"Better for you" ice cream brands have been hot on the market lately. Instead of depriving yourself of ice cream, why not find one that claims to be healthier for you? With so many brands making the same health claims, though, which ones actually taste like ice cream? And are they even that good for you? I taste tested Halo Top, Enlightened, Arctic Zero and Wink in their cookie dough flavors (my favorite flavor) and ranked them based on taste and nutrition. 

beer, coffee
Kathryn Ward

Taste Rankings

It's not too hard to compare the flavors of four different ice creams when you try them all together. It is a little expensive, though, so I did the hard work for you. Here are my rankings of the four brands based on taste.

4. Wink

Coming in last based on of taste is Wink's cocoa-dough flavor. This frozen concoction tastes far from ice cream. It really didn't taste anything like cookie dough, either. It was very icy, watery and didn't have any actual chunks of cookie dough in it. I would rather not have dessert than eat this "ice cream."

espresso, milk, tea, coffee
Kathryn Ward

3. Arctic Zero

Coming in third is Arctic Zero's cookie dough chip flavor. This one was a lot better than Wink and actually resembled ice cream, but it was still pretty watery and icy. It had a decent amount of chocolate chips, but it was missing the dough. I still think I'd rather not waste the calories than eat this one.

garlic sauce, dairy product, cream, milk
Kathryn Ward

2. Halo Top

Coming in second is Halo Top's version of chocolate chip cookie dough. This brand has won over many dieters' hearts lately, and now I know why. Halo Top was a lot creamier than Arctic Zero and Wink, and the cookie dough flavoring was more similar to real ice cream. There were a decent amount of cookie dough chunks, but it could still use more in my opinion. I would definitely eat this to curb an ice cream craving.

sweet, pudding, cream, milk, dairy product
Kathryn Ward

1. Enlightened

The taste test winner is Enlightened! I was surprised to like this one so much, since all the recent healthy ice cream hype has been about other brands. Regardless, it was creamy, chunky and tasted scary-similar to Braum's cookie dough ice cream. Just looking at the picture, you can tell how chunky it is. If I didn't already know that it was a healthier version of ice cream, I wouldn't have guessed it because it's so similar to the real thing!

yogurt, sweet, coffee, milk, cream, dairy product
Kathryn Ward

Nutrition Rankings

Moving on to the nutrition rankings is another story. I looked at the calories, fat, sugar and protein in each serving of ice cream. Ironically (or not), my taste rankings match up with the calorie rankings. I liked the highest calorie ones most and the lowest calorie ones least. Here are the rankings of these four brands based on nutrition.

1. Wink

Unfortunately, the least tasty brand ranks as the healthiest. This ice cream only has 25 calories, 0.5 grams of fat, and 0 grams of sugar per 1/2 cup serving. On the downside, it has the least amount of protein compared to the other brands (only 2 grams). If you want to consume the least amount of calories, sugar and fat (and you're willing to compromise flavor), this is the brand for you. 

2. Arctic Zero

Coming in second place based on nutrition, the cookie dough chip flavor of Arctic Zero has 75 calories, 2.5 grams of fat, 8 grams of sugar, and 3 grams of protein per 1/2 cup serving. 

3. Halo Top

In third place we have Halo Top. With 90 calories, 3 grams of fat, 7 grams of sugar, and 5 grams protein, these nutritional facts are pretty pleasing considering this one was ranked second in taste. 

4. Enlightened

Coming in last place for nutrition is Enlightened. This brand has 100 calories, 3 grams of fat, 6 grams of sugar, and 7 grams of protein per 1/2 cup serving. The nutritional facts on this pint beat out any cookie dough flavor at Marble Slab or Cold Stone by far. I would pick this brand out of the rest because it satisfies the sweet tooth without going overboard on sugar and calories.

I am no registered dietitian, nutritionist or professional food taster, but coming from my experience I would highly recommend Enlightened to any ice cream lover that’s trying to cut the cals during their next craving. It's the creamiest and most similar to any scoop you would get at your local ice cream shop.