The Skinny on “Ice Cream”
You don’t have to skip out on your favorite dessert anymore. Thanks to products like Arctic Zero, Enlightened and Halo Top, frozen desserts are now macro friendly ! In this post I will review the top current “healthy” Ice cream and ice cream alternatives on the market including best flavors (in my opinion) and facts on the ingredients. The hype of all 3 of these products is that they are high in protein and fiber which helps them coin the phrase “healthy”. I agree they are a much better alternative to a majority of the pints in our grocer’s freezer or any of the flavors at a local frozen yogurt shop. Some have better flavor profiles than others and some have healthier ingredients.
Oldie but still goodie -Arctic Zero is one of the first ice cream alternatives which has come a long way in development of flavor and texture. According to Arctic Zero they are certified
- Fat free (some flavors)
- Gluten Free
- Non GMO
- Lactose Free
- Low Glycemic*
Products – They offer two types of pints the original flavors which are Creamy Pints 35 calories per serving/150 calories per pint . Chunky Pints– 75 Calories per serving/350 Per Pint
Both styles should be left out of the freezer on the counter for at least 5 mins before eating for optimal flavor and texture. The lack of fat and sugars makes the product harden more then a real ice cream product. Chunky taste much better then the creamy pints. They did a great job making the flavors taste better with this release.
Arctic Zero Bars-80 calories These are a chocolate dipped bar of “ice cream treat”. The pros of the bars is that they are a portioned size, but you can’t allow them to sit out and soften so they have a icy texture .
Ingredients of Arctic Zero– Whey protein, No artificial sweeteners or sugar alcohols they use monk fruit as a sweetener and chicory root as a the fiber, Plant based stabilizers such as xanthan and guar gum . There is organic cane sugar in this and the other products I am reviewing.
The bars have a few more ingredients due to the chocolate topping including :ORGANIC PALM KERNEL OIL, CHOCOLATE LIQUEUR PROCESSED WITH ALKALI, SUGAR, COCONUT OIL, SOYBEAN OIL, LECITHIN (SOY), PURE VANILLA EXTRACT.
Personally I enjoy the Chunky Pints and they do not cause my any bloating or stomach problems. The flavors I prefer are:
Creamy Pints preferred flavors-Orange Dream, Hint of Mint & Salted Caramel but to be honest I don’t really enjoy any of these flavors.
Chunky Pints preferred flavors – Banana Cream Pie, Butter Pecan, Chocolate Chip cookie dough, Cool Mint Chip, Cherry Chocolate Chunk
PROS- Low calories, no dairy, no bloating, no sugar alcohol, easy to find in your local grocery or health food store. Just added more flavors and bars.
CONS- Doesn’t taste like real ice cream. Some of the flavors aren’t so good. Higher in sugar and lower in protein than the competition.
Nutrition facts from a pint of Cookie Dough (when they post the Black Cherry Flavor I will update this)
This company makes a dairy based “good for you” ice cream product that uses cane sugar, soluble corn fiber and erythritol as the carbohydrate portion of the product. Depending on the flavor the PINTS range from 80-120 calories per portion which is 320-500 calories per pint. This product must also be left out for 5 mins prior to eating for optimal flavor and texture. The flavors are great and have a better texture, taste and variety then Arctic Zero.
PROS- Good flavors, great texture
CONS- Dairy, you can eat easily an entire pint in one sitting, sugar alcohol
Bars- 90 calories Similar flavor profile to the pints but you can not let them sit out so they are slightly harder then the pints when you eat them. However they are portioned so you can eat only 80 calories instead of the entire pint!
(Typical) Ingredients * vary with product flavor – Skim Milk, Milk Protein Isolate, (Natural Sweetener), Non-GMO Soluble Corn Fiber, Cocoa Processed with Alkali, Cream, Cane Sugar, Peanuts, Contains 2% or Less of: Vegetable Glycerin, Locust Bean Gum, Guar Gum, Salt, Monk Fruit Extract, Pectin, Caramel Color, Natural Flavor, Malic Acid, Titanium Dioxide, Annatto (Natural Color).
Nutrition facts from a pint of Black Cherry Chocolate Chip Enlightened :
Halo Top Ice Cream is a diary based Ice cream which uses Stevia plant, erythritol and sugar alcohols to sweetened their products. The texture is not as dense as the previous two products however it makes me cough when I eat this product b/c it itches the back of my throat. My thought is that is from the sugar alcohols Sometimes becasue of the concentrated levels sugar alcohols can have a minty or bitter taste to them. Pints range between 240-280 calories per pint.
- Gluten Free
- “low carb” (due to the fiber and sugar alcohol)
- Non GMO
I have tried most of the flavors and they all taste exactly like the Vanilla with an added hint of whichever flavor they claim is on the pint. Strawberry tastes like Vanilla with a hint of Strawberry, Birthday cake is just Vanilla with birthday cake candies in it. I can not eat this product because it causes me bloating and stomach aches every time. I tried about 4 times and then I made a promise to myself to never buy this product again. You may have a stronger stomach than me, but I can not handle the sugar alcohols which the add into the pints. Especially because in reality you can eat an entire pint in one sitting. That is 20g of sugar alcohols.
PROS- soft texture, tastes like real ice cream
CONS- Sugar alcohols which can cause bloating & stomach cramps, most flavors taste similar. Dairy.
Ingredients (varies by flavor) – Milk and cream, eggs, erythritol, prebiotic fiber, milk protein concentrate, organic cane sugar, vegetable glycerin, sea salt, organic sunflower oil, organic carob gum, organic guar gum, organic stevia.
Nutrition Facts from a pint of Halo Top Black Cherry
Here’s an interesting fact to know
A pint of Halo Top is average 284g (4 servings 71g per serving)
A pint of Ben & Jerry’s is about 424g (4 servings 106g per serving)
Which means you are actually getting more product per serving in B & J which makes sense why it would have more calories in addition to the ingredients. If you add 1/3 more product to the serving of Halo Top you would get more calories. The addition of the fiber to the Halo Top makes the carbohydrates and calories significantly lower as well.
(left is Halo Top, right is Ben & Jerry’s)
*low glycemic is rated on an index of 1-100 of how the product will raise you blood sugar levels and how much will enter into the bloodstream if you are diabetic but it is the glycemic load which tells us that. Glycemic load is found by multiplying the carbohydrates in 1 serving by the glycemic load and dividing by 100.