Ice cream is a favorite dessert of many, as it's sweet, cold, refreshing, and also creamy, where it literally melts in your mouth. Then you take into account how there are so many flavors to enjoy, as well as toppings galore. Seriously, ice cream has a lot going for it when it comes to being a top tier dessert. It's no wonder it even saw an uptick in popularity. Consumer goods company Unilever said that sales of ice cream brands such as Breyer's, Ben & Jerry's, and Magnum were up in the summer of 2020, as more people were staying home and indulging on their favorite pints.
Yet, if you're often looking for a store-bought variety to have as your daily sweet treat, there's something you're going to want to do: Take the time to check labels and see which pint is the best based on the nutrition facts.
You'll want something that's lower in calories and saturated fat, as well as sugar and carbs, but also a pint that's still delicious and indulgent. If you're having ice cream, then enjoy it! You don't necessarily need a "diet" pint, but you also don't want to grab one that is just going to wreck your waistline. It's all about finding that balance.
While a few are definitely on the "naughty" list, there is one that can be called the worst ice cream pint ever, according to a dietitian. Here's what Lauren Harris-Pincus, MS, RDN, and author of The Protein-Packed Breakfast Club, cautions against the next time you've got that sweet tooth.
The worst ice cream option is…
Ben & Jerry's Chubby Hubby
6254a4d1642c605c54bf1cab17d50f1ePer 2/3 cup serving: 460 calories, 28 g fat (15 g sat fat, 0.5 g trans fat), 220 mg sodium, 45 g total carbs (0 g fiber, 35 g sugar, 28 g added sugars), 10 g protein
Sorry Ben and Jerry's, you have one beloved pint that is a doozy for those Netflix binging nights.
"Ironically, one of the highest calorie ice cream flavors is Ben and Jerry's Chubby Hubby made from vanilla malt ice cream with peanutty fudge-covered pretzels with fudge and Peanut buttery swirls," Harris-Pincus says. "With 470 calories [per serving], it packs 28 grams of added sugar, which is more than a full day's worth for women based on the American Heart Association recommendations of 25 grams per day for women and 36 grams for men." This small serving also has 75% of artery-clogging saturated fat intake for a whole day. Simply put, that's a whole lot!
What should you eat instead?
If you're an ice cream fan, you don't have to sacrifice your favorite dessert completely. Instead, why not just try out a different flavor?
"If you love Ben and Jerry's but not the high calorie price tag, try their Moo-phoria light ice cream pints," Harris-Pincus suggests. "The Chocolate Milk & Cookies [flavor] has chocolate and vanilla light ice creams swirled with chocolate chip cookies for 190 calories per 2/3 cup serving."
That's approximately 60% fewer calories than the Chubby Hubby pint with one-third less sugar and a whopping 80% less fat per serving. And compared to many light ice creams, these do not contain any sugar alcohols or non-nutritive sweeteners, she explains, which keeps it natural.
So you can still have your cake—or, ice cream, actually—and eat it, too.
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