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It’s hard to beat a cool, sweet, creamy scoop of ice cream on a hot summer day — or any other time of year.

Although small amounts of ice cream can be part of a balanced diet, this dessert often contains large amounts of added sugar. In fact, some flavors have up to three times the daily recommended intake of added sugar in a single serving.

That’s one reason sugar-free options have become increasingly popular.

These desserts rely on natural or artificial sweeteners that drastically lower their sugar and calorie content.

These sweeteners may come with their own downsides, such as digestive symptoms like gas or bloating, when consumed in large amounts. However, sugar-free ice cream can make a terrific treat as long as you keep your intake in check (1, 2).

Here are 9 of the best sugar-free and low sugar ice creams.

There are lots of ice creams to choose from, even if you’re looking for one that’s low in sugar. To find the best of the best, here’s what we considered:

  • Nutrition profile: We stuck to low sugar and sugar-free options. We also looked at the overall nutritional content, including the amounts of protein, fat, fiber, and carbs.
  • Texture and flavor: We looked at customer reviews and included only ice creams that have rave reviews.
  • Ingredients: We reviewed the ingredients list for each ice cream, choosing only those with high quality ingredients. We opted for ones that don’t contain lots of artificial ingredients or large amounts of sugar alcohols.
  • Brand reputation: Our list includes a variety of ice creams from well-known brands that have a solid reputation for quality and taste.

Pricing guide

Prices below are based on a single pint of ice cream.

  • $ = under $6
  • $$ = $6–$9
  • $$$ = over $9

A note on online purchasing

Some vendors offer ice cream for purchase online. This can be a convenient option as long as same-day delivery is guaranteed. Online ordering may not be available in all areas, so you may have to look for products locally.

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Best keto

Rebel Ice Cream

  • Price: $
  • Popular flavors: peanut butter fudge, mint chip, chocolate
  • Base: cream
  • Sweeteners: erythritol, monk fruit

Rebel Creamery produces a robust line of 14 ice creams that contain no added sugar.

They’re tailored for the low carb, high fat ketogenic diet — but you don’t have to be on keto to enjoy these treats.

Made with whole ingredients like cream and eggs, these products maintain the texture and mouthfeel of regular ice cream. They’re sweetened with sugar alcohols and monk fruit. Monk fruit, a zero-calorie sweetener sourced from plants, is among the most popular sugar alternatives.

Keep in mind that this product is higher in fat and calories than other low sugar brands.

Each 2/3-cup (91-gram) serving of Rebel mint chip ice cream provides (3):

  • Calories: 210
  • Fat: 21 grams
  • Protein: 3 grams
  • Carbs: 16 grams
  • Fiber: 4 grams
  • Added sugar: 0 grams
  • Sugar alcohols: 11 grams

Who should scoop it

  • people looking for a low sugar treat that tastes like the real thing
  • people following a keto diet

Who should skip it

  • people looking to avoid high fat content
  • people who want to avoid sugar alcohols

Best low calorie

Enlightened Ice Cream

  • Price: $$
  • Popular flavors: keto PB cookie & brownie dough, keto caramel chocolate double dough, keto chocolate peanut butter
  • Base: skim milk (light versions) or heavy cream (keto versions)
  • Sweeteners: sugar, tapioca syrup, erythritol, allulose, monk fruit, xylitol (versions sold at Whole Foods)

Enlightened produces popular low calorie ice creams. Although not completely sugar-free, they’re sweetened with a combination of sugar, sugar alcohols, and natural sweeteners like monk fruit.

They come in a variety of flavors, many of which boast protein and fiber — two nutrients that can help balance blood sugar and keep you feeling full (4, 5, 6, 7).

The “light” versions of Enlightened products are very low in fat, which keeps them low in calories but makes them less creamy than other varieties.

The “keto” versions are creamier and higher in fat and calories.

A 2/3-cup (100-gram) serving of Enlightened light cookies and cream ice cream has (8):

  • Calories: 120
  • Fat: 3.5 grams
  • Protein: 6 grams
  • Carbs: 28 grams
  • Fiber: 8 grams
  • Added sugar: 3 grams
  • Sugar alcohols: 4 grams

Who should scoop it

  • people following a keto diet (keto versions)
  • people looking for a low fat option (light versions)

Who should skip it

  • people looking for a no-sugar option
  • people looking for a low carb option

Most popular

Halo Top Ice Cream

  • Price: $
  • Popular flavors: chocolate chip cookie dough, sea salt caramel, birthday cake
  • Base: skim milk (dairy versions) or coconut milk (nondairy versions)
  • Sweeteners: sugar, erythritol, stevia, corn syrup

Since its debut in 2012, Halo Top has become a household name in the world of light ice creams.

This creamery produces a wealth of dairy and nondairy ice creams — all of which boast low calorie, sugar, and fat content.

Although not entirely sugar-free, the products use a combination of organic cane sugar, sugar alcohols, and stevia.

Most flavors don’t exceed 6 grams of sugar per 1/2-cup (64-gram) serving, whereas regular ice cream may contain nearly 3 times that amount (9).

What’s more, Halo Top includes nutrients like protein and fiber that may help balance your blood sugar.

Keep in mind that, because of their low fat content, these ice creams aren’t as creamy as you may expect ice cream to be.

A 2/3-cup (88-gram) serving of this brand’s chocolate mocha chip ice cream provides (10):

  • Calories: 110
  • Fat: 3 grams
  • Protein: 7 grams
  • Carbs: 19 grams
  • Fiber: 2 grams
  • Added sugar: 4 grams
  • Sugar alcohols: 8 grams

Who should scoop it

  • people looking for a low calorie option

Who should skip it

  • people looking for a creamy consistency
  • people looking for a sugar-free option

Best dairy-free

SO Delicious Coconutmilk Non-Dairy Frozen Dessert, No Sugar Added

  • Price: $
  • Popular flavors: vanilla bean, mint chip, chocolate, butter pecan
  • Base: coconut milk
  • Sweetener: erythritol, monk fruit

SO Delicious, a brand renowned for creamy dairy alternatives, makes everything from dairy-free ice cream to coffee creamer.

The brand’s no-sugar-added ice cream pints and bars use a base of coconut milk, making them great for anyone following a dairy-free or vegan diet.

In lieu of sugar, they’re sweetened with sugar alcohols and monk fruit. Their fiber content also keeps you feeling full.

SO Delicious doesn’t have as many flavors as other leading brands. The brand’s line of sugar-free ice creams includes vanilla bean, mint chip, chocolate, and butter pecan.

Each 2/3-cup (113-gram) serving of SO Delicious vanilla bean frozen dessert provides (11):

  • Calories: 130
  • Fat: 9 grams
  • Protein: 2 grams
  • Carbs: 24 grams
  • Fiber: 10 grams
  • Added sugar: 0 grams
  • Sugar alcohols: 4 grams

Who should scoop it

  • people looking for a dairy-free option
  • people looking for a sugar-free option

Who should skip it

  • people who don’t like coconut
  • people looking for lots of flavor options

Best for classic flavors

Keto Pint Ice Cream

  • Price: $$$
  • Popular flavors: cake batter, triple chocolate brownie, strawberry
  • Base: cream
  • Sweeteners: erythritol, stevia, monk fruit

New to the sugar-free ice cream scene is Keto Pint.

This brand offers a variety of low carb ice cream products made with whole ingredients, including cream, eggs, and whole milk.

The brand uses a combination of sugar alternatives like monk fruit, stevia, and sugar alcohols. Plus, most of the six flavors pack a decent amount of protein and fiber.

As its name implies, Keto Pint makes keto-friendly items, which means the products contain more fat than most other low sugar brands. Though they’re especially creamy, you’ll want to look elsewhere if you’re seeking low fat ice cream.

A 2/3-cup (100-gram) serving of Keto Pint strawberry ice cream contains (12):

  • Calories: 180
  • Fat: 17 grams
  • Protein: 4 grams
  • Carbs: 14 grams
  • Fiber: 3 grams
  • Added sugar: 0 gram
  • Sugar alcohols: 8 grams

Who should scoop it

  • people following a keto diet
  • people looking for classic ice cream flavors

who should skip it

  • people looking for a low fat option
  • people looking for a low cost option

Best without sugar alcohols

Arctic Zero Frozen Desserts

  • Price: $$$
  • Flavors: cookie shake, chocolate peanut butter, hint of mint
  • Base: water
  • Sweeteners: allulose, monk fruit, cane sugar

Arctic Zero specializes in low calorie, low fat, low sugar frozen desserts, including pints of nondairy ice creams.

While not completely sugar-free, Arctic Zero products are much lower in sugar than traditional ice cream. Almost all of the brand’s products use organic cane sugar, allulose, and sometimes other natural sweeteners, such as stevia or monk fruit.

Furthermore, they provide fiber and don’t contain any sugar alcohols — which may be particularly appealing for anyone who has difficulty tolerating these sweeteners.

Like many other low fat frozen desserts, Arctic Zero products don’t have the same creamy, smooth texture as high fat ice creams.

A 2/3-cup (83-gram) serving of Arctic Zero classic vanilla contains (13):

  • Calories: 50
  • Fat: 0 grams
  • Protein: 2 grams
  • Carbs: 11 grams
  • Fiber: 3 grams
  • Added sugar: 8 grams
  • Sugar alcohols: 0 grams

Who should scoop it

  • people with an intolerance to sugar alcohols
  • people looking for a nondairy option
  • people looking for a low calorie option

Who should skip it

  • people who prefer a creamier consistency

Best ice cream sandwiches

Skinny Cow No Sugar Added Ice Cream Sandwiches

  • Price: $
  • Popular flavors: vanilla
  • Base: skim milk
  • Sweetener: sorbitol, sucralose, acesulfame potassium

Skinny Cow has offered popular low fat ice creams since the 1990s.

The brand recently bolstered its product line with no-sugar-added ice cream sandwiches, which contain fiber and protein and are remarkably creamy for being so low in fat and sugar.

However, the ingredients aren’t as high quality as those of many competing products. These sandwiches include several food additives and rely on sugar alcohols and artificial sweeteners.

You can find Skinny Cow products in numerous grocery stores and supermarkets in the United States.

Each vanilla no-sugar-added ice cream sandwich (65 grams) offers (14):

  • Calories: 130
  • Fat: 2 grams
  • Protein: 4 grams
  • Carbs: 27 grams
  • Fiber: 3 grams
  • Added sugar: 0 grams
  • Sugar alcohols: 2 grams

Who should scoop it

  • people looking for a low sugar ice cream sandwich

Who should skip it

  • people who prefer to avoid artificial sweeteners

Best homemade

Homemade banana ice cream

You can use frozen ripe bananas to make simple, delicious low sugar ice cream at home.

Widely dubbed “nice cream,” fruit-based ice cream requires only a few ingredients and a food processor or blender. For this one, you just need to blend a frozen ripe banana, a splash of dairy or nondairy milk, and any additional flavorings you desire.

Given that bananas are naturally sweet, you don’t need to add any sweeteners. That said, you can include stevia drops or monk fruit to boost the sweetness to your liking.

To vary the flavor, you can mix in vanilla bean paste, cocoa powder, or other frozen fruits like mangoes, peaches, or raspberries. You can also add sugar-free nut or seed butter to impart protein and a rich, creamy texture.

The nutritional content depends on your specific ingredients, but a serving using 1 small banana (100 grams) and 2 ounces (60 mL) of unsweetened almond milk provides approximately (15, 16):

  • Calories: 100
  • Fat: 1 gram
  • Protein: 1 gram
  • Carbs: 24 grams
  • Fiber: 2.8 grams
  • Sugar: 13 grams (all natural, none added)

Although homemade banana-based ice cream doesn’t contain any added sugar, the natural sugars in the fruit contribute to your total carb intake. Thus, if you’re watching your carb intake or blood sugar levels, you should eat small servings or choose a different ice cream.

Homemade coconut ice cream

If you’re looking for a homemade ice cream that doesn’t contain added sugars and is low in carbs, try using full fat coconut milk as a base.

For a classic vanilla flavor, mix coconut milk with vanilla extract, a pinch of salt, and your favorite sugar-free sweetener — stevia, monk fruit, and sugar alcohols work well. Other sugar-free ingredients like nut butters, matcha, and cocoa powder make great optional add-ins.

Freeze the mixture in small, blender-friendly portions, allow it to thaw slightly, then blend it until smooth and creamy.

A 1/2-cup (113-gram) serving with no extra ingredients provides approximately (17):

  • Calories: 223
  • Fat: 24 grams
  • Protein: 2 grams
  • Carbs: 3 grams
  • Fiber: 0 grams
  • Sugar: 1.5 grams

Although there’s no sugar added and it’s very low in carbs, this particular ice cream is higher in fat and calories than many other options. Thus, if you’re following a low fat diet or trying to reduce your calorie intake, it may not be the best choice.

The right sugar-free or low sugar ice cream for you depends on your dietary goals and personal tastes.

Blood sugar balance

If you want to improve your blood sugar regulation, focus on total carb content. Regardless of the source, carbs can contribute to blood sugar increases.

Therefore, look for sugar-free ice creams that are low in total carbs.

It may also be worthwhile to buy products that are rich in protein and fiber, as these nutrients can help minimize potential blood sugar spikes (6, 7).

Calorie intake

If you’re counting calories, opt for ice creams with the lowest calorie content. These options are usually lower in fat, as fat has more calories per gram than other macronutrients.

That said, if you prefer higher fat versions for their creaminess, you can still eat them. You’ll just want to watch your portion sizes so that you stay within your calorie limits.

Nutrients

If you’re focused on food quality, be sure to pay close attention to ingredients.

In some cases, regular ice cream may contain more nutrient-dense whole foods than sugar-free alternatives.

Many light or low sugar ice creams contain lots of additives, such as preservatives, gums, artificial colors, and stabilizers, to create an appearance and consistency similar to those of regular ice cream.

Though these ingredients aren’t likely to cause side effects, especially in the small amounts present, some people may still wish to avoid them.

In particular, sensitive individuals may experience allergic reactions or uncomfortable digestive symptoms after consuming additives (18).

For instance, excess consumption of sugar alcohols like xylitol or gums like xanthan gum may increase gas and bloating in some people. People may also experience allergic reactions to artificial colors (1, 19, 20).

If you know you’re sensitive to any of these ingredients, steer clear of products with additives.

Homemade options are almost always the best choice to ensure whole, high quality ingredients, as you have complete control over the ingredients and level of sweetness.

RebelEnlightenedHalo TopSO DeliciousKeto PintArctic ZeroSkinny Cow
Price$$$$$$$$$$$$
Popular flavorspeanut butter fudge, mint chip, chocolateketo PB cookie & brownie dough, keto caramel chocolate double dough, keto chocolate peanut butterchocolate chip cookie dough, sea salt caramel, birthday cakevanilla bean, mint chip, chocolate, butter pecancake batter, triple chocolate brownie, strawberrycookie shake, chocolate peanut butter, hint of mintvanilla
Basecreamskim milk (light versions) or heavy cream (keto versions)skim milk (dairy versions) or coconut milk (nondairy versions)coconut milkcreamwaterskim milk
Sweetenerserythritol, monk fruitsugar, tapioca syrup, erythritol, allulose, monk fruit, xylitol (versions sold at Whole Foods)sugar, erythritol, stevia, corn syruperythritol, monk fruiterythritol, stevia, monk fruitallulose, monk fruit, cane sugarsorbitol, sucralose, acesulfame potassium
Sugar content (per serving)0 grams3 grams4 grams2 grams1 gram8 grams4 grams

Is sugar-free ice cream a good choice for people with diabetes?

Low sugar and sugar-free ice cream are good options for people with diabetes who are looking to enjoy a sweet treat that will not affect their blood sugar levels as much as regular ice creams would.

Are artificial sweeteners healthy?

Evidence on artificial sweeteners is mixed. Many are considered safe to consume (21).

However, some people may experience side effects from certain types of sweeteners.

Are there any ingredients I should avoid when selecting a sugar-free ice cream?

It depends on your goals, diet, and individual needs. For example, you may want to search for a dairy-free ice cream if you follow a vegan diet, or a low carb one if you follow a keto diet.

Additionally, some people may experience digestive side effects from sugar alcohols. If that’s the case for you, look for an option sweetened with stevia or monk fruit.

Ice cream is a beloved classic dessert, but it tends to be very high in added sugar.

If you don’t want to give up this dessert but are trying to reduce your sugar intake, consider one of the sugar-free or low sugar ice creams on this list.

It’s also easy to make your own by using fruit like coconut or banana as a base.