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What is Light Ice Cream?

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  • Written By: Niki Foster
  • Edited By: C. Wilborn
  • Last Modified Date: 19 September 2016
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Light ice cream is ice cream with fewer calories and fat than regular ice cream. Some healthier ice cream options have less sugar than regular ice cream instead of less fat, and some have reduced fat and sugar. New churning technologies have resulted in low-fat ice creams that taste just as creamy as the full-fat options. Many premium brands, such as Ben & Jerry's and Haagen-Dazs, now offer light ice cream options, but they may have as much fat and calories as the standard options from other ice cream brands. In addition to buying light ice cream, you can also make your own with an ice cream maker.

Light ice cream that is lower in sugar often has sugar alcohols added. Since sugar alcohols can create intestinal problems for some, it is important to know how your body responds to them and whether or not they are an ingredient in any light ice cream you buy. Sugar alcohols often present a problem if consumed in excess, so don't consider light ice cream an excuse to overindulge. In fact, that goes for all light ice cream, with or without reduced sugar; if you are watching your weight or trying to eat healthily, portion control is always a factor.

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To get more out of your light ice cream, use a small bowl and spoon, and eat it slowly. This will ensure that you do not overeat, and that you are able to savor every bite. Also, have a treat at the time of day when you most crave it, so that you get maximum satisfaction from the experience without destroying your diet.

To find the healthiest light ice cream, check the label for calories, fat, saturated fat, sugar, and cholesterol. Ideally, aim for a light ice cream with about 120 calories per half-cup serving, four grams of fat or less, three grams or less saturated fat, 15 grams or less sugar, and a maximum of 10 milligrams cholesterol per serving. There are many delicious options on the market within these guidelines. You may also want to look at the fiber content per serving. Many ice creams are quite high in fiber, which can make them seem more filling even when they are low-calorie.

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