Cool Summer Treats That Won't Wreck Your Diet

WebMD gives the lowdown on low-carb, low-fat ice creams and frozen desserts

By Jennifer Warner
WebMD Weight Loss Clinic - Feature

Reviewed By Brunilda Nazario, MD

When the temperature is soaring outside, nothing cools you inside better than an old-fashioned ice cream cone. Unfortunately for those watching their weight as well as the weather, splurging on high-fat, high-calorie ice cream isn't exactly recommended on a regular basis.

"A half cup of ice cream is like a glass of milk and three pads of butter," says Lisa Dorfman, MS, RD, a spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association.

But experts say most people's diets can accommodate more moderate indulgences, such as the bevy of new reduced-fat and low-calorie frozen treats arriving now in grocery stores, such as low-carb ice cream, low-fat frozen yogurt, and fruit juice bars. And with a little creativity, you can stock your freezer with healthy, homemade treats to get you through the dog days of summer.

Compare Labels in the Freezer Aisle

With a growing array of frozen desserts and ice cream substitutes that promote themselves as "healthy" or good for people trying to lose weight, nutrition experts say it can be confusing for people to find products that meet their own nutritional needs.

Dawn Jackson, RD, says you can't assume that just because a product is touted as low-carb, low-fat, or "diet" that it's good for you or will fit into your weight loss plan.

"You really can't use outside marketing or advertising of these products to make the decision for you on if you should buy it or not," says Jackson, who is also a spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association. "You really have to flip to the nutrition facts panel on the back."