High Protein, Low Sugar Ice Cream: Halo Top

Who screams for ice cream? Luckily, with flexible dieting we can all scream for ice cream and not feel guilty about it.

BUT, ice cream doesn’t always fit my macros because it is often high in sugar and fat.

I was intrigued when Halo Top contacted me about their high protein, low sugar, low-fat ice cream because it’s often the fat and sugar that prevent ice cream from fitting my macros.

What was even more interesting is that all of their varieties of ice cream are between 240-280 calories a pint!

I could eat a whole pint of Halo Top for fewer calories than what’s in just 1/2 cup of Haagen Dazs!

However, then my common sense kicked in and I thought that it probably doesn’t taste very good. I had tried other lower calorie ice creams in the past and wasn’t too impressed.

But, I was still willing to give Halo Top a shot and the company was nice enough to send me a pint of six of their seven flavors to put to the test.

Halo Top Ice Cream Review

The first thing I noticed about Halo Top was how hard it freezes. At first I thought it was due to the dry ice packaging it arrived in, but once in my freezer overnight, this didn’t change.

I learned by reading the carton that Halo Top freezes harder than other ice creams because they don’t use many of the softening ingredients typically used in ice cream. This is typically a high milk fat content or stabilizers like xanthan gum, gellan gum, and carrageenan.

It actually reminded me of homemade ice cream, which I’ve always loved and freezes a little harder when placed in the freezer.

Here’s how their flavors stacked up

halo top lemon cake ice cream

Lemon Cake

This one had such a vibrant lemon flavor and I loved it. They use lemon peel and lemon oil as the flavoring agents.

Total calories: 240 per pint or 60 per 1/2 cup serving

Macros per pint/per 1/2 cup serving:

  • Protein: 24 grams/6 grams
  • Fat: 8 grams/2 grams
  • Net Carbs: 18 grams/4.5 grams
  • Total carbs: 56 grams/14 grams
  • Fiber: 20 grams/5 grams

Halo Top ice cream strawberry flavor

Strawberry

This Halo Top flavor had a really great strawberry flavor with real pieces of strawberry visible.

Total Calories: 280 per pint or 70 per serving

Macros per pint/per 1/2 cup serving:

  • Protein: 24 grams/6 grams
  • Fat: 8 grams/2 grams
  • Net Carbs: 27.2 grams/6.8 grams
  • Total Carbs 60 grams/ 15 grams
  • Fiber: 20 grams/5 grams

Vanilla Bean Halo Top

Vanilla Bean

I love vanilla ice cream for its simplicity and I love varieties that have real vanilla bean flecks mixed in. This flavor had just that and was delicious.

Total calories: 240 per pint or 60 per 1/2 cup serving

Macros per pint/per 1/2 cup serving:

  • Protein: 24 grams/6 grams
  • Fat: 8 grams/2 grams
  • Net Carbs: 18 grams/4.5 grams
  • Total Carbs: 56 grams/14 grams
  • Fiber: 20 grams/5 grams

Mint Chip Ice Cream Halo Top

Mint Chip

This flavor contains real dark chocolate mint chips in a naturally flavored mint base. It was a tad too much on the spearmint side for me, but it did have a great balance of chocolate and mint flavor.

Total calories: 240 per pint or 60 per 1/2 cup serving

Macros per pint/per 1/2 cup serving:

  • Protein: 24 grams/6 grams
  • Fat: 8 grams/2 grams
  • Net Carbs: 18 grams/4.5 grams
  • Total Carbs: 56 grams/ 14 grams
  • Fiber: 20 grams/5 grams

Chocolate Mocha Chip

Chocolate Mocha Chip

This flavor was the only disappointment for me. I expected some hints of coffee based on the term “mocha“, but there wasn’t any coffee to be found. It basically tasted like chocolate ice cream.

Total calories: 280 per pint or 70 per 1/2 cup serving

Macros per pint/per 1/2 cup serving:

  • Protein: 24 grams/6 grams
  • Fat: 10 grams/2.5 grams
  • Net Carbs: 18 grams/4.5 grams
  • Total Carbs 56 grams/14 grams
  • Fiber: 20 grams/5 grams

Halo Top Chocolate Ice Cream

Chocolate

This flavor had a nice chocolate flavor but more on the milk chocolate side of the chocolate flavor spectrum.

Total calories: 240 per pint or 60 per 1/2 cup serving

Macros per pint/per 1/2 cup serving:

  • Protein: 24 grams/6 grams
  • Fat: 8 grams/2 grams
  • Net Carbs: 18 grams/4.5 grams
  • Total Carbs 56 grams/14 grams
  • Fiber: 20 grams/5 grams

How is Halo Top so low in sugar?

Halo Top uses just a little real sugar and then increases sweetness by using erythritol and stevia, which are both almost zero-calorie but natural sweeteners.

What really surprised me was that I could detect zero aftertaste which is usually typical for non-nutritive sweeteners. This is a win for me as I just won’t choose a low-calorie ice cream if it has a strange aftertaste.

A lot of fiber and protein!

Halo Top also enhances the nutrition of their ice cream by adding prebiotic fiber into every batch as well as boosts the protein content by adding concentrated milk protein.

Since both protein and fiber are important to a flexible dieter, this is a big win win for me as well!

In case you couldn’t tell, Halo Top is a great product and one that I’ll be buying long after my free samples are finished (they actually almost are).

Halo Top may not have the soft and really creamy texture of ice creams like Ben and Jerry’s and Haagen Dazs but what it does offer is the ability for me to sit down with a pint and enjoy a great ice cream treat over a 1/2 hour opposed to for more calories getting just a 1/2 cup of the other guys’ ice cream which is gone in seconds.

Give Halo Top a try, it’s available at Whole Foods and other “natural-type” grocers country-wide or online here.

Comments

  • matt kemp

    You can eat a pint of ice cream in 30 MINUTES? What’s your secret? I would have finished it in 5 minutes tops!

    • http://www.caffeineinformer.com/ Ted

      I use a small spoon and take smaller bits. It’s all about slowing down and enjoying each bite instead of inhaling it. 🙂

  • Alan Manuel

    You have gotta try the birthday cake flavor. I’m hoping this product becomes mainstream, so I don’t have to drive 20+ minutes to reload on my pints at the closest grocery store that carries this. 🙂

    • kylie

      Ralphs carry it, and most Wholefoods, too 🙂

  • Baker Turley

    Have you not added up the macros….they come out to 392 calories per pint! Their number DO NOT add up!

    • http://www.caffeineinformer.com/ Ted

      Yes, and they do add up. You have to use net carbs in this case. The 20 grams of fiber counts as a carb but not all of it is digestible, so therefore, supplies no energy.

    • harry redknapp

      Lol, let me guess…… You just used the 4-4-9 formula with out actually looking at the ingredients. Not all carbs are 4 calories per gram. Eg Erythritol (the sugar alcohol used in Halo Top) only has 0.24 calories per gram NOT 4. So your simplified 4-4-9 formula would have counted this as 80 calories per pint (4calories x 20 grams of Erythritol ) when in reality it’s only 4.8 calories per pint. And Ted is also correct, you’ve included the fiber as well. This is such a common mistake people make when they look at nutritional panels and It really gets to me.

  • Niki Axford

    Where did you find chocolate mocha chip? No grocery stores I’ve been to have it (Whole Foods/Frys). 🙁 I know you said you were disappointed, but I want to try it for myself and see what I think! 🙂

    • http://www.caffeineinformer.com/ Ted

      Hi Niki, I was sent samples from the company as I disclosed in the review. Perhaps contact Halo Top and see if they know where you could find it.

    • kylie

      Vons and Ralphs don’t carry it either, Sprouts may, I havent checked yet. But I literally eat a pint a day, and have never seen it instore 🙁

  • Mandee Fahzy

    I bought the lemon one yesterday, and I really did not like it. It had this taste that made me feel sick. It was a weird sweet, cream, but tasted like fake icey sugar with some hints of lemon. I want to return it cause I paid full price. At least now I am know I will not be trying to lemon one.

    I want to finish it also since it WAS expensive , but not sure if I could bring myself to eat anymore. My bf who is not picky at all (he eats leftovers that are 5 days old), and he thought it was disgusting too.

    • http://www.caffeineinformer.com/ Ted

      I loved the lemon flavor and it was one of my favorites. I hope they haven’t changed the formula since I tried it last.

    • kylie

      I think its revolting too – its the least popular flavor in my local Vons, Wholefoods, and Ralphs. In our 2 Ralphs, 2 Vons, and 2 Wholefoods, the chocolate and mint chip are great and the most popular. BUT if you can find this ice cream http://www.eatenlightened.com/ try them all, they are about 100 cals more, but same type of fiber/protein % and SO SO SO good! My fav is triple chocolate, its incredible!

      • harry redknapp

        Kylie, do you work for Enlighten ice cream coz you seem like you’re overly backing it with all of your comments. LOL. #caughtout

    • http://thejazzyolive.blogspot.com Amanda @ The Jazzy Olive

      Yeahhh, I think it tastes like sunscreen!

  • Line Manu

    Thank you for your post! I went to go get some soon after:).

    Halo Top is absolutely glorious.

    I first tried their Vanilla flavor. Unlike other health conscious desserts, this bursted with vanilla bean flavor, satisfying anyone looking for vanilla ice cream without the multitude of calories. It spurred me to try the other flavors.
    Next up was the Birthday Cake flavor… I was/am completely blown away. The bits of sprinkles added to the flavor even more (and I’m normally not a sprinkles person), and I could even venture to say it tasted even better than your normal birthday cake. I did not know ice cream could taste this deliciously cake-like for so great nutrition and low calories.
    I had to try their Chocolate, as I am a chocolate fanatic. It is not my favorite of the flavors, which surprised me as it is my usual go-to, but I still liked it. It has a cocoa powder taste to it, and kind of reminded me of the whipped chocolate frosting on some cakes. It was a bit on the milky end, but still delicious.
    My most recent flavor to try was their seemingly most popular- the Lemon Cake. I normally don’t go for fruity flavors but since it seemed to be reviewed as one of their top flavors I thought to try it out, especially noting it had the cake aspect in it too. It was incredibly delicious, delivering complete satisfaction. If you are a fan of lemon cake or lemon desserts, this will be your perfect choice. Even if it isn’t your normal choice for dessert (like me) you will still enjoy it as much as I did.
    Do wait a couple minutes (I wait up to 10 minutes) for it to thaw a bit and have a smoother texture to dig into. I am looking forward to trying the other flavors- next up, Chocolate Mocha Chip!

  • kylie

    I’ve been eating this stuff for a while (at least once a day), and at my local supermarkets, there is a distinct pattern of popularity. In West Hollywood /LA Vons, Wholefoods, and Ralphs – the most popular flavors are Chocolate and Mint Chip, then Birthday Cake, and the two flavors ALWAYS left (as nobody wants them) are Strawberry and Lemon Cake. A couple of markets are considering dropping Lemon Cake and Strawberry altogether. I know if these are the only two left in the freezer, I’ll walk ten minutes over to Gelsons to buy Enlightened ice cream instead (about 100cals more per pint but AMAZING – and WAY better than Halo Top’s Lemon Cake and Strawberry!). I am SO surprised by the great reviews of Lemon Cake and Strawberry!!

    • harry redknapp

      Enlighten has nearly double the amount of calories per pint than Halo Top though (240 vs 400 calories per pint).

  • mmeggann

    I tried Halo Top for the first time last night and was disappointed. It tastes exactly like what it is: diet ice cream. I don’t get why people are going crazy over this stuff.

    • May flowers

      It’s okay. I find when I let the ice cream set out a bit, it has a better flavor. I want to try enlighten ice cream to compare.

      • http://www.caffeineinformer.com/ Ted

        Make sure you look at the ingredient label of Enlighten. I almost bought it once but it has so many ingredients! Halo Top is much simpler ingredient-wise. Most people are used to a version of ice cream that either has a high fat content or a lot of thickening agents used like carrageenan. I think Halo is more like homemade ice cream personally.