Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Which frozen treat has the fewest calories?

I scream, you scream, we all scream in horror at the fat and calories in ice cream.

Yes, it's cruel to share this on July 3. But Rachel Berman, nutrition director of web site caloriecount.com, recently sent around a list of nutrition numbers for some popular frozen treats. Read 'em and try not to weep:

Milk shakes: A shake made with ice cream, whole milk and chocolate, vanilla or strawberry flavoring packs 740 to 790 calories and 33 grams of fat for 18 to 20 ounces.

Hawaiian shaved ice: 288 calories, 0 grams of fat. Cream on top adds another 100 calories.

Gelato: 210 calories and 12 grams of fat, 8 grams of them saturated.

Ice cream bar: 180 calories, 12 grams of fat. There's a wide variation in brands, though. Haagen Daz bars run up to 320 calories, while some weight-loss brands get down to 80 calories a serving. Check the labels carefully.

Ice cream: Generally 145 calories and 7.9 grams of fat for a 1/2 cup.

Sorbet or sherbet: 130 calories and 1 gram of fat. Since sorbet is pureed fruit with sugar and sherbet has milk, gelatin or egg whites, sorbet is usually has fewer calories and fat, but it's not a big difference.

Slow-churned, light or low-fat ice cream: 100 to 120 calories, 4 grams of fat. The difference in calories isn't huge, but these types usually do have less fat than traditional ice cream. They have more air, so they also melt faster.

Frozen yogurt: 100 to 120 calories and 4 grams of fat in 1/2 cup. Of course, that's before you pile in a couple of cups of toppings.

Greek frozen yogurt: 100 calories, 0g fat. Like its non-frozen counterpart, it's also higher in protein -- 6 grams vs. 3 grams for regular fro-yo.

Frozen fruit bar: 70 to 90 calories, 0 gram fat. Most are just water and sugar, so read the labels carefully and try to get 100% fruit if you really want to be virtuous.