Archive | September, 2013

Fro-Yo Ain’t Your Friend!

12 Sep

Or is it?

It has come to my attention that you guys seemed to really enjoy my pro/con coffee list. It has also come to my attention that everyone and their uncle loves fro-yo, especially when you have access to the nectar of the (cow) gods on or near your campus like my friends and I do. SO. MANY. TOPPINGS.

I’m sure you’re trembling with anticipation, so without further ado, I present to you a smattering of fun facts about your favorite frozen food.

PRO: Fro-yo has live active cultures in it. This means that there are blobs of bacteria floating around in your sweet treat. Sounds disgusting right? Well, it’s not! This good bacteria combats the bad bacteria in your tummy that makes it so grumpy. It helps improve your digestion! Think of it as a more delicious, more dessert like cousin of DanActive probiotic yogurt.

CON: Low calorie my ass! No, really. It goes straight to your ass. Flavored fro-yo contains buckets of added sugar, so it’s not really as “low calorie” as you think. “But, Jess! What about sugar-free?” … Don’t even get me started on the limitless reasons why artificial sugars are Satan’s spawn.

PRO: Ever wonder what the difference is between frozen yogurt and ice cream? Well, prepare to be enlightened! The main ingredient of frozen yogurt is milk while the main ingredient of ice cream is cream (wait, really?). What’s important here is that whole milk hovers around 4% fat content, while cream is 6-8% fat. So, technically, fro-yo is the healthier choice.

fro-yo vs. ice cream at a glance

PRO: Remember the probiotics I mentioned earlier? They make it so that the unfortunate lactose-intolerants of the world can enjoy this yummy dessert , even in the presence of an extremely good looking date, without sweating bullets about jetting to the toilet less than 30 minutes later.

CON: For some reason completely unbeknown to me, some yogurt manufacturers apparently do something called “heat-treating” to their yogurt. This seems kind of stupid, considering the fact that this heat-treating business zaps yogurt of all of its live active cultures and nutritional benefits, thereby removing anything and everything that makes it yogurt. So, try to find out whether or not your fr0-yo is heat-treated. Because if it is, you are being deceived into consuming a UFO (unidentified food object) completely devoid of all of the awesome pros I have shared with you thus far.

PRO/CON: Like I said before; SO. MANY. TOPPINGS. Would you like to put a cupcake on top of your fro-yo? No problem. How about Reese’s, Cocoa Puffs, and chocolate chips? No problem. Cookie dough? Check. Fruit? Check. Gummy bears, M&M’s, and Oreos? Check, check, and check. If you’re worried about finding the perfect topper to your tower of frozen goodness, fret not. BUT, I’m not going to tell you that it doesn’t totally defeat the purpose of fro-yo as a healthy alternative to ice cream  when you drown it in candies and processed treats.

PRO: It tastes amazing. Duh.

Basically, after extensive internet exploration on the pros and cons of frozen yogurt, I have come to the conclusion that it is delectable, good in moderation (as every tasty thing in this world seems to be), made to be eaten with as many candy toppings as possible, technically better for you if you forego the candy toppings and choose fruit and granolas instead, and better for you than ice cream.

As I wrap up this post, I can’t help but notice that I am beginning to feel overcome by an intense craving for fro-yo (chocolate yogurt with crushed Oreos and plain mochi is my go-to)… so I apologize if reading this little page of factoids has ignited within you some sort of agonizing need for frozen yogurt. I suggest you march yourself to the nearest fro-yo franchise and satisfy that hankering! 😉

This blog post was inspired by this article, which popped up in my Google search. Clicky-clicky on the links scattered throughout this post to see the other references I used. Some of them are profoundly fascinating.

Also, I found that nifty table here.

Cracked Out On Coffee

12 Sep

I dedicate this post to my roommate and my many coffee-drinking friends, all of whom I adore, and all of  whom inhale coffee at such a rate that they might as well walk around with one of those little hangers that administers it intravenously throughout the day.

Image

Today, as I sip my mug of Truvia with a dash of some house blend, I bring to you the pros and cons of this popular beverage:

PRO: Coffee promotes the Einstein state of mind! Since it’s got a healthy dose of caffeine, it’s a stimulant, and it can increase information processing, alertness, attentiveness, and wakefulness. What now, Adderall?

CON: Did you accidentally indulge in a late afternoon or evening cup of liquid energy? That’s okay. There is only a four thousand percent chance that you’ll be tossing and turning until 3 am.

PRO: If you are addicted enough to be consuming around 5 cups of coffee a day, the upside is that you may be protecting yourself against the cognitive impairment of Alzheimer’s according to this super interesting mouse study.

PRO/CON: Despite its widely known addictive qualities, the FDA recognizes caffeine as a ‘safe’ drug. This means that zombified coffee consumers can tremble over their textbooks or in their cubicles with the comfort of knowing that there is not technically anything wrong with them — it’s just the caffeine doing its business.

CON: If your heart skips a beat, you might want to blame your coffee machine. Coffee consumption can cause cardiac arrhythmias (aka stupid fast or irregular heartbeats).

PRO: Because the chemical structure of caffeine is similar to that of theophylline, drinking a cup of coffee can help to alleviate asthma symptoms by opening up the bronchial airways. So if you’re allergic to your girlfriend’s cats…

CON: Caffeine makes you pee more, which can in turn make you dehydrated, if you aren’t drinking the recommended 27 glasses of water per day. But I’m sure you are.

CON: If you live in the 1600’s or frequent the great outdoors, then you’ve probably boiled coffee old Imageschool style. That’s totally cool and all, if you don’t mind high cholesterol (boiled coffee elevates blood total and LDL cholesterol because the unfiltered grounds contain the compounds cafestol and kahweol).

PRO: I know you’ve been worrying ceaselessly about developing kidney stones, but if you drink coffee on the regs, fret no more. More coffee means more pee which means a bad host environment for the crystallization of calcium oxalate which means no kidney stones for you.

CON: Drinking 4 cups a day are we? Better start upping your calcium intake. These fine Swedes discovered that consuming that amount of coffee each day can moderately increase risk of osteoporosis. That means your bones become porous and develop the superpower of being able to snap like a twig under little to no stress. Isn’t that awesome?

PRO: Fact! There is a direct positive relationship between coffee consumption and the ability to survive college. If you don’t believe me, don’t question my authority. Question any coffee drinking college student in the history of forever and they will tell you that it is so.

In conclusion: Coffee does not kill people. What does not kill you makes you stronger. Therefore, coffee makes you stronger. Well, unless you make the pot stronger, in which case it’s not really doing you many favors (except maybe saving you and your mice from Alzheimer’s).

I got my facts from this dumb little man.