Has your Facebook feed been clogged with Halo Top ads, articles, and reviews? This "healthy ice cream" brand is quickly expanding, having recently released 10 new flavors. At first glance, this 60 calorie per serving (and only 240 calories per pint) ice cream seems like the perfect, guilt-free treat. But this new trend may not be as great as it first appears.
Halo Top puts great emphasis on the health factor of their brand. Comparing their nutrition facts to full-fat competitors such as Haagen-Dazs and Ben & Jerry's might show a partial picture, but these match-ups exclude crucial details.
What is Halo Top putting in their ice cream to keep its calorie count so low? Erythritol is a sugar substitute that, among other side effects, can cause nausea and indigestion. Erythritol is not digested by the body, causing it to be a virtually calorie-free ingredient. Also, since erythritol does not get digested, the body doesn't recognize that you've eaten (which stops fullness cues and forces the body to eat more food in order to feel satisfied).
Erythritol is not the only concerning piece of information that can be found in Halo Top nutrition facts. Halo Top contains 13 ingredients to Haagen Dazs's five. I don't know about you, but I'd rather be eating ice cream with ingredients I can pronounce, like egg yolk and vanilla extract than prebiotic fiber and organic carob gum.
Because Halo Top contains an ingredient that impedes fullness, you're most likely not going to be eating just a half cup of Halo Top (as the calorie comparison suggests). If you eat the entire pint of Halo Top, which is honestly fairly likely, you're only saving 10 calories compared to a serving of the more filling, real ice cream alternative. Is 10 calories really going to stop you from treating yo' self fully?
Ice cream is meant to be a treat, so why are we seeking out alternatives that tout themselves as healthy and full of protein? It might be labeled as ice cream, but Halo Top does not hold a candle to the real thing. If I'm trying to binge-watch Gossip Girl for the fourth time, I want to be surrounded by Ben & Jerry's Empowermint ice cream, not some Halo Top, low-sugar mint chip ice cream.
The Bottom Line
Ice cream, like any other food, is okay in moderation. Halo Top may appear to be an appealing alternative to ice cream, but it is not really that healthy and it is not as good as the real deal. If you are looking to eat a pint of ice cream after a breakup, maybe grab a Halo Top, but in general eat the real deal and just focus on having a balanced diet.