Are there any healthy ice cream options?

With the temperatures of summer with no end in sight, people are still enjoying ice-cold sweet treats. So why not enjoy your favorite sweet treats, but swap them for a healthier option?

Some of the more popular, trendy ice cream treats include Halo Top, Bryers Delights, and Outshine bars. The Halo Top and Byers Delights products use Stevia, which is a plant-based sweetener that contains zero calories, and erythritol, a low-calorie sugar alcohol. This sugar swap combined with using skim milk instead of whole milk helps to reduce the total calories and fat grams. For example, you can eat the whole pint of Halo Top ice cream for between 240-280 calories. The same pint size of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream will cost you around 1,000 calories. The Outshine bars include real fruit and cane sugar as the natural sweeteners. These ice cream treats are perfect options to get your serving of fruit, as well as a delicious source of vitamins. Enjoying ice cream can be possible with these low-calorie tasty options.

 

Sometimes the marketing of Halo Top and Bryers Delights encourages us to eat the whole pint because it is lower in calories. Just because the whole pint of ice cream is less than 300 calories, doesn’t mean that we should eat a pint of ice cream! We can enjoy all of our favorite snacks, but in moderation and making sure to listen to those internal hunger/fullness cues to tell us when we are full.

One of the reasons that products like Halo Top and Bryers Delights are hitting it big in the market is the concern for Americans with heart disease. According to the Centers for Disease Control, heart disease is the leading cause of death in both men and women, in fact a form of heart disease causes 1 in every 4 deaths. Living a healthy life, and having a healthy diet (including one lower in saturated fat) is the best ways to reduce your risk for heart disease. Ice cream contains high levels of fat due to its milk content. On average, milk contains 7 grams of fat and more than half is saturated fat. A diet low in fat has been shown to have a favorable decrease on plaque buildup in arteries as well as decreasing the mortality rate of heart disease.

If you regularly consume ice cream as a sweet treat with summer temperatures, try one of these three healthy ice cream options and replace them with the sweet treats in your freezer.

“Heart Disease.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 28 Nov. 2017, www.cdc.gov/heartdisease/facts.htm.

Eilat-Adar, Sigal et al. “Nutritional Recommendations for Cardiovascular Disease Prevention.” Nutrients 5.9 (2013): 3646–3683. PMC. Web. 14 June 2018.

Article assistance from Nicole Freeman, nutrition student at UNCG.

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