Halo Top Ice Cream: Is it worth the hype?

Recently, Halo Top Ice Cream has started to make a scene in the healthy-eating world. I’ve wanted to try it for awhile, but I always assumed it was super expensive and never had a good enough excuse to spend the money. But finals week has quickly come along and to my luck, I was craving a bit of ice cream and Halo Top was on sale. It’s the first time I’ve bought ice-cream for myself all year so paying $2.50 for pint seemed like a good price to me (although the original price is $3.99). Basically, fate had me covered today and I was so excited to grab a spoonful.

When school starts to get stressful, my body craves anything salty or sweet. I usually eat full containers of strawberries (because they are my favorite) and just so sweet or dark chocolate when I’m trying to be more conscious of what I eat, but sometimes I really just want a bag of salty, salty chips. Healthy snacking is tough–but Halo Top has been talked about tons of times with regards to being a health-friendly alternative. Its low-calorie, high protein (up to 24 grams per pint–thats about equivalent to most protein bars), low sugar, and all natural.  Its vegetarian-friendly, with no corn syrup, no synthetic growth hormones, and no artificial sweeteners.

The blip on the side of the pint even tells you that Halo Top freezes a little harder than other ice cream due to them not using artificial softeners and the fact that Halo Top is so low in sugars and fats (like homemade ice cream people). So it all sounds fine and dandy on the carton selling the ice cream right, but is it believable?

On the nutrition label the first three things listed are milk and cream, eggs, and erythritol. What the heck is that right? That doesn’t sound natural at all–but don’t be concerned. Erythritol is an added low-calorie sweetener, its a sugar alcohol with zero glycemic index. Woot!

As for Halo Top’s downfalls, it is highly processed so that is something to be aware of (but what isn’t these days amiright?). And Halo Top contains about 170 mg of cholesterol (out of 300 mg per day total range). That’s just something to think about for your other meals throughout the day.

**Also, a common misconception is that its dairy free. Truth: It is not dairy-free!**

There were plenty of flavors to choose from (17 total), but I went for the classic Cookie Dough since its my favorite. Other top picks they have include Cookies and Cream, Red Velvet, Mint Chip, Strawberry, and tons of others for everyone to find a favorite.

I ate the entire pint in one sitting (easiest thing I’ve done all day compared to studying for my biology final). I was expecting a watered-down, frozen yogurt taste, but found quite the opposite with Halo Top. It was a creamy, soft texture with a genuinely sweet taste. It was the perfect, fluffiest ice cream I think I’ve had in a long time, compared to Dairy Queen or Culver’s who are usually very thick and heavy. I honestly loved it and tasted no difference from the regular store-bought brands like Ben and Jerry’s or Breyer’s (it was better!). It makes me feel good too–I’m not weighed down by my pint full of ice-cream and I don’t feel any guilt either. The one thing I do wish was different with my ice cream flavor was that there were more, larger cookie dough chunks (am I really asking for too much here?). They were unfortunately small and sparse, which was a disappointment in buying that flavor specifically because I love the cookie dough. But if thats what it takes to be a little healthier in my dessert choices then so be it. I can handle it.

I think Halo Top is the healthiest ice cream you can find out there that actually tastes like real ice cream. Its something I can definitely indulge in again without a moments hesitation and maybe I’ll try to eat all the flavors by the end of summer.

Pro tip: Mix the ice cream in with your breakfast smoothies for a great tasting meal.

You can find Halo Top at Whole Foods, Sprouts, or King Soopers (at least in Colorado) and I’ll probably be posting more about the different flavors in the upcoming weeks. For now, good luck on finals to my fellow colleagues and when in doubt, eat ice cream.

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