Ice Cream vs. Diet Ice Cream vs. Frozen Yogurt – Who Wins?

Talk about a heat wave. We are definitely in summer mode. Now that the nice weather is here, ice cream is so enjoyable when it’s so hot outside. What are some great options out there?

What’s the recommended portion for ice cream? A recommended serving size of ice cream is 1/2 a cup. The question is how many of us stick to this portion? Half a cup serving just doesn’t sound satisfying enough.

Let’s put things into perspective:

A cup serving is more reasonable. When I look at ice cream, calories is a factor. Typically, a half cup serving of regular ice cream will range between 120-150 kcals. With a cup serving, you will get 300 calories. This is reasonable given that it is an indulgence.

When you get into the premium ice cream (e.g. Haagen Daaz or Ben & Jerry’s), a half cup serving will put you at close to 300 calories. A cup serving would be more reasonable; however, know that if you decide to eat this amount, you will have to balance the energy in with energy out. You will have to make sure you do enough physical activity to work off the 600 kcals.

As a registered dietitian, individuals are often curious of my eating habits. Confession: I love ice cream and won’t be able to stop at 1/2 c serving. If ice cream is in the house, I often will be able to finish the little container in a matter of days. As a result, I often don’t keep ice cream in the house and like to go out for my ice cream treat.

Where Are My Top Choices for Ice Cream Treats?



  1. Summer’s Ice Cream (This is my absolute favourite spot in the city)
  2. Tsujiri (pictured in the middle -> when I need my fix of matcha ice cream)
  3. La Diperie (pictured on the right –>an ice cream spot conveniently located in my neighbourhood)


Have you heard of Milk Cow?


The first location in Toronto opened up near the Yonge/Lawrence neighbourhood. This place focuses on using natural ingredients and uses 30% less sugar than regular ice cream places. This place prides on providing a delicious and creamy treat.

If I did have ice cream at home, what would I usually buy? Like I mentioned above, I try not to keep it in the house as it is a temptation for me.

  1. My husband and I are a sucker for anything mint chocolate. We’ve bought many brands of Mint Chocolate but actually prefer PC Mint Chocolate Ice Cream. We find it has the right balance between chocolate and mint flavour.
  2. Ben & Jerry’s
    1. Half Baked
    2. If I had 1,000,000 Flavours
    3. Chocolate Fudge Brownie
    4. The Tonight Dough
  3. Coconut Bliss
    1. All the flavours within this brand taste SO GOOD! It’s totally a guilty pleasure of mine.
  4. Haagen Daaz Mini Bars
    1. As I have mentioned above, if I were to have a serving of premium ice cream, I could easily have a cup but I don’t know how I feel about eating 600 kcals in one sitting so I usually like to go for the mini bars for portion control.

Halo Top Ice Cream

I know that alot of individuals have tried the many flavours of this very popular brand. I have tried multiple flavours of this brand in both the dairy containing line and the non-dairy containing line.

Verdict: I’ve always said this to all clients who have asked what my ice cream recommendations are- if you are craving ice cream, nothing will satisfy that craving but the ice cream you love. I found that Halo ice cream was good but not satisfying. A word of caution: you still need to exercise portion control with this low calorie ice cream as this ice cream contains sugar alcohols. If you eat too much sugar alcohols, it can cause digestive issues.

halo top ice cream

Breyer’s Lighter Delights Ice Cream

If you haven’t noticed this option on the shelf, say hello to Halo Ice Cream’s twin. Like I mentioned above, these lower calorie option ice creams contain sugar alcohol. You still need to exercise portion control as too much sugar alcohol in you can cause digestive issues.


What about Frozen Yogurt?

Frozen yogurt may be a lot lower in fat; however, it is still is a source of added sugar. Some individuals enjoy Chapman’s Frozen Yogurt and think it is much better for them. Is it? For a 1/2 cup serving, it offers you 100 calories and 14 grams of sugar. Given my rule of thumb above, individuals will be more satisfied with a 1 cup serving. As result, this serving will give you 200 calories and 28 grams of sugar.

My verdict: Personally, I’d much rather go for ice cream than frozen yogurt if it’s my treat. That’s just me though. If you really enjoy Chapman’s Frozen yogurt for the taste, there is nothing wrong with it. If you are trying to enjoy frozen yogurt because it offers you less calories, is it really a low calorie option?


What Are Some Good Calorie Control Portioned Products On The Shelf?

  1. PC Blue Menu Kefir Bars
  2. PC Blue Menu Greek Yogurt Bars

Image result for pc greek yogurt smoothie barsPC Blue Menu Key Lime Kefir Smoothie Bars

Both these options offer a variety of flavours but all options contain only 100 calories. Guess what? It’s satisfying!  If you haven’t noticed these options on the shelf, you should give it a try yourself one day.

Have you heard of Nice Cream?

I’ve had the Yo Nana machine a few years now and I love making Nice Cream! 🙂 What’s the key ingredient? Frozen Banana should be the base. Alternate with your frozen fruit options. The result: yummy delicious nice cream! 🙂

I really like the combination of strawberry, kiwi and banana. You wouldn’t even know that all this is just frozen fruit compressed into a creamy texture to mimic frozen yogurt. The taste reminds me of Yogen Fruz but without the dairy components.


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