By Susan Hall
We scoured America’s scoop shops (tough job, but somebody had to do it) for the tastiest (and healthiest) ice creams, yogurts, and sorbets that will satisfy your sweet tooth without hurting your waistline.
Our criteria: superior taste, stellar nutrition, and countrywide availability. Here, the five winners. (A standard scoop, by the way, is about 1/2 cup, or 3 to 3.5 ounces.)
Häagen-Dazs Mango Fat Free Sorbet
A blend of juicy, tropical mangoes
120 calories, 0 grams fat, 20% RDA vitamin A, 10% RDA vitamin C
“If you love mangoes, you’ll enjoy this sorbet. It’s very satisfying—you only need a little to feel content, and it’s very refreshing on a hot summer day,” judge Christine Palumbo, RD, says. And judge Kara Nielsen, a former pastry chef who now follows food trends, says, “It’s shocking that there is no fat. This sorbet is so creamy and totally indulgent.”
Ben & Jerry’s Black Raspberry Swirl Low Fat Frozen Yogurt
Black raspberry yogurt with thick black raspberry swirls made with real black and red raspberries
140 calories, 1.5 grams fat, 15% RDA calcium
“This has a serious raspberry flavor and a beautiful creaminess. It feels like you’re eating a full-fat ice cream, not a healthy frozen yogurt,” Palumbo says. She and the other judges also like the ingredients, including hormone-free milk and fair-trade flavors. Nutrition pamphlets are available at Ben & Jerry’s counters, and there are lots of healthy choices—sorbets, frozen yogurts, and even full-fat ice creams like the next winner. (The vanilla, chocolate, and coffee flavors have 200 or fewer calories, too.)
Ben & Jerry’s Strawberry Ice Cream
Strawberry ice cream with real strawberry pieces
170 calories, 9 grams fat, 15% RDA vitamin C, 10% RDA calcium
“It is delicious in taste and in feel—very honest and fresh,” says judge Gale Gand, a pastry chef and co-owner of Tru in Chicago. Palumbo loves that it has only eight ingredients—all natural. Ask for a kid-size cup to cut calories.
Health.com: 11 healthy milkshakes and smoothies
Baskin-Robbins Light Aloha Brownie Ice Cream
Light chocolate ice cream with ribbons of fudge and chunks of macadamia nut toffee
160 calories, 5 grams fat, 10% RDA calcium
“Rich, fudgy, chocolaty, and delicious,” Palumbo says. “If you need a chocolate fix, this will do the trick!” Baskin-Robbins’s BRight Choices flavors—like Cappuccino Chip, Premium Churned Light Raspberry Chip, and various sorbets—are healthy takes on their classics. We did have one beef: Baskin-Robbins’ products had more artificial ingredients than the other contenders.
Häagen-Dazs Cranberry Blueberry Fat Free Sorbet
A blend of tart cranberries and sweet blueberries
100 calories, 0 grams fat, 8% RDA vitamin C
“This has a nice flavor, is very refreshing and tart—but not too tart,” Gand says. Häagen Dazs shops aren’t overflowing with low-fat ice creams, but they do have other amazing fat-free sorbets besides our two winners. Our judges like that HD offers small cup sizes for portion control and that you can request nutrition information, which is kept behind the counter.
If you add a cone…
• Cake cone: 17 calories, 0 grams fat
• Sugar cone: 40 calories, 0.5 grams fat
• Waffle cone: 121 calories, 2 grams fat