process continues until the product is completely frozen. A predetermined amount of air is also incorporated into the ingredients to ensure a fluffy texture.

Frozen yogurt is made differently. First, the milk and sugar are heated. Bacterial cultures are added. Then, the mixture is cooled and fermented. While it’s freezing, the air is added to create a silky-smooth consistency. 

3. Calories/Fat/Sugar

It’s hard to pinpoint the exact differences between frozen yogurt and ice cream when it comes to calories, fat, and sugar. That’s because there is a myriad of flavors and mix-ins that will add to the final nutritional count.

However, as a general rule of thumb, ice cream is known for having a higher calorie and fat content, while frozen yogurt has a higher sugar content.

Here’s a rough breakdown between a cup of regular vanilla ice cream compared to a cup of traditional vanilla frozen yogurt.

Ice Cream275 1530
Frozen Yogurt221615 to 40

4. Flavor

Of course, the flavor will change depending on the flavor of ice cream or frozen yogurt you get or any mix-ins you add to your frozen treat.

At its core, though, frozen yogurt tends to have a tangier flavor due to the inclusion of cultured milk and yogurt. 

Many believe this is why frozen yogurt tends to have a higher sugar content: to mask the tangy flavor.

5. Texture

Another subtle difference between ice cream and frozen yogurt is the texture. 

If you go to a frozen yogurt shop, you’ll notice that the frozen yogurt is relatively firm and holds its shape for an extended time.

If you buy ice cream at an ice cream joint, it will be softer, fluffier, and melt quicker than its frozen yogurt cousin.

Frozen Yogurt vs Ice Cream – Which One is Healthier?

When it comes down to it, it’s hard to determine which one is actually “healthier.” There are many factors at play, especially when it comes to flavors and mix-ins. This can impact the nutritional aspect of ice cream and frozen yogurt significantly.

However, here is a quick breakdown regarding which one you should probably choose and why:

  • If you want to consume a product that contains probiotics, eat frozen yogurt. However, double-check the label to ensure the frozen yogurt has probiotics. Look for the label claiming “contains live and active cultures.”
  • If you have lactose intolerance, reach for frozen yogurt. Frozen yogurt has a lower lactose content, so it may not hurt your belly as much.
  • If you want to eat less sugar, opt for ice cream. Ice cream contains less sugar than frozen yogurt, so it’s the better option for those looking to avoid sugar (even those with diabetes/insulin resistance – eat in moderation!)
  • If you want to eat less fat, eat frozen yogurt. To minimize fat consumption further, opt for low-fat or nonfat frozen yogurt.


Now you know all the significant differences between frozen yogurt and ice cream. Pretty nifty, eh? If you’re still not done learning about this interesting topic, some more questions are answered below. I hope these help!

What is the sugar difference between ice cream and frozen yogurt?

Frozen yogurt tends to have a higher sugar content than ice cream, although this can vary depending on the flavor of the frozen treat and any mix-ins. However, the difference isn’t outstanding and can be as little as a few grams of sugar.

Why do people choose frozen yogurt over ice cream?

People tend to choose frozen yogurt because it has fewer calories and fat. However, frozen yogurt contains more sugar than ice cream (most of the time). They may also want to reap the probiotic benefits, although many frozen yogurt products do not contain any live cultures.

Which has more sugar frozen yogurt or ice cream?

Frozen yogurt almost always has more sugar than ice cream. Although, this can change depending on the flavor and if there are any mix-ins. It’s important to double-check the sugar content if you’re concerned about your sugar intake.

Frozen Yogurt and Ice Cream Aren’t Too Different, After All!

There aren’t too many differences in the great frozen yogurt versus ice cream debate. The key difference is that frozen yogurt is made with cultured milk and yogurt, while ice cream is made with cream. This changes the calorie, fat, and sugar content and alters the overall flavor and consistency.

Do you prefer frozen yogurt or ice cream? Why?

About Michelle
I have been a lover of sweets since day one. This led me on a self-taught baking journey starting at the age of 13. It's been over 10 years since the start of my baking adventures, and I’ve learned a lot along the way. Now, people rave about my delectable treats, whether it’s a chocolate cake or a strawberry crepe.

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