9 Best Sugar-Free (and Low Sugar) Ice Creams
Portion control is the most important thing when it comes to ice creams.

Summers call for ice creams. However, most conventional (premium) ice creams pack high calories (about 210 per scoop) as well as fats, which are detrimental to health particularly when consumed in excess. Perhaps that is why the market for “healthy ice creams” is flourishing.

Though it is difficult to find healthy ice creams in the store, here is a list of nine brands that offer relatively better options compared to their classical competitors. These desserts rely on natural (banana, coconut cream, or dates) or artificial sweeteners (stevia, erythritol, or monk fruit sugar) that drastically lower their sugar and calorie contents while enhancing their nutritional profile.

Portion control is the most important thing when it comes to ice creams. Try having no more than half to two-third cups in a day and no more than two times a week.

9 sugar-free ice cream brands

You must remember that most healthy brands contain sugar alcohols. These chemicals are low in calories (1.5 to 3 calories per gram) than sugar (4 calories per gram) and probably do not cause tooth decay like sugar does.

Unfortunately, these sugar alcohols may cause a “laxative effect” or bloating in a few individuals. In case they are binged on, sugar alcohols may cause weight gain and sugar level spikes.

Table. Best sugar-free ice cream brands
Brand Calories per half cup or one serving or one scoop Sugar content per half cup
1. Halo Top Dairy-Free Frozen Dessert 70 to 110 4 to 10 grams (plus 5 to 6 grams of sugar alcohol)
2. So Delicious Light Ice Cream (Formerly Mousse Frozen Dessert) 75 to 83 4 to 7 grams
3. Frozen Dairy-Free Frozen Dessert 80 to 110 5 to 8 grams
4. Arctic Zero Non-Dairy Frozen Dessert 40 to 80 5 to 10 grams
5. MUD Dairy-Free Frozen Dessert 113 10 to 11 grams (0 grams added sugar)
6. So Delicious No Sugar Added Coconut Milk Frozen Dessert 120 to 156 Less than 1 to 2 grams (Less than 1 gram of added sugars and 3 to 6 grams of sugar alcohol)
7. Enlightened Dairy-Free Frozen Dessert 80 to 100 4 to 7 grams (plus 3 grams sugar alcohol)
8. O’my Dairy-Free Gelato 98 Less than 2 grams (Less than 1 gram of added sugar)
9. Snow Monkey Superfood Ice Treat 98 to 102 10 to 14 grams

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9 healthier options to premium high-fat, high-sugar ice creams

  1. Homemade banana ice cream: Blitz 3 overripe frozen bananas, chocolate chips, and vanilla essence in a blender. Add a pinch of salt and about two tablespoons of skimmed milk (or almond milk) for smoother blending. Blend until you get a soft-serve texture. You may add dry fruits, coffee, or even berries to make it more colorful. Transfer to a container and freeze this for 30 minutes. Scoop out with an ice cream scoop.
    • Calories: For three bananas, the ice cream contains 315 calories, 4 grams protein, 1 gram fat, 43 grams sugar, 9 grams fiber, and 4 mg sodium.
  2. Sorbet or granita: These are made from whipped fruit puree. You may freeze melon, orange, grape, or berry juice. Then with a fork, scrape through the top of the frozen juice surface. Refreeze this slush until you get a granular frozen dessert. This is a dairy-free and low-calorie option with no saturated fat. However, the market-brought granitas may contain higher sugar content.
    • The calorie content per 100 grams of sorbet is about 77.
  3. Sherbet: These are fruit-based desserts with some milk added. These typically have less fat and fewer calories compared to ice cream, but they may contain higher sugar. However, it is lower than conventional ice creams.
    • There are about 144 calories in 100 grams of sherbet.
  4. Homemade peanut butter ice cream: Take a 14-ounce jar of full-fat canned coconut milk at room temperature and blend it well at high speed with about one cup of pitted soft dates. Add a cup of natural peanut butter and salt to taste. Add a spoonful of vanilla extract. Now, give a nice whirl in the blender and freeze the mixture for about two hours. After two hours, give the partially solidified mixture a good whirl. Refreeze.
    • A scoop of peanut butter ice cream without added sugar has about 94 calories.
  5. Gelato: This is high-flavor, dense ice cream with less air whipped into it. It is low in saturated fat, sugar, and calories compared to ice cream.
    • A typical gelato has about 137 calories per serving.
  6. Frozen yogurt: May contain live, good-for-your-gut probiotics (check the label). It is lower in calories and saturated fat than ice cream.
    • A scoop of frozen yogurt without any extra topping is about 114 calories.
  7. Frozen fruit bars: Can be made with real, healthy fruits, such as berries, by simply freezing their juices. This could be made with water instead of dairy. It is lower in calories than ice cream.
    • Typically, very low in saturated fat and pack about 45 to 50 calorie per bar.
  8. Light ice cream: It has 25 percent less fat than regular ice cream and typically has 33 percent fewer calories than regular ice cream. Despite being low in calories than regular ice cream, this can still be higher in sugar, fat, and calories than other ice cream alternatives.
  9. Vegan ice creams: This is nondairy, made typically made with coconut, soy, almond or cashew milk, or pea protein. Nut-based milk provides heart-healthy, plant-based monounsaturated fat.
    • In general, these contain 160 to 170 calories per scoop.

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Medically Reviewed on 6/23/2022
References
Image Source: iStock image

Cleveland Clinic. Yogurt, Vegan, Gelato, Sorbet? Your Best Frozen Ice Cream Alternatives. https://health.clevelandclinic.org/ice-cream-gelato-sorbet-your-best-frozen-treat-fixes/

Fleming A. 10 Low Sugar Dairy-free Ice Cream Brands and How they Rank. Go Dairy Free. https://www.godairyfree.org/product-reviews/low-sugar-dairy-free-ice-cream

Yale New Haven Health. Eat Any Sugar Alcohol Lately? https://www.ynhh.org/services/nutrition/sugar-alcohol