Trader Joe's Has a New Purple Yam Ice Cream—How Healthy Is It?
As if there weren't enough reasons to love Trader Joe's, here's another: the brand just launched another Instagram-worthy ice cream flavor that we're dying to grab a spoon and dig on into. The Trader Joe's Ube Purple Ice Cream is already flying off shelves, and making a splash on social, as people are finding their new favorite ice cream alternative on the market.
So, we know for sure the color is fun and a huge draw, but what about the actual ingredients? Well, first off, ube is a purple yam that comes from the Philippines and is often used in jams, desserts, candies, cakes, and more.
Trader Joe's describes the flavor as "sweet & nutty, with hints of coconut; some liken it to a cross between vanilla & pistachio."
So is it good for you?
Well, it's not health food, but the ingredients are natural and the purple hue isn't from artificial coloring. "We use real ube purée, and you can rest easy knowing that its purple hue is from naturally derived ingredients, like grape extract & beet juice," the brand says.
As for the nutritional information, one 2/3 cup contains 200 calories (that's 610 per pint), and 11g fat, 7g saturated fat, 75mg sodium, 22g carbs. It has 18g sugars (16g added sugar), and 4g protein.
"Don't think it's going to be a low-calorie option for dessert," says Kelly Jones MS, RD, CSSD, LDN. "It's pretty close to traditional ice cream, unlike Enlightened, Halo Top, or Fronen. "While an ice cream made from sweet potatoes may sound like a healthy choice, that can actually lead to a lack of satisfaction with the food choice and overeating."
"I like that it doesn't have sugar alcohols," says Maggie Michalczyk, MS, RD, noting that those kind of nutrient (and calorie) free sweeteners used in low-calorie desserts can often cause stomach problems. "And I like that is has beet juice and grape extract too," she says. Of course these aren't adding huge benefits to the ice cream. Though, with any ice cream, portion is key. Scoop it out into a bowl, have a seat, and enjoy.
"I tend to recommend that people who really enjoy ice cream choose real, full-fat ice cream, in a portion size appropriate for their body and lifestyle," Says Jones. "Typically, by eating the real thing, someone will be satisfied sooner and stop eating, while someone restricting from the version they love may tend to be less satisfied and therefore overeat, or keep searching for other foods later," she says.
The Bottom Line
This ice cream is made with real ingredients-but's it's still ice cream. So, enjoy! But don't think of it as a "healthier" option!