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TREND ALERT: 'Healthy' Ice Cream, is it any good?

Been curious about the new 'healthy ice cream' trend? Here's our favorite 'healthy' ice creams.
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It seems every time I browse the frozen isle I find another brand jumping on the 'healthy' ice cream bandwagon-adding protein, reducing fat, reducing calories, cutting sugar, you name it! My curiosity finally peaked and I now find myself with a fridge full of different 'healthy' ice creams. My goal was to try and buy the same flavor in as many different brands as I could, or at least similar flavors so I settled on chocolate/chocolate peanut butter type flavors.

I also wanted to answer the question, is froyo actually better for you? And it was important to me to incorporate a dairy-free option as well so I grabbed some dairy free Halo Top in the same flavor as it's dairy-filled counterpart. Of course, for comparison I bought some Haagen-Dazs in all of it's fat/calorie/sugar filled glory.

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I think the question you have to answer when choosing a 'healthy' ice cream is what are your nutritional goals? Are you cutting sugar? Are you cutting fat? Do you need more protein in your diet? Do you want to avoid dairy? I'll name our choice of favorites in each of these categories as we look at each of them.

To help put things in perspective, here's the nutritional information for a pint of Haagen-Dazs Peanut Butter Ice Cream. Many of the new 'healthy' ice creams are quick to brag about the amount of protein they have, but the winner for grams of protein in a pint is definitely Haagen-Dazs! I think in an effort to highlight something about their ice cream, many brands want to push protein even though protein has been in ice cream this entire time!

A Pint of Haagen-Dazs Chocolate Peanut Butter:

Calories: 1320

Fat: 88g

Carbs: 100g

Sugar: 88g

Protein: 28g

Our Taste Test:It's so yummy. The perfect creamy balance of chocolate and peanut butter!

Here's a run-down of all the 'healthy' ice creams out there (and I went ahead and made the serving size the entire pint because who only eats 1/2 cup of ice cream?!)

Artic Zero Chocolate Peanut Butter

*Lowest-Calorie Ice Cream*

Calories: 140

Fat: 0g

Carbs: 21g

Sugar: 20g

Protein: 12g

Alt Sweeteners: Monk Fruit Concentrate

Health Claims: Lactose Free, Gluten Free, GMO Free, Low-Fat, Low-Sugar

Our Taste Test:This ice cream was very watery. My daughter said it best: "it tastes like snow that's chocolate." For only 140 calories, it's actually not too bad. If you just have to have something that resembles ice cream and can't have calories, this is a great choice for you!

Enlightened Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip

*Highest Protein Ice Cream*

Calories: 400

Fat: 18g

Carbs: 64g

Sugar: 16g

Protein: 32g

Alt Sweeteners: Erythritol, Monk Fruit Extract

Health Claims: high protein, gluten-free, low-calorie

Our Taste Test:The color is a little off-putting, but the ice cream is very peanut-buttery and only has a slight sweetener aftertaste. Overall we all really liked this peanut-butter flavor!

Skinny Cow Fudgetastic Java

Calories: 350

Fat: 8g

Carbs: 46g

Sugar: 38g

Protein: 23g

Alt Sweeteners: Stevia Leaf Extract

Health Claims: Low Fat

Our Taste Test:Very strong sweetener aftertaste and not a lot of flavor in general.

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Ben & Jerry's Half Baked Froyo

*Frozen Yogurt isn't actually better for you*

Calories: 720

Fat: 12g

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Carbs: 140g

Sugar: 100g

Protein: 20g

Alt Sweeteners:

Health Claims: Kosher, Non-GMO, Frozen-Yogurt

Our Taste Test:Favorite! Frozen-Yogurt is universally loved in our family and Ben & Jerry's is the best. It is, however, not really healthier for you and contains more sugar and carbs than even the Haagen Dazs!

Breyer's Delights Creamy Chocolate

*Best Low-Fat Ice Cream*

Calories: 270

Fat: 8g

Carbs: 67g

Sugar: 21g

Protein: 20

Alt Sweeteners: Erythritol, Reb A,

Health Claims: Low Fat

Our Taste Test:Breyer's has such a good dark chocolate flavor. This ice cream has an unfortunate sweetener aftertaste, but it's still our favorite of the low-fat ice creams!

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Halo Top Peanut Butter Cup

Calories: 320

Fat: 12g

Carbs: 56g

Sugar: 24g

Protein: 20

Alt Sweeteners: Erythritol, Stevia Leaf Extract

Health Claims: High Protein, Low Calorie

Our Taste Test:Creamy and Peanut Buttery.

Halo Top Dairy-Free Peanut Butter Cup

Calories: 320

Fat: 12g

Carbs: 60g

Sugar: 16g

Protein: 12g

Alt Sweeteners: Erythritol, Stevia Leaf Extract

Health Claims: High Protein, Low Calorie

Our Taste Test:It's a nice try for a dairy-free, but the ice cream is chalky and has a weird aftertaste. It's not the worst I've had when it comes to dairy free, and if you love peanut butter and need dairy free it's not a bad option.

Ben & Jerry's Moophoria PB Dough

*The Favorite and Winner of the Taste Test*

Calories: 640

Fat: 20g

Carbs: 100g

Sugar: 64g

Protein: 16g

Alt Sweeteners:

Health Claims: Low-Fat, Non-GMO

Our Taste Test:Love the dough chunks! This ice cream is just delicious-you wouldn't know it's a lower-fat ice cream!

Do you have a favorite? What are you looking for in a 'healthy' ice cream? Let us know in the comments!

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