As the UK’s heatwave continues, can an ice cream EVER truly be healthy? We tested the latest servings…
Some ice creams claim to be every bit as tasty as traditional makes, with fewer calories, low or no added sugar, and a fraction of the fat.
But are they any healthier and how do they taste? Dietitian Helen Bond assessed a selection. We then rated them…
Halo Top Vanilla Bean
Not too much! In large amounts, this product’s ingredients can cause diarrhoea
473ml, £5, Tesco and ocado.com. Per 100ml (two small scoops): calories, 59; saturated fat, 0.8g; sugar, 4.9g; protein, 3.9g
CLAIM: Guilt-free ice cream with 280 calories in a tub.
VERDICT: Added fibre (8 per cent of daily needs) gives this low-calorie dessert a creamy feel.
Sweetened with stevia and erythritol, considered healthier than sugar, with less impact on blood glucose, fewer calories and tooth-friendly. In large amounts, they can cause diarrhoea, but you’d need to eat at least two tubs to suffer. 4/5
Taste: Rich and custardy vanilla flavour. 4/5
Overall rating: 8/10
Yoomoo Strawberry Frozen Yogurt
Sweet tooth: This is low-fat, but has nearly four teaspoons of sugar per two-scoops
500ml, £2.50, most supermarkets. Per 100ml: calories, 95; saturated fat, 0.5g; sugar, 15.6g; protein, 1.8g
CLAIM: Guilt-free, low in fat.
VERDICT: Made with yoghurt, this is low-fat, but has nearly four teaspoons of sugar per two-scoop serving. On the plus side, you’ll get 7 per cent of your daily calcium and 8 per cent of your fibre. 2/5
Taste: Slightly artificial, but it is refreshing. 3/5
Overall rating: 5/10
Frill Smoothie Intense Chocolate
Healthy: The type of fibre in this frozen smoothie can boost beneficial gut bacteria
500ml, £4.99, ocado.com. Per 100ml: calories, 70; saturated fat, 0.9g; sugar, 8.2g; protein, 1.6g
CLAIM: Low in sugar and fat, gluten-free and with more than a quarter of your daily fibre per two scoops.
VERDICT: The type of fibre in this frozen smoothie can boost beneficial gut bacteria. It’s also 9 per cent cocoa, which provides heart-healthy flavanols (antioxidant plant chemicals). 4/5
Taste: Intensely chocolatey, surprisingly creamy. 3/5
Overall rating: 7/10
Breyers Cookies And Cream
Hmm: This product has a dense and creamy texture, but there’s a slightly odd aftertaste
500ml, £4.99, most supermarkets. Per 100ml: calories, 70; saturated fat, 1.2g; sugar, 5.5g; protein, 3.9g
CLAIM: Lower calories, higher protein, lower sugar.
VERDICT: Has added maltodextrin (a starch), rather than fibre used in many low-fat ice creams for creaminess. The saturated fat is kept lower by using skimmed dairy, plus some cream. The sugar is largely replaced with erythritol and stevia. 3/5
Taste: Dense and creamy texture, but there’s a slightly odd aftertaste. 3/5
Overall rating: 6/10
Ben & Jerry’s Caramel Cookie Fix
Fat chance: This full tub is equivalent to 2½ Mars Bars in terms of calories
500ml, £4.60, Sainsbury’s. Per 100ml: calories, 128; saturated fat, 2.7g; sugar, 14g; protein, 2.2g
CLAIM: Light on fat, heavy on flavour.
VERDICT: A lower-fat version of their cookie dough ice cream, less cream and a higher proportion of skimmed milk make this healthier, with two-thirds less saturated fat and a third fewer calories than the original version.
There are still more than three teaspoons of sugar per two-scoop serving — the full tub is equivalent to 2½ Mars Bars in terms of calories. 1/5
Taste: Not quite as creamy as the full-fat version. 3/5
Overall rating: 4/10
Perfect World Double Choc Chip
500ml, £4.49, ocado.com.
Animal-friendly: This vegan ice cream is made with gut-friendly fibre from maize
Per 100ml: calories, 79; saturated fat, 1.9g; sugar, 0.72g, protein, 2.1g
CLAIM: High in vitamins and minerals (12 altogether), no added sugar, high in fibre, reduced calories.
VERDICT: This vegan ice cream is made with gut-friendly fibre (two scoops supply 15 per cent of your daily needs) from maize. A serving has around a tenth of your daily limit of saturated fat, from coconut milk. Erythritol, xylitol and stevia make this nearly sugar-free. 4/5
Taste: A rich chocolate flavour, with generous dark chocolate pieces. 3/5
Overall rating: 7/10
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