FOX43 Finds Out: Can ice cream be healthy?

CUMBERLAND COUNTY, Pa — Take a walk down the ice cream aisle of your grocery store and you’ll see a ton of flavors and options when it comes to the dessert.

What’s trending now is ice that is low in calories and high in protein.

We had some customers at this Weis Markets in East Pennsboro Township, Cumberland County taste a variety of low calorie ice cream and a traditional full fat ice cream to see if they can tell the difference.

The customers  took part in a blind taste test of three chocolate options.

Number 1 was Breyer’s Delights, which for the entire pint is 270 calories and 21 grams of protein.

Number 2 was Weis’ premium chocolate ice cream, where one serving is half a cup – or a little more than a scoop – for 140 calories and 2 grams of protein.

Then Number 3 was Halo Top Chocolate Ice cream, which is 280 calories and 24 grams of protein – for this entire pint.

And out of all the people we asked, only one person correctly guessed which flavor was the traditional ice cream!

Which means, people actually do like the flavor of these lower calorie options.

We asked Weis Dietian Erin Dunleavy if this lower calorie option is a better choice.

She said, “You really want to turn that product around and not only look at the nutrition facts, but dig into the ingredients and see – what are they really adding to these foods and why does it seem healthier.”

Within the first few ingredients of both the Halo Top ice cream , you’ll find erythritol which is a sugar alcohol.

“Sugar alcohols, if you eat them in excess, they`re known to cause stomach issues like bloating, gas and so forth. They`re also known to have an after taste,” said Dunleavy.

Other low calories ice creams have similar sugar substitutes.

What these lower calorie options are missing though is fat.

Dunleavy says fat is satisfying and can make you feel full.

If you can control yourself to a little of the real stuff, you might get what your sweet tooth needs.

Instead of eating the whole pint of the so called healthy stuff and still wanting more.

The dietitian said, “Go with the real ice cream and teach yourself portion control.”

So what is a portion size of real ice cream? About 1/2 a cup, which is about the size of a tennis ball or one scoop of ice cream.