Posts Tagged ‘Ice Cream’

Lighten Up – The Scoop on Ice Cream

What better way to cool down on a hot day than with a scoop of ice cream? Before diving into this deliciously cold treat, you may want to consider a light ice cream with lower calories, saturated fat and sugar—a tasty alternative to regular ice cream.

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Buyer beware, a serving size for most ice cream is half a cup. Being mindful of the serving size when consuming this cold treat will prevent overindulgence. Premium ice cream can pack as many as 350 calories in a half cup serving! Instead, opt for light ice cream that has no more than 150 calories per serving.


Saturated Fat

Regarding saturated fat, it is important to watch your intake because diets high in saturated fat can raise “bad” LDL cholesterol. American Heart Association recommends consuming no more than 6 percent of calories per day from saturated fat. For a 2,000-calorie diet this equates to 13 grams of saturated fat per day. Unfortunately, many ice cream brands have that much saturated fat packed into a single serving. Again, light ice cream is the better choice, boasting less saturated fat by using skim milk instead of whole milk. When choosing a lighter frozen dessert, reach for one with no more than 3 g of saturated fat per serving.



Since we are talking about ice cream, of course it’s going to have sugar. Limiting added sugar in your diet can help control weight, improve health and cut calories that don’t add any nutritional value.

American Heart Association recommended amount of added sugar:

  • Women:

< 100 calories per day

  • Men:

< 150 calories per day

So how do you calculate that? Each gram of sugar contains 4 calories, so take the grams of sugar, multiply it by four and that’s how many calories you’re consuming from sugar. A good rule of thumb is to limit sugar to no more than 12 grams per serving.

1 gram sugar = 4 calories

 [#] grams sugar X 4 = total number of calories from sugar


When purchasing light ice cream look for:

  • 150 calories or less per serving
  • ≤ 3 g of saturated fat
  • ≤ 12 g of sugar


Light Ice Cream Ideas

Below is a table comparing light ice cream options according to calories, saturated fat and sugar content. All of the ice creams listed are preferred over regular ice cream. Many light ice creams even boost your protein content either from milk protein concentrate or milk protein isolate, reflected in the table below.

Ice Cream/Frozen Desserts Calories per Serving Saturated Fat (g) Sugar (g) Protein (g)
HALO TOP® – Chocolate 80 1.5 6 5
Arctic Zero® Light – Vanilla Bean 70 0.5 9 2
Skinny Cow® – No Sugar Added Vanilla Ice Cream Sandwich 150 1 5 4
Enlightened® – Cold Brew Coffee Chip Ice Cream Bars 90 2 5 7
Breyers® Delights – Mint Chip 100 2 2 7
Yasso® – Chocolate & Vanilla Swirl Frozen Greek Yogurt Bar 80 0 11 5


Next time you’re looking for something sweet, stick to these tips to enjoy a sensible ice cream treat!


Article provided by Nicole Hawkins, University of Oklahoma student, and Cooper Clinic Nutrition Services.




What’s the Scoop on Frozen Yogurt, Ice Cream and Gelato Nutrition?

Summer Ice CreamWe are deep in the heat of the summer months and what sounds really good on a hot day is some cool frozen treats. Here are some notable facts and the nutrition breakdown of your favorite icy desserts and snacks.  Before you grab a spoon read on…

Frozen Yogurt:

Frozen yogurt comes from either nonfat or regular yogurt that is mixed with flavorings, sweeteners and thickeners. It’s then churned and frozen in the same process as ice cream. The “good” bacteria you get from regular yogurt is lost in the freezing process. Frozen yogurt ranges from 0 grams fat in the nonfat varieties, to 1 to 3 grams in the low-fat kind. You may be surprised that the premium ones can contain 4 to 9 grams of fat and as many calories as regular ice cream! Nonfat, low-fat and regular frozen yogurt have between 70 to 190 calories per ½ cup serving. Watch out for the many frozen yogurt shops sprinkled around town because the average self-serve container may hold more than 3 to 4 cups of yogurt and have as many as 800 calories, without toppings!

Ice Cream:

When it comes to ice cream, to be considered a “true” ice cream, it must contain at least 10 percent milk fat (a.k.a. butterfat). Some low-fat ice creams and all nonfat ice creams are not true to this definition. Nonfat and regular ice cream contain between 0 to 16 grams of fat per ½ cup serving, with premium ice cream containing between 17 to 24 grams fat per serving, with as much as 11 of those grams coming from saturated fat! As for calories from nonfat to premium, you may get around 90 to 340 calories per serving. If you order a medium or large cup at your favorite ice cream shop, that can equate to well over 600 calories without the mix-ins.


Gelato is usually made in the style of premium ice cream, but it is distinctive in that it incorporates less air than ice cream and tends to have a slightly lower butterfat percentage: 3-10 percent. Gelato is generally lower in fat than its ice cream counterpart and actually does not require as much added sugar to produce the same sweet flavor. A ½ cup serving of vanilla gelato contains about 100 calories and 3 grams of fat. Many gelato shops have flavors galore and contain higher amounts of calories and fat.

Bottom Line: For your health and waistline, portion size, calories and fat matters when picking out frozen desserts. Go for the smaller sizes and the lower-fat varieties and enjoy in moderation this summer!

For more information about Cooper Clinic Nutrition Services or to schedule a nutrition consultation, click here or call 972.560.2655.