Everyone loves ice cream; this is simply a fact. Who could resist sweet, rich creaminess in an abundance of flavors? Within the family of “ice cream,” there’s something for everyone; popsicles, ice cream sandwiches, sundaes, a simple vanilla cone, and everything in between. 

For the devoted ice cream lovers out there, we’ve happily been enjoying this cool, creamy treat all year long. And for the more seasonal fans of ice cream, good news – ice cream season is just around the corner. Warmer weather is upon us, summer is on the horizon, and it’s time to get excited about ice cream all over again. 

Who’s excited for the first beach day of the season? Naturally, we all want to look and feel our best when it finally comes time to break out the shorts, t-shirts, and swimsuits. Some of us will be reigning in our snacking in the coming weeks, but we’re also reasonable and know that some things in life are non-negotiable. Ice cream is one of these non-negotiables. Summer without ice cream is hardly summer at all. 

The ice cream world is quite the scene these days. Seriously, it’s at the top of its game, and we love to see it. Ice cream isn’t just ice cream anymore; dairy, dairy-free, low-sugar, low-fat, keto, high-protein, all-natural, and even sleep-friendly ice cream are just a few of the variations we now have available. See how we didn’t give “low-calorie” its own category? That’s because it’s not that simple, and unfortunately, some ice creams are rather sneaky with how they portray themselves.

But we’re not sneaky. We want to help. Let’s take on this mission together and find the best ice cream that will have us looking and feeling our best all summer long. 

Beware: Sneaky Serving Sizes

We bet you already check the nutrition label before any product gets the go-ahead and is tossed into the cart – nice, this is good practice. The thing is, sometimes, a quick glance skimming over the numbers of the nutrition chart fails us. Why? Because serving sizes can be deceptive.

This check-system can fail us because different brands sometimes state their nutritional information with different serving sizes. For example, we could hold up two tubs and read two different calorie statements of 260 and 120, but upon closer inspection, one tub could have its serving size as 1/2 of a cup and the other with a serving size of 2/3 of a cup. This may not seem like much, but with some ice creams, this 1/4 cup difference could be upward of 150 calories. 

The takeaway? When comparing ice creams, double-check the indicated serving size.

Serving sizes are also sneaky because they tend to be 1/2 a cup or maybe 2/3 of a cup. Who the heck eats just a palm-sized amount of ice cream? We’re not sure we trust these “suggested serving sizes,” but whatever. The takeaway is always to double-check the number you see on the label, then double that number, and this is probably closer to how many calories you’ll be eating. 

Low Calorie Doesn’t Equal Healthy

Calories aren’t the end all be all of making “good choices.” Low-calorie doesn’t equal healthy, and low-calorie doesn’t equal weight loss, either. 

Ice creams advertising themselves as “low-calorie” can be problematic because the ingredients that make it lower-calorie are highly processed. Artificial sweeteners and genetically modified ingredients aren’t exactly the type of top-notch fuel we want to be putting into our bodies. Our bodies aren’t designed to digest highly processed foods, so naturally, we aren’t as efficient as using this food for fuel. Highly refined ingredients are empty calories and often just leave us craving more. 

Ideally, an ingredient list should be short and composed of ingredients we’re familiar with. For example, it probably isn’t ideal to be putting carrageenan into our bodies. Being able to pronounce the ingredients is usually a good precursor for whether the ice cream in question should make the cut. 

Another element of the “calorie count equation” is how we’re enjoying the ice cream; scoops in a bowl, a cone from an ice cream truck, part of a sundae, etc. You could have the lowest-calorie ice cream that exists but serve it alongside a thick slice of pie or cake. 

Many people fail to consider the additional foodstuffs they’re consuming along with their ice cream, such as sprinkles, syrups, whipped cream – you know the drill. If you’re trying to control your waistband, low-calorie ice cream may be of no help if it’s only soon to be smothered in additional toppings to make up for its probable lack of flavor. 

Oh yeah, the worst part about “low-calorie” ice cream is that usually, it sucks. The changes made to a classic ice cream recipe to make it lower-calorie often result in a weird texture or bland tasting ice cream. We can’t speak for everyone, but if it’s not rich, thick, and creamy, we don’t want it. (And neither should you; life’s too short to be eating bad ice cream). 

To Dairy, or Not to Dairy

Non-dairy ice cream is the hot, cool, new kid in town (if you didn’t already know). But seriously, non-dairy is the now fastest-growing segment in the frozen dessert category.

Non-dairy ice creams almost always have a lower calorie count than their dairy counterparts. These ice creams are made from plant-based milks that most often have a very small or zero fat content; this is how these ice creams slash their calories. However, keep in mind that fat is the component that signals satisfaction and fullness to our bodies. 

Fat from natural, wholesome sources isn’t the devil that it’s sometimes depicted to be. Eating ice cream with a higher fat content can actually lead to consuming fewer calories because our bodies feel satisfied after smaller amounts. 

Holistic Approach to Health

Hey, we promise we’re not about to go all hippie on you – just hear us out. A holistic approach to anything in life considers all aspects of well-being; physical, emotional, mental, social, and spiritual. Let’s try applying this to our relationship with ice cream. 

Take Eclipse ice cream, for example. Eclipse ice cream is entirely plant-based, made from a base consisting of only six wholesome ingredients, and is on a mission to support a more sustainable and humane food system. Sounds pretty “all-around” good, right? Good ingredients for your body, good intentions for the planet, and great tasting ice cream. If that’s not balance, we don’t know what is. 

Nutritionally, Eclipse ice cream is on par with premium indulgent dairy in its fat, sugar, calories, protein, and calcium content. However, the crucial difference is that Eclipse ice cream is made up of good ingredients, coming from chefs with good intentions, and choosing Eclipse over conventional ice cream does so good for the environment. With something this good, we’re not sure calories count in the same way. 

Who doesn’t love cookie butter ice cream? Everyone loves cookie butter ice cream. And with Eclipse cookie butter ice cream, you’re saving the cows, the planet, and probably some peace of mind, too. More of a classic vanilla person? Don’t worry. We got you covered. 

There are times for calorie counting, and there are times for zooming out to see the bigger picture. When it’s time to be making the “right choices” this summer, try taking a holistic approach and let Eclipse ice cream lead the way. 


Why You Should Stop Buying “Healthy” Ice Cream | Spoon University 

The Carrageenan Controversy | Scientific American 

Serving Sizes on Packages Can Be Misleading | AARP