Gooey chocolate chip cookies with big chunks of chocolate, or a soft and gooey brownie drowning in a sea of fudge. How about a New York cheese cake dripping with strawberry sauce. You know all the filet mignons and prime ribs in the world aren't going to satiate these cravings.
You're body is telling you it wants sugar, and it won't be denied!
So what do you do? Well, up until recently, you've either relied on your will power and determination to get you through the miserable cravings, or you threw your hands up, dove right in to the sugar bomb treats and in the process blew your low carb diet. What has changed?
Well, with the explosion of low carb dieting, big name food companies are realizing there is money to be made here. In suit, they have begun to put their formidable R&D resources behind developing low carb alternatives to popular high carb items. Don't be surprised to find everything from low carb catsup to low carb beer, as you make your way down the grocery isle.
In this article we will review the latest product category to offer much needed low carb alternatives to those of us living in low carb agony... ice cream! You read that right. Over the next year, expect to see an explosion of low carb ice cream offerings. This is a monumental occasion. As you know, ice cream is a dessert that doesn't really fit into any diet regimen, whether it is low fat, low sugar, low carb, etc.
Regular ice cream has all the bad stuff... sugar, fat, carbs, etc. It's as sinful a dessert as you can find. Could it really be true that these companies have come out with tasty low carb alternatives to ice cream? Read on and find out. Below you'll see a product review of the some of the most popular low carb ice creams that you can now find in your local grocery store.
In reviewing the products, we looked at nutrition as well as taste. With regard to nutrition we considered ingredients, carbs/sugar, protein and fat. As for taste, we considered flavor and texture. Also, to make sure that we were comparing apples to apples, we used each company's vanilla flavor ice cream.
Low Carb Ice Creams
|Breyer's Carb Smart|
|Breyer's has come out with a half gallon premium ice cream in three flavors, which include Chocolate,Vanilla and Strawberry. Their vanilla ice cream ranked high with our test panel on flavor, but texture fell short. Many commented that it was hard, icy and not creamy enough. In terms of nutritionals, Carb Smart has four grams of net carbs, which is very good when compared to regular ice cream. However, all four of those carbs come from simple sugars. In addition, they include high fructose corn syrup in their ingredients. A big no no for low carb dieters. We ended up giving Carb Smart a star for flavor and one for being low in net carbs. However, the product fell short by having too much sugar, an unacceptable ingredient and poor texture. Breyer's Carb Smart earns 2 out of 5 stars.|
|Le Carb Ice Cream|
|Le Carb has been around for several years now. In fact they may very well have been the first brand to launch a low carb ice cream. The only problem is that it really isn't ice cream. Because of the ingredients in the product, Le Carb does not meet the standard of identity for ice cream as established by the FDA, thus it is referred to as a frozen dessert. Nonetheless, we considered it in our review because it is a frozen treat that could take the place of regular ice cream. Le Carb has come out with a total of seven pints with flavors ranging from chocolate almond to regular vanilla. Taste scored well with our taste panel. However, texture did not fair as well. Some of the comments from our taste panel included "not creamy" and "not rich enough". With regard to nutritionals, Le Carb does well with net carbs coming in at only three grams.However, at three grams, sugar content should be lower if they want to appeal to hard core low carb dieters. Le Carb earned stars for flavor, being low in net carbs and having no high fructose corn syrup in their ingredients. It lost stars for texture and higher sugar content.|
|Carb Solutions (Editor's Choice)|
|Carb Solutions has been around for some time now. Most people are familiar with their line of low carb bars, drinks and chips. They too are now entering the low carb ice cream category and it appears that they have a home run. Carb Solutions has introduced a 56 oz. premium ice cream in four flavors, which include vanilla, mint chip, vanilla chocolate almond and chocolate peanut butter swirl. Carb Solutions' vanilla ice cream ranked high in both flavor and taste. Our taste panel thought it was creamy and soft. They also liked the rich vanilla taste. The nutritionals in Carb Solutions are without question the best among all of the ice creams we reviewed. Carb Solutions has four grams of whey protein isolate, only one gram of sugar and three grams of net carbs. They also left high fructose corn syrup out of the formula. With great flavor and texture, and a great nutritional profile, we could not find any flaws with Carb Solutions. They earned five out of five stars.|
|The undisputed leaders in the low carb market, Atkins Nutritionals has also launched a full line of ice cream products including Sunday cups, stick bars and super premium pints. You will find all of these products under their well-known Atkins Endulge brand. Our panel gave their super premium vanilla ice cream high marks for both taste and texture. "Rich" and "smooth" are some of the words our panel used to describe the product. In terms of nutritionals, Atkins also did very well. They came in with three grams of net carbs and only one gram of sugar. They also left high fructose corn syrup out of their formula. With a great tasting product and great nutritionals, Atkins Endulge ice cream also earned five out of five stars.|
After carefully evaluating all the low carb ice cream products,we clearly had to give the Editor's Choice award to Carb Solutions. While both Carb Solutions and Atkins did well on flavor, taste and nutritionals, Carb Solutions got the upper hand for having twice the amount of protein.
So there you have itâ€"four great products to choose from. All are great alternatives to suffering from low carb blues or blowing your diet. You can now have your ice cream and eat it too. Bon appetit!
About The Author
Yemeni Mesa successfully competed as an NPC amateur bodybuilder from 1992-1996. He has worked as a senior executive for several health and sports nutrition companies including MET-Rx GB, Rexall Sundown and Sports Pharma. He has also consulted and brokered for a number of companies including Scitec Nutrition and Next Proteins.
Today he manages the partner brand division of Dreyer's Grand Ice Cream where he works closely with a number of companies including ConAgra, Integrated Brands and M&M Mars. Yemeni Mesa holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management from Pepperdine University in Malibu, CA. He can be ed at.