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Can You Have Your Ice Cream This Summer and Eat It Too?
By Rebecca Mohning   View more articles by this author
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August 17
Summer temperatures are on the rise and so is the need for a frozen treat. If you are trying to make the healthiest choice it can be confusing with all the latest choices for ice cream: low-fat, light, non-fat, or frozen yogurt. The good news is that with all the new options for ice cream, it can be part of a healthy diet; it is just a matter of knowing what to look for on the label.
 
A number of the well-known premium higher fat ice cream brands, like Baskin Robbins, Haagen-Dazs, and Ben & Jerry’s, are now making "light" ice creams, too. Of course, their light ice creams can be nearly as high in fat and calories as other brands' regular ice creams. Do these richer ice creams, which have around 16 grams of fat per serving, really taste much better than others that are as low as 4 grams of fat?  New ice cream technology, “slow-churned style,” gives the same satisfaction of thick and creamy texture with less fat and calories. Companies like Edy’s have seen their ice cream sales go through the roof after they released their reduced fat, slow-churned ice cream. For example, the slow churned yogurt or ice cream blends like Edy's Cappuccino Chip have only 110 calories and 3.5 grams of fat per serving. Others might be drawn to the Edy's Loaded Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup only 140 calories and 6 grams fat per serving. Both of these taste so good, that I can’t imagine that it would be that much more enjoyable to eat one of the premium ice creams, with 16 or more grams of fat per serving.
 
To avoid any confusion there are five main things to look for on the label of an ice cream treat. It's not all about fat grams!
 
Per half-cup serving (the standard serving for scoop ice cream), your best bets will have:
  • 4 grams of fat or less
  • Around 120 calories
  • 3 grams or less of saturated fat
  • No more than 10 milligrams cholesterol per serving
  • 15 grams of sugar or less per serving. Many ice creams have almost double this amount. Watch out for frozen yogurts--they may be fat-free but really high in sugar!

 

Lastly portion control can be an issue when it comes to ice cream. Only a ½ cup is a serving for ice cream and most people have a hard time sticking to one small scoop when they dip into the half gallon of ice cream. If you have trouble with portion control then the other option is to choose individual serving ice cream bars and fudgsicles. There are several choices once again. Keep the same things in mind that were mentioned above for the healthiest choice when deciding what to buy and enjoy!
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