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Are “Protein” Yogurts and Ice-creams A Healthy Diet Addition?

Many companies have been promoting “protein” yogurts and ice-creams for those interested in becoming healthier.

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Are “Protein” Yogurts and Ice-creams A Healthy Diet Addition?

Many companies have been promoting “proteinyogurts and ice-creams for those interested in becoming healthier. But is it a healthy addition to your diet? Nutritionist Chloe McLeod weighs in.

Protein Yogurts & Ice-creams

Many companies, such as Halo Top, YoPro and FroPro have recently been promoting “protein” yogurts and ice-creams as healthy additions to your diet. Their packages often use the words “low-calorie,” “low-sugar,” “high-protein” and “all-nnatural ingredients,” which all sound great. So are they really healthy?

Nutritionist Chloe McLeod weighed in on these products. "I have a few thoughts," McLeod said "I think it's great that so many companies are putting in an effort to provide somewhat healthier options, for yoghurt and ice cream particularly.

"However, the main thing I don't like is a lot of these products are using artificial sweeteners to provide the sweetness that sugar once provided, and I just don't like recommending artificial sweeteners."

"Yes, these alternatives make a better choice in that they're high in protein and lower in sugar. But you'd be better blending up plain natural yoghurt with fruit, almonds and peanut butter, and making your own dessert," McLeod said.

Artificial sweeteners do lower the sugar amounts in the product, but it still remains unclear whether or not they’re actually safe for you. Recent studies have linked them to obesity risk, diabetes, heart diseases, as well as other health problems.

YoPro, Top Halo & FroPro

She focused on each protein product specifically. "If we're looking at YoPro, ingredients-wise it's pretty good, but it does contain stevia," she said. "Some people are totally fine with stevia, while others don't like using it. I like to leave it up to the individual on whether they feel comfortable incorporating it in their diet."

In terms of YoPro, McLeod recommends that one sticks to their plain flavor and just adding your own sweetener.

"Even if they are lower-sugar versions, I'd still say get the plain one without sweeteners and add your own drizzle of honey or berries to it to give it the sweetness you're looking for. This will make it a healthy choice."

In terms of FroPro and Halo Top icecreams, McLeod said they should “still be considered a ‘sometimes’ food.” 

"If you compare the FoPro to the Halo Top: with FroPro, the ingredients are water, whey protein and xylitol, and Halo Top is milk and cream, eggs and erythritol.”

"This means the artificial sweetener used is in the first three ingredients for both -- by weight it's making up quite a significant portion of the product.

"Even though you could argue it's a 'natural' sweetener, I'm not super keen on it as they're still sweet. Research shows artificial sweeteners stimulate the desire to want other sugars. So it's easy to eat the whole tub, and then you might also be looking for something later on to satisfy that sugar craving."

"Yes, these alternatives make a better choice in that they're high in protein and lower in sugar. But you'd be better blending up plain natural yoghurt with fruit, almonds and peanut butter, and making your own dessert," McLeod said.

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