Frozen Treat Calorie Countdown
May marks the start of the prime frozen treat season that will last until the sun goes down on our summer vacations. Although this was the warmest winter in years for many Americans, we’re officially ready to enjoy the heat. But before you run to the freezer section in the grocery store consider whether your favorite cold dessert is worth its weight in calories. With outdoor festivals, theme parks, and pool parties there is sure to be ice cream on the menu somewhere. Here’s the calorie count on familiar frozen desserts.
10. Milk Shakes – 740 to 790 Calories, 17g Protein, 33g Fat, 111g Carbohydrates
Ice Cream, whole milk, and chocolate, vanilla, or strawberry flavoring equals a ton of calories. What would be called a small or regular size at 18 to 20 oz. per serving could turn into half of your daily caloric intake. In the way of splurges, this is more like a shopping spree.
Instead blend Walden Farms Calorie Free Chocolate(or Strawberry) Syrup, Skim Milk, and Fat Free Vanilla Yogurt to save about 500 to 600 calories for the same size shake.
9. Hawaiian Shaved Ice – 288 Calories, 0g Protein, 0g Fat, 72g Carbohydrates
A familiar brand offers a 16 oz. version assuming 120 ml of flavoring. Given that all the calories are in the flavored syrup, asking the attendant to control how many “pumps” goes into it may help you save a few calories, but because it’s sort of extreme to bring a little sputum container to ensure the right amount, you really won’t know how many calories your spoon is getting into. By the way, cream on top will add at least a 100 more calories.
Instead crush some ice at home and add your favorite Torani flavoring. It’s the only way you’ll know how many of those empty calories you’re eating.
8. Gelato – 210 calories, 3g Protein, 12g Fat, 22g Carbohydrates
I’ll admit I went to get this Italian ice cream dream and scoffed at the small ½ cup serving, knowing full well I would be doubling the above calorie count. I went for it anyway, but the whole time I was thinking how I knew this to be the king of ice cream fat content per serving. There’s 8g of saturated fat to boot.
7. Ice Cream Bar – 180 calories, 2g Protein, 12g Fat, 15g Carbohydrates
It was hard figuring out which calorie count I’d add to the line above as the familiar ice cream bar is anything but familiar now with all the different options out there. Haagen Dazs Ice Cream Bars can run around 320 calories per bar, while some weight loss brands get to around 80 calories a serving. I opted to include the approximate calorie count on traditional ice cream bar that’s regular size (not mini) with the thin coat of chocolate and some semblance of vanilla ice cream inside.
6. Ice Cream – 145 Calories, 2.5g Protein, 7.9g Fat, 17g Carbohydrates
This staple of summer is usually said to have more fat than gelato, but because gelato has no air added, depending on the brand, it has more fat than a similar ½ cup serving(by volume not weight) of ice cream.
5. Sorbet/Sherbet - 130 Calories, 1g Protein, 1g Fat, 30g Carbohydrates
These typically have less fat and more sugar than ice cream. Sorbet is pureed fruit with sugar added, while sherbet has some fat added, usually milk, gelatin, and/or egg whites. Generally speaking sherbets have a few more calories, but because they have the same base ingredients, there calorie counts aren’t too disparate with a 10 calorie swing in most brands.
4. Slow Churned, Light, or Low Fat Ice Cream - 100-120 Calories, 3g Protein, 4g Fat, 17g Carbohydrates
Slow churned or light ice cream generally has more air than traditional ice cream and is therefore creamier than the stiff prettiness we’re used to having in a waffle cone. For this reason is melts faster and if you hadn’t noticed, the caloric difference isn’t that drastic.
3. Frozen Yogurt – 100-120 Calories, 3g Protein, 4g Fat, 23g Carbohydrates
With calorie counts similar to low fat ice cream, a 1/2 cup serving of fro yo isn't so hard on your calorie bank. Some frozen yogurt is low fat or fat free because it doesn't contain the cream ice cream does. So you know, the calorie count is similar whether it's soft serve or looks like ice cream. There are some high fiber, no sugar added varieties available if you look for them.
2. Greek Frozen Yogurt – 100 Calories, 6g Protein, 0g Fat, 21g Carbohydrates
Don't let the billboards fool you, Ben & Jerry's isn't the only brand making greek frozen yogurt with the flavor and texture of ice cream. Adonia by Ciao Bella and Stonyfield Organic have a version as well from which the above nutrition information was derived. View a slideshow of their offerings and calorie counts here.
1. Frozen Fruit Bar – 70 to 90 Calories, 0g Protein, 0g Fat, 19g Carbohydrates
Like sorbets, many frozen fruit bars are little more than water and sugar. You can hope for some pureed fruit from some brands, but the ingredient list may disappoint you. Here's a taste test of of popular frozen fruit bars.
NOTE: The calorie counts for these frozen treats were taken from specific brands that were found to be similar to others in the same category. Check each brand's listing to confirm the nutritional info for your favorites.
Do you typically make an impulse decision on frozen treats, or plan before hand? Which will you enjoy?