You might say that I have ice cream in my blood. My father started his career selling Good Humor ice cream and worked his way up to own one of the first Carvel franchise operations -- he actually knew the founder, Tom Carvel.
I wish I could say all the ice cream I ate growing up left me sick of the stuff, but unfortunately that's just not the case. So I'm always looking for ways to indulge in ice cream treats without the calories. Here are a few tips I've picked up.
Juice Bar vs. Fudgsicle. You might think the fruit bar would be better for you because of the real fruit, but if you're craving chocolate, don't feel guilty about the very low-calorie Fudgsicle.
Soft Serve Yogurt vs. Soft Serve Ice Cream. If you are ordering the fro-yo to watch your waistline, don't bother. Although frozen yogurt has less fat (1.5 grams less per serving and 1 gram less saturated fat), both contain approximately 140 calories per serving. If you're going to get soft-serve, order nonfat frozen yogurt.
Italian Gelato vs. Sorbet vs. Italian Ices. I always thought gelato was much lower in calories and fat than regular ice cream, but one cup of Ciao Bella Gelato has almost 500 calories, compared to 520 calories in a cup of Ben and Jerry's Cherry Garcia ice cream. Both even have about the same amount of saturated fat.
Sorbet or sherbet would be a better choice. Your best bet? Italian ices.
Wafer vs. Sugar vs. Waffle Cone. I was thrilled to find out that the wafer cone -- which happens to be my favorite -- is the best option of the three, at about 20 calories. Sugar cones have between 50 and 60 calories, while waffle cones are about 100 to 160. And watch out for the chocolate-covered waffle cones, which can pack on a whopping 320 calories.
Ben and Jerry's Half-Baked Low Fat Frozen Yogurt vs. Ben and Jerry's Half-Baked Carb Karma. Believe it or not, Carb Karma has 20 fewer calories than light frozen yogurt (180 vs. 200). But if you're watching cholesterol and fat, beware. Carb Karma has eight grams of saturated fat and 50 milligrams of cholesterol -- more than two and a half times the light frozen yogurt. Plus, I must say the low-fat yogurt tastes twice as good.
Starbucks Frappuccino Light vs. McDonald's Triple Thick Shake. This might seem like a no-brainer -- a Triple Thick Shake just sounds like it will give you triple thick thighs, but be wary of the new Starbucks Frappuccino Light. If you order it with the whipped cream it's pretty close to the shake. Instead, go for the plain Coffee Frappuccino.
Sprinkles vs. Ground Walnuts. You'd think sprinkles would be the clear winner because they're so small and seem so innocuous. But just one serving of either nuts or sprinkles has about 200 calories. If you really want one of these toppings, choose the nuts.
Crushed Oreos vs. Hershey's Chocolate Syrup. There is no good choice here. Don't be fooled because the cookies are crushed -- that just makes it easier to load two cookies' worth of crumbs onto your frozen yogurt for an additional 107 calories and five grams of fat. And don't let the "fat free" fool you -- just four tablespoons of Hershey's chocolate syrup has 200 calories! Best bet -- fresh fruit (not in sugary syrup) or go bare!