Yesterday, we compared the nutrition information of two different versions of frozen yogurt from Ben & Jerry’s and found something kind of strange. Even though promoters of Greek yogurt usually brag about its higher protein content, that isn’t the case with the frozen version. Ben & Jerry’s got back to us, and now we have the answer.
To refresh your memory, here are the two versions of the Cherry Garcia yogurt flavor side by side:
A company spokesperson, who we picture sitting with her laptop in a Vermont meadow surrounded by grazing cows while listening to Phish, explained the reason for the protein discrepancy: the Greek version has more fat.
You’ll see that they both have the same amount of calories, but the Greek has more fat and less carbs and protein. Having more fat means the ratio of other macronutrients changes. The low fat froyo mix is made of mostly milk, sugar and corn syrup, whereas the Greek mix is milk & cream and sugar.
For other flavors, you can’t make this kind of direct comparison. The sheer popularity and deliciousness of Cherry Garcia means that the company makes a lot of different versions of it. We’re basing that not on anything that the Ben & Jerry’s representative told us, but on decades of extensive taste-testing. There are no other flavors that exist as both a Greek frozen yogurt and a regular frozen yogurt, though, which is why Natalie over at The Impulsive Buy did the taste test that brought the discrepancy to our attention in the first place.
The American diet has shifted so that we no longer vilify fat as we once did. Ben & Jerry’s frozen yogurts debuted in the heady days of the early ’90s, back when dietary fat was the enemy, using the impeccable logic that fatty foods are stored as body fat. I remember my grandmother inflicting something called “ice milk” on us at the height of low-fat diet mania before the frozen yogurt trend made its way north. Sugar-rich low-fat desserts proliferated back then, and it was also the time of America’s first frozen yogurt boom.
Nothing in life is that simple, and our dietary preferences have shifted. Americans aren’t as terrified of fat as we once were. (In our food, anyway.) Even with the higher fat content, both yogurts have slightly fewer calories and a lot less fat than the Cherry Garcia ice cream, which is the reason why frozen yogurt exists in the first place.
For what it’s worth, Natalie really preferred the “Greek” frozen yogurt version of the flavor to the regular frozen yogurt version, with an additional tanginess and creaminess to the yogurt base that went well with the cherries and chocolate. Not that there are many things that don’t go well with cherries and chocolate.