When low-cal, high-protein ice cream brands such as Halo Top and Arctic Zero hit the market, sweet-toothed shoppers rejoiced—finally a way to eat the entire pint of ice cream and feel no guilt!
And while these products are far lower in calories and sugar than traditional ice cream, it’s not always a good replacement for your favorite pint, though it can be incorporated into a healthy eating routine. Here’s the low-down on some of the most popular brands, and how to enjoy them without going overboard.
Though not the first low-cal ice cream on the market, Halo Top has quickly risen to stardom in grocery store freezer aisles for its fun flavors and use of organic stevia as a sweetener. Pints come in a few different calorie options, going as low as 240 calories per pint. Standard flavors include vanilla, chocolate, mint chip, birthday cake, cookies & cream, sea salt caramel, and a handful of others. But the company also caters to dairy-free diets with flavors like cinnamon roll, pancakes & syrup, and candy bar, all made with coconut milk.
The key to enjoying Halo Top as a part of a balanced diet is like anything else, in moderation. If you find yourself downing the entire pint every time you pick one up, this calorie-saver won’t actually save you much in the long run.
As one of the first low-calorie, high-protein frozen treats on the market, Arctic Zero recently changed its formula to be completely free of erythritol, an alcohol-based sweetener that some studies have shown to have negative side effects. The brand’s new formula is said to be creamier than its predecessor, using real milk, cream, and cane sugar, though they also offer dairy-free, lactose-free, and light pints. Each pint has about the same amounts of calories as a Halo Top pint, with the highest coming in at 360 calories.
Arctic Zero’s promise of Non-GMO ingredients makes this a great option for people who want to be a little more conscious of what they’re putting in their body, not only from a caloric standpoint but also from a wholesome ingredients standpoint.
When it comes to unique flavors and low-calories, Enlightened definitely takes the cake. They have traditional flavors like vanilla and butter pecan but also outrageous varieties like French toast, white chocolate peppermint mocha, and movie night—a sweet and salty popcorn-chocolate flavor.
Calories in this brand run as low as 60 per serving, but it also offers ice cream bars, with some at just 70 calories per bar.
This brand is not ideal for dairy-free diets, as most contain milk or whey protein. However, if you’re focusing on minimizing calories alone, this could be a successful option to satisfy your dessert craving.