Diet and ice cream aren’t words that usually go together very well.
But a new brand is taking over the world of low-calorie desserts, so we decided to expand our palettes and give it a chance.
This brand is called Arctic Zero, and they bill their products as “fit frozen desserts.”
Despite the fact that you’ll find Arctic Zero in the ice cream aisle at your grocery store, it’s technically not ice cream since it doesn’t contain at least 10% milkfat (the minimum requirement to be considered ice cream by the FDA).
The dessert comes with a whole slew of health-related buzzwords: It’s fat free, lactose free, GMO free, and low gylcemic.
Halo Top’s claim to fame is that it’s all natural, which means it has no artificial sweeteners, no synthetic growth hormones, and no corn syrup.
Both desserts come in multiple different flavours, but we tried Arctic Zero in brownie blast, and Halo Top in chocolate mocha chip.
Here are our thoughts.
Arctic Zero doesn’t really taste like ice cream, but Halo Top does.
If you hadn’t seen the packaging prior to tasting Halo Top, you would never know that it’s diet ice cream.
You would, on the other hand, know that Arctic Zero is a diet product. That’s because Halo Top is creamy and smooth, while Arctic Zero is more grainy, and has that strange taste that you can’t identify beyond the fact that it’s coming from a low-calorie food.
That’s not to say that Arctic Zero is bad, it’s a fine substitute for ice cream if you’re on a diet or are lactose intolerant (Arctic Zero is lactose free, Halo Top is not), but it also tastes undeniably like a substitute. Halo Top does not.
Arctic Zero has double the sugar of Halo Top, and half the protein.
Calorie wise, the two products are very similar — at least when comparing these two particular flavours. It’s worth noting that we tried one of Arctic Zero’s more caloric flavours. Two of their flavours (cake batter and pomegranate) have only 35 calories per serving, but unfortunately these flavours weren’t available at our local Whole Foods.
One serving of Arctic Zero brownie blast has 75 calories, and one serving of Halo Top chocolate mocha chip has 70 calories (to put that into perspective, a serving of Häagen-Dazs chocolate has 260 calories).
And although Halo Top has a little more fat (2.5 grams versus 1.5 grams in Arctic Zero), Halo Top has only four grams of sugar and six grams of protein. Arctic Zero has eight grams of sugar and only three grams of protein.
So in our unprofessional opinion, Halo Top seems like the more nutritious and better-for-you option.
However, the Halo Top container seemed oddly empty when we opened it.
Like other ice cream containers we’re familiar with, Arctic Zero was full to the brim when we opened it. The Halo Top ice cream container was only about three quarters of the way full. We’re not really sure why this is, or if it happens with all Halo Top flavours, but it was disappointing considering a quarter of an ice cream container is equivalent to several mindless but critical scoops.
There’s also the fact that Halo Top is $1 more expensive than Arctic Zero ($5.99 versus $4.99), which makes us question if we’re really getting our money’s worth.
Still, Halo Top wins.
Despite the not 100%-full container, Halo Top still beat out Arctic Zero based on taste.
If you’re on a very strict diet or lactose intolerant, you might want to go for one of Arctic Zero’s two flavours that only have 35 calories per serving. But we can’t speak to the taste of these flavours because we didn’t try them.
In our opinion though, for 35 more calories per serving (which isn’t a whole lot) Halo Top is probably going to do a way better job at satisfying your ice cream craving.