6 low calorie, low fat ice creams ranked from best to worst by real dieters
- Credit: Archant
There's been an explosion in the ice cream market recently, with many new 'diet friendly' varieties claiming to have less than 300 calories per pot. We tested some to see if they taste as good as the 'real thing'.
We took six hungry women on healthy eating plans (from Slimming World to the 5:2) and asked what they made of the latest phenomenon in diet food - low calorie ice creams.
Here are the results!
1. Ben and Jerry's Moo Phoria, Chocolate Cookie Dough, RRP £4
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132 calories per 100ml
Other flavours: Caramel Cookie Fix, Chocolate Cookies & Cream, Salted Caramel Brownie
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What we thought: This was far and away the favourite for most of us. It had the most chocolaty flavour, quite true to the original Ben and Jerry's taste, but was lighter in texture, almost like a mousse. What we liked most was the big chunks of grainy, sugary cookie dough pieces, and the fact there were no sweeteners used. The calorie count is instead taken down by using lower-fat milk. Definitely one to look out for if you're watching what you eat but still want a proper treat.
2 and 3. Breyers Delights, Creamy Chocolate and Salted Caramel Cake flavours, RRP £3.74
Chocolate ice cream 310 calories per tub, Salted Caramel Cake 340 calories per tub
Other flavours: Mint Chip, Vanilla Cupcake, Cookies and Cream
What we thought: We tried two flavours of this one. The texture of both was exceptionally creamy and bit less mousse-like than Ben and Jerry's. The chocolate ice cream looked very weak and exceedingly less cocoa-filled than the other desserts, but actually it tasted a bit like Cadbury's Dairy Milk or Milka. It would be a hit with kids, and anyone who usually turns to Cadburys for a chocolate 'fix'.
Some of us loved the salted caramel cake flavour while others found it too sweet. Personally I think it balanced salty and sweet very well, and had a butterscotch, toffee-like nature which was very delicious. The sticky cake pieces made it feel naughty!
Score: 7/10 for chocolate and 8/10 for the caramel cake
4. Oppo, Colombian Chocolate and Hazelnut, RRP £3 to £4.99
380 calories per tub
Other flavours: Madagascan Vanilla, Salted Caramel, Cookie Dough, Mint Chocolate
What we thought: While not as creamy as some of the others, this ice cream was a hit with the dark chocolate lovers among us, giving over a hit of cocoa with real depth and smokiness. The hazelnuts were more subtle in taste, giving an undercurrent of Nutella. What it lacks in body this one more than makes up for in tickling the tastebuds.
5. Northern Bloc, Vegan Chocolate & Orange Blossom, RRP £4.50
130 calories per 100ml
Other flavours: Strawberry and Yuzu, Hazelnut and Rose, Peanut Chip
What we thought: An interesting flavour combination but one which was ultimately a little unbalanced. The orange blossom came through, but was rather fighting with the chocolate which was quite weak and a bit soapy. It also had kind of a 'chewy' texture. It didn't feel indulgent at all, which is the whole point of ice cream isn't it? This was just OK but our vegetarian tasters said if they were vegan they would be happy to eat it.
6. Halo Top, Peanut Butter cup, RRP £3.50-£5
320 calories per tub
Other flavours: Vanilla Bean, Cinnamon Roll, Birthday Cake (there are loads)
What we thought: There was a slightly vegetal taste initially to this one, which didn't off the bat scream 'peanut'. It was creamy, but not as creamy as the others and quite sweet. Also, it rather lacked on inclusions. There was a peanut buttery swirl inside, but not enough of it to satisfy every mouthful.
Unforgivably we found not one, but two hairs in the tub. We contacted Halo Top for comment. They said: 'We're very sorry to hear about your recent experience with Halo Top. We can assure you that we have very strict processes and procedures in place at our manufacturing facilities, which all pass strenuous food safety audits to ensure that only the highest quality product gets to our customers. In addition, all employees are required to use hair constraints and hair nets. We'll investigate immediately. '
Score: 0/10 with the hair or 4/10 without!
What makes these ice creams low calorie?
Good question! Well, most of the brands are using lower fat cream and milk, which skims the calories significantly.
In addition, you'll see stevia extract, erythritol, or both on the ingredients lists.
Stevia is a natural, very low calorie, sweetener, produced from the leaves of the stevia plant. It's recommended as a safe alternative to artificial sweeteners, as is erythritol, which is a food-safe sugar alcohol (like xylitol).