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

By Lisa Valente, M.S., R.D., August 26, 2014 - 4:08pm

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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

What’s your favorite frozen sweet treat? Tell us what you think below.

TAGS: Lisa Valente, M.S., R.D., Food Blog, Health Blog, Dessert, This or That

Lisa D'Agrosa, M.S., R.D.
Lisa Valente is EatingWell’s digital nutrition & news editor. She is a Registered Dietitian and completed her master’s degree in Nutrition Communication at Tufts University. She loves tasting all the recipes from the Test Kitchen and geeking out over nutrition science. Follow along on Instagram and Twitter @LisaDValente

Lisa asks: What’s your favorite frozen sweet treat?

Tell us what you think:

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