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    Colorful ice cream cones
    Photo by klenova/Envato

    What’s the difference between ice cream and frozen yogurt?

    Note: This article may feature affiliate links to Amazon or other companies, and purchases made via these links may earn us a small commission at no additional cost to you鸿运彩票手机app. Find out more here.

    Frozen yogurt is everywhere, often marketed like ice cream — but what actually is the difference between ice cream and frozen yogurt (also known as froyo)?

    And while we’re on the subject, what exactly are gelato and frozen custard?
    Frozen confusion

    Once upon a time, frozen dessert was so simple. There was ice cream and… well, there was ice cream. These days, we’re surrounded by choices — ice cream, frozen custard, frozen yogurt, gelato and other tasty treats. So much deliciousness… so little time!

    But other than the names, what in the world differentiates all of these? Try to control you鸿运彩票手机appr drooling for a few minutes, and read on.

    The difference between ice cream and frozen yogurt

    The easiest way to differentiate these frozen treats is to talk about what defines each one. Here’s a look.

    About ice cream

    , contains between 10% and 18% milkfat, and between 12% to 16% sweeteners by weight. Ice cream also has air blended into it to increase its volume in an aeration process called “overrun” — and can have overrun up to 100% — so the final product is often light and fluffy because half of it is made up of air.

    But what about the different varieties of store-bought ice cream? Here’s what some of the terms you鸿运彩票手机app may see on ice cream labels legally mean, according to the :

    • Ice cream: A frozen food made from a mixture of dairy products, containing at least 10% milkfat.
    • “Reduced fat” ice cream: Contains at least 25% less total fat than the referenced product (either an average of leading brands, or the company’s own brand).
    • “Light” ice cream: Contains at least 50% less total fat or 33% fewer calories than the referenced product (the average of leading regional or national brands).
    • “Lowfat” ice cream: Contains a maximum of 3 grams of total fat per serving (1/2 cup).
    • “Nonfat” ice cream: Contains less than 0.5 grams of total fat per serving.
    Peanut butter ice cream sandwiches

    They also note the general guidelines for the fancy stuff:

    • “Superpremium” ice cream: Tends to have very low overrun and high fat content, and the manufacturer uses the best quality ingredients.
    • “Premium” ice cream: Generally has low overrun and higher fat content than regular ice cream, and the manufacturer uses higher quality ingredients.
    Blueberry ice cream
    Photo by magone/Envato

    About frozen yogurt

    Don’t call it a comeback — it’s been here for years.

    Frozen yogurt (also known as froyo or frogurt) substitutes yogurt in place of the bulk of the cream used in ice cream. As a result, milkfat makes up only 0.5% to 6% of frozen yogurt, with sugar or sweeteners making up 15% to 17% of the weight.

    Some frozen yogurt tastes just like soft-serve ice cream, while other varieties have a sweet, tangy flavor with a smooth texture.

    TCBY (the name originally meaning “This Can’t Be Yogurt,” which was later updated to “The Country’s Best Yogurt”) opened their first shop in 1981, and by the mid-eighties, soon became the world’s largest frozen yogurt franchise. Many more companies joined the fray, however, demand all but disappeared by the late 1990s.

    Fresh blueberry bread pudding with lemon custard

    Then came , who relaunched the business model in 2005 by offering frozen yogurt that had a flavor more tart than traditional yogurt. According to the company’s site, they “believe real frozen yogurt should taste like yogurt, made with… live & active cultures.”

    Blueberry frozen yogurt - Froyo
    Photo: romrodinka/Deposit Photos

    About frozen custard

    Custard is very similar to ice cream, but there are two major differences. First of all, by USDA definition, custard must contain at least 1.4% egg yolk by weight. Egg yolk is a natural emulsifier, giving custard a rich and creamy texture. Custard is also only overrun 20% at most, which adds to the creaminess.

    About gelato

    The light texture and intense flavor of gelato — considered to be an Italian invention — comes from having a much lower milkfat content than traditional ice cream, more in the 4% to 8% range. In return, it has a much higher sugar/sweetener content than ice cream, running in the range of 16% to 24%. Gelato overrun tends to be about 20% to 35%.

    Throughout most major cities in Italy, you鸿运彩票手机app’ll find that gelato shops are everywhere, catering to natives and tourists alike.

    Berry gelato
    Photo by alessandrozocc/Envato
    Nutrition facts for ice cream, frozen yogurt, gelato & more

    And if you鸿运彩票手机app’re here reading up on the difference between ice cream and frozen yogurt, you鸿运彩票手机app’re probably somewhat interested in the calories, fat and sugar in each.

    Chewy jumbo chocolate chip cookies

    Below, you鸿运彩票手机app can see how the numbers for calories, fat, sugar and protein look for 100g portions — which is larger than the average serving, but the size we could best compare. We used vanilla varieties for our baseline.

    Of course, no matter which you鸿运彩票手机app choose, it’s wise to be aware of portion size and to watch out for those toppings, mix-ins and dips, because it’s easier than you鸿运彩票手机app think to assemble a thousand-calorie dessert.

    Frozen yogurt (vanilla, soft-serve)

    Calories: 159
    Protein: 4g
    Fat: 5.6g
    Sugars: 24g

    Ice cream (vanilla, regular)

    Calories: 207
    Protein: 3.5g
    Fat: 11g
    Sugars: 21.2g

    Ice cream (French vanilla, soft-serve)

    Calories: 222
    Protein: 4.1g
    Fat: 13g
    Sugars: 21.2g

    Ice cream (vanilla, light)

    Calories: 180
    Protein: 4.8g
    Fat: 4.8g
    Sugars: 22.1g

    Gelato (vanilla)

    Calories: 138
    Protein: 1.8g
    Fat: 5.3g
    Sugars: 19g


    Frozen custard (vanilla)

    Calories: 220
    Protein: 4.1g
    Fat: 13.1g
    Sugars: 19g


    Ice cream (vanilla, fat free)

    Calories: 138
    Protein: 4.5g
    Fat: 0g
    Sugars: 6.3g

    Vanilla Ice (not frozen)

    vanilla iceIngredients:

    Unable to verify nutritional data

    Variety is the spice of life

    It’s one thing to define the difference between ice cream and frozen yogurt, gelato and so forth, but the best way to see the difference is to experience them all for you鸿运彩票手机apprself. Some people adore smooth and creamy, others like the feel of tiny ice crystals. Likewise, a lot of folks are all about sweet, while some adore yogurt’s tangy taste.

    We recommend you鸿运彩票手机app try them all — if for no other reason than to be sure you鸿运彩票手机app don’t miss out on discovering you鸿运彩票手机appr favorite dessert ever.

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