Sophia Kamveris, MS, RDN
Icy Treats in Aisle 10
Updated: Aug 11, 2021
Who doesn’t like ice cream treats to cool off with during the heat of the summer? Unfortunately, these treats can add up with all the sugars and fats added in that help to make them taste so yummy!
The Nutrition Facts label now lists Total Sugars and Added Sugars, separately. Naturally occurring sugars found in dairy and fruits (lactose and fructose, respectively) are counted in the Total Sugars category. Any other “added sugar” can be easily identified in the label in the Added Sugars section.
The American Heart Association (AHA) suggests an Added Sugar limit of 24 grams of sugar (about 100 calories or 6 teaspoons) for women, and 36 grams of sugar (about 150 calories or 6 teaspoons) for men per day.
But how much is too much? It depends on whether you are male or female. To make it easier for you, using the the AHA recommendations as a guide, I’d suggest between 10 grams (for females) to15 grams (for males) of added sugar per serving. And of course, anything less would be ideal.
Saturated fat is the other nutrient to pay attention to on the label. The AHA suggests no more than 10% of your total calories coming from saturated fat per day. That’s 16 grams a day for females and 20 grams per day for males (note, it’s a lot less if you have high cholesterol or heart disease). So, a safe bet for both men and women would be less than 2 grams of saturated fat per serving. As a point of reference, most premium ice creams have about 11 grams of saturated fat per serving. The new nutrition label also mandates that the standard serving size for ice cream is now 2/3 cup versus the previous 1/2 cup serving; making it easier to compare products side-by-side since they are based on similar portion size.
I bundled up and decided to take a tour of the freezer aisle to scope out the icy selections. What I noticed off the bat was the number of products that are marketed for keto dieters (ex, Enlightened brand). While these products have less sugars, they are loaded with fat! So, know what’s most important for your own diet. If you have been told to limit saturated fats for an elevated cholesterol or have heart disease, then products made from nuts or coconut are also not in your best interest.
Of all the products I looked at (and there were tons more!) I liked Skinny Cow no sugar added Vanilla Gone Wild sandwiches, Halo Top, Hannaford’s Light ice cream and fudge bars (pay attention to serving sizes on “pops” as the nutrition info can be listed for 2 servings of these), Yasso Vanilla Bean sandwiches, and My Mochi.
Here are some “good and bad” labels but use my tips above when you look for yourself next time your cart wanders down the freezer aisle!
Enjoy your summering!