5 Ice Cream Brands You Can Eat on the Keto Diet (Really)

Here's the scoop on the frosty pints that won't kick you out of ketosis.

Love ice cream? Following a keto diet? You're in luck!

Since the ketogenic diet (keto diet) is high in fat, moderate in protein, and low in carbohydrates, ice cream doesn't usually make the list of foods to choose. The goal of this diet is to shift your metabolism into ketosis, which shifts your body from using carbs for energy to using ketones for energy.

Thankfully, several ice cream makers are churning out keto-friendly pints to help you stay in ketosis, so you can dig into your favorite flavor and still stick to your macros (that is, your fat, protein, and carb counts).

Traditional ice cream has two main ingredients: cream and sugar. A cup of regular ice cream contains about 50 grams of carbs, which is all the carbs you can have in an entire day when you're following a keto diet. So to slash the sugar, ice cream manufacturers turn to sugar substitutes. Some of the popular swaps include sugar alcohols like xylitol and erythritol. According to the American Diabetes Association, sugar alcohols are sweeteners that have about half of the calories of sugar. Many foods labeled "sugar-free" or "no sugar added" contain sugar alcohol.

Food manufacturers also use two natural sweeteners—stevia and monk fruit. Stevia is made from plant leaves and monk fruit comes from a small round fruit native to China. To create a creamy texture and mouthfeel, the brands add ingredients like chicory root, guar gum, and acacia gum. Chicory root is made from the root of the chicory plant. It is added to foods to increase the fiber content, which slows the digestion and absorption of carbohydrates and in turn, helps the body regulate blood sugar and reduce blood sugar spikes.

Guar gum and acacia gum are derived from guar beans and the acacia tree. They contain soluble fiber which dissolves in liquid to form a gel-like substance that helps thicken the liquid. Soluble fiber also slows digestion and absorption of carbohydrates and helps lower cholesterol and blood sugar more effectively than insoluble fiber.

Below are five scoops worth trying the next time a craving strikes. All are luscious, creamy, rich in fat, and lower in net carbs.

Halo Top's Keto Series

halo-top-keto-icecream
Amazon.com

Halo Top's Keto Series may be the best choice for ice cream to keep carbs low. One serving (2/3 cup) of the Chocolate Caramel Lava Cake, for example, has 190 calories, 6 grams of protein, 6 grams of fiber, and 3 grams of net carbs. Plus, they come in a variety of flavors (both pints and pops)—from Mint Chocolate Cookie to Banana Cream Pie. At 4-10 grams of net carbs per pint, you can scoop away and stay in ketosis.

Edy's Slow Churned No Sugar Added

edys-keto-icecream
Amazon.com

Edy's slimmed down its fan favorites—including Fudge Tracks, Butter, Pecan, Vanilla Bean, Triple Chocolate, and Neapolitan—by replacing sugar with sorbitol, maltitol syrup, and sucralose (Splenda). A 2/3-cup serving of Vanilla Bean contains 130 calories and 14 grams of net carbs.

Enlightened

enlightened-keto-icecream
eatenlightened.com

Enlightened offers keto ice cream options as well as lower-calorie, non-keto options. The keto options contain 2-3 grams net carbs for most flavors, while the lower calorie options contain 7-12 grams net carbs and 120-140 calories per 2/3-cup serving. Along with using sugar alcohol and monk fruit extract, Enlightened also uses allulose to replace sugar. Allulose is recognized as a "sugar substitute" by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) because the body metabolizes it differently than other sugars. Allulose provides only 0.4 calories per gram as compared to sugar, which provides 4 calories per gram). The FDA has exempted allulose from being included in total sugar and added sugars on the nutrition label and since it's not a sugar alcohol, it is not added to carbohydrates either.

So Delicious No Sugar Added (Dairy-Free)

so-delicious-keto-icecream
Amazon.com

So Delicious makes dairy-free ice cream from full-fat coconut milk. The No Sugar Added varieties have negligible amounts of sugar and are sweetened with a combination of the sugar alcohol erythritol and monk fruit extract. A serving (2/3 cup) has 130-160 calories, 9-10 grams of net carbs, and 2 grams of protein.

Rebel

rebel-keto-icecream
rebelcreamery.com

Rebel is an ice cream brand designed for keto diet devotees. Rebel pints are made with cream and other high-fat ingredients and sweetened with erythritol and monk fruit. Because the main ingredient is cream, a pint of Rebel is higher in fat and calories than the other brands listed here. But for keto followers, it has negligible amounts of sugar, with just 4-8 grams of net carbs per pint, and less than 3 grams of net carbs per 2/3-cup serving. Grab your spoon!

A Quick Review

It's true these ice creams offer a sweet-tasting dessert that's low in carbs for people following the keto diet, but be sure to talk with your healthcare provider before starting this type of diet. Since the keto diet is high in fat, it may not be the healthiest food plan for everyone.

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  1. Kim HK, Nanba T, Ozaki M, et al. Effect of the intake of a snack containing dietary fiber on postprandial glucose levels. Foods. 2020;9(10):1500.https://doi.org/10.3390/foods9101500

  2. Rideout TC, Harding SV, Jones PJ, Fan MZ. Guar gum and similar soluble fibers in the regulation of cholesterol metabolism: current understandings and future research priorities. Vasc Health Risk Manag. 2008;4(5):1023-1033. doi:10.2147/vhrm.s3512

  3. Puhlmann ML, de Vos WM. Back to the roots: revisiting the use of the fiber-rich cichorium intybus l. Taproots. Advances in Nutrition. 2020;11(4):878-889.doi:10.1093/advances/nmaa025

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