Yummy: Everyone loves to add toppings to their yogurt, but Yo Cherry owner Carlos Francis said the right portions and toppings can make the difference between a healthy snack and a calorie bomb.  *Photo by  Nicola Muirhead
Yummy: Everyone loves to add toppings to their yogurt, but Yo Cherry owner Carlos Francis said the right portions and toppings can make the difference between a healthy snack and a calorie bomb. *Photo by Nicola Muirhead

Bermuda has jumped on the frozen yogurt bandwagon thanks in part to the opening of Yo Cherry in October. 

The self-serve frozen yogurt shop is always filled with customers and often lines go into the street.

But are people flocking to Yo Cherry because they think it’s healthy but yummy?

Owner Carlos Francis says frozen yogurt isn’t a health food, but the right portions and toppings can make a difference between a nice healthy snack and a calorie bomb. 

He also said frozen yogurt can be eaten by those who are lactose intolerant because of the fermentation process. 

“If the question is are there any health benefits to eating Fro Yo, I would argue there are health benefits to eating just about anything. 

“For instance, someone with very limited access to food would benefit enormously from eating French Fries because it would provide them with very needed calories.  

Myth

“The next myth that I hear, that I would like to dispel once and for all is, freezing yogurt, kills the probiotic.

“The fact of the matter is, heat kills bacteria not cold. Freezing them only puts them in suspended animation, which makes them dormant, not dead.  

“The key to getting the most benefits from the probiotics found in yogurt, whether it’s frozen or store both, is freshness. 

“The fresher the product, the more in abundance, they will be. But who actually eats frozen yogurt for whatever real or perceived benefits, there may be?”

Mr Francis said Yo Cherry carries frozen Greek Yogurt and tart flavours, but only two per cent of customers buy them. 

He said the rest of his customers just want a tasty treat. 

As far as health benefits go, Mr Francis said portions and toppings matter. 

“If you come into Yo Cherry and you bought four ounces of any of our Greek flavours and top it off with a couple ounces of pomegranate and strawberries and some pecans, you would have just created a very healthy snack, rich in antioxidants, protein, calcium vitamin and minerals at a cost of about 110 calories. 

“Now, triple that serving and you have just negated those benefits.”

Speaking further on the health benefits, Mr Francis said frozen yogurt must contain at least 10 million cultures per gram but 100 million is preferable. 

He also said the yogurt must be produced using at least two probiotics, specifically, streptococcus thermophilus and lactobacillus bulgaricus.  

“This good bacteria works by consuming the milk sugar, lactose and converting some of it into lactic acid, which is what give yogurt it’s distinct taste”, he added. 

Mr Francis also said natural sweetened yogurt has nearly the same nutritional value as the milk with proteins, calcium, potassium, phosphorus and vitamins A and B. 

Benefits

“In addition, yogurt provides all of the benefits associated with fermentation while only supplying very few calories. 

“More than 90 per cent of the yogurt can be digested within an hour, as opposed to 30 per cent for milk. 

“It provides an interesting and satisfying nutritional alternative for people with lactose intolerance. 

“The frozen yogurt product enables people like myself who are lactose intolerant, to enjoy an ice cream-like treat, without the side effects associated with consuming milk or regular ice cream. 

“Whenever I eat ice cream, I had to always have my Lactaid with me so I do not suffer the unpleasant side effects. 

“So again, while I cannot promote frozen yogurt as a health food, it offers those of us who enjoy eating ice cream, the luxury of indulging, without the immediate side effects.”

For the holidays, Yo Cherry is offering festive flavours including eggnog, chocolate mint, rocky road and much more. 

They will also be introducing rum and raisin, ginger beer, Dark & Stormy and more.