I scream, you scream, we are all screaming for ice cream that won’t jack up our fitness gains and bring on dread and guilt after the last spoonful. Thank the heavens for a surge in healthy ice cream options right now. Vegan, fat-free, dairy-free, sugar-free – the choice is yours. Feast your eyes on some of the latest and tastiest brands that can easily fit into your meal plan. And if your diet can afford it, celebrate National Ice Cream Day on Sunday, July 15 with a free treat near you.
The highest calorie count on a Halo Top pint is 360, so that’s a win right there. You know, in case you can’t stop yourself. Then they’ve got one too many tempting flavors — Birthday Cake, Lemon Cake, Red Velvet, S’mores. Good luck choosing just one! Halo Top uses a mix of organic cane sugar and the stevia leaf to naturally sweeten their products to help cut down the sugar calories. If you’re vegan or lactose intolerant, check out the dairy-free varieties.
Cado gives us the first avocado-based ice cream. The very first ingredient in all of its flavors is, in fact, avocado puree. There are just three flavors — Deep Dark Chocolate, Simply Lemon and Mint Chocolate Chip. A 1/2 cup of each is just 170 calories with around 13 g of sugar, organic cane. You’re curious, aren’t you? Is it creamy? Does it tastes like avocados? Hmmm…
Enlightened boasts slightly higher protein and fiber than other brands in the pint ice cream space. But really, it’s flavors like French Toast, Frozen Hot Chocolate, and Strawberry Cheesecake that will have you reaching for a container. Healthy ingredients include skim milk, milk protein isolate, monk fruit extract and zero-calorie sweeteners that manufacturers say won’t spike your blood sugar. Best of all, 1/2 cup will run between 60 and 100 calories! Sweet.
It’s not ice cream, it’s gelato, a dee-lish Italian frozen dessert. But if you’re going to choose it over ice cream, Talenti can help you do it healthy. Popular for its sorbettos, too, Talenti uses all-natural, authentic ingredients, some sourced from different parts of the world — pistachios from Sicily, vanilla beans from Madagascar. To satisfy your weight-loss goals and dietary needs, check out the vegan, fat-free, low-sugar, and dairy-free options.
Living that vegan life? Try So Delicious, which uses coconut, soy, almond or cashew milk in all of its ice cream treats. In pints, bars and sandwiches, you’ll find flavors like Chocolate Cookies & Cream, Banana Foster, Peachy Maple Pecan, and Mocha Almond Fudge. A 1/2 cup on the flavor above will run you around 160 calories and 15 g of sugar. We here it’s so creamy and delicious, even non-vegans will fall in love with it.
We love Ben & Jerry’s. Who doesn’t? We especially love that they’re thinking about vegans, lactose-intolerant and health-minded folks with their newest flavors. Ingredients in the Chocolate Fudge Brownie include almond milk and pea protein, upping the health quotient. For a 1/2 cup, you’re looking at 16 grams of sugar and 200 calories. Could you do better by numbers alone? Sure. But it’s Ben & Jerry’s!
Stacy Julien is editor in-chief of Crush Magazine, and can get down with a healthy chocolate chip cookie dough-flavored ice cream.