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Understanding Ice Cream: Light, Low Fat, Reduced Fat

You might be asking yourself what is confusing about ice cream? It is delish, cold, creamy and loaded with fat. Well not always since ice cream manufacturers have become hip to the fact that consumers are watching their waistlines and fat intake. So you might see ice cream labeled "light" or "low fat," but buyer beware those terms do, in fact, mean different things.

Here is a little primer for understanding the different ice cream options out there:

  • Ice cream contains at least 10% milk fat. Many premium ice creams (like Ben & Jerry's) contain around 13 - 17% milk fat.
  • "Reduced Fat" ice cream must contain 25% less fat than regular ice cream made by the same company.
  • "Light" ice cream has at least 50% less total fat than regular ice cream made by that company.
  • "Low-fat" ice cream can have a maximum of 3 grams of fat per 1/2 cup.

So buy wisely and remember just because it is "low-fat" doesn't mean you should eat more. You can also try just having a few bites of ice cream in a bowl and savor the full flavor (and fat) of the real thing. You know I am going to say it - never eat directly from the container cause you will have no idea how much you have really eaten and quite possibly over eat.

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