Here is the deal. We are getting ice cream without sugar.
Yes, you heard it right. We are finally getting our ice cream fix without feeling the guilt of consuming too much sugar. We have finally come to a point where we don’t have to ditch our favorite treats in the name of being healthy… or is it really?
You are right on having some skepticism regarding this whole “sugar-free” idea. According to Brooke Zigler, Registered Dietician-Nutritionist, “Just because a product is sugar-free does not necessarily make it healthier.”
The idea behind sugar-free can be actually dangerous since it feels like we are getting a pass on the sugar and the tendency has always been to consume more which unfortunately results in a higher calorie intake. Thus, we are not really keeping healthy. We are just in an illusion that we are so what we actually need whether we’re gobbling up traditional ice cream or sugar-free ice cream is discipline. Everything in moderation.
Additionally, Zigler noted, “It’s still important to look at all of the nutrition facts and ingredients list.”
Although there are brands who deliver as close as possible to the claims of sugar-free ice cream with a healthy dose of nutrition, there are those who only capitalize on the “shop bait” of putting this into the label. So let us take a necessary step to #ReadTheLabels.
What EXACTLY is sugar free ice cream?
Read the labels. This is basically what one serving size of sugar ice cream looks like in its nutritional breakdown.
Sugar-free ice cream uses sugar substitutes like sugar alcohols. These alcohols are also known as modified carbohydrates which are, according to Diet and Fitness Expert Dr. Melina Jampolis, “not well absorbed in your intestines and therefore contain fewer calories and cause less of an increase in blood sugar.”
Spot these sugar alcohols with their ending “ol”, for example, erythritol, xylitol, sorbitol, and lactitol. These alcohols are generally less sweet than the usual table sugar and are often mixed with artificial sweeteners like aspartame, sucralose, and acesulfame potassium.
The million dollar question: Is sugar-free ice cream really a healthier alternative?
Although the concept of sugar-free with the sweet taste still intact looks promising, it’s still too good to be true.
In most cases, these no-sugar or low-carb products contain high levels of saturated fat known to raise bad cholesterol and subsequently increase your risk of heart disease.
And again, as mentioned earlier, the notion of sugar-free usually attracts people to consume more of these products because they assume that these products are healthier than the traditional ones when in fact, this just results in a higher calorie intake which prevents weight loss.
Third, there is also some gathered evidence that suggests that these artificial sweeteners that are used with sugar alcohols may actually contribute to obesity through promoting energy intake.
Still, a guilty pressure: Best Sugar Free Ice Cream
Though many experts encourage scooping a serving of the regular ice cream instead of indulging on sugar-free ice cream, there is still some space for a healthy intake of these sweet kicks.
According to Zigler, pick products sweetened with stevia and monk fruit and contain fiber and protein which not only helps keep us feel full but also helps provide a steady blood glucose level.
Also remember that the downsides also come in with a lack of discipline so to make the most out of this, resist the temptation of eating more than you should.
So here are some of the sugar free ice cream that is still worth the bucks we pay for.
REBEL ICE CREAM
There’s a new kid on the healthy block and as its name “rebels” from the regular sugary ice cream that we all love to take with us while binge watching our favorite netflix shows or just rewatching How I Met Your Mother or Friends or maybe The Office. This brand aims to be the “lowest net carb ice cream on the market”.
What I love about Rebel Ice Cream is their bold packaging with its low carb, high fat with no sugar printed on its lid. There is also a large print on how many net carbs per pint there is for each flavor.
This brand is one of the recommended sugar-free ice cream brands by nutritionists as it uses erythritol and monk fruits as sweeteners.
Here are two of the most “rebellious” flavors that most consumers love!
These two flavors, Butter Pecan and Mint Chip, are considered the top tier rebel ice cream flavors. The Rebel ingredients aside from the recommended sweetener also have chicory root fiber which helps you feel full longer. Not only that, their ice cream is smooth and creamy.
Butter Pecan boasts of perfectly roasted pecans without a hint of bitterness. For most who have tried butter pecan for the first time, Rebel sure puts the standard up high. On the other hand, the mint chip flavor comes with delicious chocolate shavings.
ENLIGHTENED ICE CREAM
Enlightened joined Beyond Better Foods founded by CEO Michael Shoretz in 2012. Although not entirely sugar-free, this brand boasts of its low calorie content and exciting and delicious flavors as well. It aims to be on the frontrow of the healthy snack alternatives.
Coffee plus ice cream is really one of my definite weaknesses and the triple shot espresso is sure to shoot my blood awake and perfect for the sleep-deprived hectic schedules. Unlike Rebel, Enlightened Ice Cream are not sugar-free but still less sugar than your regular.
CHILLY COW ICE CREAM
As they say, being healthy does not have to be bland. In 2018, Chilly Cow entered the healthy ice cream industry with its game changing ingredient: ultra filtered milk. It ditched the common milk protein concentrate which had been used by many low-calorie brands. Although not entirely sugar free, it boasts of 60% less sugar than your regular plus 55% less calories and 70% less fat.
What I absolutely loved at first sight is its bar package which brings me back to the early 2000s when life was easy and carefree. It has just the right amount of sweetness with a perfect mix of indulgent chocolate. It’s hard not to be tempted to get another bar in a row.
BREYERS ICE CREAM
Breyers started in 1866 in Philadelphia with founder William A. Breyer. He opened his first ice cream ship in 1882 and in 1918, he was making more than 1 million gallons of ice cream every year. Breyers is committed in giving only high quality ice cream for its consumer with its sustainably farmed vanilla and 100% grade A milk and cream that definitely comes from cows.
And culminating our list is Breyers’ No Sugar Added Vanilla Frozen Dairy Dessert which brings us back to the most classic ice cream flavor. This one is sugar free like Rebel and still delivers to the sugary taste. This one is definitely for the books.
Sugar-free ice cream can be beneficial to us when we take the time to discipline ourselves. Let’s always remember that everything should be taken in moderation.
As much as ice creams are the best comfort food or the best dessert at that, we don’t really have to eat much to enjoy its taste. So let us take our time and enjoy one scoop at a time.