It probably won’t surprise you at all to find out that I like ice cream. Of course, conventional ice cream is loaded with sugar and calories and doesn’t really fit in to a low carb diet all that well. Until recently, most of my ice cream adventures involved coconut milk, avocados and the freezer, and while the homemade keto ice cream was pretty good, I yearned for something more. About a month ago, my local (ish) grocery store started stocking Halo Top ice cream, and my quest for a keto ice cream ended.
Note: Since writing this review, Halo Top has introduced a bunch of new flavors that are higher in carbs! Always read labels. :)
This stuff is delicious, truly. I honestly didn’t think I’d be able to find a low sugar ice cream that was so tasty, never mind a low carb ice cream that was also super low calorie. Yeah, the whole pint is between 240 – 280 calories for all of their flavors. I KNOW!
I could just wax poetic about this stuff for a while, but I figure a real review is in order. After all, everyone has different palates and different nutritional needs, so my dream ice cream may not work all that well for you.
Keto Ice Cream Review: Halo Top
Halo Top currently has 17 (!!!) pretty diverse flavors. Between the vanilla bean, mint chip, birthday cake and lemon cake, they pretty much cover all of my dessert cravings. So, points for flavor variety (apparently, it’s a points system now).
- Vanilla Bean
- Chocolate Mocha Chip
- Mint Chip
- Birthday Cake
- Lemon Cake
- Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
- Peanut Butter Cup
- Cookies & Cream
- Sea Salt Caramel
- Red Velvet
- Oatmeal Cookie
- Black Cherry
- Chocolate Almond Crunch
Many low sugar ice creams use artificial sweeteners to replace the sugar in their recipes. I’m not really down with that, as studies show that artificial sweeteners aren’t that great for you….at best. Halo Top uses stevia and erythritol.
Stevia is plant-derived, and erythritol is a naturally occurring sugar alcohol. Unlike other sugar alcohols, erythritol doesn’t cause bloating or impact blood sugar. Yay!
I really don’t know how they do it, but there is finally a keto ice cream that is not icy. Typically, I feel low carb ice creams have a strange texture, but Halo Top is smooth and creamy. It’s probably the guar gum that contributes to this. Otherwise, black magic.
The one thing that I’ve noticed (as have some others around the interwebs) is that this low sugar ice cream freezes pretty hard. Part of this is likely that sugar and fat both aid in softening ice cream, and Halo Top is low in both. So, it’s worth it to let this stuff sit for a few minutes before diving in.
Per half cup serving (lol), the macros are as follows (on the original flavors):
- calories: 60 – 70
- carbs: 4-5g net (total carbs, minus fiber and sugar alcohols)
- fiber: 5g
- fat: 2g
- protein: 6g
For ice cream, these are pretty solid. If you’re really strict keto, the 4-5g (depending on flavor) of net carbohydrates might be a little high for regular consumption, but it sure makes a darn good treat.
For those of you who are into IIFYM – yes, it probably fits your macros.
UPDATE: Not all flavors are created equal! Be sure to read the labels, as some flavors are higher than others. It seems that some flavors may top out at around 8g of net carbs, so if that’s too much for you, read carefull!
This is where I get sad. A pint of Halo Top is about $6 where I am, which is nothing to scoff at, especially since that’s about two sittings worth of ice cream for me (I’m a monster!).
Of course, this is less expensive than going to a restaurant and ordering a dessert, or a glass of wine. So, in the long run, it could be worse.
While erythritol doesn’t really aggravate my stomach, something in this ice cream does. If I limit myself to one serving, everything is fine. Two servings, and my stomach starts rumbling. Any more than that and things are dicey. So, it’s self limiting in that way!
Of course, this is the least stomach trouble I’ve ever experienced with a low carb ice cream, so I’m not complaining at all.
This stuff is amazing. I wish it were slightly less expensive, but honestly, it’s worth it.