- These Are the 15 Healthiest Ice Creams You Can Eat
- Ciao Bella Sicilian Pistachio Gelato
- Nadamoo! Gotta Do Chocolate Ice Cream
- Skinny Cow Salt-Kissed Caramel Greek Yogurt Bars
- Coconut Bliss Sweet Cherry Amaretto
- GoodPop Coldbrew Coffee Pops
- Klondike Ice Cream Bar Original Minis
- Chilly Cow Brown Butter Salted Caramel Ice Cream Bars
- Yasso Coffee Chocolate Chip Frozen Greek Yogurt Bars
- Cado Dairy-Free Simply Lemon Avocado Frozen Dessert
- Talenti Gelato Chocolate Fudge Swirl
- Good Humor Strawberry Shortcake Bars
- Chloe’s Soft Serve Fruit Co. Mango Pops
- Halo Top Pops Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
- Enlightened S’mores
- Edy’s Slow Churned Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream
- 10 Healthy Ice Creams
- Finding the Best Healthy Ice Cream
- 37 Best and Worst Diet Ice Creams—Ranked!
- From Worst To Best…
- The Worst Diet Ice Cream Is… Breyers CarbSmart Vanilla
- Blue Bunny Sweet Freedom Vanilla
- Breyers No Sugar Added Vanilla
- Turkey Hill No Sugar Added Vanilla Bean
- Edy’s Slow Churned No Sugar Added Vanilla
- Thrive Creamy Vanilla
- Turkey Hill Light Vanilla Bean
- Wink Frozen Desserts Vanilla Bean
- Breyers Fat-Free Creamy Vanilla
- So Delicious Cashew Milk Very Vanilla
- Almond Dream Vanilla
- So Delicious Coconut Milk Vanilla Bean
- So Delicious Organic Soymilk Creamy Vanilla
- So Delicious Almondmilk Vanilla
- Sweet Habit Low Fat What the Caramel
- Arctic Zero Vanilla Maple Frozen Dessert
- And Now, The Best Diet Ice Creams
- Edy’s 1/2 the Fat Slow Churned Vanilla
- Yasso Party Animal
- Nada Moo! Vanilla…ahhh
- So Delicious No Sugar Added Coconut Milk Vanilla Bean
- Ben & Jerry’s Moo-phoria Light Ice Cream, Chocolate Milk & Cookies
- Talenti Less Sugar Vanilla Cinnamon Gelato
- Skinny Cow Oh My! Vanilla Bean
- Chilly Cow Cookies N’ Cream
- Swell Vanilla Bean Low Fat Ice Cream
- Breyers Delights Vanilla Ice Cream With Protein
- Slim Twin Organic Vanilla
- Enlightened Vanilla
- Arctic Zero Vanilla Bean Light Ice Cream
- The Best Diet Ice Cream Is… Halo Top Vanilla
- BONUS! Ice Cream Bars
- The Worst Diet Ice Cream Bar Is… Breyers CarbSmart Vanilla Bar
- Skinny Cow Double Caramel Swirl Bar
- Klondike No Sugar Added Vanilla Bar
- Weight Watchers Snack Size Salted Caramel Ice Cream Bars
- Arctic Zero Salted Caramel Bar
- Enlightened Sea Salt Caramel Bar
- The Best Diet Ice Cream Bar Is… Yasso Vanilla Bean Bar
- 1. NUTRITION FACTS.
- 2. INGREDIENTS.
- SIMILAR/HEALTHIER OPTIONS:
- Skinny Cow’s New High Protein Ice Cream Will Make You Want to Serve It for Dinner
- More Tips and Tricks from a Nutritionist
- 13 Best Brand Name Ice Creams for Weight Loss
- Edy’s Slow Churned Coffee
- Beyers Natural Vanilla
- Halo Top Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
- Turkey Hill Light Recipe Moose Tracks
- Arctic Zero Vanilla Bean
- NADAMOO! HIMALAYAN SALTED CARAMEL
- Edy’s Slow Churned Chocolate
- Enlightened Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip
- Breyers Mint Chocolate Chip
- Turkey Hill All Natural Blackberry Swirl
- Blue Bunny Frozen Yogurt Vanilla Bean
- So Delicious Dairy-Free Chocolate Velvet
- Halo Top Lemon Cake
- The pros and cons of Weight Watchers, according to medical professionals
- Pro: There’s no junk science or magic cures
- Con: Weight regain is a risk, just like any diet
- Pro: The social aspect can help a person stay on track
- Con: The program is facilitated by coaches, not medical professionals
- Pro: Weight Watchers focuses more on flexibility than restriction
- Con: That lack of specificity may not work for everyone
These Are the 15 Healthiest Ice Creams You Can Eat
Not all ice cream is unhealthy. | littlehenrabi/Getty Images
Welcome to the future, where you can have ice cream that’s delicious and healthy! Or, at least, you can have ice cream that’s not as bad as it used to be. So clear out your freezer and stockpile these surprisingly healthy ice cream treats that taste as good as they look.
Ciao Bella Sicilian Pistachio Gelato
Gelato is essentially Italian ice cream. Churned at a slower rate, it tends to have more milk and less cream than ice cream. At 240 calories per serving, this denser treat will help you feel full thanks to the real pistachios. Each serving has less sugar than other types of gelato on the market.
Nadamoo! Gotta Do Chocolate Ice Cream
There’s a lot to love here. First, it’s non-dairy and organic. Next, there are only 120 calories per serving. Unlike other low-calorie ice creams that add extra ingredients for flavor, this Nadamoo! dessert has only eight grams of sugar per serving. It also has a whopping six grams of fiber — more than an apple — and one gram of protein.
Skinny Cow Salt-Kissed Caramel Greek Yogurt Bars
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Our creamy Greek frozen yogurt bars are loaded with indulgent flavor and 5 grams of protein in each bar!
You know Greek yogurt is good for you, but did you know it’s just as good for you frozen? These 100-calorie Greek yogurt bars are deliciously creamy and perfect for caramel lovers. Bonus: Each bar contains active and live cultures plus five grams of protein.
Coconut Bliss Sweet Cherry Amaretto
Ice cream made from coconut milk is a great way to consume healthy fats. With a higher fat content than regular ice cream, coconut milk ice cream gives you the good type of fat that raises HDL cholesterol. This particular flavor is refreshing and creamy, with 260 calories per serving, one gram of fiber, and two grams of protein.
GoodPop Coldbrew Coffee Pops
What happens when you combine cold brew coffee with popsicles? You get GoodPop’s cold brew coffee pops! These delicious treats are pretty much coffee on a stick. Perfect for a pick-me-up in the summer, they have the same amount of caffeine as one cup of coffee. Each pop is only 80 calories, with eight grams of sugar per serving.
Klondike Ice Cream Bar Original Minis
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Doesn’t everyone bring their minis to work today #4aklondike bar? #bringyourchildtoworkday
It’s far better to indulge in small portions of your favorite treats than it is to overindulge in diet products with hidden ingredients. If you love Klondike bars, you’ll appreciate these mini versions. They’re just enough to satisfy your cravings, with 120 calories in each serving.
Chilly Cow Brown Butter Salted Caramel Ice Cream Bars
Chilly Cow uses ultra-filtered milk, which essentially gets rid of the sugar and water in milk and leaves behind a denser product packed in protein. If you love ice cream bars, you can enjoy one of these at just 100 calories. You can also buy this flavor in pint form.
Yasso Coffee Chocolate Chip Frozen Greek Yogurt Bars
If you want a cold, caffeine-filled treat that tastes more like ice cream than coffee, try these coffee chocolate chip Greek yogurt bars from Yasso. This frozen treat still gives you a caffeine buzz without all that coffee. Plus, Greek yogurt provides more protein than ice cream. Each bar has 100 calories and five grams of protein.
Cado Dairy-Free Simply Lemon Avocado Frozen Dessert
If you seek a dairy-free ice cream with a unique taste, we’ve got the solution. Cado’s lemon avocado frozen dessert is creamy (thanks to the avocado puree) and refreshing (due to the crisp lemon flavor). It’s a combo you’d never think of, but once you try it you’ll see why it’s on our list. It comes in a pint, and each serving has just 170 calories.
Talenti Gelato Chocolate Fudge Swirl
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Rich dark chocolate gelato, sweetened with an indulgent fudge swirl and monk fruit juice. Our Chocolate Fudge Swirl Crafted with Less Sugar gelato is all the flavor you could dream of, with half the sugar of regular ice cream. #ClearlyTalenti
Dense, creamy gelato can help you feel more satisfied than regular ice cream. Talenti’s chocolate fudge swirl flavor has more natural ingredients and fewer calories than other flavors. Each serving has 160 calories, eight grams of fiber, and five grams of protein.
Good Humor Strawberry Shortcake Bars
This childhood throwback is surprisingly healthier than several ice creams that market themselves as “diet” or “healthy” options. Each Good Humor strawberry shortcake bar has just 160 calories and 11 grams of sugar. Treat yourself and enjoy a delicious treat with a sense of nostalgia.
Chloe’s Soft Serve Fruit Co. Mango Pops
These soft-serve mango pops have just three ingredients: fruit, water, and cane sugar. That means you don’t have to worry about bad ingredients. Be careful because they’re fairly high in sugar. One serving has only 60 calories but 15 grams of sugar.
Halo Top Pops Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
We aren’t sure exactly how they do it, but Halo Top manages to make delicious ice cream pops with only 50 calories. You can indulge in a variety of flavors, like cookie dough, mint chocolate chip, peanut butter swirl, and strawberry cheesecake.
If you love the taste of s’mores but don’t want to sit by a campfire all night, you’re in luck. Enlightened s’mores ice cream tastes just like the real thing. At just 100 calories per serving, this treat starts with creamy marshmallow and adds real chunks of graham crackers and chocolate.
Edy’s Slow Churned Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream
Slow-churned ice creams are ideal for those who want a larger bowl of dessert with fewer calories. That’s because it’s made at a lower temperature than traditional ice creams, lowering the size of fat particles. Edy’s slow churned mint chocolate chip flavor is just 110 calories per serving.
Finding healthy ice cream used to be difficult to find but with the current health trend, you can find healthy ice cream in almost every grocery store. How lucky are we! There are still unhealthy brands, that contain toxic ingredients such as polysorbate 80, soy lecithin, mono-diglycerides, polydextrose, and etc.. We recommend the next time you are at Costco or any other grocery store that you check the ingredients of what you are buying because some brands are frozen poison–probably don’t want your kids eating those chemicals. However, there is good news! Some brands have specifically created ice cream that is both delicious and healthy. We will list the 10 healthy ice cream brands below so you know which ones you can count on for a healthy and tasty dessert. These brands contain much fewer ingredients and are typically made with natural ingredients, such as real fruit and vanilla.
10 Healthy Ice Creams
Creamies Ice cream
Creamies has 12 different healthy ice cream flavors that come in 4 different categories: originals, chocolate dipped, frozen yogurt, and specialty. 11 of the 12 ice cream bars are made with real fruit, and gluten-free. The calorie count ranges from as low as 105 and only up to 169-always remaining below 200 calories. If you do not want to eat ice cream, our frozen yogurt bars are another healthy option that are made with probiotics and real ingredients. Let’s get more into the specifics. The original bars contain 3 grams of protein, 13 grams of sugar, and 120 calories. The chocolate dipped include 3 grams of protein, 16-17 grams of sugar and 169 calories. The frozen yogurt bars are 105 calories, with 15-16 grams of sugar, 4 grams of protein and contain probiotics. Creamies specialty ice cream bars contain 13-15 grams of sugar, 3 grams of protein, and are between 120-122 calories. Every Creamies ice cream flavor has vitamin a and 9 0f the 12 different flavors contain vitamin c. Creamies were originally created to be a healthy option for kids but soon became a healthy ice cream option for everyone. You can find people all over the western part of the United States enjoying a Creamie. They are delicious, great quality, and extremely creamy. If you have never tried a Creamie, you should. We promise you will enjoy them!
Halo Top ice cream pints are 280-360 calories and come in dairy and non-dairy flavors. Depending on the flavor, Halo Top Pops can range from 50-60 calories. These are mini ice cream pops with a good source of protein. They come in 4 flavors: Peanut Butter Swirl, Strawberry Cheesecake, Mint Chocolate Chip and Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough. Because of the huge health trend, Halo Top has risen above the ranks as one of the largest ice cream brands. If you want to stay away from sugar, and unhealthy desserts altogether, Halo Top is a great option. We will say that you will be sacrificing taste for health. There are some brands out there that are both healthy and tasty. In our personal opinion, Halo Top ice cream is great for those who are very serious about losing weight and staying away from your typical ice cream. However, beware that you will be sacrificing taste.
Skinny Cow Ice Cream comes in ice cream sandwiches, cones, bars, and pints. Their ice cream bars are low in fat and are around 100 calories depending on the flavor. Skinny Cow has different ice cream bar choices: Oh La La Chocolate Truffle, Full on Fudge, Triple Threat Chocolate, Va Va Vanilla Almond Crunch, Living the Double Caramel Dream, Salt-Kissed Caramel and Chocolate Fudgetastic Swirl. Skinny Cow has 9 ice cream sandwich bars that are 100-180 calories. They have 2 flavors of ice cream cones that are 170 calories and contain 17-18 grams of sugar. If you are looking for more ice cream, they have 7 flavors 140z ice cream pints that range from 330-370 calories a pint. They are also packed with protein, giving you 22-24 grams a pint.
Good Pop has several different ice cream flavors that are low in calorie. Their non-dairy ice cream bars are 40-70 calories and the cream-based ice cream bars are 80-120 calories. They have no artificial flavors, refined sugars, and high fructose corn syrup.
Yasso produces frozen Greek Yogurt ice cream pints and ice cream bars. Their ice cream pints contain 100-150 calories and 5-7 grams of protein. Yasso has 18 ice cream bars that are between 80-130 calories and contain 5 to 6 grams of protein per bar.
Outshine has 3 different types of healthy ice cream bars: fruit bars, yogurt bars, and Fruit and Veggie bars. Outshine fruit bars are made with real fruit juice and have no added sugar. Their frozen yogurt bar are made with 100% yogurt and contain 5 grams of protein. Outshine’s Fruit and Veggie bars have at least 25% of vegetables from purees and juices.
Is a dairy-free ice cream brand, with many unique flavors of ice cream. They carry cashew, oatmeal, coconut, almond, and soymilk ice cream pints and bars. They currently have 8 flavors of cashew milk, 3 flavors of oatmeal milk, 15 flavors of coconut milk, 3 flavors of almond milk and 2 flavors of soymilk of ice cream pints. So Delicious also has 8 flavors of healthy ice cream bars that include: Dipped Salted Caramel, Double, Chocolate Delight, Coconut Almond, Vanilla, Fudge, Organic Fudge, and Mocha Almond Fudge.
Like their name says, Chloe’s Fruit are non-dairy made with fruit, water, and cane sugar. Their 9 flavors are only 60 calories and contain 13-15 grams of sugar. They have 3 new flavors that are dipped in chocolate, making them around 120 calories each.
Chilly Cow ice cream is made with ultra-filtered milk, which is milk that “is run through a very fine filter for the purpose of removing some sugar and water from the milk and concentrating the remaining protein.” Chilly Cow makes ice cream bars, 1/2 pints, cones, and sandwiches. They have 8, 1/2 pints of ice cream flavors, 5 ice cream bars, 3 cones, and 2 ice cream sandwiches. Every single flavor of Chilly Cow ice cream is packed with protein and has less than 200 calories.
Is another healthy ice cream brand that makes non-dairy and lactose-free ice cream. Arctic Zero has many healthy flavors and most of their product line is ice cream pints. With that said, they have 4 different ice cream bars; salted caramel, vanilla, cake batter, and peanut butter & vanilla. Every ice cream bar flavor is 90 calories and has 1 gram of protein.
Finding the Best Healthy Ice Cream
All of these healthy ice cream brands contain fewer calories and sugar than most brands of ice cream. You can choose from a variety of different ice cream types, like pints, cones, sandwiches, and bars. In reality, there are so many healthy ice cream choices that are similar in nutrition that it shouldn’t be too difficult to find an ice cream brand that satisfies your health needs or wants. I guess the most important decision is to find a healthy flavor of ice cream you can’t get enough of. We may be biased, but we think Creamies has the flavors you will love.
As temperatures heat up, there are few things you’ll crave that are sticky and sweet. Ice cream is the exception, especially when you can enjoy it guilt-free. Impossible, you say? This deliciously healthy selection of store-bought frozen treats is higher in protein, packs fewer calories per pint and has less sugar. Some brands on the list also use organic-only ingredients and are free of processed sugars and artificial dyes. And if you’re dairy-free, soy-free or nut-free, you can have your scoop and eat it, too. We’ve got you covered with sorbets, fruit pops and even goat milk froyo. Craving a cone yet? Stock your freezer with these healthy ice cream brands ASAP.
RELATED: 17 DIY Ice Cream Recipes to Beat the Heat
9 Healthy Ice Cream Brands to Try Now
Photo: Courtesy of Halo Top
1. Halo Top
Whether you’re desperately trying to quit sugar or at least wean yourself off of it, Halo Top uses stevia, a natural sweetener that comes from the stevia herb. It’s technically a lot sweeter than sugar but won’t give you the same blood-sugar spikes and crashes. And with taste-tempting flavors like lemon cake, red velvet, s’mores and oatmeal cookie, Halo Top’s got all your cravings covered. Plus, each pint packs 20 grams or more of protein. If you manage to eat the whole pint (we won’t tell), most top out at 320 calories and under.
Photo: Courtesy of Enlightened Ice Cream
You’ll love the creamy, melt-in-your-mouth texture of Enlightened’s ice creams, which feature skim milk, milk protein isolate and monk fruit extract. In pints and bars, you can satisfy your craving for birthday cake, bananas foster, frozen hot chocolate and strawberry cheesecake. A half-cup serving of ice cream will run you just 60 to 100 calories. And for half the fat and sugar of regular ice cream, you can afford to add a few sprinkles on top.
Photo: Courtesy of Yasso
If it’s got a probiotic, then we can have one bar a day, right? Yasso’s ice cream sandwiches, bars and frozen candy bars are made with gut-friendly Greek yogurt. It also boasts a texture similar to slow-churned ice cream that’s often lost in low-fat, low-calorie varieties. If portion control is your kryptonite, each bar will fill you up with five grams of protein so you won’t hanker for another one. A bite of the Cinnamon Bun, Toffee Caramel Chocolate Chip and Black Raspberry Chip will melt away the stress of the day.
RELATED: Frozen Yogurt vs. Ice Cream: Which Is Healthier?
Photo: Courtesy of Talenti
Talenti is known for its to-die-for Italian gelato and sorbettos made with all-natural and carefully sourced ingredients. Think Tahitian vanilla bean and Alphonso mangoes from India. For those following a dairy-free diet, we’re partial to the Peanut Butter Fudge Sorbetto. It’s packed with the creamy decadence of peanut butter and the richness of cocoa. (Did we mention it also has six grams of protein per serving?) The Vanilla Bean and Simply Strawberry gelatos are also good options if you want to stick to something low in sugar.
Photo: Courtesy of Victory Garden
5. Victory Garden
The farm-to-table food trend is coming to a froyo stand near you, thanks to Sophia Brittan, the founder and chef of Victory Garden. The West Village-based café in New York City whips up fresh goat milk soft serve and fro-yo (lactose-friendly and a good source of iron, calcium, protein and potassium). Honey Lavender, Rose Petal, Salted Caramel, Chocolate and Baah-nilla are perfect pints to share at tea party or brunch.
RELATED: 18 Protein Shake Recipes That Taste Just Like Dessert
Photo: Courtesy of Chloe’s Pops
6. Chloe’s Pops
Made with real fruit, water and a touch of organic cane sugar, Chloe’s pops aren’t artificially sweetened like some store-bought ones are. The signature strawberry pops are just 60 calories and 14 grams of sugar per serving. Other flavors include mango, dark chocolate, pomegranate, tangerine, raspberry and pineapple. They’re so refreshing you’ll want to pop one into your glass of white wine for a colorful spritzer.
Photo: Courtesy of So Delicious
7. So Delicious
You’ve hit the vegan jackpot with these coconut, soy, almond and cashew milk-based ice cream treats. In pints, bars and sandwiches, you’ll find flavors like Cherry Amaretto, Chocolate Brownie Almond, Green Tea and Pomegranate Chip. They’re so refreshingly creamy and satisfying, your dairy-eating friends won’t know the difference.
RELATED: Chocolate Chip Frozen Yogurt Sandwiches Recipe
Photo: Courtesy of Charlie’s Sorbet
8. Charlie’s Sorbet
Check gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, carrageenan-free off the list for these delectable sorbets. While not all the ingredients are totally organic, Charlie’s Sorbets don’t have any artificial flavors or sweeteners. Sumptuous flavors include Midnight Chocolate, Double Coconut and Passion Fruit Lovin’. We’ll take a double of everything, please.
Photo: Courtesy of Julie’s Organic Ice Cream
9. Julie’s Organic Ice Cream
USDA-approved organic and non-GMO, these frozen treats use the finest ingredients and have interesting flavor profiles. For example, Blackberries and Cream features real blackberries, egg yolks and lemon juice. For a frozen treat that’s made with whole milk, cream and cane sugar, you’ll feel satisfied after just a half-cup serving.
37 Best and Worst Diet Ice Creams—Ranked!
There are many issues that can divide a nation: Do you cut your sandwich in half or diagonally? Do you prefer Coke or Pepsi? Sure, we disagree on many things, but there is one thing that unites us as Americans: ice cream. To me, this fact was so unquestionable, so undeniable, that I was blown away by what I saw in my shared freezer the other day. As I reached for a bag of frozen veggies, I uncovered a scary sight: my roommate’s low calorie ice cream. I couldn’t believe my eyes. What… was it?
For those of you who savor frozen desserts to the same extent I do, you’ll likely justify how ice cream isn’t as awful a nutritional choice as many perceive it to be. When eaten in moderation (which, yes, we understand is difficult), ice cream serves up a dose of muscle-building protein, satiating healthy fats, and health-boosting minerals like calcium, potassium, and magnesium.
And therein lies the issue: ice cream is so darn good, it’s pretty hard to eat in moderation. In fact, one of the major changes the FDA made to its nutrition label guidelines was increasing the standard serving size of the frozen dessert from ½ cup to ⅔ cup. With this in mind, I started to understand why my calorie-cutting roommate opted for the diet option. Regular pints of ice cream can climb up to 1,480 calories and 104 grams of fat. That’s not even the worst of it. Even Ben & Jerry’s lowest sugar option, Pistachio Pistachio, still has 19 grams of inflammation-inducing sugar!
But thanks to the fact that many diet ice creams have lower calorie, fat, and sugar counts, indulging in these waistline-friendly treats doesn’t have to be limited to a once-a-year excursion on a sweltering summer day. That said, not every tub on the market is “Eat This”-approved. Instead of deciphering confusing nutritionals yourself, we’ve done the work for you on this exclusive ranking.
From Worst To Best…
We gathered up all the “diet” ice cream pints in the supermarket and ranked them according to nutritional information and ingredients. Regarding ingredients, we deducted points for those who used: artificial flavors, colors, and sweeteners; sources of trans fats like mono and diglycerides; and harmful emulsifiers.
As for nutritionals? That’s where it gets a little tricky. Because these ice creams are marketed as “diet” or “healthy alternatives” (such as vegan ice creams) we chose to interpret that in our standards—which are a little different from the companies who made them. So, rather than prioritizing ice creams that are as low in fat, calories, and sugar as possible, we awarded points for pints that were low in calories and sugar but still had enough healthy fats and protein to keep you satiated.
The Worst Diet Ice Cream Is… Breyers CarbSmart Vanilla
1/2 cup (58 g): 90 calories, 5 g fat (3 g saturated fat), 40 mg sodium, 12 g carbs (0 g fiber, 3 g sugar, 5 g sugar alcohol), 2 g protein; 6% DV calcium
Maltodextrin, the fourth ingredient, is a starch-derived thickener that’s been linked to digestive issues as well as decreasing your body’s antibacterial defenses, which may increase your risk of developing Crohn’s disease. This flavor also got docked for having artificial sweeteners and trans fat sources (mono and diglycerides).
Blue Bunny Sweet Freedom Vanilla
1/2 cup (66 g): 90 calories, 2.5 g fat (2 g saturated fat), 45 mg sodium, 19 g carbs (4 g fiber, 4 g sugar, 5 g sugar alcohol), 2 g protein, 10% DV calcium
Sure it’s free from added sugars, but that didn’t keep Blue Bunny from piling on the artificial sweeteners: Acesulfame potassium and sucralose are both used in this formula. That’s not good news. Although they don’t add calories or raise your blood sugar, artificial sweeteners—particularly sucralose—can cause your brain to recalibrate its association between sweetness and energy, according to a 2016 study published in the journal Cell Metabolism. As a result, the study suggests that if you constantly eat “diet,” “no sugar added” foods, you could end up eating 30 percent more calories when you eat naturally-sweetened food. Other studies have found that artificial sweeteners promote hyperactivity, insomnia, and can even decrease your gut’s ability to fend off weight-inducing inflammation. Skip it.
Breyers No Sugar Added Vanilla
1/2 cup (56 g): 80 calories, 3 g fat (2 g saturated fat), 40 mg sodium, 13 g carbs (0 g fiber, 4 g sugar, 6 g sugar alcohol), 2 g protein; 6% DV calcium
Although Breyers No Sugar Added has the average amount of calories for a diet ice cream, we’re disappointed by their use of artificial sweeteners like acesulfame potassium and sucralose.
Turkey Hill No Sugar Added Vanilla Bean
1/2 cup (68 g): 70 calories, 0 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 75 mg sodium, 20 g carbs (5 g fiber, 6 g sugar, 3 g sugar alcohols), 3 g protein; 15% DV calcium
Lower in calories is a bonus for Turkey Hill but it finds itself so low on our list because of the presence of mono and diglycerides—a duo of man-made fats that have been found to contain traces of artery-clogging trans fats—as well as artificial flavors, colors, and sweeteners.
Edy’s Slow Churned No Sugar Added Vanilla
1/2 cup: 100 calories, 3 g fat (2 g saturated fat), 30 mg sodium, 14 g carbs (2 g fiber, 3 g sugar, 4 g sugar alcohols), 3 g protein; 6% DV calcium
Lower in sugar than Turkey Hill and higher in fat‚ which is a good thing. Consuming more full-fat dairy products has actually been linked to lower rates of obesity and diabetes. Experts believe the connection is that full-fat foods take longer for your body to digest, which keeps you fuller longer. However, there are better options than this artificially-sweetened tub.
Thrive Creamy Vanilla
1/2 cup (67.5 g): 135 calories, 6.5 g fat (4 g saturated fat), 55 mg sodium, 17.5 g carbs (3 g fiber, 14 g sugar), 4.5 g protein; 20% DV calcium
We like that Thrive has even more calcium than a serving size of typical ice cream (which is usually 15 percent) and more protein (which is typically 4 grams). We don’t like that one of the sweeteners, maltitol, has been associated with stomach and abdominal pain, as well as excessive internal gas and flatulence, according to a report in Nutrients Review. Plus, this sugar-sweetened tub is absurdly high in sugar for a “healthy” ice cream.
Turkey Hill Light Vanilla Bean
1/2 cup (61 g): 100 calories, 2 g fat (1.5 g saturated fat), 55 mg sodium, 17 g carbs (1 g fiber, 13 g sugar), 2 g protein; 25% DV calcium
We give Turkey Hill props for leaving out the artificial sweeteners, but we had to dock them for including the emulsifier polysorbate 80. A 2016 study published in the journal Cancer Research linked the additive to colon cancer in mice. The same team of Georgia State University researchers previously linked the emulsifier with low-grade inflammation in the intestine. Not good signs.
Wink Frozen Desserts Vanilla Bean
1/2 cup (67 g): 25 calories, 0.5 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 70 mg sodium, 5 g carbs (4 g fiber, 0 g sugar, 1 g sugar alcohol), 2 g protein; 0% DV calcium
This brand sounds like the perfect diet solution, but after one spoonful, your cravings for the real thing will go into overdrive. Wink’s frozen desserts are low in calories, but they’re also low in all nutrients and flavor, so why bother?
Breyers Fat-Free Creamy Vanilla
1/2 cup (63 g): 90 calories, 0 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 40 mg sodium, 20 g carbs (0 g fiber, 13 g sugar), 2 g protein; 8% DV calcium
There’s more corn syrup than sugar in this fat-free concoction. And it isn’t even fat-free! Although mono and diglycerides are considered to be emulsifiers, they’re still a source of fat—albeit very small.
So Delicious Cashew Milk Very Vanilla
1/2 cup (79 g): 150 calories, 7 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 95 mg sodium, 21 g carbs (1 g fiber, 18 g sugar), 2 g protein; 0% DV calcium
We included vegan ice creams on this list because many people perceive them to be healthier since they’re dairy-free. But that’s not necessarily the case. Although this particular serving is lower in calories than the average milk-based dessert, it’s still high in sugar, lower in protein, and absent of any calcium, which is unfortunate if you’re looking to lose 10 pounds. This mineral can help your body burn more and store less fat as well as help keep our insulin production—and thus blood sugar levels—in check. Having well-functioning insulin levels can help maintain more stable energy levels throughout the day.
Almond Dream Vanilla
1/2 cup (78 g): 140 calories, 7 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 170 mg sodium, 18 g carbs (2 g fiber, 12 g sugar), 1 g protein; 0% DV calcium
There’s not much protein in here and a significant amount of fat comes from added expeller pressed sunflower oil, which is high in inflammatory fatty acids.
So Delicious Coconut Milk Vanilla Bean
1/2 cup (85 g): 120 calories, 6 g fat (6 g saturated fat), 10 mg sodium, 20 g carbs (7 g fiber, 13 g sugar), 1 g protein; 0% DV calcium
For a lower calorie, lower fat treat, try So Delicious’ Coconut Milk Vanilla Bean ice cream. It’s nearly as creamy as regular ice cream and has the added benefit of prebiotic fiber inulin! The bacteria that live in your gut ferment this fiber into anti-inflammatory fatty acids that help fend off weight gain.
So Delicious Organic Soymilk Creamy Vanilla
1/2 cup (81 g): 120 calories, 3 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 5 mg sodium, 24 g carbs (3 g fiber, 14 g sugar), 2 g protein; 0% DV calcium
If you’re going to go with a soy product, make sure it’s organic—like it is in So Delicious’s offering. That means you won’t be consuming any genetically modified soybeans, which can often contain traces of carcinogenic pesticide residues. With that being said, this dairy-free option is still a little too high in sugar to be considered “diet.”
So Delicious Almondmilk Vanilla
1/2 cup (85 g): 120 calories, 7 g fat (4 g saturated fat), 45 mg sodium, 14 g carbs (1 g fiber, 12 g sugar), 1 g protein; 2% DV calcium
Rather than added sunflower oil like Almond Dream does, So Delicious adds coconut oil, which is good for upping your body’s energy expenditure and burning calories. It’s also lower in sugar and calories than other dairy-free options.
Sweet Habit Low Fat What the Caramel
½ cup: 70 calories, 1.5 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 50 mg sodium, 14 g carbs (N/A fiber, 5 g sugar, 5 g sugar alcohol), 5 g protein; 10% DV calcium
Decadent, caramelly goodness for just 70 calories per serving? It seems like you really can’t go wrong. The only reason we won’t make a habit out of spooning into this pint is the inclusion of potassium sorbate, a preservative that has been shown to produce genotoxic effects.
Arctic Zero Vanilla Maple Frozen Dessert
1/2 cup (60 g): 35 calories, 0 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 80 mg sodium, 7 g carbs (2 g fiber, 5 g sugar), 3 g protein; 0% DV calcium
Because it’s so low in calories and sugar, it was hard not to rank Arctic Zero so favorably on our list of low-calorie ice creams. And although there’s no fat, it still boasts a fairly high protein count, which will help keep your tummy full after eating this frozen snack.
And Now, The Best Diet Ice Creams
Edy’s 1/2 the Fat Slow Churned Vanilla
1/2 cup: 100 calories, 3 g fat (2 g saturated fat), 30 mg sodium, 15 g carbs (0 g fiber, 13 g sugar), 3 g protein; 8% DV calcium
There’s no funny business here. Simply made from non-fat milk and buttermilk, Edy’s regular option is one of the best diet ice creams in disguise. Sure it’s higher in sugar than we’d like to see, but it’s made from all natural ingredients and is low in calories. We give this a double thumbs up!
Yasso Party Animal
1/2 cup (76 g): 130 calories, 2.5 g fat (1.5 g saturated fat), 60 mg sodium, 20 g carbs (0 g fiber, 16 g sugar), 6 g protein; 10% DV calcium
We love that Yasso crafts its creamy treat with protein-packed Greek yogurt that lends this pint its irresistible texture. However, we’re not to keen on the fattening palm oil added to the mix.
Nada Moo! Vanilla…ahhh
1/2 cup (73 g): 120 calories, 7 g fat (6 g saturated fat), 35 mg sodium, 19 g carbs (5 g fiber, 8 g sugar), 0 g protein; 0% DV calcium
Don’t fret the fat! This vegan, gluten-free, and certified-organic pint is packed with medium chain triglycerides—fat-burning fats coming from coconut milk. If you’re going dairy-free, give this pint the green light.
So Delicious No Sugar Added Coconut Milk Vanilla Bean
1/2 cup (85 g): 110 calories, 7 g fat (6 g saturated fat), 95 mg sodium, 18 g carbs (11 g fiber, 1 g sugar, 3 g sugar alcohol), <1 g protein; 0% DV calcium
This vegan food has a reasonable amount of satiating, healthy fats while being low in calories and sugar. And rather than using artificial sweeteners, So Delicious uses natural, zero-calorie sweeteners like monk fruit extract as well as sugar alcohols like erythritol, to which we’ve given the green light.
Ben & Jerry’s Moo-phoria Light Ice Cream, Chocolate Milk & Cookies
1/2 cup (68g): 140 calories, 4.5 g fat (2.5 g saturated fat), 70 mg sodium, 22 g carbs (1 g fiber, 15 g sugar), 3 g protein; 8% DV calcium
If you’re Ben and Jerry’s biggest fan (who isn’t?!), you’re going to love their lightened-up pints. A half-cup serving packs in half the calories and more than half the sugar than the original Milk & Cookies pint—without compromising one bit of flavor.
Talenti Less Sugar Vanilla Cinnamon Gelato
1/2 cup (86g): 120 calories, 4 g fat (2.5 g saturated fat), 50 mg sodium, 26 g carbs (0 g fiber, 10 g sugar, 6 g sugar alcohols), 3 g protein; 10% DV calcium
You may have seen Talenti’s super decadent gelatos stocked in the freezer aisle, but refrained from buying a calorie-bomb tub. Luckily, Talenti came out with a lower sugar, lower calorie pint that’s still packed with loads of craveable flavor in addition to a clean ingredient list.
Skinny Cow Oh My! Vanilla Bean
½ cup: 90 calories, 2.5 g fat (1.5 g saturated fat), 60 mg sodium, 12 g carbs (<1 g fiber, 9 g sugar), 6 g protein; 15% DV calcium
Skinny Cow’s pint is sweetened with a combo of stevia and sugar, so you’re guaranteed zero artificial aftertaste. Not to mention, you’ll check off 15 percent of your DV of bone-building calcium with just a half-cup full.
Chilly Cow Cookies N’ Cream
1/2 tub (77 g): 90 calories, 2.25 g fat (1.25 g saturated fat), 115 mg sodium, 18.5 g carbs (5 g fiber, 6.5 g sugar, 4.5 g sugar alcohol), 6 g protein; 15% DV calcium
Chilly Cow remains realistic with its serving sizes and knows that if you’re buying the half-pint tub, you’re planning to finish it all. Thankfully, the indulgence won’t do much damage.
Swell Vanilla Bean Low Fat Ice Cream
½ cup (81 g): 120 calories, 1.5 g fat (0.5 g saturated fat), 55 mg sodium, 19 g carbs (3 g fiber, 9 g sugar, 7 g sugar alcohol), 10 g protein; 10% DV calcium
Swell gets its muscle-building protein from milk and whey protein concentrate, which bumps up the content to a whopping 10 grams per serving. However, don’t try sharing a scoop with your dog—Swell is sweetened with xylitol.
Breyers Delights Vanilla Ice Cream With Protein
2/3 cup (89g): 90 calories, 2.5 g fat (1.5 g saturated fat), 55 mg sodium, 21 g carbs (0 g fiber, 7 g sugar, 6 g sugar alcohols), 7 g protein; 15% DV calcium
With Eat This!-approved ingredients and a creamy-as-can-be texture, we’re deeming this pint nothing less than delightful.
Slim Twin Organic Vanilla
1/2 cup (85g): 60 calories, 1.5 g fat (0.5 g saturated fat), 45 mg sodium, 10 g carbs (3 g fiber, 4 g sugar, 3 g sugar alcohols), 6 g protein; 15% calcium
This offering is the first certified USDA organic low-fat, low-calorie ice cream in the grocery store. With fewer calories, sodium, carbs, and a gram more protein than Halo Top’s vanilla, spooning into this pint only feels indulgent.
1/2 cup (73 g): 60 calories, 1.5 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 35 mg sodium, 14 g carbs (5 g fiber, 3 g sugar, 5 g sugar alcohol), 6 g protein; 15% DV calcium
Enlightened’s “good-for-you” ice cream is made with real skim milk and is full of nearly as much protein as an egg. It beats out nearly-identical Slim Twin because it contains more belly-filling fiber and has less sugar.
Arctic Zero Vanilla Bean Light Ice Cream
½ cup: 70 calories, 1 g fat (0.5 g saturated fat), 70 mg sodium, 14 g carbs (3 g fiber, 9 g sugar), 2 g protein; 5% DV calcium
If you’re not big on Arctic Zero’s infamously frozen texture, you’re gonna have to jot this pint on your grocery list. It’s creaminess rivals real ice cream’s yet one serving maintains a low 70 calories and only one gram of fat.
The Best Diet Ice Cream Is… Halo Top Vanilla
1/2 cup serving (64 g): 70 calories, 2 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 110 mg sodium, 14 g carbs (3 g fiber, 6 g sugar, 5 g sugar alcohols), 5 g protein; 10% DV calcium
Made with real milk? Check. Free of artificial sweeteners? Check. Good source of protein and calcium? Check. Low in sugar? Check. Contains healthy fats? Check. Ladies and gentlemen, your winner. (Oh, and by the way, Halo Top pints also taste really, really good!) This healthified treat is perfect for adding a scoop to your post-dinner decaf coffee, topping off your baked apples, or even tossing a spoonful into your morning smoothie. The possibilities are endless!
BONUS! Ice Cream Bars
Here’s one of our best weight loss tips: implement portion control. And that’s exactly what these ice cream bars do. They help you stick to your weight loss goals by indulging in a single treat at a time. As a reprieve from plain old vanilla, we decided to go with the caramel swirl flavor for these four bonus ice cream bars.
The Worst Diet Ice Cream Bar Is… Breyers CarbSmart Vanilla Bar
1 bar (56 g): 150 calories, 11 g fat (8 g saturated fat), 65 mg sodium, 13 g carbs (0 g fiber, 6 g sugar, 4 g sugar alcohol), 2 g protein, 30% DV calcium
With artificial sweeteners such as ace-K and sucralose, in addition to eight grams of scary saturated fat in one serving, we’re deeming this bar a total dietary disaster despite its high calcium content. In addition, this bar soared to our worst list because it also packs in maltodextrin and inflammatory soybean oil.
Skinny Cow Double Caramel Swirl Bar
1 bar (67 g): 190 calories, 10 g fat (6 g saturated fat), 80 mg sodium, 21 g carbs (<1 g fiber, 16 g sugar), 3 g protein; 8% DV calcium
This bar has 100 more calories than many of our other diet options. Another reason it fell to the bottom of the pack was because of the 16 grams of sugar—more than triple of our first pick. And finally, Skinny Cow adds inflammatory palm oil and caramel color, which may be contaminated with carcinogens, to its recipe. Although you could’ve guessed caramel color would be found in caramel-flavored ice cream, would you have known it was in these surprising foods that contain chemicals and food dyes?
Klondike No Sugar Added Vanilla Bar
1 bar (74 g): 180 calories, 9 g fat (8 g saturated fat), 70 mg sodium, 22 g carbs (0 g fiber, 5 g sugar, 6 g sugar alcohol), 2 g protein; 8% DV calcium
Klondike may not add any sugar to its frozen treat, but it does inject the bars with three types of artificial sweeteners as well as artificial flavors. We’ll pass.
Weight Watchers Snack Size Salted Caramel Ice Cream Bars
1 bar (42 g): 80 calories, 3 g fat (2 g saturated fat), 50 mg sodium, 14 g carbs (1 g fiber, 10 g sugar), 2 g protein; 6% DV calcium
Many of these scientifically-manipulated, artificial ingredients found in Weight Watchers’ bar have no place in your diet.
Arctic Zero Salted Caramel Bar
1 bar (59 g): 80 calories, 5 g fat (4 g saturated fat), 100 mg sodium, 7 g carbs (2 g fiber, 5 g sugar), 3 g protein; 0% DV calcium
No, it’s not technically ice cream as there’s no actual cream in Arctic Zero’s offering, but we ranked this bar better than the ones preceding it because it’s significantly lower in sugar and eschews any artificial, complicated ingredients.
Enlightened Sea Salt Caramel Bar
1 bar (70 g): 80 calories, 1.5 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 120 mg sodium, 17 g carbs (5 g fiber, 5 g sugar, 6 g sugar alcohol), 7 g protein; 20% DV calcium
Enlightened rings in at the same number of calories and sugar as the bar above it, but it’s higher in protein—the muscle-building macronutrient that helps boost your body’s basal calorie-burning furnace—thanks to being made with real milk as well as milk protein isolate. Unfortunately, it also contains phosphates and mono- and diglycerides.
The Best Diet Ice Cream Bar Is… Yasso Vanilla Bean Bar
1 bar (65 g): 80 calories, 0.5 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 60 mg sodium, 14 g carbs (0 g fiber, 12 g sugar, 5 g protein; 8% DV calcium
Although this bar is made of Greek yogurt, we’re loving its high protein and low-fat contents as well as its squeaky-clean ingredient list that’s free of artificial sugars and preservatives. The best part? You’ll get real vanilla bean specks in every bite.
This article was originally published November 11, 2016, and has been updated to reflect changes in nutritional information.
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What do you think about the health value of Skinny Cow Ice Cream? I realize they are a very popular brand and I know I’ve sampled them a time or two, vaguely remembering that I did enjoy the taste. But regardless of whether they taste okay, is it healthy? Time to take a closer look at TWO KEY FACTORS!!
1. NUTRITION FACTS.
Although somewhat high in sugar, the Skinny Cow brand of ice cream products is not unreasonable in the nutrition facts area. People who need a treat every now and then feel comfort in the fact that these pre-packaged bars have approximately 150 calories and 3 grams of fat per serving. In this area alone, Skinny Cow meets my seal of approval for a satisfying treat. Below are the nutrition facts for several ice cream varieties.
Cone: Chocolate with Fudge. (per bar) 150 calories, 3 g fat (2 g sat.), 29 g carbohydrate, 17 g sugar, 3 g fiber, 4 g protein.
Cups: Chocolate Fudge Brownie. (per container) 150 calories, 2 g fat (1 g sat.), 29 g carbohydrate, 17 g sugar, 4 g fiber, 5 g protein.
Although we looked at the nutritional info and found it to be fairly reasonable, now it is time to check out the ingredients (I usually do this first, FYI). Below I’ve listed the ingredients of the Chocolate fudge ice cream cone (most of the other products have a similar list). I’ve highlight several questionable ingredients. Do you know what they are? If not, should you be eating them?
skim milk, cone , sugar, corn syrup, cone coating , fudge topping , polydextrose, cocoa processed with alkali, whey protein, calcium carbonate, cream, Inulin (Dietary Fiber), natural flavor, Propylene Glycol Monostearate, microcrystalline cellulose, Sodium Carboxymethylcellulose, guar gum, monoglycerides, carob bean gum, sorbitol, vitamin A palmitate, carrageenan, salt
As in every case, if Skinny Cow is a product you consume each and every day, I might tell you to pick a different poison. However, if you happen to be at a BBQ where your friend offers a chocolate fudge cone for 150 calories vs a scoop of Ben and Jerry’s for 350 calories, I would opt for the latter. In the end, it’s all relative to how frequently you consume any product with a long list of questionable ingredients. I won’t tell you NOT to eat Skinny Cow products, but I will tell you to limit your consumption because they are not your healthiest option for a treat.
Homemade smoothie pops. Blend up your favorite smoothie combination and pour into popsicle molds. Freeze and enjoy!
Homemade fudgcicles. Make an avocado chocolate pudding, scoop in to popsicle molds. Freeze and enjoy!
Breyer’s Naturals Vanilla Ice Cream; evaporated whole milk, cream, sugar, egg yolks, natural vanilla flavour and pure ground vanilla bean. Easy to read ingredient list! I like it!
Turtle Mountain’s Purely Decadent Soy Ice Cream. Dairy and lactose-free, certified organic, and they support sustainable agricultural practices.
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Skinny Cow’s New High Protein Ice Cream Will Make You Want to Serve It for Dinner
photo: Skinny Cow
Don’t you sometimes just wish you could skip the meal prep and just pop open a pint of ice cream for dinner? Well, now it’s not such a terrible idea (just don’t let your kids see you!) as long as you’re dining on Skinny Cow’s new line of “enlightened” ice cream. The diet-friendly dessert company’s newest creation is low-fat and contains a whopping 22 grams of protein (that’s as much protein as is in a single hamburger) per pint-sized serving, according to this article on Delish.
There are four different flavors — Mint Chip Mashup, Oh Fudge Cookie, Oh My! Vanilla Bean and Fudgetastic Java — and they all contain about 350 calories per package (compare that to Ben & Jerry’s nearly 1,000 calories per pint!).
So, yes, you can eat the whole pint!
For some mysterious reason, the new ice cream isn’t yet listed on the Skinny Cow website, but you can expect to see it on the shelves soon at stores including Publix, Hannaford, Target and Kroger, Delish said.
Guilt-free desserts are nothing new for Skinny Cow (hence the name). The company, a part of Nestle USA, already has a pretty good hold on the low-cal frozen desserts market with their killer low-fat popsicles, ice cream cones, candy and ice cream sandwiches.
What’s your favorite kind of low-cal ice cream? Tell us in the comments below.
The Most Popular Ice Cream in America Is Also Low-Cal!
What’s a summer barbecue without some warm-weather treats? When it comes to summer desserts, ice cream is one of my favorites — especially a soft-serve vanilla cup directly from an ice cream truck in New York City, or a small-batch creamery version of chocolate-peanut butter. Most of the time, though, I try to find healthier ways to enjoy this hot-weather treat. I’ve rounded up some of my top picks for frozen treats that satiate those ice cream cravings, without derailing a healthy diet.
First, a few things to keep in mind. While they’re better than the classics, none of them should be considered health food. It’s a perk when dessert brings a little protein, fiber or other dose of nutrition to the party, but the idea is to lean on fruits, veggies, whole grains and other whole foods to nourish your body. Then you can turn to these goodies when your taste buds are looking for a little something extra, but you don’t want to thwart your healthy-eating efforts.
Each of my picks has fewer than 200 calories — and most have far less. Many come in single-serve styles, such as cones, bars and sandwiches, making it even easier to keep tabs on what you’re eating. Because eyeballing a ½-cup scoop of ice cream is a serious exercise in willpower.
ICE CREAM CONES
Trader Joe’s / Samantha Cassetty
Trader Joe’s Hold the Cone Mini Ice Cream Cones
These are a huge hit in my household. The chocolatey-lined cone is filled with chocolate or vanilla ice cream and then dunked in another hit of chocolatey goodness. Each little cone clocks in around 85 calories, putting you squarely in the no-guilt-zone.
Blue Bunny Mint Cookie Crunch Mini SwirlsBlue Bunny
Blue Bunny Mini Swirls
Compact in size, but big on flavor. This version includes mint-flavored reduced-fat ice cream and is topped with a cookie crunch. They also make chocolate-dunked varieties in vanilla, caramel and chocolate.
ICE CREAM AND FROZEN YOGURT BARS
Can you sense a theme here? Mini versions of high-calorie foods are a plus in my book. You get all the deliciousness while still keeping things reasonably light. These are coated with a luscious Belgian chocolate. A nice touch!
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Yasso Frozen Greek Yogurt Bars
These bars come in a variety of craveable flavors. The fruit flavors, like Strawberry and Black Raspberry Chip, really stand out, as does the fact that each bar has 5 grams of protein — the same amount you get in 20 almonds.
These bars have a place in my heart — or should I say stomach? Some of my favorite flavors include Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl, Toasted Almond and Sea Salt Caramel, but you really can’t go wrong with a treat that has no more than 100 calories while also boasting as much as 8 grams of protein — the same amount in an egg! Another bonus: Enlightened keeps the sugar low by using erythritol, a sugar alcohol. This type of sweetener is found naturally in certain fruits, and it doesn’t have as many calories or the same blood sugar impact as regular sugar. While many sugar alcohols, such as mannitol and sorbitol, cause digestive distress, the amount of erythritol commonly found in food doesn’t have the same effect and is considered a safe alternative to sugar.
ICE CREAM SANDWICHES
My vote for best flavors in the category. I fell in love with their Cinnamontastic Snickerdoodle, filled with snickerdoodle ice cream (yes, please!). The Dynamic Duo Vanilla & Chocolate and Completely Crush-Worth Cookies ‘N Cream also look incredible.
Edy’s/Dreyer’s (depending on which coast you live on)
The perfect choice for people who like their ice cream old school. The process of slow churning, plus the use of nonfat milk, keeps even indulgent flavors like Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough under my 200-calorie (tops!) limit. Just remember that the ½-cup standard ice cream serving size is rather skimpy, and if you’re routinely serving yourself more, you probably aren’t doing yourself any favors.
Breyers makes my all-time favorite natural vanilla, which is a great option on its own. But these 100-calorie Snack Cups make it easy to enjoy without the risk of doubling (or tripling) your scoop size. Snack cups are also available in chocolate.
Enlightened also makes ice cream by the pint in flavors like Bananas Foster, Butter Pecan and Chocolate Peanut Butter. Using erythritol, this brand keeps the calories and added sugars tame, while providing 7 grams of protein.
This was a game changer for my family! I’m a fan of their Vanilla Bean while my son favors Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough. Though the packaging lists the calories per pint, I don’t recommend going there. Instead, a single-serving ½-cup sets you back just 60 to 90 calories, yet provides 5 grams of protein and notably, 3 grams of fiber. This is another brand that uses erythritol to cut down on sugar — a touch I appreciate.
These are a staple in my freezer. I go for their Dark Chocolate, sweetened with banana puree and a touch of cane sugar, but you really can’t go wrong with any of these clean, fruity treats. And each variety is certified gluten-free, as well as dairy-free, vegan and kosher pareve.
Another obsession of mine. Dark chocolate-covered frozen fruit? Thank you! Available in Pineapple, Strawberry and Banana, dessert really doesn’t get any healthier (without sacrificing deliciousness).
More Tips and Tricks from a Nutritionist
- How to build a better smoothie
- Healthy Trader Joe’s products nutritionists swear by
- What’s the healthier pick: A hot dog or a hamburger?
- Seriously filling salads you’ll want to eat all summer
Want more tips like these? NBC News BETTER is obsessed with finding easier, healthier and smarter ways to live. Sign up for our newsletter and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
13 Best Brand Name Ice Creams for Weight Loss
We all know that the creamy treat is all too easy to overdo, and when you’re in beachwear, a belly full of Ben & Jerry’s isn’t the best look. For many, though, ice cream is one of those can’t-live-without foods, which is why we’ve set out to find the best healthy ice cream brands to aid your weight loss efforts.
All of them come in at 150 calories or less per serving and have no more than 6 grams of saturated fat or 17 grams of sugar. For some context, most frozen treats average around 25 grams of the sweet stuff!
Whether you’re a fan of chocolate, vanilla, or something a little more involved, we’ve got an option that’s sure to hit the spot. And what’s more, you’d never guess these creamy desserts are low-calorie and diet-friendly! Stock your freezer with a few of these healthy ice creams and the pounds are sure to melt away (pun intended)! While these pints are our top picks, the freezer aisle isn’t entirely waistline-friendly. Don’t forget to steer clear of these worst frozen foods in America to keep your body in beach shape.
RELATED: The 7-day diet that melts your belly fat fast.
Edy’s Slow Churned Coffee
Per 1/2 cup (56 g): 100 calories, 3 g fat (2 g saturated fat), 30 mg sodium, 15 g carbs (0 g fiber, 13 g sugar), 3 g protein
Edy’s Slow Churned line leans more heavily on non-fat milk than cream, which keeps the calories in check. In fact, simply choosing this Edy’s line over their “Classic Coffee” will save you 40 calories, 4 grams of fat and 2 grams of saturated fat. We’re big fans of this healthy ice cream’s bold flavor, but be careful—it’s made with real coffee, so it’s not the best choice right before bed. This pint isn’t the only thing you shouldn’t snag before your slumber. Don’t miss these best and worst foods to eat for sleep.
Beyers Natural Vanilla
Per 1/2 cup (66 g): 130 calories, 7 g fat (4 g saturated fat), 35 mg sodium, 14 g carbs (0 g fiber, 14 g sugar), 2 g protein
Made from a combination of milk, cream, sugar, Tara gum (a stabilizer made from tara seeds, a type of legume), and natural flavor, Breyers Natural Vanilla has earned our allegiance for both its low-calorie concoctions and the simplicity of its ingredient statements.
Halo Top Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
Per 1/2 cup (66 g): 90 calories, 3 g fat (1.5 g saturated fat), 110 mg sodium, 17 g carbs (3 g fiber, 7 g sugar, 5 g sugar alcohols), 5 g protein
For once, the health halo surrounding this healthy ice cream is well-deserved — and not a bad thing. This high-protein ice cream by Halo Top may be the lowest calorie, carb, and sugar chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream you’ll ever lay your eyes on. Not to mention, it tastes as good as it is for you.
Turkey Hill Light Recipe Moose Tracks
Per 1/2 cup (61 g): 140 calories, 6 g fat (2.5 g saturated fat), 65 mg sodium, 20 g carbs (1 g fiber, 15 g sugar), 3 g protein
Considering this healthy ice cream is loaded with fudge swirls and flecked with chocolate peanut butter cups, the nutritionals are solid. You’d be hard pressed to find a more decadent dessert with fewer calories. Trust us, we’ve looked!
Arctic Zero Vanilla Bean
Per 1/2 cup (70 g): 70 calories, 1 g fat (0.5 g saturated fat), 70 mg sodium, 14 g carbs (3 g fiber, 9 g sugar), 2 g protein
No, that isn’t a typo. This skinny alternative really has just 70 calories per serving! It isn’t too shocking when you consider that makers of the healthy treat replaced the cream and milk typically found in ice cream with skim milk and whey protein. You’ll find a scoop of this vanilla bean dessert just as decadent as the real stuff.
NADAMOO! HIMALAYAN SALTED CARAMEL
Per 1/2 cup (73 g): 120 calories, 7 g fat (6 g saturated fat), 50 mg sodium, 19 g carbs (5 g fiber, 9 g sugar), 0 g protein
Despite being made from an organic coconut milk base, this dairy-free healthy ice cream by Nadamoo! isn’t overwhelmingly coconutty. And while this serving may have just as much fat as other regular ice cream brands, it does have significantly less sugar!
Edy’s Slow Churned Chocolate
Per 1/2 cup (n/a g): 100 calories, 3.5 g fat (2 g saturated fat), 25 mg sodium, 15 g carbs (<1 g fiber, 13 g sugar), 3 g protein
There’s no funny business here. Simply made from non-fat milk and cream, Edy’s regular chocolate option is one of the best diet ice creams in disguise. Sure this healthy ice cream is a bit higher in sugar than we’d like to see, but it’s made from all-natural, non-GMO ingredients, is low in calories, and is free from artificial colors and flavors.
Enlightened Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip
Per 1/2 cup (70 g): 100 calories, 4.5 g fat (2.5 g saturated fat), 130 mg sodium, 16 g carbs (5 g fiber, 4 g sugar, 5 g sugar alcohol), 8 g protein
Enlightened’s line of ice cream keeps the calorie count low by cutting down on sugar. They do add some cane sugar, but most of the sweetness you get comes from erythritol: an Eat This!-approved sugar alcohol. And despite being so low calorie, this pint is certainly packed with powerful protein — a whole 8 grams worth!
Breyers Mint Chocolate Chip
Per 1/2 cup (67 g): 150 calories, 8 g fat (6 g saturated fat), 40 mg sodium, 18 g carbs (< 1 g fiber, 17 g sugar), 2 g protein
The secret to low-calorie ice cream is simple: Lead off with something lighter than cream. This one uses regular milk first and cream second. This is your best bet if you’re a fan of the minty, sweet flavor since, unlike other popular brands, Breyers doesn’t rely on artificial colors to dye your dessert green.
Turkey Hill All Natural Blackberry Swirl
Per 1/2 cup (70 g): 150 calories, 8 g fat (5 g saturated fat), 60 mg sodium, 16 g carbs (0 g fiber, 16 g sugar), 3 g protein
Craving something fruity? Try out Turkey Hill’s All Natural line of ice cream for its Blackberry Swirl flavor. It’s not much more than milk, cream, sugar, and blackberry puree, but we admire Turkey Hill for keeping the sugar count low.
Blue Bunny Frozen Yogurt Vanilla Bean
Per 1/2 cup (67 g): 100 calories, 2.5 g fat (1.5 g saturated fat), 55 mg sodium, 19 g carbs (2 g fiber, 16 g sugar), 4 g protein
Froyo offers the best of both worlds since it’s cool and creamy like ice cream but lower in calories and higher in protein. Bonus: This cool treat contains as much calcium as a container of yogurt and serves up the same gut-healthy active cultures that can help you slim down. Just because it’s a healthy ice cream, doesn’t mean you should spoon in seconds!
So Delicious Dairy-Free Chocolate Velvet
Per 1/2 cup (82 g): 130 calories, 3.5 g fat (0.5 g saturated fat), 0 mg sodium, 24 g carbs (2 g fiber, 14 g sugar), 2 g protein >
Made from soymilk in lieu of the traditional cow’s, So Delicious cuts the fat without needing to make up for it with an extra hit of sugar. This rich dessert is a safe bet for those with lactose intolerance or for anyone who’s looking to trim down.
Halo Top Lemon Cake
Per 1/2 cup (64 g): 70 calories, 2 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 115 mg sodium, 14 g carbs (3 g fiber, 5 g sugar, 6 g sugar alcohols), 5 g protein
See that number on the pint? That’s the number of calories in the entire container — not just a serving. So even if you noshed through the whole thing, this healthy ice cream would only set you back 240 calories, 8 grams of fat, 24 grams of sugar, and 20 grams of protein — as many calories and as much fat and sugar as an average ½ cup serving. If that isn’t enough to reel you in, maybe this extra perk will: all of Halo Top’s products are entirely free of gluten and synthetic growth hormones. We love scooping a spoonful of Halo Top Lemon Cake into plain seltzer for a fit-friendly take on a soda float! For tips on how to indulge in your favorite foods while continuing to slim down, don’t miss these easy ways to cut 50+ calories.
Want to lose 10, 20, even 30 pounds—all without dieting?! Get your copy of Eat This, Not That: The Best (& Worst) Foods in America!, and learn how to indulge smarter and lose weight fast!
The pros and cons of Weight Watchers, according to medical professionals
- Doctors say Weight Watchers works because it focuses on real nutritional properties, like calories, sugar, and fat.
- It is still possible, however, to have an overall unhealthy diet on Weight Watchers.
- The flexibility of the program may help some people incorporate it into their lives, but may not be specific enough to work for others.
Long before the paleo, keto, and South Beach, there was Weight Watchers. Founded in 1963, Weight Watchers has outlasted tons of fad diets and is still a popular program. (Not to mention it’s a multi-million dollar company.)
The program works, essentially, by translating calories, saturated fat, sugar, and proteins into a simplified “points” system, encouraging participants to choose more nutritious foods, control portions, and create a calorie deficit.
We asked a number of doctors and nutritionists for their professional opinions on Weight Watchers, and it turns out there are definite pros and cons to the program. Read on to find out what the experts want you to know before signing up for Weight Watchers.
Pro: There’s no junk science or magic cures
It isn’t promising a magical overnight transformation. Flickr/clintw
Dr. Dennis Gage, MD, FACP of Park Avenue Endocrinology and Nutrition says he appreciates that Weight Watchers is “realistic.”
“They don’t use nonsense diets with just vitamins, injections, or dangerous things that could get a person into trouble,” he said. “It does work when you follow it.”
The program focuses on diet and exercise, not any miracle product or extreme regimen. And, although the science of health is always updating, the benefits of monitoring what Weight Watchers controls for (calories, sugar, etc.) have been well-supported supported.
“Although the Weight Watchers program has undergone revisions and updates throughout the years to stay current with nutrition trends and research, the basic premise has remained the same – a focus on healthy food choices, portion control, physical activity, nutrition education and community support – all of which promote positive lifestyle change,” Perri Halperin, a registered dietitian at Mount Sinai Hospital told INSIDER.
Con: Weight regain is a risk, just like any diet
“Someone might do Weight Watchers and they typically do well for a number of months, but only 11% are successful” in not regaining a significant amount of their body weight, according to Gage.
He was careful to note, however, that this is not unique to Weight Watchers. As with any diet program, progress is highly likely to be lost if a person’s eating habits are not changed permanently.
The meetings can create accountability. Mark VonHolden/AP
Gage highlighted the meetings and coaching Weight Watchers offers as a positive.
“It meets weekly, so there’s face-to-face contact with the coach,” he said, noting that human contact can help with accountability and encourage participants to stick with it. If you’re thinking of signing up for Weight Watchers, it could be worth your while to make in-person meetings part of your plan.
Con: The program is facilitated by coaches, not medical professionals
“It’s not a physician-run organization — you have coaches,” Gage said. For someone who wants real bang for their buck, they’re going to want a nutritionist or dietitian.
He added that there are many pros to working with a medical professional, like the ability to provide broader-spectrum care, the authority to prescribe medication if applicable, and more tools for keeping patients on track.
Gage’s practice, for instance, uses an app that alerts doctors right away if patients start to gain weight again, so they can address it right away. You can end your Weight Watchers subscription, but ultimately it’s harder to ghost a doctor.
Pro: Weight Watchers focuses more on flexibility than restriction
The diet is fairly flexible. LightField Studios/
Registered dietitian Lisa Moskovitz of New York Nutrition Group says that, in her opinion, “compared with many other popular diets circulating the media, Weight Watchers is superior in that it allows flexibility and encourages followers to eat plenty of plant-based fruits and vegetables.”
The program focuses on the healthy things you can eat rather than the unhealthy things you should cut out, and teaches healthy eating skills, like portion control, that remain useful even if you end your membership. Laura Manning, a registered dietitian at Mount Sinai, says she has had great success using Weight Watchers to educate patients about lifelong food habits.
“With the widespread availability of prepared foods, it can be difficult for a dieter to gauge the right portion size as these meals can be substantial, to say the least,” she told INSIDER. So Weight Watchers provides a “model for better understanding portion control for weight loss and lifelong weight maintenance.”
Con: That lack of specificity may not work for everyone
“For some, the plan can be too lenient and does not require a balance of different food groups every day,” Moskovitz told INSIDER. So while the plan may encourage you to eat well, it’s possible to still eat a lot of processed, low-nutrient food without technically exceeding your allotted points.
“Many Weight Watcher followers often rely way too much on their meals and food products which can prevent them from eating more whole plant-based foods instead,” Moskovitz said.
Furthermore, people who have specific health concerns to address may need more guidance than the program, and its non-physician coaches, can provide.
“Just relying on a point system may not be enough for those who need more specific guidelines or who have to worry about blood sugars or cholesterol levels,” Moskovitz said.
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