Registered Dietitian, Melanie Douglass has spent more than her fair share of time in the ice cream aisle and has the results.
1. Skip the chocolate coating! Anything is better than chocolate coating when it comes to ice cream treats—you can have chocolate syrup, chocolate chips, chocolate candy… any of it is better than saturated-fat-laden chocolate coatings made from coconut oil. You might as well eat a double cheeseburger with as much saturated fat as you can get with some chocolate coated ice cream bar (10 grams saturated fat, ½ your daily limit for bad fat!)
2. Watch out for those “little” pints! Pint sized ice cream delights—like triple-chocolate-brownie-nut-candy-bar-carmel-swirl (you get the idea… all the specialty flavors) are serious trouble in a small container. One, these pint specialty flavors are always higher in calories, fat, and sugar. And two, people rarely eat the ity-bity ½ cup recommended serving size. A pint container holds 4 servings.
3. Fruit bars should actually have fruit in them. When shopping for a healthy fruit bar, make sure you see fruit (as whole fruit, fruit puree or fruit juice (other than apple or pear)) as the first or second ingredient.
4. Frozen Yogurt makes a difference. Everytime you choose frozen yogurt over regular ice cream (per ½ cup) you’ll save 5 – 10 (on average) grams of heart-damaging saturated fat. When it comes to heart health, every gram of bad fat you save is worth the effort!
5. A serving of any ice cream treat is ½ cup. That is equal to just 5 or 6 large spoonfuls. It’s easier to count spoonfuls than to try and estimate “1/2 cup”. Most people dish up at least 1 cup of ice cream at a time—double the serving size, and double the calories, fat and sugar.
6. Bottom line? Look for treats with <150 calories, <2 grams saturated fat, and <15 grams of sugar per serving.
Here’s the scoop on a few popular ice cream treats:
*Indicates best choices.
Watchers Sherbet & Ice Cream Bars
Cow Lowfat Fudge Bars
Carb Smart Fudge Bars
Ice Cream (1/2 the fat)
Candy Bar Ice Cream
Chocolate Ice Cream
Boy Nut Sundaes
Melanie has more ideas for healthy living. You can find them in her book, Tip A Day Guide to Healthy Living which is available in bookstores. Or you can visit her website, www.tipadayguide.com