Which frozen treats are better? 7/12
(This article is adapted from the July 2012 Consumer Reports magazine.)
"Good Humor" may conjure happy memories of summer days when you were a kid. But that was then. Consumer Reports’ tests of frozen treats found that the dark chocolate Good Humor bars sold in stores have a thin, waxy, crumbly coating over ice cream with flavors of artificial vanilla and a hint of wooden stick. And with 11 grams of fat, plus artificial ingredients, nutritionally, these frozen bars aren’t such a "good" choice.
Trained tasters found better options among 21 strawberry fruit bars, chocolate-covered ice cream bars, and ice cream sandwiches.
Fruit bars are more nutritious
When it comes to nutritional value, the fruit bars are better choices by far compared to ice cream bars or sandwiches. The fruit bars have 70 to 110 calories and are fat-free. The ice cream sandwiches, by comparison, have 100 to 180 calories and about 1 to 6 grams of fat; the bars top out at 280 calories and 20 grams of fat.
As for sugar, in general, the treats have about 10 to 25 grams of sugars. Some sugars, including fructose and lactose (from fruit and milk), are naturally occurring; others are added and make for empty calories.
The products with dietetic names—Skinny Cow and Weight Watchers—didn’t necessarily have fewer calories and scored lower than most.
How did dairy-free fare?
So Delicious Dairy Free Vanilla Minis sandwiches aren’t so delicious. The innards (organic soy milk is the first ingredient) have a mild artificial vanilla flavor, and the wafers are soft and sticky. Tofutti Dairy Free Cuties Vanilla sandwiches consist of gummy, artificially flavored innards (corn syrup solids, soy, and tofu) between sticky wafers that taste a little stale.
Recommended frozen treats
Try one of the high-rated frozen fruit bars. The winner in the ratings, 365 Everyday Value (Whole Foods), was judged excellent for taste, with large chunks of fruit and a big, fresh-strawberry flavor. It had 0 grams of fat and 110 calories per serving, and was reasonably priced at $.68 per serving.
By comparison, the best tasting dark chocolate ice cream bars in the tests -- Häagen-Dazs and Dove -- contained 20 and 17 grams of fat per serving with 280 and 250 calories, respectively.
Which food additives to avoid? 4/12
25 Healthy and delicious food bargains. 3/11