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Top 6 Keto-Friendly Ice Cream Brands to Try

Brands to Buy | Brands to Avoid | Ingredients to Avoid

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Just a few years ago, stumbling upon a tasty keto ice cream at the grocery store was something you could only dream about. Sure, there are plenty of low-carb ice cream recipes on the internet, but sometimes you just want to enjoy your favorite flavors like chocolate ice cream, cookie dough, and cookies and cream without pulling out your ice cream maker.

Luckily, high-fat, low-carb ice cream options are becoming more prevalent in the frozen aisle of most grocery stores.

Here’s what’s not so lucky: Not all keto ice cream brands use clean ingredients or keep your blood sugar stable. Lurking behind those colorful, enticing labels and impressive marketing campaigns are a host of unwanted ingredients like sugar alcohols and preservatives.

In this guide, you’ll discover which store-bought ice cream brands are the smartest and safest to enjoy on the keto diet. Plus, you’ll learn which ingredients to avoid when picking out your favorite frozen sweet treats.

Top 6 Keto-Friendly Ice Cream Brands to Try

These low-carb ice cream choices add flexibility to your ketogenic diet without the sugar crash of most desserts.

They also prove you can have delicious ice cream on keto without busting out your ice cream maker.

As long as you enjoy them in moderation and factor them into your total carb intake for the day, you’ll be golden.

1: Rebel Creamery 

Rebel Creamery is a keto ice cream brand made with a rich, full-fat base of cream and egg yolks, so it tastes more like a custard than a sorbet. This base creates a velvety texture similar to the kind of ice cream you grew up with.

But rather than being loaded with sugar, Rebel Creamery packs its pints with healthy fats and sweeteners like erythritol. Their high-fat ice cream contains 56-79 grams of fat per pint, which is hard to beat. 

Take a look at this nutrition label from the Peanut Butter Fudge or their chocolate peanut butter flavor:[*]

Nutrition Facts Rebel Creamery
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A two-thirds cup serving size is 270 calories, 26 grams of fat (14 of which are saturated fat), 4 grams of protein, and 2 grams of net carbs.

With these keto macros and healthy fats, you’ll be feeling satisfied instead of ravenous for more like you would with regular ice cream.

As for the other ingredients, here’s what you’ll find in this particular flavor:

  1. Cream
  2. Peanut butter (from peanuts, peanut oil, salt)
  3. Erythritol
  4. Chocolate flakes (from coconut oil, cocoa, erythritol, sunflower lecithin, salt, dutch cocoa, vanilla extract, monk fruit)
  5. Vegetable glycerin
  6. Egg yolks
  7. Chicory root fiber
  8. Milk protein isolate
  9. Salt
  10. Peruvian carob gum
  11. Guar gum
  12. Monk fruit

Rebel Creamery sources its cream from hormone-free cows, and its ingredients won’t raise your blood sugar.[*]

Use their store locator to get your hands on classic flavors such as Butter Pecan, Cookie Dough, and Mint Chip.

2: Enlightened

Enlightened is one of the first low-carb ice cream brands many keto dieters use to satisfy cravings, and for good reason.

The brand created several tasty flavors in pints and ice cream bars (their Keto Marshmallow Peanut Butter and Mint Chocolate Chip bars are fan-faves).

Enlightened

Even though these options contain zero net carb sweeteners and real cream, each serving contains one gram of real sugar. A serving won’t ruin your chances of staying in ketosis, but eating an entire pint may be too much for your daily sugar intake.

For today’s purposes, let’s check out the nutrition facts and ingredient list for their P.B. Cookie & Brownie Dough flavor:[*]

Nutrition & Ingredients

A half-cup serving adds 200 calories, 18 grams of fat (10 grams of saturated fat), and 4 grams of protein to your day.

Because Enlightened uses erythritol, which is unlikely to be absorbed by your body, the brand subtracts all of the sugar alcohols on their label to advertise 1 gram of net carbs per serving. 

As for the ingredients, you’ll find:

  1. Cream
  2. Water
  3. Erythritol
  4. Egg yolks
  5. Non-GMO soluble corn fiber
  6. Peanuts
  7. Almond flour
  8. Vegetable glycerin
  9. Milk protein concentrate
  10. Cream cheese
  11.  Vanilla
  12. Dutch cocoa
  13. Skim milk
  14. Coconut oil
  15. Butter
  16. Unsweetened chocolate
  17. Sugar 
  18. Peanut oil
  19. Cocoa butter
  20.  Tara gum
  21. Guar gum
  22. Carob gum
  23. Monk fruit extract
  24. Stevia extract
  25. Xanthan gum
  26. Salt
  27. Natural flavor
  28. Sunflower lecithin

You may notice that this Enlightened flavor contains soluble corn fiber. However, Enlightened’s soluble corn fiber is non-GMO. And it’s much further down the list, not the second ingredient like other brands, meaning there’s less of it.

You can buy Enlightened pints and bars at many grocery stores and online, so it’s an accessible, tasty option.

3: Keto Pint

Keto Pint is another recently-launched ice cream line made with high-quality ingredients and keto-friendly macros to match. The brand is keto-certified and soy- and gluten-free. Plus, they don’t use any milk with rBST hormones.

Keto Pint offers myriad flavors in pints and chocolate-covered bars. Here’s what the ingredient list looks like for a pint of their chocolate flavor:[*]

  1. Cream
  2. Water
  3. Egg yolk
  4. Chocolate chips (made from erythritol, cocoa butter, stevia extract, sunflower lecithin)
  5. Non-GMO chicory root fiber
  6. Cocoa
  7. Milk protein concentrate
  8. Non-GMO tapioca fiber
  9. Vegetable glycerin
  10. Sea salt
  11. Non-GMO guar gum
  12. Stevia extract
  13. Monk fruit extract
  14. Non-GMO acacia

Now, the only difference between Keto Pint and some of the other brands on this list is that you really can’t eat a whole pint at once. It contains a whopping 660 calories, 60 grams of total fat, and 11 grams of net carbs. 

Keto Pint

You can still enjoy Keto Pint as long as you limit your indulgence to the suggested two-thirds of a cup serving. Then you’ll only need to account for 220 calories, 20 grams of fat, and 3 grams of net carbs.

4: Halo Top 

Halo Top is the original low-carb ice cream, offering dozens of flavors for low-carb dieters long before it became trendy.

However, Halo Top ran into some trouble when their skim-milk-based flavors weren’t as keto-friendly as they promoted.

Thus, the brand released a new keto series of flavors that is much lower in net carbs. These updated flavors range from 2 to 10 grams of net carbs per pint and chocolate-covered keto pops:

Halo Top

Here’s a peek into their Jelly Donut flavor:[*]

Jelly donut

Because Halo Top uses sweeteners like erythritol and stevia leaf extract, they can subtract all the sugar alcohols to advertise super-low net carbs. However, if you eat a whole pint, you’re still going to rack up 4 grams of real sugar.

A small serving will add 11 grams of fat (7 grams of saturated fat) and 6 grams of protein to your day. An entire pint will juice that up to 33 grams of fat and 18 grams of protein.

We don’t recommend eating an entire pint of Halo Top for dinner. But it does contain more protein than some of the other options on today’s list, which is nice.

Jelly donut nutrition facts

Here’s what’s in the Jelly Donut ingredient list:

  1. Ultrafiltered skim milk
  2. Cream
  3. Erythritol
  4. Strawberry swirl (from water, strawberries, erythritol, corn starch, natural flavor, fruit and vegetable juice, citric acid, organic stevia, xanthan gum, carob bean gum, and salt)
  5. Eggs
  6. Donut pieces (from enriched wheat flour (wheat flour, niacin, reduced iron, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid), sugar, butter, eggs, water, tapioca starch, natural flavor)
  7. Vegetable glycerin
  8. Soluble corn fiber
  9. Chicory root fiber
  10. Natural flavors
  11. Cellulose gel
  12. Cellulose gum
  13. Sea salt
  14. Stevia leaf extract

You may notice that this Halo Top flavor contains soluble corn fiber as well. But, once again, it’s in a much smaller amount than other brands.

Halo Top also makes keto-friendly ice cream bars, so it’s even easier to keep your portions in check:

Keto pops

Since Halo Top has been around for a while, it’s generally more available than some of the other brands on this list. But just make sure your local grocery store sells the specific keto series, or you could take home a pint with way more carbs than you anticipated. 

5: So Delicious No-Sugar-Added

For a gluten-free, dairy-free treat, So Delicious offers a no-sugar-added line that’s technically safe to eat on a low-carb diet.

The macros for a serving of the brand’s Vanilla Bean Coconut Milk bars come in at:[*]

  • 15 grams of fat (10 grams of saturated fat)
  • 2 grams of net carbs
  • 1 gram of sugar
  • 1 gram of protein
Nutritional Facts

As for the ingredients, the Vanilla Bean bar contains:[*]

  1. Organic Coconutmilk (filtered water, organic coconut)
  2. Oatmilk (filtered water, whole oat flour)
  3. Organic coconut water
  4. Organic coconut oil
  5. Organic erythritol
  6. Chicory root extract
  7. Organic sunflower oil
  8. Pea protein
  9. Guar gum
  10. Vanilla extract
  11. Monk fruit extract
  12. Natural flavor
  13. Reb A (stevia leaf sweetener)
  14. Vanilla bean specks
  15. Locust bean gum

While the So Delicious brand is available at most grocery stores, finding this No Sugar Added line could pose a challenge.

If you have trouble sourcing it, consider ordering online, and you’ll have a dairy and gluten-free keto dessert whenever the craving hits.

6: Arctic Zero 

Arctic Zero, another popular ice cream brand, recently changed their line of products so they’re completely plant-based. Some of these, such as the Salted Caramel we’ll discuss shortly, are certified keto-friendly.

Because they’re plant-based, you won’t find any milk, cream, or whey protein like they used to have. Instead, the brand now relies on a water base.

You may miss the creaminess that you’d find with traditional ice cream, but if you’re dairy-free, you may enjoy the slushy or sorbet consistency. 

Check out the updated ingredient list for their Salted Caramel flavor:[*]

  1. Purified water
  2. Organic cane sugar
  3. Prebiotic fiber
  4. Faba bean protein concentrate
  5. Acacia gum
  6. Tara gum
  7. Guar gum
  8. Sea salt
  9. Natural flavors
  10. Dutch-processed cocoa powder
  11. Monk fruit concentrate

You’ll notice that organic cane sugar and faba bean protein concentrate don’t exactly sound low-carb (because they’re not). Yet since Arctic Zero uses these ingredients strategically, their macros are technically keto-friendly:

Arctic Zero

A half-cup serving is just 40 calories and zero net carbohydrates. Before you get too excited, the trade-off comes with zero healthy fats, just 1 gram of protein, and a staggering 5 grams of sugar per serving.

This means you may feel hungry, spike your blood sugar levels, and start craving more sweet treats after you finish a serving, even if it’s considered a low-carb ice cream option.

It’s best not to indulge in this brand’s ice cream every day while on keto. But it may be the perfect occasional treat for those going vegan, dairy-free, or gluten-free.

Low-Carb Ice Creams to Avoid

Just because something says “only XX net carbs” or “keto-friendly” doesn’t mean it’s good for you. These products may spike your blood sugar levels and kick you out of ketosis despite the low-carb macros.

Case in point: 

Breyers Carb Smart Ice Cream

While not a sugar-free ice cream, this Breyers Carb Smart Vanilla ice cream seems like a keto-friendly choice that should be low in sugar.[*]

Breyers Carb Smart Ice Cream

The label on Carb Smart products mentions that it’s “part of a low-carb lifestyle” because it only has 4 grams of sugar per serving and 4 grams of net carbs. But while the fiber and sugar alcohols may keep it lower in net carbs, the ingredients are anything but good for you.

Flipping the container over reveals the true picture:

Ingredients

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There are several questionable ingredients and artificial sweeteners, including maltitol syrup, soluble corn fiber, mono- and diglycerides, acesulfame potassium, and sucralose (the common name for Splenda).

Splenda specifically has been shown to raise blood sugar and insulin levels, contribute to weight gain and alter your gut microbe for the worst.

So while this ice cream may technically fit a macronutrient profile that’s safe on a ketogenic diet, the ingredients can sap your energy and may lead to more sugar cravings.

And Breyers isn’t the only brand doing this.

Edy’s No Sugar Added Ice Cream

Using another example from a popular ice cream brand, Edy’s came out with a line of no sugar added ice cream. But before you celebrate, there’s a catch similar to the Breyers example.

Despite the no-sugar-added label, a serving still contains 5 grams of sugar. You’ll find Splenda, maltodextrin, maltitol syrup, and sorbitol as its main sweeteners. As we just mentioned, these can still lead to a spike in insulin and weight gain, just like sugar.

Edy’s No Sugar Added Ice Cream

Not only that, a serving of their butter pecan ice cream clocks in at 19 grams of carbs when you subtract half of the sugar alcohol amount.[*] Even if you subtract the full sugar alcohol amount, you wind up with 17 grams of net carbs, which is still pretty high.

Edy's Nutrition Facts

If you’re aiming for 20 to 25 grams of net carbs per day, just one serving of this ice cream could wipe out your entire day’s worth of carbs.

Edy’s no sugar added vanilla flavor isn’t much better. It contains between 16.5 and 14 grams of net carbs per serving (depending on sugar alcohol).[*] This is much higher than the other low sugar ice creams and frozen desserts on this list.

You can see why it pays to be smart about reading the labels on any ice creams marketed as keto-friendly or low in sugar.

Finally, there’s another “keto-friendly” ice cream that recently hit the market called N!ck’s. But, unfortunately, it’s another one you’ll want to proceed with caution.

N!ck’s Swedish Ice Cream

N!ck’s is a new Swedish-style ice cream you can purchase on Amazon. The company recently released a line of “Keto Friendlies” flavors that seem like they could be promising for low-carb dieters.

N!ck's Swedish Ice Cream

But, after digging deeper, a muddy nutritional profile soon emerges. Using their “keto-friendly” Birthdäg Cake flavor, they advertise that it has:[*]

  1. 230 calories per pint
  2. 5 grams of net carbs per serving
  3. No added sugar

Do the math, however, and those net carbs are much higher.

N!ck's Nutrition Facts

According to the nutrition facts, there are 18 grams of total carbs, 5 grams of fiber, and 5 grams of sugar alcohols. After subtracting the fiber, a serving contains 13 grams of net carbs. 

Minus half the sugar alcohols (5/2=2.5), and you’ll have 10.5 net carbs. Subtract all the sugar alcohol, and you’ll still have 8 net carbs. 

So where does N!ck’s get the 5 net carbs they so boldly advertise? The math doesn’t add up.

Their ingredient label also raises red flags:

N!ck's Ingredients

Like traditional gelato, the first ingredient is skim milk. 

However, skim milk contains more sugar than full-fat milk or cream. As manufacturers remove fat from the milk, they often add sugar or other suspect fillers to replace it, none of which you want to consume on a healthy keto diet.

Then there’s the soluble corn fiber. 

Even though soluble corn fiber won’t kick you out of ketosis, it’s usually genetically modified. While there isn’t enough research on the health implications of GMO foods, you may want to avoid it until we know more, especially since it’s this ice cream’s second ingredient (meaning a pint contains a large amount of it).

Rounding out the ingredients list, you’ll also notice EPG (a modified plant-based oil), xylitol (an artificial sweetener), and “natural” flavors and colors. Despite the “natural” claim, these unnamed ingredients could also come from questionable sources.

So even though the advertising for this ice cream makes it out to be keto-friendly, the net carbs are actually higher, and the ingredients are not top-tier, making it one you should think twice about before consuming.

If you don’t have time to dig deeper and read labels, you may unknowingly reach for the wrong ice cream. And that will make it much harder to meet your health and weight loss goals.

Fortunately, you can read on for a hand-selected list of healthier low-carb, keto ice creams you can enjoy whenever the craving strikes.

How to Choose the Best Keto Ice Cream

Certain ingredients in packaged low-carb foods can cause more damage than they’re worth. High levels of sugar alcohols, certain gums, and other fillers and binders can cause gut issues or sap your energy.

Here are the most common ingredients you’ll need to watch out for in store-bought keto ice cream:

1: Artificial Sweeteners 

When manufacturers go sugar-free, they often load up their products with artificial sweeteners and sugar alcohols such as sucralose, aspartame, sorbitol, and xylitol. But these products aren’t safe or better for you just because they’re free of sugar.

While a solid consensus on artificial sweeteners is still MIA, many studies link them to diseases such as cancer, type 2 diabetes, and other metabolic disorders[*].

There’s also evidence that these sweeteners can shift the composition of your gut bacteria, which could cause unwanted weight gain and other gut issues[*].

If you see any artificial sweeteners on your ice cream label, leave it on the shelf. Try looking for low-carb ice creams with natural sweeteners like monk fruit and stevia first. Choose ones with erythritol (commonly sold as Swerve) after that.

2: Added Hormones in Milk or Cream

Just like you want to avoid hormones in cheese and milk, your ice cream should be no different.

Any growth hormones or antibiotics given to dairy cows will be passed to you when you consume their milk. These added hormones can disrupt your body’s natural hormones, which may lead to a slew of health issues[*].

Ditch any sugar-free or low-carb ice cream that doesn’t specifically indicate that it’s hormone- and antibiotic-free.

3: Preservatives and Other Additives

Manufacturers use organic and inorganic preservatives to enhance the flavor of foods, improve their texture, and keep them shelf-stable longer.

But the problem with many of these chemicals is that the long-term human health effects are still unknown.

One popular preservative used in ice cream is maltodextrin, a highly-processed powder usually made from corn.

Maltodextrin is high on the glycemic index and will definitely spike your blood sugar. It can also alter your gut bacteria in a way that makes you more susceptible to disease[*].

Additives like artificial colors may have carcinogenic and neurotoxic effects in certain populations. And high omega-6 vegetable oils like soybean, peanut, and sunflower can cause significant inflammation[*].

To be safe, avoid any low-carb ice cream with:

  • Preservatives such as sodium phosphate, potassium sorbate, propylene glycol, sodium benzoate, sodium nitrate, and sodium nitrite.
  • Food colorings such as artificial red, yellow, and blue dyes.
  • Low-quality vegetable oils such as soybean, peanut, and sunflower.

Thanks to the rise in popularity of the keto diet, big food manufacturers are starting to hop on the “low-carb” train. But many of these so-called keto ice cream options contain questionable ingredients that are likely to kick you out of ketosis.

Some of them may also boast lower net carbs than what’s really hiding in that pint.

A Note On Sugar Alcohols and Net Carbs in Keto Ice Cream

Though you should avoid artificial sweeteners like sorbitol and xylitol, many keto ice creams contain sugar alcohols like these and erythritol.

Your body won’t absorb or metabolize a certain percentage of these sugar alcohols, similar to how your body processes fiber. Sorbitol and maltitol are the most likely to be absorbed, whereas erythritol has the lowest absorption rate[*][*].

Anything that’s absorbed should be counted as a carb. That’s why some very strict keto dieters don’t subtract any sugar alcohols when calculating net carbs, just to be on the safe side.

Other keto dieters either subtract all or half of the sugar alcohols listed on a nutrition label to calculate a serving’s net carbs[*].

For example, a pint of keto ice cream may contain:

  • 12 grams of total carbs
  • 5 grams of fiber
  • 6 grams of sugar alcohol

After subtracting 5 grams of fiber from the 12 total, you’re left with 7 net carbs. 

If you subtract half of the sugar alcohols (6/2=3) from those 7 net carbs, you’ll have 4 net carbs. If you subtract all of the sugar alcohols, you’ll wind up with 1 net carb (7-6=1). That’s a small yet important difference. 

You need to be on the lookout for how brands calculate the sugar alcohols in their products. Many ice cream brands choose to subtract all the sugar alcohols, so they can advertise the lowest net carbs possible. 

But if you’re following their math, you may find it harder to reach or stay in ketosis, depending on the type of sugar alcohols they use. 

Though it can be time-consuming, try to look past the marketing jargon on the label to find out what’s really going on, whether you’re eating ice cream or any other packaged foods on keto.

The Takeaway

The verdict is in: Rebel Creamery, Enlightened, Keto Pint, and Halo Top (keto series) make the best store-bought keto ice creams.

These low-carb ice cream brands should be your first choice since they’re more aligned with a ketogenic diet in both macronutrients and healthy ingredients.

The other ice creams on this list can work as occasional stand-ins. Just make sure to find the lowest sugar flavors and stick to the serving size.

Another option is to make ice cream at home using avocado, coconut milk, or heavy cream as a base. Homemade ice cream isn’t as hard as it looks — especially if you’re using a no-churn recipe. All you typically need is heavy cream or heavy whipping cream, vanilla extract, and a keto-safe sweetener like stevia or monk fruit.

And if you’re craving delicious, chocolatey ice cream sandwiches, you’re in luck too. With the help of this ice cream sandwich recipe, you can satisfy the craving at home without ruining your hard work.

While making your ice cream at home requires more total time spent in the kitchen, it lets you control all the ingredients. Plus, you can play around with different flavors and textures, from adding stevia-sweetened dark chocolate chips for keto chocolate ice cream or crushing up Perfect Keto Bars.

Visit this guide next for a complete list of the best keto ice cream recipes you can make at home. And don’t forget to try making your own keto whipped cream to top whichever ice cream you choose.

With all of these options, you don’t have to skip ice cream or only enjoy one spoonful of it just because you’re following a keto diet.

As long as you savor them in moderation, you should have no trouble reaching your health and weight loss goals on keto.

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