How To Indulge In Your Favorite Frozen Treats, Guilt-Free


Sometimes, the perfect cure to the hottest, most humid days of summer is a delicious scoop of ice cream – or any frozen treat to help you stay cool. Whether you’re getting your fix at a local ice cream shop or trying to choose from your options in the frozen section of the grocery store, ice cream is a classic summertime indulgence. And while an occasional scoop is okay to satisfy your sweet tooth, every hot day isn’t an excuse to indulge all the time.

Shaelyn Gurzick, a registered dietitian for Henry Ford Health System, shares some of her hot tips for enjoying your favorite frozen treats – without overdoing it.

  1. Watch your serving size. “A half a cup is typically a standard serving for ice cream,” says Gurzick. “But recently, some experts will say that a 2/3 cup serving is more realistic.”
  2. Pay attention to labels. Store bought ice cream can often be full of preservatives or high in fat and sugar. “The food industry can be misleading sometimes,” says Gurzick. “There is a difference between no sugar added and reduced sugar options. Always check the labels to be sure of what you are eating.”
  3. Be wary of “healthy” alternatives. Many newer ice cream brands advertise low calorie pints and low-carb ice cream options. “Just because you can eat an entire pint, doesn’t mean that you should,” says Gurzick. “Often times, when brands like this take an ingredient out, they are adding it in somewhere else.” For example, a low-sugar option might have a higher fat content to make up for flavor. As for other ice cream alternatives (such as frozen custard or frozen yogurt), Gurzick warns that while these choices are often perceived as healthier, that rarely is the case. “At the end of the day, the difference breaks down to an ingredient ratio with different amounts if milk, cream or sugar in each."
  4. Indulge occasionally. While eating ice cream every night is guaranteed to impact your waistline, enjoying a scoop here and there is perfectly fine. “Your nutritional goals are always something to keep in mind when you are enjoying a treat,” says Gurzick. “Enjoying the occasional scoop won’t overhaul your diet.”
  5. Try making your own. Making ice cream variations at home is a great activity to do with the whole family. Plus, it is a great way to control what ingredients go into it. Here are some expert-approved options:
  • Frozen Greek yogurt berry bitesCombine plain Greek yogurt with your favorite berries, a little vanilla and freeze.
  • Avocado ice cream: Avocados are high in healthy fats and can serve as the based for a dairy-free frozen treat.
  • Banana ice creamTry out one of these delicious variations that use frozen banana as your base.
  • Fruit bars: Experiment with your favorite fruits to find the best custom fruit blend.
Related Topic: 5 Healthy Frozen Treats 

If you do choose to make your own ice cream treat, make sure to remember that it is still an indulgence.

“With all of these homemade options, be aware of how much sugar you are adding,” says Gurzick. "If you’re not careful, your 'healthier' option could end up being worse for you than store-bought options.”

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To find a registered dietitian at Henry Ford, visit or call 1-800-436-7936.

Shaelyn Gurzick is a registered dietitian nutritionist who works as a diabetes educator specialist at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit.

Categories: EatWell

Tags: Nutrition