Eat This, Not That: Low-Carb Ice Creams

Who doesn’t love ice cream? It is the perfect dessert – rich and creamy, velvety and smooth and sweetness to your liking. Yet unfortunately, on the ketogenic diet, ice cream rarely fits in.  However, there are low carb ice cream brands that actually follow a low carb program such as the ketogenic diet or keto diet. These brands make it possible to enjoy a bowl of ice cream without going off your diet. But each brand has pros and cons that you'll need to consider, plus strange ingredients.  Here we review the best low carb ice cream brands and what's good and bad about each.

Low Carb/Ketogenic Ice Creams Compared

SO Coconut Milk No Sugar Added Ice Cream

So Coconut Milk Ice Cream is one of the creamiest and smoothest coconut milk ice creams on the market. In fact, there really isn’t any other dairy-free ice cream brand that can compare. Even the simple vanilla version tastes amazing. The out of this world consistency and taste - due to high fat coconut milk - is phenomenal. They have tons of flavors, but on a ketogenic diet you will have to stick to the no-sugar added flavors.

SO Coconut Milk Ice Cream has very healthy ingredients that can accommodate many specialty diets such as sugar-free, gluten-free and dairy-free. SO Coconut Milk Ice Cream is made with the finest pure ingredients. The No-Sugar Added Vanilla Bean ice cream contains healthy ingredients like organic coconut milk (filtered water, organic coconut cream), chicory root extract, sea salt, and monk fruit extract.

The sweeteners chicory root extract and monk fruit extract are actually healthy!
Acacia gum, guar gum and locust bean gum are included for consistency and texture.  Acacia gum actually has some health benefits.  Guar gum should be avoided if you have soy allergies and locust bean gum could have allergies of its own, but otherwise they may actually be beneficial to health similar to acacia gum.
It does contain a few ingredients that may cause gastrointestinal distress in large amounts: vegetable glycerin and erythritol.  But we've found as long as you don't go overboard and drink plenty of water, you can usually avoid these feelings due to sugar alcohols.

Per ½ cup serving there is only 4 grams of NET carbs!  Honestly, we would take that any day for a taste of ice cream.  Remember, when you're calculating net carbs you subtract the fiber and sugar alcohol carbs.  Plus the no sugar versions only have 1 gram of sugar, perfect for your diet.

Moreover, there are now 4 different of No Sugar Added varieties – vanilla bean, mint chip, chocolate and butter pecan. Likewise, you can also find No Sugar Added fudge bars and No Sugar Added vanilla bars. And the price is right too. Compared to other brands of alternative ice creams, SO Coconut Milk Ice Cream is one of the most cost-effective for a budget.

SO Coconut Milk Pros

  • High fat, low protein, low carb
  • very creamy
  • No Sugar Added variety it contains only 1 gram sugar and 4 net carbs per 1/2 cup
  • coconut flavor is very versatile and blends well with most flavors

SO Coconut Milk Cons

  • Higher calorie (but of course, due to higher fat content)
  • vegetable glycerin isn't the healthiest ingredient
  • erythritol may cause gastrointestinal distress in some people

The price ranges from $4 to $6 per pint.

Halo Top

Halo Top is another amazing low carb ice cream. Depending on the flavor, the silky dessert has 4 to 8 grams of sugar per ½ cup serving, which is kind of a lot on a ketogenic diet.  For someone on the ketogenic diet looking for high fat content, Halo Top is actually not the best...this delicious low carb ice cream comes in with only 2-3 grams of total fat, 5 grams of protein and 6 grams of net carbs per serving.

However, for the most part, the ingredients are quite healthy. For example, the vanilla bean flavor has skim milk, eggs, erythritol, prebiotic fiber (plant fiber), milk protein concentrate, organic cream, sea salt, vanilla beans, organic stevia leaf extract.  Stevia is actually known to be helpful in lowering blood sugar.
They do add cane sugar.  Straight cane sugar is usually not good for a ketogenic diet, but as long as you are restricting yourself to small serving sizes, your ketosis can handle it.  Like the SO brand, Halo Top contains vegetable glycerin, guar gum, carob bean gum (aka locust bean gum) and erythritol.  They're not bad for your health besides the reasons we gave above, especially if you're keeping your servings low.

As far as taste and texture, Halo Top leans more towards being an ice milk and is not as creamy as other coconut based desserts.  They recommend letting it thaw for a little to get a better consistency upon eating.  Once you do this, the overall consistency is light and fluffy that quickly melts in your mouth. This low calorie dessert is actually very refreshing on a warms summers day. As well, the variety of flavors is outstanding. There are a myriad of flavors to choose from like chocolate almond crunch, cinnamon roll, oatmeal cookie, toasted coconut and many others.

Halo Top Pros

  • low in carbs at about 6 grams net carbs per serving
  • very low calorie; great for weight-loss diet
  • wide range of flavors
  • they have dairy free options as well

Halo Top Cons

  • not as creamy as other brands
  • tends to be a more of an ice milk
  • high protein, low fat
  • not a vegan option
  • does not use organic milk
  • contains erythritol and vegetable glycerin which may cause gastrointestinal distress in some people

For price, Halo Top ranges between $4 and $7 per pint.

NadaMoo Ice Cream

NadaMoo! Ice Cream is a decadent delight. The coconut based ice cream is only 120 calories per serving. What is more, ½ cup serving contains 7-8 grams of fat and almost no protein.  However, the net carbs get very high on this low carb ice cream - up to 14 grams in 1/2 cup serving.  You almost have to eat half a serving to match the other low carb ice creams.

Although the carbs are high, almost too high for keto, this great tasting low carbohydrate ice cream has 5 grams of fiber plus most all its ingredients are organic. The basic Vanilla Ahhh ice cream per ½ cup serving contains organic coconut milk, water, organic inulin (a prebiotic fiber), and sea salt.
Like the other low carb ice creams, it contains guar gum and locust bean gum.  It also contains tapioca syrup solids and organic agave nectar which add sugar, even though they're all natural.

Although this keto ice cream is milk-free, you could easily mistake it for a full-fat dairy dessert. The texture is a perfect creation of whipped coconut milk that is both creamy and pleasingly soft. Depending on the flavor you select, the keto safe ice cream has a slight coconut taste. However, the stronger flavors are even loved by coconut haters. There are a wide variety of selections to choose from such as your basic vanilla or chocolate to outlandish flavors like Caramel Cold-Brew & Cookies, Banana PB & Chocolate and Birthday Cake Cookie Dough.

NadaMoo Ice Cream Pros

  • uses all organic ingredients
  • has a nice variety of unique flavors
  • is non-dairy, kosher, organic and vegan
  • a gluten free and fair trade product

NadaMoo Ice Cream Cons

  • highest in net carbs at around 14 grams in 1/2 cup
  • has a higher content of sugar compared to other non-dairy products with 8 grams per serving
  • difficult to find in stores

The price range is from $5.49 to $7 per pint.

Incredible Keto Low Carbohydrate Ice Cream Recipes

The keto diet really isn’t limiting, especially when it comes to low carb ice cream. Better yet, there are numerous recipes you can make that will suit your taste buds like a dream. You really can have your ice cream and still maintain your waistline.
Some tantalizing ideas for low carbohydrate ice cream that embrace your desires are:

Keto Chocolate Mason Jar Ice Cream

A simple recipe that uses keto sweetener, is low carbs plus and is easy to make. In fact, this healthy recipe is made in two steps – Blend & Freeze. Moreover, the recipe can be adapted to fit your taste buds such as adding vanilla extract, coffee powder or nutmeg.

Dairy Free Vanilla Keto Ice Cream

This ice cream is just like the expensive but delicious treats you find at the market. However, this homemade ice cream is far tastier and healthier than what you find at the grocers. The recipe includes healthy ingredients like coconut milk, vanilla, eggs, almond extract and minimal sugar to keep you on your diet. This is a must try dessert.

Keto Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream

Who doesn’t love strawberry ice cream? This simple to make low carb dessert is heavenly – creamy like cheesecake and smooth as silk. What is more, the recipe contains healthy ingredients to keep you on track with your diet. Although you will need an ice cream maker to make this soft and delightful treat, it is well worth the effort.

Commercial Varieties vs Healthy Alternatives

Not only are most commercial brands of ice cream high in fat, carbs and sugar they also contain a combination of synthetic additives and preservatives. For instance, the ingredients of many commercial brands are comprised of high fructose corn syrup or unhealthy sugar free options like aspartame, non-organic dairy products, amyl acetate, butraldehyde, diethyl glycol and countless other chemicals.

Most people on a ketogenic diet have to avoid these anyways, so stick with the commercial varieties we mentioned that don't have these chemical additives.  The healthy low carb ice creams we mentioned re created with healthy organic ingredients like coconut milk and cream, maple syrup or stevia extract, pure vanilla and several other natural foods, depending on the flavor.

When deciding on the perfect keto ice cream for your diet there are many options. If you enjoy a light and refreshing frozen treat that is low carb, then Halo Top is an excellent choice. If you crave ice cream that is creamy and low in sugar then SO Coconut Milk No Sugar Added Ice Cream is an ideal selection. Even the hard to find brand NadaMoo! Ice Cream is an excellent choice - as long as you limit your serving size.

Whatever brand you select, you can be rest assured that you will stay on a healthy diet that supports your weight loss goals.

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