One of my all-time favorite desserts is Red Mango. If you’ve never had it before (you’re seriously missing out!), it’s basically just frozen yogurt, but they offer tons of different flavors and a whole buffet of toppings!
A lot of the Red Mango marketing focuses on staying healthy, treating yourself well, and eating healthy, which got me to wondering: what is this stuff really made of and can it really be all that “healthy”? Let’s find out!
My favorite Red Mango Flavor is Pumpkin Spice. Here are the ingredients and nutrition facts for 1 serving, which is 1/2 cup.
Ingredients: Nonfat Yogurt (Skim Milk, Natural Flavor, Guar Gum, Live & Active Cultures), Filtered Water, Pure Cane Sugar, Natural Pumpkin Flavor With Other Natural Flavors, and less than 1% of Sodium Citrate and Potassium Citrate (natural buffering agents).
Live & Active Cultures: S. thermophilus, L. bulgaricus, L. lactis, L. acidophilus, andGanedenBC30TM (BacilluscoagulansGBI-30,6086).
Vitamin C: 2g
Not too shabby! But…here’s the huge but: as you may have noticed, the above refers to a 1/2 cup serving and the smallest container offered at any Red Mango that I’ve ever been to is much larger than a half of a cup. This, in addition to the fact that the yogurt is self-serve, can take 180 calories and 18 grams of sugars and carbs to almost double or triple (or who knows how much!) that amount very, very quickly! Not to mention, some of their toppings, like sprinkles, graham cracker crumbles, and almost every candy you can imagine, are extremely far from healthy. (I only ever put fruit on top of mine, but at least they offer it in addition to the crap!)
If I had to guess, I would say their smallest sized container is about the size of 1 cup. And let’s be honest, if you have a container that fits one cup and you’re serving yourself, are you going to fill it up just halfway? Probably not. Especially if you have no clue about any of the nutritional values and it’s being marketed to you as healthy. That makes you much more likely to say, “Hey, this is ‘good’ for me, I can fill this cup up all of the way!” It’s a dangerous mindset and the reason why it’s SO important to always control your portions, eat everything in moderation, and read the nutritional values and the ingredients of everything you eat. Don’t assume anything is “healthy” until you find out for yourself.
So, am I going to stop going to Red Mango now that I know that the amount of frozen yogurt I would typically serve myself there has way more sugar and carbs than I would prefer to consume in one dessert? Hell no! You can’t deprive yourself of the foods you love. I don’t believe that it’s healthy and it will most likely lead you to crave it to a point where you can’t take it anymore and then you end up binging.
So, in review: Is Red Mango really as healthy as it claims to be? In moderation, it’s not so bad. But what’s better than having learned the true nutritional value of Red Mango, is that it’s served as a reminder to all always read all food labels & ingredients, control your portions to the recommended serving size, and most importantly, enjoy all of the foods you love!