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Ice cream is for many of us a sweet treat saved for special occasions, hot summer days, or curling up on the couch with a good book or TV show.

But ice cream can also put a serious dent in the carb budget and make your blood sugar skyrocket if you aren’t careful.

Ice cream is especially tricky if you live with diabetes because the combination of fat and sugar means that it can impact your blood sugar not just when you eat the ice cream, but also for hours afterward (because fat delays the digestion of the carbohydrates). 

Luckily, a lot of low-carb ice cream options can now be found in most supermarkets (at least here in the U.S.). Some are truly great while others fall flat.

In this review, I’ll look at some of the low-carb ice creams available both in stores and online. I tried all of them and the review is based entirely on my personal experience.

Christel holding four pints of low-carb ice cream
Me holding four pints of the low-carb ice cream I tested

How low-carb ice cream is made

The ice creams included in this review have either a dairy or a non-dairy base. The base of the non-dairy ice creams (technically not “creams” but we’ll stick to that wording for simplicity) included here is coconut (So Delicious).

To reduce the carbs in the ice cream, most of the brands have chosen to increase the fat and/or reduce the amount of high-glycemic sweeteners. That means that some of the brands are fairly high in calories and many are sweetened with natural sweeteners (such as stevia or monk fruit) or sugar alcohols (such as erythritol, sorbitol, lactitol, maltitol, and xylitol)

Some people find that sugar alcohols make them bloated and/or constipated. If that’s the case, choose a brand with fewer or no sugar alcohols. 

How I ranked the different brands

The brands included all have less than 23 grams of total carbs per serving and less than 17 grams of net carbs per serving.

Net carbs are calculated as the total carb amount minus fibers and sugar alcohols. We look at net carbs and not total carbs since fibers and most sugar alcohols won’t get converted into glucose and therefore don’t impact blood sugars.

(It’s worth noting that “net carbohydrates” is not a regulated term, nor is it officially recognized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration [FDA] or the American Diabetes Association [ADA].)

For reference, a serving of Ben & Jerry’s vanilla ice cream has 28 grams of net carbs, Häagen-Dazs vanilla ice cream has 19 grams, and Breyers Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough ice cream has 32 grams.

I have given each ice cream a score from 1 to 5 based on:

  1. Taste
  2. Texture
  3. Serving size (serving sizes varied from roughly 2 to 3.5 ounces [58 to 100 grams])
  4. How does it impact my blood sugar? (this can differ from person to person)

These are of course subjective measures, but I hope this review will still give you a good idea of which brands are good and which have room for improvement.

I have listed the ice creams based on the net carbs per serving, from lowest to highest.

Ice Cream Pints

Mammoth Creameries — Keto Chocolate

Net carbs: 2 g

Calories per serving: 250

Review score: 2.5 stars

Unfortunately, I didn’t enjoy this ice cream very much. As with other high-fat ice creams, it was very crumbly and the texture never got close to what I’d expect from ice cream.

If you care about calories, it’s also worth noting that this was the most calorie-heavy ice cream I tried, coming in at 250 calories per serving.

The calories predominantly come from butter and heavy cream, which should have been the perfect base for good ice cream, but it didn’t really work for me.

From a blood sugar perspective, it’s a great choice. It’s sweetened with xylitol and has little to no initial impact on blood sugars, but the high fat content can mean a bit of an increase in the hours after for some people.


Mammoth Creameries

Net carbs: 2 g

Calories per serving: 100

Review score: 4 stars

This is a pretty awesome-tasting ice cream. They recommend that you leave it out for 5 to 15 minutes before eating but I found it scoopable and really good already after 5 minutes (couldn’t wait).

The Brownies & Cookie Dough Ice Cream packs a punch when it comes to both flavor and texture. It’s a white chocolate ice cream base with chunks of cookie dough, brownie, and chocolate chunks. Yummy.

The only reason I don’t give this ice cream a higher score is that the serving size is relatively small and I did find that it had a minor blood sugar impact despite only listing 2 grams of net carbs.

The ice cream is sweetened with erythritol and has traces of brown sugar, but I didn’t see a spike in my blood sugar right away, so I expect the slight blood sugar increase comes mostly from the lactose since the ice cream is based on skim milk.

Since I tested this, Enlightened has changed the ice cream flavors slightly and introduced a range of frozen yogurts. The ice cream is still great but the frozen yogurt is too high in carbs and sugar for my taste.


Enlightened Cookie and Brownie Dough Ice Cream

Net carbs: 2 g

Calories per serving: 210

Review score: 3.5 stars

This is another high-fat ice cream. It never really becomes creamy but the taste is good and I really enjoyed the generous chunks of cookie dough and chocolate flakes.

Compared to many of the other ice creams I tried, this is fairly high in calories because of the fat content.  It’s sweetened with erythritol and monk fruit only, and I found that it had a very limited impact on my blood sugar, even hours after I ate it.


Rebel Ice Cream, Cookie Dough

Keto Pint Ice Cream

Net carbs: Pints 3 g, Bars 2 g

Calories per serving: averages around 200

Review score: 4 stars

The concept behind Keto Pint is high-fat low-carb ice cream (which shouldn’t be a surprise given the name). And they definitely deliver on that. These are high-fat (very high-calorie) ice creams with minimal net carbs.

I tried the salted caramel, peanut butter, chocolate chip cookie dough, and chocolate, as well as the mint crunch, and peanut butter bars.

Like many of the other ice creams I’ve tried, this needs to thaw to become scoopable. The overall taste of the pints is fairly subdued and I found it to be a bit too fatty for my taste.

From a blood sugar perspective, this ice cream is a dream. The ice cream is sweetened with monk fruit, stevia, and erythritol and I hardly saw any immediate blood sugar impact. But due to the high fat content, I’d see a small increase overnight if I enjoyed a bowl after dinner.


Keto Pint Ice cream

Simple Truth Keto French Ice Cream — Black Raspberry Chip

Net carbs: 3 g

Calories per serving: 190

Review score: 4 stars

This ice cream tastes amazing and hardly impacted my blood sugars, but unfortunately, the consistency is beyond odd.

A lot of the keto ice creams you have to leave out for 10 to 15 minutes before they soften up and assume the texture of regular ice cream. I did leave this one out, but it only had two consistencies — rock-solid or melted, no in-between — making it an interesting experience to eat.

The funky consistency aside, the taste was much like Ben and Jerry’s Cherry Garcia, which just happens to be one of my favorite “regular carb” ice creams. Because of the great taste and because it hardly had an impact on my blood sugars, I gave it such a high score.

It’s high in fat and calories (190 calories per serving and 17 grams of fat) and is sweetened with erythritol and monk fruit.


Simple Truth, Keto French Ice cream

So Delicious Dairy-Free — Butter Pecan

Net carbs: 3 g

Calories per serving: 210

Review score: 2 stars

This ice cream or frozen dessert (since it’s completely non-dairy and gluten-free) is in my opinion completely unedible. I couldn’t even get one spoonful down.

The base is very grainy and the taste is mainly fat. And I do like coconut so that’s not the reason I didn’t like it.

It’s too bad, I had high hopes for this one and wanted to include a good non-dairy option.

If you do decide to try it, know that it’s not scoopable directly out of the freezer, so I recommend you leave it out on the counter for at least 15 minutes before trying to scoop it.

It’s sweetened with monk fruit, stevia, and sugar alcohol (erythritol) so you get a bit of everything.

I also tried one of the So Delicious “ice cream” bars. I could only find one that fit the carb requirements for this review and that is the Dipped Coconut Almond bars.

That one tasted pretty good. It has 190 calories per bar and 14 grams of net carbs. They were OK but I saw a rather aggressive blood sugar impact, probably due to this bar being sweetened with cane sugar and syrup.


So Delicious Dairy Free

Breyers CarbSmart Frozen Dairy Dessert

Net carbs: 4 g

Calories per serving: 110

Review score: 4 stars

This is a basic vanilla ice cream. It’s scoopable directly out of the freezer and if you’re into vanilla ice cream, I think you’d like this one. Of all of the ice cream I’ve tried, this is probably the one that most resembles the consistency of regular ice cream.

I would have liked it to have a bit more flavor, but I would probably have said that about any vanilla ice cream.

It’s milk-based ice cream and it’s sweetened with maltitol and syrup. I found it to have a very limited impact on my blood sugar.

Update: Breyers has had so much success with this brand that they have expanded the product line. You can now get a variety of flavors, all with very limited carbs.

If you don’t eat dairy, they also have oat-based “ice cream”. I haven’t tried it yet because the carb count is significantly higher than the dairy-based ice cream.


Breyers CarbSmart Frozen Dairy Dessert

Halo Top Creamery, Peanut Butter Cup

Net carbs: 7 g

Calories per serving: 110

Review score: 4.5 stars

This is the low-carb ice cream I buy most often. I can find it in any of the grocery stores near me and I enjoy the overall flavor along with the rich peanut butter swirl.

I prefer the taste of this brand to the heavier high-fat ice creams. My husband, who doesn’t think about his carb intake, actually prefers this brand to regular full-fat, full-carb ice creams, which says a lot (he’s a fan of the caramel swirl).

The consistency is good and it’s fairly scoopable directly out of the freezer. The only real downside to this ice cream is that it has a blood sugar impact more consistent with the total carbs rather than the net carbs. It might be due to the ice cream being sweetened with erythritol as well as cane sugar.

But having to bolus for the full amount of carbs (21 grams) is worth it to me.


Halo Top Creamery, Peanut Butter Cup

Nick’s Light Ice Cream

Net carbs: 4 to 8 g

Calories per serving: 100

Review score: 4 stars

Nick’s has a few different flavors including chocolate, mint chocolate chip, strawberry, and Cherry Choka-Fläka.

I really enjoy Ben & Jerry’s Cherry Garcia, but not the blood sugar headache that can come with it, so I tried Nick’s Cherry Chocolate ice cream and the flavor was very similar. Plus, to make it even better, they have added chewy brownie bites to this mix, yummy.

It’s of course not a full-fat ice cream so I’m not going to lie and tell you it’s as good, but it’s good.

My main complaint is that it’s a bit watery.

Nick’s ice cream base is cream and it’s sweetened with erythritol, allulose, and stevia, so like some of the other ice creams it’s a bit of a sweetener mix.

I couldn’t find a place to buy Nick’s online, but you can use their store locator to find a store near you that has it. It’s in most of the major grocery stores near where I live.

Nick’s Light Ice Cream

Ice cream bars

Enlightened — Vanilla Dark Chocolate Almond

Net carbs: 13 g

Calories per serving: 140

Review score: 4 stars

I love the pints of Enlightened ice cream so I decided to try one of the Enlightened ice cream bars.

There are a few options, so you have to pay attention to the carb count so that you choose the one that suits you best.

This bar was advertised as a reduced-sugar option but the second ingredient listed after milk is sugar. It also has monk fruit and stevia, so you know this bar is sweet enough.

I didn’t see a big spike in my blood sugar and the bar tasted really good, so I think this will become one of my staples.

You can use their store locator to find a grocery store near you that has these ice cream bars.

Enlightened Vanilla Dark Chocolate Almond

Net carbs: 17 g

Calories per serving: 100

Review score: 3.5 stars

The flavor is 5 out of 5 but you most likely will see an increase in blood sugar after eating it. But it’s still one of my favorite ice cream bars.

It’s a Greek yogurt base with big chewy chunks of cookie dough. I’m a huge fan of that combination.

It’s sweetened with sugar and molasses, so if you don’t want to wreak complete havoc on your blood sugars, stick to one bar.


Yasso Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough

Before you leave to shop for low-carb ice cream, you should also take a look at my other low-carb product reviews:

Let me know if you don’t see your favorite low-carb ice cream on the list and I’ll add it (after trying it myself). I am always looking for great low-carb and diabetes-friendly products.