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Stocking Your Healthful Freezer: Frozen Treats: Ice Cream Sandwiches (Part 5)
August 30, 2010
Who knew that there would be so much to talk about when it comes to ice cream and frozen novelties? I guess it just goes to show that we really do love our frozen treats. As I’ve said before, despite the fact that many of these treats really should be kept as treats (given their calorie and fat content), there are still plenty of good options to choose from.
The hard part, however, is that there are always new products coming on the market. And it’s only natural to want to try the latest and greatest. Unfortunately, the desire to try new things often crowds out more healthful options, like fruits and vegetables. The appeal of raw carrot sticks somehow just isn’t the same when a food company comes out with a new triple chocolate whatchamacallit double-dipped in fudge. But as I always say, there’s a time to be decadent and let yourself have a little of what you really want. That’s why they call them treats, right?
This week, I thought I’d wrap up the frozen treats series by taking a look at one last but not least category: ice cream sandwiches!
I have a weakness for ice cream sandwiches. I used to get one for dessert after lunch just about every day (believe it or not) when I was in grammar school. And to this day, when I eat one, I always lick around the outer edge first. There’s just something about the creamy ice cream and chocolate cookie; they just go so well together. How do ice cream sandwiches stack up? Here’s a look at what’s out there (values are per serving):
It’s pretty easy to see what the better choice is here, at least in terms of total and saturated fat. But the low-fat ice cream sandwich isn’t exactly a carbohydrate bargain — eating one of these is like eating a large piece of fruit or two slices of bread. Not surprisingly, these ice cream bars contain high fructose corn syrup (as do most brands), along with partially hydrogenated soybean oil. Not exactly the healthiest choice, but not the worst, either.
The Slim-a-Bear sandwich is the best bet here. In fact, Nutrition Action Healthletter, a publication of the Center for Science in the Public Interest, gives this sandwich a “better bite” ranking, which means that the product has no more than 100 calories and no more than 2 grams of saturated fat. And at 21 grams of carbohydrate, it’s not going to blow your carbohydrate allotment sky-high.
Note that the No Sugar Added sandwich contains sucralose (Splenda), acesulfame-k, and sorbitol. Also note: you’re not saving much in terms of calories and carbohydrate with this sandwich, either, so eating the regular version would be fine.
In general, when it comes to ice cream sandwiches, with the exception of the larger sandwiches, most of them count as two carbohydrate choices. And the no-sugar-added versions really aren’t carbohydrate savers, either.
So the motto is: Treat yourself once in a while, but don’t go overboard. And if you have a favorite ice cream treat that’s not off the charts nutrition-wise, please share!
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