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The Healthiest Type of Ice Cream: A Comprehensive Guide to Guilt-Free Indulgence

Ice cafe in Bondi BeachOne indulgent treat that almost every age group equally adores yet is often critiqued for not being healthy is ice cream. However, given the ever increasing emphasis on health and the prominence that food science has recently gained, the options in the market have evolved to offer more healthier alternatives to the traditional ice cream. This article sheds light on the healthier varieties of this provisional food and shows you a way to have your ice cream without the guilt. From old classics that were reformulated for the better to the recently inventive low-calorie based treats, we’re going to look into what makes them healthier for your body and mind. If you’re someone who is actively health-conscious, pursuing a fit lifestyle and incorporating smarter dietary choices into your life, then you might also be interested in learning about honourable mentions within the sweets and dessert category.

Plant-Based Ice Creams

Plant-based ice creams are often suggested as a delicious alternative to reduce the harms associated with dairy and other fat- and cholesterol-rich ice creams, while keeping the rich and creamy texture. They are ice cream made from almond milk, coconut milk, cashew milk, and many other plant-based alternatives – and usually lower in saturated fat and cholesterol, so they’re generally considered heart-healthier than dairy ice creams. Plant-based ice creams tend to have fewer calories, which may help maintain a healthy weight.

Any lactose intolerant and dairy-allergic sweet fiends will rejoice: ice creams that do not contain dairy mean that, without the underlying concern of gastric pain or allergic reactions, they can eat as much as they like! Many plant-based ice creams are fortified with all the vitamins and minerals – calcium and vitamin D – that are usually ascribed to dairy, and their health profile is boosted further by the natural sweeteners and organic ingredients used. As interest in vegan and vegetarian diets has grown, the offerings of plant-based ice cream have similarly multiplied and expanded to include practically all the same and many more flavours than were previously available.

Low-Calorie Ice Creams

Low-calorie ice-cream is one of the fastest-growing food categories with more people than ever enjoying a ‘guilt-free’ frozen treat. Ice-cream brands such as Halo Top and Arctic Zero lead the market with ice-creams containing around a quarter of the calories and half the sugar of standard ice-creams. They boast a fibre and protein profile that’s higher than typical ice-cream, helping to slow digestion and cravings. To keep the calories low, low-calorie ice-creams might use sugar substitutes such as erythritol and stevia, which help to maintain sweetness and structure without the calories and blood sugar spike.

Taking it a step further, low-calorie ice creams often have lower amounts of fat, particularly saturated fat, which helps lower risk of heart disease. Many are also gluten-free, as a growing number of people cannot tolerate gluten, whether from celiac disease or gluten sensitivity. Check labels, as some low-calorie ice creams have artificial additives or sugar alcohols that, for some people, can lead to digestive issues. Low-calorie ice cream can be used as part of a healthy eating plan. Ice cream is best savoured in the context of moderation.

High-Protein Ice Creams

One option are high-protein ice creams, which are formulated for those looking to boost their protein levels when indulging in a sweet treat. Whey protein, casein (dairy proteins) or plant-based proteins are common inclusions, which make them fit for multiple dietary leanings. The added protein contributes to muscle recovery and satiety, so they make for functional desserts. These can be found in the sports nutrition section of the supermarket, or in the diet food aisle.

Besides, with their lower sugar and fat content, these high-protein ice creams are a better option from my perspective – someone who already keeps a watchful eye on my macronutrient intake, even when I am not bulking or cutting. In fact, taste and texture can be quite different from regular ice cream. That’s because to go high in protein, you have to either remove more sugar or fat from your recipe and replace it with protein, and if you do the latter, your product is going to be significantly different. Enter food technology. In the last few years, with great advances in food technology, the taste and texture of high-protein ice creams have truly evolved. High-protein ice creams are now tasty and routinely come close, if not better, than your usual ice cream. Furthermore, today’s ice cream aisles are being filled with high-protein products, and they come in all kinds of flavours.

Sugar-Free and No Added Sugar Ice Creams

As I discussed in my article on low-carb ice creams, sugar-free and no added sugar ice creams are mainly intended for people who want to cut back on sugar to help with weight, blood sugar for those with diabetes, or general health improvement. They generally use sugar alternatives such as stevia, monk fruit and erythritol for sweetening to give the taste of ice-cream without the calories, and therefore the blood sugar peaks. These are often suitable for people with diabetes on a low-carb or keto diet or for anyone wanting to reduce their sugar consumption.

Sugar-free ice creams are also less likely to cause dental problems (unless made with sweeteners like xylitol, which can cause cavities). Reducing sugar intake can also help with weight loss, reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, and improve metabolic health. However, it is important to make good choices. Many sugar-free ice creams do contain artificial additives or sugar alcohols that can cause gastrointestinal problems.

Organic Ice Creams

Organic ice creams are made from food ingredients that haven’t been treated with synthesised pesticides or fertilisers or any artificial hormones, artificial antibiotics or genetic modifications (GMOs). It is made with natural/organic ingredients. It’s usually made from organic milk and cream and they use natural sweetners. People can eat organic ice cream to reduce the probability of chemicals exposure and the environment from pollution of harmful chemicals.

And it’s healthy, too. Indeed, it prompts a whole bouquet of health benefits that have nothing to do with the absence of synthetic additives. Organic milk is often markedly richer than its regular counterpart in nutritionally vital components: omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants alike. They are both regarded as offering positive support to our hearts and general state of wellness. Natural colours, flavours and preservatives are also more uncommon in organic ice creams than ones that aren’t made with organic produce. In social circles where healthiness matters, the higher price of naturally produced ice creams can easily be justified in a hedonistic bordello of self-satisfaction.

Homemade Ice Creams

Another advantage of homemade ice-creams is that you can ‘tailor’ a recipe so that it doesn’t include things that you believe are not good for you; for example, it’s possible that a diabetic might not be able to eat shop-bought ice-cream because of the sugar content, but by making it at home you have complete control over what goes into it. Moving away from health issues, another possibility is that you might want to make an entirely vegan ice-cream just for fun. In each of these examples, the ‘problem’ isn’t that ice-cream is inherently unhealthy or ‘bad’ for us, but that it doesn’t fit in with our personal dietary requirements.

Making homemade ice cream also gives room for flavour and texture experimentation. Fresh fruits, nuts and other natural sweeteners can be added to improve nutritional value and enhance taste. Other than that, this activity is a great way to encourage healthy food consumption in family, friends or even kids through entertaining and interactive projects. Working with fresh product and transforming it into a frozen dessert can also improve our knowledge on how food is prepared and handled. Although purchasing a pint of froyo and taking it home is far more convenient in terms of time and effort, the health benefits of making it from natural ingredients, the complicity from sharing the activity and the satisfaction of eating your own creation make ice cream making far more rewarding.


Thanks to an array of healthy ice creams now available, you can indulge in a whole new world of natural, nutritious, diet-friendly and delicious flavours that cater to vegans, those following low-calorie diets and everyone in-between. There are dairy-free plant versions, single-serve organic ice cream made with only organic milk and cane sugar, low-calorie varieties (some with just 90 calories a serving) and ice creams that are high in protein and low in sugar. Sugar-free ice creams, complete with all your favourite flavours, are a healthy option for those with dietary restrictions or allergies to sugar. All this together means that, while you can still satisfy your craving for a sweet treat, there are many ways to indulge in ice cream without losing all the health benefits from the nutrition in your daily diet. You don’t have to make ice cream at home to get a more natural product because you can find organic ice cream for sale in stores and restaurants. Research and find the healthiest ice cream options for you and your family to help you keep your figure while feeling young and enjoying a creamy dessert. The next time you say ‘Let’s go for a frozen treat,’ you can eat ice cream as part of a healthy lifestyle because we can have our ice cream and maintain our figure too.

Robert Spencer
Robert Spencer

Robert Spencer is a proficient author with a rich expertise in Art & Design, nature, people, and trends category blog writing. With a career spanning over eight years, he has cultivated a unique voice that resonates with a diverse audience. His keen eye for detail and profound understanding of contemporary trends make his writings insightful and engaging. Robert's work often explores the intricate relationships between human experiences and the natural world, bringing a fresh perspective to his readers. A graduate of Fine Arts, he combines academic knowledge with practical insights gained from years of observing and interacting with the subjects he writes about. His articles are known for their eloquent style and informative content, making complex topics accessible and enjoyable. Beyond writing, Robert is also an avid traveler, drawing inspiration from different cultures and landscapes. This extensive experience enriches his blog posts, providing readers with a well-rounded and compelling narrative.

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