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15 Diet-Friendly Ice Cream Choices

Get the Scoop on Picking a Healthier Ice Cream

-- By Leanne Beattie, Health Writer and Stepfanie Romine, Staff Writer
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I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream! We are a society of ice cream lovers, with the average American licking her way through almost 5 gallons of the creamy confection each year, according to the Canadian Dairy Info Centre. (Only New Zealanders, at 6 gallons a year, eat more!) With their bright packaging, catchy names and convenient pint-size containers, premium (full fat) brands are readily available in your grocer’s freezer. However there are plenty of reduced-fat and even dairy-free selections to satisfy your cravings. These diet-friendly varieties make it easier to enjoy the occasional scoop while still watching your waistline.

An Ice Cream Primer
Before we figure out which brands are best, let's get the scoop on ice cream, fro-yo and all those other icy treats you know and love.
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About The Author

Stepfanie Romine Stepfanie Romine
A former newspaper reporter, Stepfanie now writes about nutrition, health, fitness and cooking. She is a certified Ashtanga yoga teacher who enjoys running, international travel and all kinds of vegetables. See all of Stepfanie's articles.

Member Comments

  • I didn't know I could have so many choices. I am interested in trying the frozen yogurt and slow turned. Sounds perfect for me. I am so excited! - 2/10/2014 12:15:51 PM
  • The healthiest diet-friendly "ice cream" I have had is not really ice cream, but tastes just as sinful! Just throw frozen bananas and frozen fresh strawberries into a blender (I use a high power vitamix) and blend! It is so good and makes you feel like you are cheating without the guilt!!! - 10/17/2013 4:40:24 PM
  • SHARSS
    Ice Cream topped with Hersey syrup is my weakness so I don't buy ice cream. However, maybe once a month I do treat myself to a small Dairy Queen Hot Fudge Sundae. I know. Bad me. - 7/28/2013 10:01:49 PM
  • I am a HUGE fan of Yasso's Greek yogurt pops (yasso.com). They are low-calorie (80 cals), non-fat (except the new coconut ones which are low-fat), have no artificial sweeteners (about 12g of sugar per pop), are high in protein (6g per pop - 7 for the vanilla ones! - THE SAME AS AN EGG), and contain only natural ingredients. The strawberry ones are my favorite, but you can get them in six different flavors. - 7/28/2013 8:13:05 PM
  • I like to take frozen bananas, chop them up and blend them with a little cocoa, a little stevia, maybe some almond milk. Very healthy and the texture is silky like ice cream. - 7/28/2013 4:48:06 PM
  • TRY ARCTIC ZERO!!!!! ONLY 150 calories per PINT!!! Yes, 16 OZ!!!! I get this at Wal*Mart because I have a hard time stopping when it comes to ice cream. I recommend the chocolate :)

    http://www.arct
    iczero.com/ - 7/28/2013 2:44:56 PM
  • Weight Watchers Toffee Crunch bars--vanilla ice cream with the chocolate crackle coating and little toffee dots. Delicious and 100 calories.

    I'm not much of an ice cream person, but during the hot summer months I sometimes feel the need...

    The Healthy Choice Fudge Bars they list are also very good. - 7/28/2013 4:58:55 AM
  • Living in Texas, we've been Blue Bell fans for years. However, I rarely buy ice cream. When I do, it lasts for months because we just don't indulge very often. I received a Cuisinart ice cream maker for Christmas and want to try making sorbet or granita with it. So far I've only made French vanilla but I don't use whole milk and since we don't eat it that often, I don't worry about the extra fat.
    Thank you for the detailed information about the different types of frozen deserts. - 7/19/2013 11:56:18 AM
  • BAMAJAM
    Country Club brand has an almond flavor with almond chunks which is low fat, and has no sugar added--------- It is wonderful wonderful for my taste buds- YUM! - 7/16/2013 4:32:52 PM
  • Thanks to all for the info. I do love frozen desserts. - 7/16/2013 7:38:19 AM
  • I forgot to add this to my last comment...you need to try Weight Watchers red velvet ice cream sandwiches. They are incredible!!! The only down side is that they are snack sized. Between them and Skinny Cow ice cream desserts I may never eat the high calorie high fat stuff again!!! - 7/15/2013 5:57:37 PM
  • Skinny Cow ice cream desserts are the best!!!! I used to eat all the high calorie favs...Ben and Jerry's, Hagen Daz,etc) but since I started watching what I eat I had cut all those out. I missed ice cream so one day I decided to try Skinny Cow Snikerdoodle ice cream sandwiches, and I was hooked. This led to trying the Strawberry Shortcake flavor, the Mint, and the Cookies and Cream. I can eat two of those and be totally stuffed with ice cream goodness, and it still is half the calories, and less than half the fat of my once favorite brands. Plus they taste just ask good:) Don't even get me started on their ice cream truffle bars....i just started trying them, and I may love them even more than the ice cream sandwiches!!!! - 7/15/2013 5:54:24 PM
  • KRANGARA
    Lovely choices, but you missed out on two of my 'staple' ice-creams :D :

    Smart Ones Chocolate Fudge Sundae: 140 calories
    Smart Ones Peanut Butter Cup Sundae: 140 calories

    I have 1 serving EVERY NIGHT! :-)

    Arctic Zero: 150 calories for a WHOLE PINT, which means YAY! :-)

    HOWEVER, the Arctic Zero ice-cream is not the most delicious brand, although it is super-healthy! If you wish to try this, start with the Vanilla or Cookies and Cream flavors. COFFEE flavor is another decent choice. The Chocolate-Peanut Butter flavor is HORRIBLE. The Chocolate flavor is barely tolerable. I haven't tried the Mint version and hence cannot speak for it :-) - 7/15/2013 4:02:41 PM
  • MEGHAN1984
    My fave is Halo Top ... by far. Lower calorie than all those, low sugar, high protein, tastes awesome, and it's all-natural too. Think its new but i found it at sprouts. - 7/14/2013 1:29:12 AM
  • I made a recipe that used flax seeds with whey powder and then semi frozen fruit (strawberries, raspberries best also tried with blue berries), if you want chocolate just a bit of cocoa powder added. Blend first two then slowly add fruit until have fluffy smooth "batter" and freeze...high protein, good omega 3 and vitc and fiber...I eat it for dinner in hot weather. - 7/13/2013 5:02:54 PM