Order This, Not That: Ice Cream

Don’t deny yourself this warm-weather treat on occasion. Here’s how you can scream for ice cream, without having your waistline scream back.
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There’s no need to deny yourself this warm-weather treat for the whole summer — it’s fine on occasion. Ice cream does count as a serving of dairy and contributes a nice amount of calcium. The trick is to know what to order before you walk in the parlor door so the calories and saturated fat don’t get out of control. Here’s how you can scream for ice cream, without having your waistline scream back.

Cold Stone Creamery
Order This:

The smallest size (aka “Like It”) Skinny Vanilla Ice Cream has one-third fewer calories than the regular ice cream offerings. It’s made with nonfat milk and doesn’t contain artificial sweeteners. Top it with 1 ounce of strawberries or raspberries for an extra 10 calories.

Per serving: Calories 210; Fat 7 g (Saturated 4.5 g); Carbohydrate 39 g; Sugars 11 g

Not That:

The hot fudge sundae racks up close to 50 percent of your daily calories in one fell swoop. The sugar and artery-clogging saturated fat are also way out of control. You may be getting 40 percent of your daily recommended amount of calcium, but you can get about 30 percent by drinking 1 cup of nonfat milk for only 90 calories.

Per serving (1 hot fudge sundae): Calories 900; Fat 54 g (Saturated 31 g); Carbohydrate 98 g; Sugars 86 g

Find Cold Stone Creamery's nutrition information here.

Carvel
Order This:

You really don’t need more than a kids' cup (2.5 ounces) to satisfy your sweet tooth. And you don’t need to be a kid to order a kids' cup — go ahead, try it!

Per serving (kids' cup of chocolate ice cream): Calories 140; Fat 7 g (Saturated 4.5 g); Carbohydrate 15 g; Sugars 14 g

Not That:

You can drink away most of your daily calories in a 32-ounce Chocolate Thick Shake Float. This mammoth-size dessert contains close to three-quarters of the daily average calories.

Per serving (32-ounce Chocolate Thick Shake Float): Calories 1,470; Fat 61 g (Saturated 35 g); Carbohydrate 202 g; Sugars 154 g

Find Carvel's nutrition information here.

Dairy Queen
Order This:

Currently celebrating its 75 th anniversary, Dairy Queen is nostalgic for many folks. But you can still order some of Dairy Queen's fun goodies. The mini-size Banana Split Blizzard and the Choco Cherry Love Blizzard are both about 300 calories each.

Per serving (Mini Banana Split Blizzard): Calories 290; Fat 8 g (Saturated 5 g); Carbohydrate 49 g; Sugars 41 g

Not That:

This is a perfect example of why doing your research is so important. Order the Large Cookie Dough Blizzard and you’ll end up with more than 1,300 calories and probably a tummy ache walking out the door.

Per serving (Large Cookie Dough Blizzard): Calories 1,340; Fat 54 g (Saturated 32 g); Carbohydrate 194 g; Sugars 141 g

Find Dairy Queen's nutrition information here.

Friendly’s
Order This:

With most choices at this joint super high in calories, your best bet is to order a scoop of strawberry, vanilla or coffee ice cream (110 calories each), and top it with walnuts.

Per serving (with chocolate ice cream): Calories  190 Fat 14 g (Saturated 5  g); Carbohydrate 12 g; Sugars 10 g

Not That:

That Hunka Chunka Peanut Butter Fudge Lava Cake Sundae is more like portion uncontrolled. There’s really no reason to combine this high-calorie cake with so much ice cream.

Per serving (per sundae): Calories 1,770; Fat 107 g (Saturated 36 g); Carbohydrate 164 g; Sugars 112 g

Find Friendly's ice cream nutrition information here.

Baskin Robbins
Order This:

Some folks forget that sherbet has much fewer calories than traditional ice cream. If you want to cool off for as few calories as possible, sherbet is the best way to go.

Per serving (2.5 ounces Rainbow Sherbet): Calories 80; Fat 1.5 g (Saturated 1 g); Carbohydrate 17 g; Sugars 13 g

Not That:

Forgo the fancy sundaes and toppings — they really do rack up a boatload of unnecessary calories, fat and sugar rather quickly. Classic sundaes to skip include the Classic Banana Split and the Brownie Sundae.

Per serving (Classic Banana Split): Calories 1,010; Fat 34 g (Saturated 20 g); Carbohydrate 173 g; Sugars 125 g

Find Baskin Robbin's nutrition information here.

Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN, is a registered dietitian and consultant who specializes in food safety and culinary nutrition. She is the author of The Greek Yogurt Kitchen: More Than 130 Delicious, Healthy Recipes for Every Meal of the Day.

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