Low Fat Ice Cream You Can Love?

Articles
February 21, 2004

Low Fat Ice Cream You Can Love?

Like everybody, I would love to indulge in the All-Ice-Cream Diet, and the richer, the thicker, the creamier the ice cream the better. On the other hand, I would prefer not to keel over with a heart attack after supper.

Here's an assignment I've been looking forward to.

Like everybody, I would love to indulge in the All-Ice-Cream Diet, and the richer, the thicker, the creamier the ice cream the better. On the other hand, I would prefer not to keel over with a heart attack after supper.

The American Heart Association recommends a daily maximum of 300 milligrams of cholesterol, or 200 a day if you have heart disease or are at risk for it. But ice cream can be sinfully rich in cholesterol. 1/2 Cup of Ben And Jerry's Vanilla Ice Cream, for instance, has 75 mg of cholesterol. 2 Cups in one day-- and it's hard to stop-- and you reach or exceed the limit, even if you eat nothing else that day.

As far as fat goes, 60 grams is the generally recommended daily limit. Saturated fat should be kept to 20-25 gr. Carbs-- as recommended by the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture: 300-375 gr daily. But low carb has become the rage, and Dr. Atkins said 60 max (after the initial, stricter phase of his diet). Others have suggested figures in between the USDA and Atkins. Calories? Think 2,000-2,500 a day, depending on your age, sex and size. (Physically active young males-- ever rarer in our society-- can go a few hundred higher.)

So, Dreyer's Dreamery Fortunate Vanilla Ice Cream anyone? 1/2 Cup= 300 calories (half from fat), 17 grams of fat (11 saturated), 70 mg of cholesterol, 33 grams of carbs (26 of them sugar). Note: Dreyer's is one of those brands that has a split personality - the product is marketed under the Dreyer's name on the West Coast and Edy's in the East.

Okay. Let's get realistic. Even if it's not as much fun. I will not be taste-testing the full fate ice creams. Instead, we're going to taste offerings from Edy's, Breyer's and Healthy Choice, their light or low fat vanillas, and see if we can enjoy ice creams that are relatively healthy. The three ice creams are fairly similar in their ingredients and nutritional facts, so the winner is going to be the one that tastes best. After all - taste is number one!

I have been looking forward to this moment.

 

 

 

  • EDY'S GRAND LIGHT VANILLA ICE CREAM. 1/2 Cup= 100 calories (30 from fat), 3.5 gr of fat (2 saturated), 20 mg of cholesterol, and 15 gr of carbs (11 sugar). Mm, and it has a nice taste too. For a light ice cream some genuine creaminess and flavor and ice cream "punch". Not quite on the level of a full-fat ice cream. But good.
  • BREYER'S LIGHT VANILLA ICE CREAM. 1/2 Cup= 120 calories (40 from fat), 4.5 gr of fat (2.5 saturated), 30 mg of cholesterol, and 18 gr of carbs (15 sugar). The least healthful of the three, but just by a tad. Taste? Smooth, a little sweeter, and "airier" than the Edy's. Not as flavorful, a little less "kick", but pleasant.
  • HEALTHY CHOICE PREMIUM LOW FAT VANILLA ICE CREAM. 1/2 Cup= 110 calories (only 20 from fat), just 2 gr of fat (1 saturated), just 10 mg of cholesterol, but 19 gr of carbs (15 sugar). By a small margin, the healthiest of the three. As for taste, I was more enthusiastic at the first spoonful, but several more and a certain lack of real flavorfulness became apparent. To me, this is the least "vanilla-y" of the three. Still, it's all right.

    Edy's is the winner, Breyer's second, then Healthy Choice. And I'll say this: I've just eaten 15 medium scoops of ice cream (3x5) and I don't feel heavy. These ice creams have lived up their billing as light or low fat. Will they give your mouth the "wow" of richer ice cream? Probably not. Because fat and sugar are turn-ons for human beings. But you can eat more of them more often, and you'll find one or two or three whose taste you will absolutely enjoy. Health involves trade-offs, but in this case-- surprisingly little.

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    Anything else you'd especially like me to taste test for "Shopping Smart"? If I use your suggestion you'll get a Supermarketguru tote bag. You can let me know at ira@supermarketguru.com. And check out my own website, irawrites.com, for sprightly and illuminating essays, information and poetry.