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

By Lisa D'Agrosa, 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 D'Agrosa, M.S., R.D., Food Blog, Health Blog, Dessert, This or That

Lisa D'Agrosa, M.S., R.D.
Lisa D’Agrosa 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. @LisaDAgrosa

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

Tell us what you think:

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