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Worst “Diet” Ice Creams

As you probably read from the title today I am going to be talking about some of the worst “Diet” Ice Creams that are on the market today. There are many Issues that can divide a nation: Do you cut your sandwich In half or diagonally ( I am a diagonal kinda girl)? Do you prefer Coke or Pepsi ( And when I use to drink regular soda before I switched to Zevia I was a coke girl)? Sure, we disagree on many things, but there is one thing that unites us as Americans: Ice cream.

“Not sure which tub to choose? Chill out—I’ve got your back.”

To me, this fact was so unquestionable, so undeniable, that I was blown away by what I saw In my shared freezer the other day. As I reached for the vegan “Turkey”, I uncovered a scary sight: my sister’s Diet” ice cream. I couldn’t believe my eyes. What… was It? For those of you who savor frozen desserts to the same extent I do, you’ll likely justify how ice cream Isn’t as awful a nutritional choice as many perceive It to be. When eaten in moderation (which, yes, I understand is difficult), ice cream serves up a dose of muscle-building protein, satiating healthy fats, and health-boosting minerals like calcium, potassium, and magnesium.)

And therein lies the issue: ice cream is so darn good, it’s pretty hard to eat in moderation. In fact, one of the major changes the FDA made to its nutrition label guidelines was Increasing the standard serving size of the frozen dessert from ½ cup to ⅔ cup. With this In mind, I started to understand why my calorie-cutting sister opted for the “Diet” option. Regular pints of ice cream can climb up to 1,480 calories and 104 grams of fat. That’s not even the worst of It. Even Ben & Jerry’s lowest sugar option, Pistachio Pistachio, still has 19 grams of inflammation-inducing sugar! But thanks to the fact that many “Diet” ice creams have lower calorie, fat, and sugar counts, indulging in these waistline-friendly treats doesn’t have to be limited to a once-a-year excursion on a sweltering summer day. That said, not every tub on the market is -approved. Instead of deciphering confusing nutritional yourself, I’ve done the work for you on this exclusive ranking of some of the best and worst Ice creams on the market today.

I’ve gathered up all the “Diet” ice cream pints in the supermarket and ranked them according to nutritional information and ingredients. Regarding ingredients, I’ve deducted points for those who used: artificial flavors, colors, and sweeteners; sources of trans fats like mono and diglycerides; and harmful emulsifiers.

As for nutritional facts? That’s where it gets a little tricky. Because these ice creams are marketed as “Diet” or “healthy alternatives” (such as vegan ice creams) I chose to interpret that in my standards—which are a little different from the companies who made them. So, rather than prioritizing ice creams that are as low in fat (stay away from anything low fat, not just ice cream), calories, and sugar as possible, I awarded points for pints that were low in calories and sugar but still had enough healthy fats and protein to keep you satiated.


My worst Ice Cream that made the list. This Ice cream Is the worst of the worst. 

The Worst Diet Ice Cream Is… Breyers CarbSmart Vanilla

1/2 CUP (58 G): 90 calories, 5 g fat (3 g saturated fat), 40 mg sodium, 12 g carbs (0 g fiber, 3 g sugar, 5 g sugar alcohol), 2 g protein; 6% DV calcium

Maltodextrin, the fourth ingredient, is a starch-derived thickener that’s been linked to digestive Issues as well as decreasing your body’s antibacterial defenses, which may Increase your risk of developing Crohn’s disease. This flavor also got docked for having artificial sweeteners and trans fat sources (mono and diglycerides).

Blue Bunny Sweet Freedom Vanilla

1/2 CUP (66 G): 90 calories, 2.5 g fat (2 g saturated fat), 45 mg sodium, 19 g carbs (4 g fiber, 4 g sugar, 5 g sugar alcohol), 2 g protein, 10% DV calcium

Sure It’s free from added sugars, but that didn’t keep Blue Bunny from piling on the artificial sweeteners: Acesulfame potassium and sucralose are both used In this formula. That’s not good news. Although they don’t add calories or raise your blood sugar, artificial sweeteners—particularly sucralose—can cause your brain to recalibrate its association between sweetness and energy, according to a 2016 study published in the journal Cell Metabolism. As a result, the study suggests that if you constantly eat “Diet,” “no sugar added” foods, you could end up eating 30 percent more calories when you eat naturally-sweetened food. Other studies have found that artificial sweeteners promote hyperactivity, Insomnia, and can even decrease your gut’s ability to fend off weight-inducing inflammation. 

Breyers No Sugar Added Vanilla

1/2 CUP (56 G): 80 calories, 3 g fat (2 g saturated fat), 40 mg sodium, 13 g carbs (0 g fiber, 4 g sugar, 6 g sugar alcohol), 2 g protein; 6% DV calcium


Although Breyers No Sugar Added has the average amount of calories for a diet ice cream, I’m disappointed by their use of artificial sweeteners like acesulfame potassium and sucralose.


Turkey Hill No Sugar Added Vanilla Bean

1/2 CUP (68 G): 70 calories, 0 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 75 mg sodium, 20 g carbs (5 g fiber, 6 g sugar, 3 g sugar alcohols), 3 g protein; 15% DV calcium


Lower in calories is a bonus for Turkey Hill but it finds itself so low on our list because of the presence of mono and diglycerides—a duo of man-made fats that have been found to contain traces of artery-clogging trans fats—as well as artificial flavors, colors, and sweeteners.

Edy’s Slow Churned No Sugar Added Vanilla

1/2 CUP: 100 calories, 3 g fat (2 g saturated fat), 30 mg sodium, 14 g carbs (2 g fiber, 3 g sugar, 4 g sugar alcohols), 3 g protein; 6% DV calcium

Lower in sugar than Turkey Hill and higher in fat‚ which is a good thing. Consuming more full-fat dairy products has actually been linked to lower rates of obesity and diabetes. Experts believe the connection is that full-fat foods take longer for your body to digest, which keeps you fuller longer. However, there are better options than this artificially-sweetened tub.

Turkey Hill Light Vanilla Bean


1/2 CUP (61 G): 100 calories, 2 g fat (1.5 g saturated fat), 55 mg sodium, 17 g carbs (1 g fiber, 13 g sugar), 2 g protein; 25% DV calcium

I give Turkey Hill props for leaving out the artificial sweeteners, but we had to dock them for including the emulsifier polysorbate 80. A 2016 study published in the journal Cancer Research linked the additive to colon cancer in mice. The same team of Georgia State University researchers previously linked the emulsifier with low-grade inflammation in the intestine. Not good signs.

Wink Frozen Desserts Vanilla Bean

1/2 CUP (67 G): 25 calories, 0.5 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 70 mg sodium, 5 g carbs (4 g fiber, 0 g sugar, 1 g sugar alcohol), 2 g protein; 0% DV calcium

This brand sounds like the perfect “Diet” solution, but after one spoonful, your cravings for the real thing will go into overdrive. Wink’s frozen desserts are low in calories, but they’re also low in all nutrients and flavor, so why bother?

But If you suffer from food allergies or food sensitivities like I do then this Ice cream Is a good alternative but again If you’re looking for a healthy alternative this Ice cream Isn’t for you.

Breyers Fat-Free Creamy Vanilla

1/2 CUP (63 G): 90 calories, 0 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 40 mg sodium, 20 g carbs (0 g fiber, 13 g sugar), 2 g protein; 8% DV calcium

There’s more corn syrup than sugar in this fat-free concoction. And it isn’t even fat-free! Although mono and diglycerides are considered to be emulsifiers, they’re still a source of fat—albeit very small.

So Delicious Cashew Milk Very Vanilla

1/2 CUP (79 G): 150 calories, 7 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 95 mg sodium, 21 g carbs (1 g fiber, 18 g sugar), 2 g protein; 0% DV calcium

I’ve included vegan ice creams on this list because many people perceive them to be healthier since they’re dairy-free. But that’s not necessarily the case. Although this particular serving is lower in calories than the average milk-based dessert, it’s still high in sugar, lower in protein, and absent of any calcium, which is unfortunate if you’re looking to lose 10 pounds. This mineral can help your body burn more and store less fat as well as help keep our insulin production—and thus blood sugar levels—in check. Having well-functioning insulin levels can help maintain more stable energy levels throughout the day.

Almond Dream Vanilla

1/2 CUP (78 G): 140 calories, 7 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 170 mg sodium, 18 g carbs (2 g fiber, 12 g sugar), 1 g protein; 0% DV calcium

There’s not much protein in here and a significant amount of fat comes from added expeller pressed sunflower oil, which is high in inflammatory fatty acids.

So Delicious Coconut Milk Vanilla Bean

1/2 CUP (85 G): 120 calories, 6 g fat (6 g saturated fat), 10 mg sodium, 20 g carbs (7 g fiber, 13 g sugar), 1 g protein; 0% DV calcium

For a lower calorie, lower fat treat, try So Delicious’ Coconut Milk Vanilla Bean ice cream. It’s nearly as creamy as regular ice cream and has the added benefit of prebiotic fiber inulin! The bacteria that live in your gut ferment this fiber into anti-inflammatory fatty acids that help fend off weight gain.

So Delicious Organic Soymilk Creamy Vanilla

1/2 CUP (81 G): 120 calories, 3 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 5 mg sodium, 24 g carbs (3 g fiber, 14 g sugar), 2 g protein; 0% DV calcium

If you’re going to go with a soy product, make sure it’s organic—like it is in So Delicious’s offering. That means you won’t be consuming any genetically modified soybeans, which can often contain traces of carcinogenic pesticide residues. With that being said, this dairy-free option is still a little too high in sugar to be considered “Diet.”

So Delicious Almondmilk Vanilla

1/2 CUP (85 G): 120 calories, 7 g fat (4 g saturated fat), 45 mg sodium, 14 g carbs (1 g fiber, 12 g sugar), 1 g protein; 2% DV calcium

Rather than added sunflower oil like Almond Dream does, So Delicious adds coconut oil, which is good for upping your body’s energy expenditure and burning calories. It’s also lower in sugar and calories than other dairy-free options.

Arctic Zero Vanilla Maple Frozen Dessert


1/2 CUP (60 G): 35 calories, 0 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 80 mg sodium, 7 g carbs (2 g fiber, 5 g sugar), 3 g protein; 0% DV calcium

Because it’s so low in calories and sugar, it was hard not to rank Arctic Zero so favorably on our list of diet ice creams. And although there’s no fat, it still boasts a fairly high protein count, which will help keep your tummy full after eating this frozen snack.


Final Thoughts

This list Is based on my own research and understanding of Nutritional Information. If your Ice cream made my naughty list and you have more questions please don’t hesitate In reaching out and I will be more than happy to answer any questions or concerns you may have.


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Hello, my name Is Amanda and I'm the woman behind AmandaExplainsIt. I'm a Free Spirit, coffee sipping blogger and I embrace all of the messy parts of life.I'm a mommy of two precious doggies and an advocate for food allergies, animals, and nutrition In real life. I've always loved writing and writing a blog fulfills that. I'm all about spirituality and going with the flow of things. I'm new to the beauty world and I'm excited to share what I learn along the way. Come back often because I post often and I post things related to but not limited to Beauty Reviews, Product Reviews, Spirituality, Nutrition and Food Allergies, and Gluten-Free Recipes. If you like what you read let's be friends. ~XOXO A.


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