So it’s summer… okay, it’s sort of summer, and that means it’s time for ice cream. I LOVE ice cream and froyo, but it can be hard to work into your diet sometimes. I refuse to be that person obsessively walking back and forth to the scale at the froyo place measuring every little thing (mostly because I don’t feel like I look “fit enough” to be that person). Anyway, there are some other low fat, low carb options out there, and even a couple with added protein. Here’s a list of some to the products I have tried and what I thought of them.
Chocolate (½ cup): 2g Fat | 14g Carbs | 6g Protein
Halo Top is one of the newer healthy ice cream choices on the market. The macros for a serving are pretty darn good and even pack in 5 grams of fiber. In fact, they even put the calories (240) and protein (24g) for the entire pint on the front… you know, just in case you want to eat the whole thing. There is 5 grams of sugar alcohol per serving, though, so eating too much might not be the best idea, unless you really want stomach cramps and diarrhea. I tried the chocolate, lemon cake, and mint chip flavors, which were all good. It’s not quite as creamy as regular ice cream, but given the macros it’s a very reasonable substitute. You can find Halo Top locally at QFC, PCC, and Whole Foods.
Chocolate Peanut Butter (½ cup): 0g fat | 7g Carbs | 3g Protein
Dr. Layne Norton, one of the biggest authorities on flexible dieting is a huge fan of Arctic Zero. They have a bunch of flavors in pints and recently came out with chocolate covered ice cream bars. With no fat and half the carbs of Halo Top, this seems like a good choice, but I honestly did not care for Arctic Zero at all. I tried the chocolate peanut butter flavor, and it tasted like chocolate peanut butter ice… it wasn’t creamy at all; more like eating the freezer-burned ice crystals off the top of ice cream that has been hanging around too long. As far as taste goes, I feel like eating a frozen fat-free pudding cup would taste better, and it’s certainly cheaper.
Yasso Frozen Greek Yogurt
Mint Chocolate Chip (1 stick bar): 2g Fat | 16g Carbs | 5g Protein
The Yasso bars stack up well against Halo Top as far as macros are concerned, and even though they only have 1 gram of fiber per serving, there is no sugar alcohol to upset your tummy. These bars come in a good variety of flavors and they recently came out with an ice cream candy bar that I am eager to try. You can usually find a couple flavors at your regular grocery store and I have also seen them at Costco.
ProYo Protein Frozen Yogurt
Dutch Chocolate (1 pop): 2g Fat | 16g Carbs | 20g Protein
These frozen yogurt pops pack in 20 grams of protein, which is great if you get sick of eating meat and drinking protein shakes all the time. They also have a very respectable 3 grams of fiber per serving and no sugar alcohol. These pops come in a cardboard tube and you squeeze the treat up from the bottom as you eat. I recommend following their suggestion of running the pop under warm water before you open it, if you don’t want to wait a couple minutes for it to loosen up. Overall taste and texture is very much like ice cream and probably one of my favorite healthier ice cream choices. You can find ProYo at PCC Natural Markets, but I haven’t seen them at my local Safeway yet.
Dreyer's Slow Churned Ice Cream
Chocolate (½ cup): 3.5g Fat | 15g Carbs | 3g Protein
This product is the most like ‘regular’ ice cream and comes in a large range of standard ice cream flavors (the macros will vary a bit depending on flavor). The slow churned ice cream definitely tastes the best, however, it stays a little softer than full fat ice cream which I find a little disappointing (melted ice cream is basically garbage, in my opinion). Another perk about this ice cream is that you can find it at any grocery store, so you don’t have to make any special effort to track it down in your area.
I’m so glad that there are so many great (and a couple not so great) products out there! Once, I put Greek yogurt and chocolate whey protein in my ice cream maker (… it was horrible!), so having all these options makes finding healthy, macro-friendly ice cream a whole lot easier.
Do you have a recipe for a healthy summer treat that you have been too afraid to try? Post it in the comments and I’ll pick one to test out for next month’s blog. Happy summer!
The opinions expressed in this article are my own and do not represent the opinions of Jimmy McCurry or Progressive Performance, LLC. All products were purchased on my own and I received no compensation from any of the companies mentioned here.