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The different types of low-carb ice cream that range from products that simply contain reduced or no added sugar to others that are substantially modified from traditional ice cream recipes. Regular ice cream typically contains about 15 grams of carbohydrates per serving, and versions that simply replace sugar with various substitutes often cut that in half. This type of low-carb ice cream still contains natural sugars that are derived from the cream, in addition to sugars from various other component ingredients. Other low-carb ice creams sometimes include significant amounts of sugar alcohols in addition to sugar substitutes. Some products are more properly referred to as "ice milk," and may contain glycerin, or other additives, to provide a creamy consistency and allow for easy scooping.
Low-carb ice cream is a dessert that has been modified in some way to provide fewer carbohydrates per serving than regular ice cream. Carbohydrates are a necessary component of human diets, though some people need to control their intake for medical, weight loss, or other purposes. Some low-carb ice cream still contains a significant amount of carbohydrates, though they are often carbs that create little glycemic impact since they are not well digested. When these types of carbohydrates are subtracted from the total amount in a serving size, the result is sometimes referred to as net carbs. Some people look at the net carbs of products such as ice cream when making dietary choices.
One type of low-carb ice cream is essentially identical to traditional recipes, with the exception of added sugar. These products are usually referred to as "no sugar added" and often have about half the net carbs of traditional recipes. The sugar is sometimes replaced with substitutes that have little or no glycemic impact, such as sucralose and acesulfame potassium. These ice creams sometimes also contain sugar alcohols, which usually have no glycemic impact, but which can create gastrointestinal discomfort in some people, especially if consumed in large amounts.
Other low-carb ice creams use recipes that are more substantially modified. These ice creams sometimes use milk in addition to, or as a replacement for, cream, which can also result in products that are referred to as reduced or low fat. Sugar alcohols are also used in most of these products, and a serving size often contains less than three net carbs. Other additives are often used as well, including glycerin. These additives are often intended to improve the consistency of the product, since ice milk is typically harder and more difficult to scoop than traditional ice cream.
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