Satisfying your sweet tooth without actual sugar has never been easier. (TYSM, keto!) I mean, have you taken a stroll down the freezer aisle at the supermarket lately? Sugar-free and no-sugar-added ice creams practically outnumber the regular stuff.
Thankfully, gone are the days of low-calorie ice creams that taste like unflavored ice. As long as you choose the right brand, a tub of sugar-free ice cream (or an ice cream sandwich or bar…) is now a totally legit way to satisfy your mint chocolate chip craving.
“For diabetics, sugar-free ice cream can help satisfy sweet cravings without spiking your blood sugar,” says dietitian Natalie Rizzo, RD. “The same is true for those who want to lose weight and want a taste of ice cream without the calories.” (Or, ya know, anyone watching their sugar intake, which seems to be everyone these days…)
Still, you’re totally justified in looking at that “sugar-free” label with a healthy dose of skepticism. “Just because a product is sugar-free does not necessarily make it healthier,” says dietitian Brooke Zigler, RDN. “It’s still important to look at all of the nutrition facts and ingredients list.”
Zigler recommends looking for products sweetened with stevia, monk fruit, and/or sugar alcohols such as erythritol. “I also look for products that also contain fiber and protein, since they are more filling and help provide a steady blood glucose level,” she says.
Skip the detective work the next time you’re hunting for a frozen treat and add these sugar-free or low-sugar ice creams to your cart, stat.
1 Rebel Butter Pecan Ice Cream
Rebel uses keto-friendly monk fruit to sweeten its goodies. “Of the many no-added-sugar ice cream options, Rebel has one of the shortest, simplest ingredient lists,” says Karen Ansel, RD, co-author of The Calendar Diet.
She likes that Rebel contains chicory root fiber, which provides fiber while also making their ice cream smooth and creamy. “That may help you feel full longer than most frozen treats,” Ansel says.
Per half-cup serving: 170 cals, 17 g fat (8 g sat), 70 mg sodium, 10 g carbs, 2 g fiber, 0 g sugar, 2 g protein
“I love that this brand offers light ice cream, non-dairy ice cream, non-dairy bars, and even lactose-free ice cream, which means there is really something for everyone,” says Zigler. Their Mint & Chocolate Cookies flavor has just 90 calories per serving and contains three grams of fiber, which will keep you full.
Per half-cup serving: 90 cal, 2.5 g fat (1.5 g sat), 13 g carbs, 11 g sugar, 70 mg sodium, 3 g fiber, 2 g protein
If you like your ice cream funky, Enlightened has crazy-delicious flavors like “All That & A Bag of Chips,” “Bananas Foster,” and “Triple Shot Espresso” for 100 calories or less per serving, says Rizzo.
Per half-cup serving: 80 cal, 1.5 g fat (1 g sat), 30 mg sodium, 18 g carbs, 5 g fiber, 6 g sugar, 7 g protein
If you’re watching your sugar intake, but love a good scoop of classic vanilla, this is for you. “It’s also sweetened with Splenda (sucralose) and sorbitol, but the number-one sweetener is maltitol, a sugar alcohol that has half the calories of traditional sugar,” says dietitian Scott Keatley, RD, of Keatley Medical Nutrition Therapy. It’s also pretty low in fat.
Per half-cup serving: 100 cals, 3 g fat (2 g sat), 30 mg sodium, 14 g carbs, 2 g fiber, 3 g sugar, 3 g protein
This Snow Monkey pint is ~technically~ more like sorbet than ice cream, but it’s a great option when you want to dig your spoon into something fruity.
“The acai flavor uses berry juice concentrate,” explains Samantha Cassetty, RD, dietitian and contributor to Sugar Shock. It’s got a nice fruity flavor to hit your sweet tooth where it counts.
Per half-cup serving: 130 cals, 2.5 g fat (0.4 g sat), 20 mg sodium, 23 g carbs, 4 g fiber, 18 g sugar, 7 g protein