Keto Ice Cream Review - Halo Top | Does this low carb ice cream make the grade?

Keto Ice Cream Review: Halo Top

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 | Does this low carb ice cream make the grade?

Keto Ice Cream Review: Halo Top

Available Flavors

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).

Flavors include:

  • Vanilla Bean
  • Chocolate
  • Chocolate Mocha Chip
  • Mint Chip
  • Birthday Cake
  • Strawberry
  • Lemon Cake
  • Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
  • Peanut Butter Cup
  • Cookies & Cream
  • Sea Salt Caramel
  • S’mores
  • Pistachio
  • Red Velvet
  • Oatmeal Cookie
  • Black Cherry
  • Chocolate Almond Crunch

Sweeteners:

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!

Texture:

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.

Macros:

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!

Price:

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.

Other Notes:

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.

Summary:

This stuff is amazing. I wish it were slightly less expensive, but honestly, it’s worth it.

31 thoughts on “Keto Ice Cream Review: Halo Top”

  1. My husband eats keto and he keeps Arctic Zero on hand as a staple. He eats only one serving at a time pretty easily partly because he also adds a couple tablespoons of heavy cream and sometimes nuts or crushed stevia-sweetened dark chocolate. It’s delicious even for a sweet tooth! We look forward to trying Halo Top, too.

    1. Arctic Zero is definitely a winner as well! They’ve got so many flavors! If you do try Halo Top, I’d love to know your thoughts! :)

        1. Hey! That’s not a stupid question at all! If you take out the grams of carbs from fiber and sugar alcohols, the whole pint is only 16g of net carbs.

          1. I have finished a whole pint, and not been kicked out of ketosis! I definitely had eaten suuuuper low carb that day though, and “saved” some carbs for the ice cream!

          2. The vanilla bean has 16 carbs per 1/2 cup (4 servings per carton). Minus the 3 carbs for fiber and 5 for sugar alcohol and I get 8 carbs per 1/2 cup. That’s 32 carbs for the carton. What am I missing?

          3. Hey, Sam! It seems like they might have updated this since launching the flavor. The original packaging (which is what is still listed on their website) states that there are just 5g of net carbs per serving for this flavor. Other original flavors also have 4-5g.

            I’m going to email the company to see what’s up, because it’s a pretty big discrepancy.

  2. I have PCOS so I am trying to find something to cure my sweet tooth!!! I came across Halo Top and I loved the mint chip!! Now I am dabbling in the chocolate one and I also bought the strawberry I think I may try them all!!!

  3. Ah, I see sadly on their website, it’s not! Waaaahhhhhhhh I just found your site BTW it ROCKS! As a 12 year vegan Nutritionist who just recently went Keto (as in, last week) your info is golden! Thank you!

    1. I know – I WISH Halo Top was vegan!!

      I’m so glad you’re finding the site helpful!! I’d love to hear your input on anything nutrition or vegan-related! :D

  4. I just found this yesterday and it is amazing! I’m a ice cream fanatic and I really missed my favorite treat. I tried the Article Zero and it made me gag. I ate the whole container of Halo over a span of a few hours. My ketones were not affected at all, and it was delicious. Will definitely be my go to monthly treat from not on…though I will try to make it last more than a day. ;)

    1. Hahaha, having a pint last more than a day is definitely a challenge! I’m glad you found a treat you like that doesn’t impact blood sugar! :D

    2. Hello, I am new to the Keto diet, i bought Halo Top chocolate Chip cookie dough ice cream and i was reading the macros it is per my understanding it has 11 net carbs per serving and it indicates there are 4 serving per container. Am I resding it correctly? If that is the case it is super high on carbs, please help

      1. Hi Mirza – this is a good question! Most of the carbs in Halo Top come from sugar alcohols, which are not digested in the same way that the body digests sugar. The type of sugar alcohol in Halo Top actually only contains 4% of the calories that sugar has (which is awesome!). This means that those grams of carbs aren’t counted towards the net carbs. So, the total carbs minus the fiber and sugar alcohol in each serving give you the net carbs, or those that actually impact blood sugar levels. Now, for the cookie dough, this is actually a 7g net, which is a lot for this brand, but not a lot in the grand scheme of things.

        Many of their flavors have only 3-4g of net carbs! As I said before, 7g isn’t a huge amount, but this should be consumed sparingly on a ketogenic diet!

  5. I’ve found the Arctic Zero lacks flavor, or just tastes unusual or watered down. However, with Halo Top, the flavors are really authentic, the texture is creamy and smooth, and it fits in my diet without making me feel like I’m punishing myself. I’ve had Birthday Cake, Red Velvet, and Lemon Pound Cake. I am impressed with all of them. I found it thanks to your post, by the way! Thank you!

    1. Adding peanut butter, or making chocolate “sauce” of out cocoa powder, stevia and coconut oil can increase the fat for sure!

    1. Hi Lisa! This is a great question. All sugar alcohols are different, so they tend to be counted in different ways. Erithrytol (used in Halo Top) is an awesome sugar alcohol because so very little of it actually metabolizes (just 5%) that you can effectively ignore it when looking at carb counts. This isn’t true of all sugar alcohols, though!

      This article explains erithrytol digestion in more detail: https://www.tasteaholics.com/keto-diet/what-is-erythritol/

      Thanks for commenting, and feel free to ask any other questions that come up!

  6. I would love to buy some Halo Top but I can’t get it where I live. I wanted to order some for my hubby’s birthday as he’s eating keto right now. So I went down this ice cream rabbit hole and found a keto ice cream recipe I like and bought an ice cream maker! So I’m going to attempt making it on my own.

    I’m really curious about erythritol though… you have a lot of positive to say about it but I’ve been reading that it’s unhealthy here: https://draxe.com/erythritol/. What do you think about what this article has to say? I ended up ordering %100 pure monk fruit and I really hope it tastes as good as I’ve read it can taste. My husband hates sweeteners :/

    Thanks for all the amazing recipes and inspiration, I’m going to be trying a bunch of them!

    1. Hi Andrea! You\re definitely going above and beyond for your husband’s birthday! I’m sure he’ll be super excited. :D

      Dr. Axe makes a lot of good points in that article, and I don’t disagree – there are definitely better options out there than sugar alcohols. However, sugar alcohols tend to make baked goods turn out more like “regular” baked goods when sugar alcohols (as opposed to stevia or monkfruit) are used. So, if you’re going to use a sugar alcohol, erithrytol is the best. Even further, if someone is going to use Truvia (a blend, but it’s got a lot of filler) or Sucralose/Splenda, I’d definitely recommend using just straight erithrytol (or something like Swerve).

      I don’t think you should lean on sugar alcohols all the time, but they’re definitely better than Splenda, if you really need the texture that comes from sugar/sugar alcohols. Otherwise, I mostly use stevia in things like tea/ice cream/yogurt recipes that are more forgiving.

      I should also point out that I really don’t see anything wrong with occasional use of non-GMO sourced erithrytol. So, as a treat every few weeks or so. :)

      I’m curious to know how the monkfruit turns out! Your keto ice cream adventure sounds so intruiging!

      And thanks for the kind words! :)

  7. I just tried it yesterday and I love it!! Only thing that worries me is in the ingredients it says “organic cane sugar” & the label states 6 grams of sugar. Is the 6 grams coming from the cane sugar or are they speaking of the erythritol & stevia? These damn labels always confuse me.

    1. Hi Kimiko – this is a great question! So, Halo Top has recently released a bunch of new flavors where they do seem to add in some actual sugar, unfortunatly. Which flavor did you try? I want to try and accurately update this article!

      On labels, stevia won’t be reflected in the grams of carbohydrates at all, and sugar alcohols (like erythritol) will be in the total carbs, but listed separately from sugar. I don’t blame you for being confused, labels are so confusing!

      1. I just had the mint chocolate chip which is amazing, however it’s 5g sugar and the ingredients list regular sugar.

        1. Thanks for the info, Nicole! Sadly, it seems like a lot of their flavors now have regular sugar (I haven’t had mint chip in ages, but I don’t recall it actually having real sugar, I could be wrong, though!).

          I’m updating this article to reflect that, as we all tend to get excited about finding a product line that works on keto, and then not realizing when some of the options are actually kind of sugary. I definitely foud out the hard way with this stuff, too!

          On the plus side, there are still tons of flavors that are lowcarb-friendly! :)

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Hey there, I'm Liz, a gamer nutritionist with a passion for baking, and a tendency to spend as much time as possible in comfy pajamas.

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