8/3/2022 | By Lori Zanteson, Environmental Nutrition

Summertime increases our cravings for ice cream, gelato, frozen yogurt, and other icy cold desserts and snacks. Follow these tips for healthy frozen treats so you can have your treat and eat it, too!

If your heart skips a beat at the sound of the ice cream truck, and your eyes widen at displays of round tubs of ice cream, frozen yogurt, gelato, and sorbet at your supermarket, it must be ice cream season! There’s nothing like a frozen treat to make you feel like a kid again, taming summertime heat and satisfying a sweet tooth with each ice-cold spoonful. Love it as we do, these cool scoops can pack a less than cool excess of calories, added sugar, and saturated fat. Happily, there are options for healthy frozen treats that are very enjoyable.

Healthy frozen yogurt bars. Image by stockcreations, Dreamstime. Summer is peak time for ice cream, gelato, frozen yogurt, and other icy cold desserts and snacks. Follow these tips for healthy frozen treats.
Healthy frozen yogurt and berry popsicles

As an occasional treat, your favorite frozen indulgence can definitely be part of a healthy diet. If soaring summer temps have you reaching for the ice cream scoop more frequently, scale back on portion size and toppings. At the same time, there is an impressive array of innovative healthy frozen treats to meet a variety of dietary needs and preferences.

Ice cream is technically made with milk, cream, and sugar, plus extra flavors and add-ins, like fruit, cookies, or fudge. When products are made with more milk than cream, or contain no cream at all – like gelato, frozen yogurt, sherbet, and sorbet – they are lower in fat or fat-free. Many products contain less or no added sugar; however, they will more than likely contain sugar alcohols, which may upset the digestive system.

Give these tips a try for a healthy frozen treat.

  • Be size wise. Keep portions modest with just one scoop, or look for single size packages.
  • Top it naturally. Swap fat- and sugar-laden toppings and mix-ins with berries, sliced fruits, nuts, or granola.
  • Scan the label. Look for a short, simple ingredients list to steer clear of unwanted additives and artificial flavors and colors, as well as to meet your dietary needs or desires, like dairy-free, low-sugar, or low-fat.


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Lori Zanteson, Environmental Nutrition

Lori Zanteson writes for Environmental Nutrition, an independent newsletter written by nutrition experts dedicated to providing readers up-to-date, accurate information about health and nutrition in clear, concise English. For more information, visit