Screaming for Ice Cream

by Charles Platkin, PhD

Juice Bar vs. Fudgsicle
You might think the fruit bar would be better for you because of the real fruit, but if you’re craving chocolate, don’t feel guilty about the very low-calorie Fudgsicle.

  • Dole Fruit ‘N Juice Bar, Strawberry: 70 calories, 0g fat, 18g carbs
  • Fudgsicle No Sugar Added Pop: 45 calories, 0.25g fat, 9g carbs

Soft Serve Yogurt vs. Soft Serve Ice Cream
If you are ordering the fro-yo to watch your waistline, don’t bother. Although frozen yogurt has less fat (1.5 grams less per serving and 1 gram less saturated fat), both contain approximately 140 calories per serving. If you’re going to get soft-serve, order nonfat frozen yogurt, which is approximately 110 calories. Oh, and if you decide to have your soft serve dipped in chocolate, it can double your calories.

  • Dairy Queen Vanilla Ice Cream (1/2 cup): 140 calories, 4.5 grams fat, 3g saturated fat, 22g carbs, 3g protein
  • TCBY 96% fat free yogurt (1/2 cup): 140 calories, 3g fat, 2g saturated fat, 23g carbs, 4g protein

Italian Gelato vs. Sorbet vs. Italian Ices
I always thought gelato was much lower in calories and fat than regular ice cream, but one cup of Ciao Bella Gelato has almost 500 calories, compared to 520 calories in a cup of Ben and Jerry’s Cherry Garcia ice cream. Both have about the same amount of saturated fat. Sorbet or sherbet would be a better choice. For instance, Haagen-Dazs Strawberry Sorbet has 240 calories in a cup, and Edy’s/Dreyers Berry Rainbow Sherbet is only 260 calories per cup. Your best bet? Italian ices. Yes, that’s right, Marino’s Lemon Italian Ices are only 100 calories per cup — a real Calorie Bargain.

Wafer vs. Sugar vs. Waffle Cone
I was thrilled to find out that the wafer cone — which happens to be my favorite — is the best option of the three, at about 20 calories. Sugar cones have between 50 and 60 calories, while waffle cones are about 100 to 160. And watch out for the chocolate-covered waffle cones, which can pack on a whopping 320 calories — and that’s before you even add the ice cream!

Ben and Jerry’s Half-Baked Low Fat Frozen Yogurt vs. Ben and Jerry’s Half Baked Carb Karma
Believe it or not, Carb Karma has 20 fewer calories than light frozen yogurt (180 vs. 200). But if you’re watching cholesterol and fat, beware. Carb Karma has eight grams of saturated fat and 50 milligrams of cholesterol — more than two and a half times the light frozen yogurt. Plus, I must say the low-fat yogurt tastes twice as good.

  • Ben and Jerry’s Half-Baked Low Fat Frozen Yogurt (1/2 cup): 200 calories, 3g fat, 2g saturated fat, 20mg cholesterol, 37g carbs, 5g protein
  • Ben and Jerry’s Half Baked Carb Karma (1/2 cup): 180 calories, 13g fat, 8g saturated fat, 50mg cholesterol, 18g carbs, 5g protein

Organic vs. Regular Ice Cream
Just because the label says “organic” doesn’t mean it has fewer calories. A half-cup serving of Ben and Jerry’s Vanilla Organic Ice Cream has 220 calories and 14 grams of fat, 10 of which are saturated. Ben and Jerry’s Vanilla Original Ice Cream has 240 calories and 16 grams of fat (11 saturated) in half a cup. Organic cream and organic liquid sugars have no fewer calories than conventional cream and sugar.

  • Ben and Jerry’s Vanilla Organic Ice Cream (1/2 cup): 220 calories, 14g fat, 10g saturated fat, 65mg cholesterol, 18g carbs, 3g protein
  • Ben and Jerry’s Vanilla Original Ice Cream (1/2 cup): 240 calories, 16g fat, 11g saturated fat, 75mg cholesterol, 21g carbs, 4g protein

Starbucks Frappuccino Light vs. McDonald’s Triple Thick Shake
This might seem like a no-brainer — a Triple Thick Shake just sounds like it will give you triple thick thighs, but be wary of the new Starbucks Frappuccino Light. If you order it with the whipped cream, it’s pretty close to the shake. Instead, go for the plain Coffee Frappuccino. And keep in mind, most of these coffee drinks are desserts, not just beverages or refreshments.

  • Java Chip Frappuccino Light Blended Coffee with whipped cream (16 oz): 400 calories, 19g fat, 50g carbs, 9g protein
  • Frappuccino Light Blended Coffee (16 oz): 150 calories, 1g fat, 30g carbs, 7g protein
  • McDonald’s shake (16 oz): 580 calories, 17g fat, 94g carbs, 15g protein

Sprinkles vs. Ground Walnuts
You’d think sprinkles would be the clear winner because they’re so small and seem so innocuous. But just one serving of either nuts or sprinkles has about 200 calories. If you really want one of these toppings, choose the nuts — at least they contain protein and more healthy fat.

  • Walnuts (1 oz): 190 calories, 17g fat, 5g carbs, 4g protein
  • Sprinkles (4 tablespoons): 220 calories, 4g fat, 46g carbs

Crushed Oreos vs. Hershey’s Chocolate Syrup
There is no good choice here. Don’t be fooled because the cookies are crushed — that just makes it easier to load two cookies’ worth of crumbs onto your frozen yogurt for an additional 107 calories and five grams of fat. And don’t let the “fat free” fool you — just four tablespoons of Hershey’s Chocolate Syrup has 200 calories! Also note that using peanut butter topping adds about 210 calories and hot fudge about 140 calories. Best bet — fresh fruit (not in sugary syrup) or go bare!

  • Oreo (2 cookies): 107 calories, 5g fat, 15g carbs
  • Hershey’s Chocolate Syrup (4 tablespoons): 200 calories, 0g fat, 50g carbs
  • Smucker’s Special Recipe Butterscotch Caramel Topping (4 tablespoons): 260 calories, 2g fat, 1g saturated fat, 60g carbs
  • Smucker’s Magic Shell Chocolate Topping (4 tablespoons): 420 calories, 34g fat, 16g saturated fat, 32g carbs
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