Is there such a thing as healthy ice cream?

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - BUSINESS -

What if a com­pany told you that they make a healthy ice­cream-like dessert – and that it’s per­fectly fine to eat a whole pint?

That’s what Arc­tic Zero and Halo Top seem to sug­gest you can do, ac­cord­ing to Con­sumer Re­ports.

“Our love of ice cream runs deep, like eat-the-en­tire-pint deep,” says Arc­tic Zero’s pack­age (even though it’s tech­ni­cally a frozen dessert be­cause it doesn’t con­tain enough milk solids to meet the def­i­ni­tion of real ice cream). And the web­site for Halo Top, which does qual­ify as ice cream, ex­claims, “Save the bowl. You’re go­ing to want the whole pint.”

Un­able to re­sist, Con­sumer Re­ports re­viewed Vanilla Maple and Purely Chocolate from Arc­tic Zero and Vanilla Bean and Chocolate from Halo Top for nu­tri­tion and taste.

Why you shouldn’t eat the whole pint

One ½-cup serv­ing of Arc­tic Zero claims just 35 calo­ries, 0 grams of fat and 5 grams -- about 1 tea­spoon-worth -- of sug­ars. Halo Top claims 60 calo­ries, 2 grams of fat and 4 grams of sug­ars per serv­ing.

When you com­pare that to a ½-cup of Brey­ers Orig­i­nal, which has 130 calo­ries, 7 grams of fat and about 14 grams of both nat­u­ral and added sug­ars, you can see why peo­ple might be tempted to overindulge. But that doesn’t mean you should.

For one thing, each pint has four serv­ings, so if you ate the

whole con­tainer you would end up with 150 calo­ries with Arc­tic Zero and 240 calo­ries with Halo Top.

In ad­di­tion, Halo sup­ple­ments its dessert with 5 grams of “pre­bi­otic fiber” per serv­ing, so eat the

whole pint and you get 20 grams -- enough to pos­si­bly cause bloat­ing, con­sti­pa­tion or di­ar­rhea. (Con­sumer Re­ports reached out to the com­pany sev­eral times to find out ex­actly what “pre­bi­otic fiber” is and why it’s added, but got no re­sponse.)

Still highly pro­cessed

These desserts don’t

con­tain high-fruc­tose corn syrups, hy­dro­genated oils, trans fats or in­gre­di­ents that some peo­ple want to avoid, such as ar­ti­fi­cial sweet­en­ers like as­par­tame or su­cralose. But they are still pro­cessed foods, con­tain­ing the thick­en­ers and sta­bi­liz­ers guar and xan­than gums (Arc­tic Zero) and carob and guar gums (Halo Top) as well as the

calo­rie-free sweet­en­ers monk fruit con­cen­trate (Arc­tic Zero) and ery­thri­tol and ste­via (Halo Top).

The taste didn’t make any­one scream for more

To top it all off, Con­sumer Re­ports’ sen­sory pan­elists weren’t sure they would want to eat a whole pint, any­way.

Sam­pling the treats blind, they didn’t think that Arc­tic Zero tasted much like ice cream, men­tion­ing an ar­ti­fi­cial but­ter­scotch candy fla­vor with the Vanilla Maple and an uniden­ti­fi­able “off-note” along with the mild co­coa fla­vor with the Purely Chocolate.

Halo Top, which is churned with real milk, cream and eggs, fared

some­what bet­ter. The pan­elists said that the vanilla fla­vor had a sub­tle dairy im­pres­sion with vanilla bean fla­vor and that the chocolate had a good co­coa taste. Still, they said it had a chalky tex­ture and lacked the full­ness of reg­u­lar ice cream.

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