Low-Fat Ice Cream Sandwich vs. Fudge Pop: Which Dessert Is Healthier?

By: Lisa Valente, M.S., R.D.  |  Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Picking healthy foods at the grocery store can feel pretty confusing. Among those thousands of foods, there’s a wide variety of frozen desserts to choose from. We put two creamy frozen snacks head to head to find out which kind is healthier: this or that?
On hot days when you’re looking for a cool and sweet treat to enjoy, which is the better pick—a low-fat chocolate ice cream sandwich or a classic fudge pop?
Winner: Fudge pops, by a nose.
Calories: In this “treat” category, nutrition isn’t really the point, but calories can be—and here, portion control is key. Fudge pops, with their slightly smaller portion size, win the calorie race: they have 60 to 80 calories per bar versus 120 to 130 for a low-fat ice cream sandwich, as Joyce Hendley originally reported for EatingWell.
Nutrient Comparison: The treats are similar in their saturated-fat content, while ice cream bars tend to have a little more total fat. And fudge pops have about half the sodium of low-fat ice cream bars, averaging 55-60 mg vs. 105-125 mg for the sandwiches.
But wait—isn’t ice cream a dairy food and thus a decent source of calcium?
Yes, but fudge pops—whose first ingredients tend to be skim milk and whey—have a comparable amount (about 10 percent of your daily requirement) to the sandwich.
Neither treat usually has a short ingredients list, so look for brands that have the least amount of additives and strange-sounding ingredients.
In all, fudge pops win the race, but remember to indulge your frozen-treat cravings in moderation.
Related: Watch More Grocery Store Face-Offs Between Popular Foods