Are Yasso Bars Healthy? A Dietitian Answers

Are Yasso Bars Healthy? A Dietitian Answers

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Yasso Bars are greek yogurt bars that are marketed as healthier than ice cream. The brand's website has a catchphrase of "ice cream, meet your upgrade."

But what's in Yasso Bars besides greek yogurt? Are they actually healthy? Do they contain any questionable additives? And what do health experts have to say?

In this article we'll answer all of these questions and more, as we analyze the ingredients in Yasso Bars to give our take on whether or not they're healthy.

We'll also feature videos from health professionals like dietitians on the topic, and compare the healthiness of Yasso Bars to ice cream.

Ingredient Analysis

Yasso Bar Mint Chocolate Chip flavor ingredients

The ingredients in the Mint Chocolate Chip flavor of Yasso Bar are shown above.

Cultures is included in the Greek yogurt, which is one of the reasons that Greek yogurt is typically considered to be healthier than milk.

Probiotic culture consumption is associated with reduced risk of allergy, optimal immune health and reduced inflammatory response according to a medical review published in the ISRN Nutrition journal.

Mint extract is used as a naturally-derived flavoring compound and sprulina extract is used as a natural colorant.

Our (relatively minor) health concerns are listed below.

Sugar is listed twice on the ingredient list, and excessive consumption of added sugar is clinically shown to be associated with increased risk of obesity and cardiovascular disease, as we documented in our is Chex Mix healthy article.

Most ice cream and frozen yogurt products contain sugar, but we'd prefer an unrefined source like maple syrup.

Natural flavor is an ingredient we generally recommend avoiding, because it's a broad categorical term that fails to describe the specific flavoring compound(s) used, and can contain preservatives according to a 2009 medical review.

There is also no clarification on the product page about whether the dairy is sourced from grass-fed or conventionally-raised animals, which leads us to assume the latter.

Dairy products from pastured animals are clinically shown to be nutritionally richer.

Overall, we consider Yasso Bars to be somewhat healthy, but this isn't currently a product we recommend due to the use of refined sugar, natural flavor and our questions about the dairy sourcing.

Is Yasso Healthier than Ice Cream?

Ben & Jerry's Mint Chocolate Chance ingredients

The ingredients in Ben & Jerry's Mint Chocolate Chance are shown above.

This ingredient list is somewhat similar to Yasso.

Sugar is listed twice and used as a sweetener, peppermint extract is used as a natural flavoring ingredient, natural flavor is also included and there is no clarification on dairy ingredient sourcing.

However, we consider Yasso Bars to be healthier than Ben & Jerry's for two reasons:

      1. Probiotics

Notice that there are no "cultures" listed in the above ingredient list, because milk is used rather than yogurt. This means that Ben & Jerry's ice cream lacks the health-supporting probiotics in Yasso Bars.

      2. Added sugar quantity

One Yasso Bar provides 9 grams (g) of added sugar, or 18% of the Daily Value (DV).

One serving of Ben & Jerry's Mint Chocolate Chance provides 27 g of added sugar, or 54% of the DV.

Health Professionals on Yasso

A dietitian with a YouTube channel called "Kara Corey Fit Life" did a taste test on Yasso flavors and shared her thoughts on the healthiness of the brand:

A doctor with a TikTok channel called "dr.tremd" describes Yasso as a healthier alternative to ice cream:

@dr.tremd Still a staple in my freezer! Yasso definitely knows what they are doing. #lowcarbdessert #healthydessert #onthisday ♬ original sound - Dr. Tre’ MD 👩🏽‍⚕️✨
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Yasso Bars are healthier than most ice cream brands, but we don't consider them to be healthy overall.

The good thing about Yasso Bars is that they contain probiotics which can support gut health, and which are usually nonexistent in ice cream.

Yasso Bars are also naturally colored.

The brand uses refined sugar, natural flavors and fails to clearly document their dairy ingredient sourcing on their product page, which is why we don't currently recommend this product.

None of these issues are unique to Yasso, but we'd love to see a frozen yogurt or ice cream brand emerge that uses natural sweeteners like maple syrup or honey instead of refined cane sugar.