Is Halo Top Too Good to Be True? Experts Weigh In
08.09.17

Halo Top’s Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough ice cream is 360 calories for the whole pint. I know this because I ate the entire thing during a single episode of Master of None and also because it’s written on the carton. Arctic Zero’s Cookie Dough flavor is 300 calories; Enlightened’s version, my personal favorite, is 400.

These companies who have nutritionally-engineered four servings of ice cream to calorically resemble one are popping up everywhere. Halo Top, the arguable darling of this whole movement, recently announced it’s launching seven new flavors: Rainbow Swirl, Mochi Green Tea, Candy Bar, Chocolate Covered Banana, Pancakes & Waffles, Caramel Macchiato and Cinnamon Roll.

Founder and CEO Justin Woolverton said they can’t keep Halo Top on shelves.

“Halo Top has become one of the most Instagram-able products available in the frozen dessert aisle, with 28.8 million pints sold last year,” reported CNBC in June. “While the sales for the whole [ice cream] category increased, sales of products that fit within the Food and Drug Administration’s definition of ‘healthy’ grew 85 percent last year.”

I really want to believe that admitting I’m going to eat the whole pint and buying accordingly is not a bad idea but instead, a radical expression of self-love. Yet at first glance, these ice creams are packing some verrrrrrrrrry interesting stuff — and I use the word “interesting” here the way your mom does when she’s nicely saying your artwork sucks. Is it all too good to be true? Ugh. I asked the experts, crossed my spoons and told them to make it as quick and painless as possible.

What do you think of the new low-calorie ice cream trend?

Dr. Rupy Aujla, general practitioner and founder of The Doctor’s Kitchen, says the idea that less calories are better is a myth perpetuated by food companies. He’s a big proponent of the “eat food, mostly plants, not too much” school of thought.

“Counting indiscriminate numbers on the back of food packets is one of the least helpful variables a person can focus on when it comes to food choices,” Dr. Aujla says. “It shifts attention away from what is actually important: the quality of where your food comes from.”

McKel Hill, registered dietitian and founder of Nutrition Stripped, agrees: “In general, I’m not a fan of low-calorie items. They’re often replacing fat with sugar or sugar with fat.”

Most of these ice creams are low calorie and low sugar because of a sugar alcohol called erythritol. What is that? Is it bad?

“Sugar alcohols can cause migraines and stomach issues (i.e. bloating, diarrhea, gas, especially with excessive intake),” says Hill. “One study showed erythritol did not increase serum levels of glucose or insulin [as normal sugars do], and most (about 90%) is excreted in urine without having been broken down.”

This means our bodies don’t know what to do with erythritol. A bad sign.

“When you eat a piece of fruit, your body knows how to digest it and what to do; the sugar gets metabolized and hormones are released to decrease your appetite. But with sugar alcohols, your body may not register the ‘fuel.'” This would explain why I rarely feel full after eating a whole pint of the stuff, and why I find myself hungry an hour later.

“Digestive upset and not allowing the body to register when it’s full are all effects of many artificial sweeteners that don’t sit well with me,” says Dr. Aujla. Since the longterm effects of most artificial sweeteners are inconclusive, he says it’s better to play it safe. “I’d prefer people use real sugar, honey, maple syrup and practice self-restraint rather than gorge on ‘sugar free’ substitutes.”

Let’s say I’m going to eat the whole pint either way. Is it better to eat Halo Top or Häagen Dazs?

“It’s literally impossible to say which one would be better or worse because it totally depends on the individual consuming it,” says Dr. Aujla. “What’s her current state of health? What does her gut bacterial population look like? What time of day is she eating? Has she worked out? Calorie counting is largely useless for the majority of the population. The number of calories consumed is going to have vastly different metabolic effects from person to person.”

That said, his personal choice would be Häagen Dazs because he knows his body would recognize the ingredients.

Hill is a fan of coconut milk-based ice creams that are loaded with good fats and are typically lower in sugar. If dairy agrees with you, she says that’s an option, too — but get the organic, full-fat kind and just eat until you’re satiated.

Final call: Yay or nay?

At the end of the day, Dr. Aujla and Hill both agree that creating ice cream that can be consumed by the pint is solving the wrong problem.

Says Hill, “As a nutrition coach, I’m looking at it from the perspective of behavior and mindset. So while, yes, the whole pint of ice cream is low calorie, what are you actually training your mind and body to do? Eat pints of ice cream? That’s not a healthy habit or behavior that you want to integrate into your lifestyle.”

Both cite “quality over quantity.” Halo Top may aim to provide a solution for those of us who want to binge guilt-free, but it does so by creating more problems. Not only are what these nutritionists call “destructive eatings habits” encouraged, but we’re putting our digestive systems in danger. It’s the least fun answer of all, but the one I feared was true: Moderation of the real deal is better.

Are you into Halo Top-esque ice cream?

Photo by Louisiana Mei Gelpi. 

Get more Beauty ?
  • Nschne

    Love Halo top. Love regular ice cream. Moderation is always key. Both are treats! That being said, on a “need comfort and sad/happy movie and wallow” kind of day – an entire pint of Halo top is my best friend. Looking forward to their new flavors!

  • Cristina

    I don’t understand Artic Zero. It’s like eating frozen dishwater.
    Halo Top isn’t bad, but why would I want to eat that over regular ice cream?
    I’m also perturbed that a metric of success is that it’s the most Instagrammable ice cream, and that makes me sad for society.
    Satiety plays a huge part in your body stopping when it’s full and when it’s had enough and over all enjoyment of the eating experience. If someone enjoyed downing an entire pint of Halo Top over a few bites of Ben and Jerry’s, I would honestly question and probably not trust their taste buds. And the bigger picture is, why do we feel the need to lower our calories to eat an entire PINT of something, rather than listen to our bodies and only eat a single serving and stop when we are full? (I’m not preaching that, I have problems stopping when I am full, it’s a hard thing with all the food available and the massive portions we are served!)
    Also, in “wellness is over” solidarity, eat whatever damn ice cream you want. You don’t have to eat coconut milk ice cream because it’s somehow better for you because some nutritionist says. GUHROSS.
    Mmmm… now I want some cookie dough ice cream for 2nd breakfast.

  • ihaveacooch

    i tried a few halo top flavors and thought it was pretty gross. the cookie dough one is all right.

  • Andrea Raymer

    I eat way too much low calorie ice cream. Mostly because I just eat too much ice cream in general so I need to switch to something. I have tried all the brands and enjoy comparing similar flavors. its not uncommon for me to come home from the store with 3 pints of the same flavor in different brands.
    Enlightened is the underdog of this genre of ice cream, it is so much better than halo top and doesn’t get the credit it deserves.
    And I have realized that Arctic Zero has taught me some very important lessons in moderation. Its frozen slim fast flavor just isn’t good enough for me to want to eat the entire pint so I have learned to stop after just a few bites.

    • Chrs

      Same! I can see the sense in what the nutritionists in the article are saying about portion control being preferable, but I also know myself, and I know that whatever I get I WILL end up eating three or four “servings.” Low calorie options just seem safer.

      That said, Halo Top tastes plain and unsatisfying. I’d rather have frozen yogurt or gelato.

      • Andrea Raymer

        I feel like these low calorie ice creams are designed for people like me who have no will power. If I’m going to binge eat ice cream I would rather binge on this than full fat stuff that will negatively affect my mental health because of the guilt I feel for eating it.

        Side note: Does anyone else like to eat ice cream with a tiny baby spoon so it slows down the process and feel like you are eating more?

        • gracesface

          yesssss. i love ice cream. just love it. i love artisanal expensive stuff and unique flavors and LIMITED flavors and my ‘ol reliable (caramel cone from hagen daazs) and I sometimes credit my sweet 2nd cousin once removed for encouraging my love of this stuff. she was a dear 80 year old woman that had a freezer full of ice cream that she sampled whenever she damn well pleased. oh and i discovered i can buy it’s-it’s here in texas – the greatest ice cream sandwiches ever! um, basically, i’m an ice cream glutton and i’ve stopped feeling guilty for it tbh.

        • Cara

          Agree on both points. A little bit of full fat vs. a whole pint of low fat is NOT the choice I am making! The choice I am making is btwn 1200 calories of Ben & Jerry’s and 280 of Halo. Whatever my body thinks of sugar alcohol, it probably doesn’t like 60 grams of fat any better. I’m surprised the article didn’t acknowledge this at all.

          And I must use little spoons or everything is gone in 2 bites!

    • Andrea Raymer

      UPDATE: i just ate a pint of cookie dough Halo Top and I dont feel bad about it.

  • Willa Konefał Davis

    I agree with the doctors in this article. I’d so much rather eat a bowl of my favorite ice cream (that is rich and actually satisfies me)(Ben & Jerry’s Vanilla) than eat an entire container of an ice cream with questionable ingredients that (I’ve heard) tastes more like ice than cream.

    • Cristina

      I just tried a new B&J’s flavor that’s vanilla with cookie and peanut butter and OMG. It’s a party in my mouth. Surprisingly, it’s so loaded with goods that I can’t eat much in one sitting before I feel like a huge sugar bomb in my stomach. Also because it’s so freaking good and costs a bajillion dollars I need it to last hahahaha

      • gracesface

        this has been “the summer of 9 pints (in my freezer)”

    • Rachel

      I agree, we should be eating stuff that actually tastes good with real ingredients!

    • Hayley

      Agreed — I always get full fat ice cream to avoid weird added ingredients/even more sugar. I only end up wanting half of a tiny bowl (this tiny bowl, to be exact: https://www.anthropologie.com/shop/mini-latte-bowl-set), and I feel totally satiated.

      • Willa Konefał Davis

        Those are cute!! I use 6″ Japanese rice bowls (they were a gift, and just happened to be perfect ice cream bowls). Also, full fat everything for life. When I used to consume more dairy, the fat on top of full fat yogurt before it had been mixed was my kryptonite!

        • Hayley

          YES I love the layer of fat on top — it’s the best.

    • Pterodactyl111

      The fake stuff never tastes as good.

    • ValiantlyVarnished

      Exactly.I’d rather eat one pint of Ben & Jerry’s (which I have – MANY times) once every two weeks or so than eat a pint of Halo every few days.

  • CeeEm

    I thought Halo Top ice cream was fine enough, but not so great that I wanted to eat the entire pint in one go. That is, until I tasted the peanut butter cup flavor. I was hooked at first taste and ate the whole pint during an episode of Big Little Lies.

    Y’ALL, I woke up with the WORST stomach pain and it lasted for nearly two days. I couldn’t even poop to feel better (not normally an issue for me). I’ve sworn off Halo Top since. Never again!

    • susanbeee

      Ok SAME! Halo Top RUINED my stomach for two full days. Horrible cramps and bloating, not even a tiny bit worth the saved calories

    • Jen

      Same thing happened to me! NEVER again!! Im so passionately against this stuff.

  • Abby Colby

    It’s interesting to me that most of those interviewed are moving away from calorie counting, given many states are finally putting legislation into motion that requires calories to be listed on menus, products, etc. It definitely reflects the mixed messages people receive about what’s “healthy” — it’s no surprise like, all of us, have no idea what we’re doing (or eating) half the time!

    • Rachel

      I’m no scientist or nutrition expert but I think calories still matter when it comes to the type of calories. The calories from strawberries are much better for you than the calories from a bag of chips. I think we just need to look at the bigger picture with our food and not focus in just on calories. It’s the same with sugar and fat, there are good sugars and fats as well as bad sugars and fats. Our body needs all these to survive, it’s just a matter of eating the “right” ones. The problem is it’s hard to figure out what the “right” ones are!!

      • Abby Colby

        Exactly!! I think people crave a simplistic, black and white approach, and it just doesn’t exist.

  • Rachel

    I’m a big fan of the “eat food, mostly plants, not too much” school of thought even though I’m terrible at eating my veggies!! But I also have a BIG sweet tooth and very little self control when it comes to junk food! With junk food I always ask myself, “is this really worth it?” If I’m going to eat something I junky it better be damn good and delicious. I wouldn’t waste my junk food intact on Halo Top because it just doesn’t taste that great. Instead when it comes to ice cream I get it from a local shop that makes it in small batches with fresh ingredients. It’s still not good for me but it tastes like heaven and is worth every damn calorie!

  • Gracie

    I mean, I understand what the doctors are saying, but I really do like Halo Top. Regular full fat ice cream can make me feel pretty sick from all the sugar and dairy. I like coconut milk ice cream but I don’t always want it to taste like coconut. I will try to think more about when I put a whole pint of Halo Top in my body but I probably won’t stop eating it…

    • Shevaun

      A tasty alternative is to take some frozen bananas, frozen berries, almond milk and whatever else you like and blend it in the food processor. It’s makes like a fruity sweet sorbet. It can’t replace ice cream but is good anyway.

  • But but but…what about Enlightened Salted Caramel Yoghurt Bars?? 80 calories, but FILLING and GOOD. Somebody tell me these are OK?????

  • Laura

    I agree with the doctors and the general “eat food your body recognizes” line of thinking. Personally I would choose less real ice cream over more Halo Top, but being a lover of processed foods like any sane human being, it’s nice to have the option. Eating nutritional garbage sometimes makes life worth living (Kraft Mac n’ Cheese for life), but these products aren’t a miracle food just because they’re lo-cal. I think this trend has the opportunity to spiral back into the FAT FREE craze of the 90’s. These products are fine but it’s not a pass to eat as much as you want with no consequences. I feel like we could see ourselves in 20 years looking back saying, “lol what were we thinking? Simpler times I guess.”

  • For me, (and I don’t blame MR, this was an interesting article) the questions posed in this piece are indicative of the ‘I must make the totally optimal food choice every time all of the time’ approach to eating which has taken hold over the last few years. I get that it’s a backlash agains the ‘0% fat!!!!’ craze of the nineties another commenter mentioned and all the totally unsatisfying fake foods that craze spawned, but sometimes I just wish people would stop hurling ‘important’ nutrition considerations at me.

    Like, a doctor in this article asks “What’s her current state of health? What does her gut bacterial population look like? What time of day is she eating? Has she worked out?” – to me this is crazy town. Eat the damn low cal ice cream. I wish I could get it here in the UK. It’s probably not 100% optimal, but mental health = health too, and worrying yourself about whether some low sugar fake cookie dough is going to bamboozle your gut flora is, to me, a cynical brit, a fast track to deepest melancholy.

    I cannot keep up with eating clean but yolo-ing like a chill ass cool girl, monitoring my dairy consumption to skin blemish correlation, eating real food plant based high protein non GMO, forcing down those disgusting coconut milk yoghurts – yoghurt should not be high in fibre! – and lifting weights because apparently cardio is now just too passe to even mention. Enough.

    E. nuff.

    I tried an almond milk latte last week. It was offensive.

    Thanks for listening y’all I really needed to get this off my chest.

    • Cristina

      hey girl hey! haha. 100% same. Omg have you ever tried hemp seeds? Don’t. LITERALLY would never trust someone that says they like them. I bought a packet for a smoothie because I am (was) a health sadist (new term, should be coined) and it tasted like a wet dog that rolled around in freshly mowed grass. I am not even being dramatic.

      • Wow thanks for the heads up. I’m trying to think of what the worst tasting health-pain food I have tried is now. Actually you know what it’s a basic one but ‘courgetti’ otherwise known as ‘zucchini noodles’ or aomething in the US. Nasty. Not pasta. It. is. not. pasta.

        • Cristina

          Ahahahaaaa. Oh I refuse. That and cauliflower crust pizza. No. If that was the only food presented to me, I would just eat gum. Seriously.

        • gracesface

          angel hair pasta + vodka sauce = heaven. and my lunch at least once a week.

          • Upvoted this because it is correct.

        • Sarah

          i tried making zoodles. i ate a giant plate and was still starving and then made real pasta as my second course

          • Jade-Yue-Ryu

            Not surprising. Zucchini has roughly zero calories so you don’t get much fuel from it and it can be watery *cringe*. When I want something other than straight pasta I go with either rice based or spaghetti squash (because it can be buttery and yum). Sometimes though I’m squarely in the boat of “eat the damn penne in tomato cream sauce”. Honestly, what I took away from this article was that low calorie ice cream is a fad that may lead to a lot of heartburn and indigestion from overeating, which means I’m just gonna eat the damn Haagen Das and mochi ice cream.

      • Actually no scratch that. Chia pudding. Breathtakingly awful.

        • Hayley

          I actually really love it! Have you tried it with coconut milk and mashed banana? Tastes really yummy.

          • gracesface

            i’ve decided the world is split up into coconut people and non coconut people. :p

          • Hayley

            I was actually having this conversation Tuesday night with someone over dinner, how funny!
            Edit note – we had this discussion because I had some sort of delicious coconut pie that she wanted nothing to do with.

        • SL

          I love chia pudding!! We use to eat it growing up and it was such a fun treat. I also love almond milk and zoodles, which is not to say that I don’t equally love pasta from Marea. It’s just what you’re use to eating, I guess.

      • Antoinette

        I love hemp seeds! And I can be trusted not to give you the best tasting options for food! lol

      • Jeanie

        Haha. I actually do like them fine, but I only ever had a sample once. I don’t buy them cause they’re money I don’t need to be spending. I like almost all the “healthy” foods, but I’m not a very picky eater as long as it’s seasoned well. I had to live on canned soup and frozen food in my teens. That’s the truely god awful food to be eating everyday.

      • pdbraide

        I’m curious to see when you are dramatic

    • Rachel

      I agree with a lot of what you said here, like yea, fiber does not need to be added to yogurt if it’s not naturally occurring. All this health stuff is so crazy and confusing and constantly changing! Everyone has different opinions it’s hard to know which doctors to listen too. Food needs to be enjoyable!!! Not a constant chore in trying to figure out what is the “healthiest” option!

      • Yeah that’s my problem with it all really. I am fine with aiming for ‘healthy’ most of the time, but when you find yourself on a constant quest for ‘healthiEST’ that’s when you need to calm down. Nothing needs to be 100% optimal 100% of the time.

        • PCE

          I’m printing this and sticking it on my fridge.

    • Shevaun

      How is cardio passe I’m so confused ITS IMPORTANT ITS IMPORTANT FOR YOUR HEART

      • I mean all the trend pieces would have you believe it’s passe and it’s all about weights now. Just trying to make a joke about how trend driven the whole health shebang is at the moment. Maybe I will take my british humour elsewhere. A lot of people are taking me v literally.

        • Shevaun

          Ohhh. I don’t read many trend pieces so I was marvelling that cardio could fall out of vogue.

          No need to leave. Stick around!

          • Trust me I am marvelling too. I just like taking walks so I’ll stick with that.

          • Adrianna

            It’s starting to. There’s a whole Instagram *tribe* of women of all different ages posting their weightlifting progress. I’ve finally admitted to myself that it’s a poor way to lose and maintain weight. (I lost 45 pounds when I drastically changed my diet and started running in 2011.)

            I recently completed a 30 spin class package, a bunch of classpass bootcamps, and ran 2-3 times a week. I gained weight, and it wasn’t “muscle.” I lost 8 pounds when I stopped working out and started eating protein/fat for breakfast and dinner.

            (Using weightloss to discuss the value of cardio because let’s face it, that’s why we go to spin class.)

          • Shevaun

            I mean, weights are a good supplement to cardio. Like it can build strength. But so can doing yoga or lifting your own body weight (push-ups, squats, etc). I hate trends.

            Also yes, regarding your experience with losing weight, weight loss is almost all diet! I recently moved back home because I finished my degree and am looking for work. Eating my parents food my husband and I have gained about 10-20 lbs, even though we exercise the same amount, because my parents eat heavier foods. Can’t wait to get back to my diet of veggies, rice, beans and meat only once in a while!

          • Cristina

            Seriously. When I lost most of my weight, it was also from running. I’m not into strict dieting enough to weight lift + lose weight. I’m also pretty lazy and I like it that way. I tried Crossfit once and I literally thought I was going to die. I hated it, but you want to be one of the “cool kids”. I LOOOOVEEEEE SPIN CLASS. That’s what I do now. And sometimes get my happy ass on the elliptical even if it is soooo 2008.

          • Adrianna

            lol ironically I was making the point that I wasn’t losing weight or getting in better shape with all the cardio I was doing

        • Megan Greffen

          Boo. I GET YOU. Basically it’s the “get a girl who can do both” mindset that’s rammed down womens’ throats. Get a girl who can eat a cheeseburger and still look like a pencil with tits. Get a girl who can party hard all night and then wake up and run 10 miles! OH BUT WAIT don’t run, running makes you too thin. Lift weights instead because strong is the new skinny?! FUCK I thought healthy was the new skinny?! Bless it all.

        • Natalie

          Your British humor is great here.

    • nicolacash

      Not to be offensive but it sounds like you have deeper issues that extend past the concept of healthy eating. I’ve been vegan for a few months, and not only do I physically feel the healthiest I’ve ever been, but I’m also very happy because I only eat food that I truly enjoy. I actually do love coconut yogurt in my smoothies, plant-based milk in my oatmeal/iced coffee, and Talenti’s vegan peanut butter fudge sorbetto. I don’t eat anything that tastes bad to me because it’s marked ‘healthy,’ similar as to how I don’t deprive myself of french fries when I want to because they’re unhealthy. The battle between the 2 might exist in your mind but not to everyone else…

      • I mean I was hoping to write a funny comment and have a bit of a rant. I don’t have deep issues.

    • Laura

      I’d expect for an answer like that to come from a doctor(!). As a fairly ordinary, non-doctor person, I also agree to eat whatever in moderation, and quality over quantity. Also, I think it’s okay for people to care about what the marketing of a product is hiding (example: heard of luxottica?) and this post delved right into that. Tbh maybe I’m just feeling my taste was personally attacked because I love me an almond milk latte.

    • Kaye

      I thought the article IS talking about eating the healthi-ER option, in which case it’s Haagen Daz here because it lacks unrecognizable ingredients according to the contributors?

    • Bo

      Hello, this resonates so deeply to me that I think we might be twins?

    • Jeanie

      I get a little annoyed at the over emphasis on optimizing everything we eat too, BUT I have changed my diet a lot to be much healthier partially because it helps my mental health. And concerning almond milk lattes, you might think they’re offensive, but my husband’s farts are much much more offensive after a regular milk latte, hahaha. He cannot eat dairy anymore without stomach problems. Without these replacements some of us are pretty miserable. If you don’t want to eat a certain way that’s cool, but other people eating what makes them feel good isn’t something that should annoy you.

      • It doesn’t annoy me at all tbh. I was more getting irritated by the optimisation thing. I just think we’ve let ‘perfect’ become the enemy of ‘good enough’. I mean, gut bacterial population seems a bridge too far for me, and something no normal person with normal life priorities and responsibilities should be called upon to consider as an input into whether to eat some ice cream or not. If anyone wants to chug almond milk all day cos they love it that’s obviously fine, but also I’m just a girl who wrote a slightly nutty comment on an article. I don’t get to decide what’s ok and what’s not. Unless anyone wants to elect me Arbiter Of Everything, in which case I will gladly take up that mantle. x

        • skmots

          One vote from me, Grand Arbiter of Anything. I enjoyed your rant.

    • alansa

      You can get Oppo in the UK, google it it’s AMAZING!

    • PCE

      THIS.

  • Catherine Schepp

    Man Repeller/Haley, thank you for publishing/writing this article! It takes guts to publish sad FACTS about things your readers very likely adore.

    • spicyearlgrey

      i luv u

  • Lauren PS

    I ate half a pint of Halo Top mint chocolate chip on an empty stomach and got a two day migraine that was AWFUL. I was suspicious that the ice cream caused it but shrugged it off. Now I’m convinced!

  • Micah Lpez

    Give me Ben & Jerry’s or give me death!!! ( or give me Froyo, I’m okay with either )

  • Abby

    Sugar alcohols are the devil, and I would suggest avoiding them at all costs. Sincerely, someone who experienced explosive diarrhea after consuming maybe FIVE sugar-free Jolly Ranchers. Bye!

    • Elle

      Yeah dude, remember those amazon reviews for sugar free haribo gummy bears? If you need a good laugh, go look ’em up.

  • T-Fierce

    yeahhhhh major stomach cramps after only ONE serving of this low cal ice cream = I’ll just suck it up and go for a run, THEN eat my Ben & Jerry’s Cherry Garcia

  • Lindsey

    I’ve heard of Halo Top but didn’t realize it was marketed as a low-cal ice cream. That seems…dumb? I’m always wary of taking traditionally high-fat foods and making them low-fat or low-cal. To me that immediately says you’ve replaced that fat with something either unnatural, or just more sugar to make up for the lack of flavor. I think part of the food issues many Americans have (myself included) are actually due to not paying attention while eating–paying attention to how much we’re eating, if we’re actually hungry or just bored, etc. I know I eat in front of the TV all the time and hot damn, all of a sudden the chips are gone. Whereas in so many other countries around the world (not just Europe), food is a communal experience, or at the very least, is eaten mindfully at a table. It’s a hard habit to break, but I do think it’s a large contributing factor to the millions of us who eat *so much* of something, and then feel terrible about it. Rather than lessening the amount of the “bad” food (don’t actually believe in that), we lessen the quality of the “bad” food (replacing sugar/fat/carbs with a chemical or additive).

    Anyway, just my thoughts. I’m all for coming up with different versions of foods, like coconut ice cream, or almond milk, or walnut “meat”, but the difference is you’re using whole foods to make these new versions, not fake ingredients.

    • Cristina

      People have always laughed at me because even before I was married, I sat at the table to eat haha! Just by myself. At the table. We weren’t allowed to eat at the TV or anywhere else growing up, and we always had dinner together (mom sister and me) or you ate at the table even if it was just you. I can do that at home, and maybe read a book. But at work? Like, sit here at my desk not doing anything?! I don’t know if I can handle that lol!

  • Pterodactyl111

    I don’t like Halo Top for a couple of reasons. 1) I’d much rather just eat less real ice cream, or just eat sorbet or frozen yogurt than “fake” ice cream. 2) After I got engaged, a Halo Top ad popped up on my Instagram feed encouraging pre-wedding dieting, which is some serious bullshit. So yeah, I’ll take my dessert without a layer of toxic body shaming, thanks.

  • Kay Nguyen

    I tried this brand before and it doesn’t taste quite right for me, I think people should just stick with good old ice creams! They are good and satisfying <3

    https://www.myblackcloset.com/

  • kes

    man, people are all in their feelings this week about halo top.

  • Veronica

    I know Roxanne Gay has been hating on Halo Top too lately but I’m here to say my piece. I am a bodybuilder. I compete multiple times throughout the year and while I’m transitioning to counting macros rather than an ultrarestrictive diet that I have been on for years, Halo Top is awesome. I only saw it marketed to the bodybuilding community at first and now it’s jumped the shark. My personal opinion, and it can be said the same is true for ice cream,you are not supposed to consume massive quantities. Artic Zero is pure garbage and tastes like shaved ice that real ice cream dripped on top of after it was melting. There is a market audience (although ice cream really should be for all) and I’d be thrilled when all the should you eat Halo Top articles finish. So let me enjoy it and if you don’t like it – it’s not for you.

    • kes

      “So let me enjoy it and if you don’t like it – it’s not for you.” I think this wisdom could be applied to…a lot of things?

    • Bain

      Have you tried Pro-yo? I liked it much better than Halo Top. I don’t think it is marketed as low-cal, but I liked the flavor better.

    • Sha

      I love halo top too, I’ve had every flavor and it has never made my stomach hurt. This article doesn’t mention how it’s high in protein. I find it a good thing that it goes out in urine. I feel satiated after 4 spoonfuls. Attic Zero is not good at all, Halo Top is the best but I will try Pro-To. Btw, Aldi in my area NC has cookie dough and Sea salt Caramel for $3.89!

  • Spanky

    As a Cincinnatian at heart, I don’t worry about any new ice cream craze, I have all I need in Graeters Black Raspberry Chip: https://www.graeters.com/black-raspberry-chocolate-chip. Looks like it runs at about 1200 calories per pint, but a lot of times I spread my deconstruction of the pint over an entire 3 weeks.
    It’s like having a little dose of xanax in the freezer at the ready when needed.

  • Antoinette

    This Halo top is the most disgusting thing I’ve ever tasted. Anyway, screw low calorie stuff. Eat the real stuff made with real full fat ingredients and “try” to exercise portion control. If you can’t and you end up eating a ton of Haagan Daiz ice-cream (or whatever other creamy deliciousness you like), kick up your workout the next day or two, and limit your caloric intake, or just say eff it, you’re human and will most likely go overboard at times.

  • Lindsay D

    i love getting home made ice creams in a cone from a cute shop on a hot day. Personally I have Talenti in my freezer at home. I don’t think I’ve ever eaten a whole pint at once, it’s so rich and heavy.

    I also have IBS so the idea of binge eating anything gives me the sweats.

  • ValiantlyVarnished

    I have always been suspicious of any kind of sugar substitute- especially once you read the research behind them. It’s SCARY. Every single health expert or doctor I’ve read has said to just eat the real thing – in moderation.

  • Bogey

    I’ve eaten Halo Top and honestly; it’s not worth the energy – I’d rather skip dessert entirely than waste my life on it. It’s really bland, quite icey and doesn’t contain any of the actual ingredients its supposed to, and that would make it as delicious as the flavor profile would suggest .. by this I mean Birthday Cake flavor is vanilla ice cream with sprinkles… no actual birthday cake pieces. I get that omitting actual delicious-tasting elements is how they get it to be low calorie, but wouldn’t you rather have a smaller portion of really great-tasting ice cream than an entire pint of BORING AF frozen dessert (it’s not ice cream)?

  • Nima Mohebbi

    Love Halo Top, and these “experts” are missing the point.

  • sara_math

    all about the “so delicious” cashew milk ice creams

  • Snailstsichr

    I will confess that about every other month I buy a carton of Halo and, while meaning to portion it out, eat the whole thing. I’m diabetic and ice cream made with sugar does terrible things to me and (so far) Halo hasn’t messed with my numbers. I’m grateful for it since it allows me to have an occasional “ice cream meltdown.”

  • I’m a big fan of the stuff. For me, however, it isn’t about being able to binge on a pint of ice cream, it’s more about being able to curb my sugar cravings without breaking my calorie bank. I prefer to eat the stuff at the recommended serving size. It may not be the most nutritious food, but it is a nice break from my regularly healthy diet. I can eat my kale and have my sugar too.

    • Bee

      This is exactly how I feel about it!

  • Alei

    Oh my! Yep, you summed up how I feel about the whole ‘optimal food choice’ dilemma pretty succinctly. For me it boils down to: If you need to eat, food is usually 100% more optimal than no food…

  • Kristin

    I think it is so interesting that if you were to eat the pint of Haagen Daz and then induce vomiting so as not to absorb the calories you would have disordered eating whereas if you eat the halo, which is largely unabsorbable, you’re just watching what you eat

  • Jen

    I got really into Halo Top at first, but I found that a lot of the flavors left the same chemical-like, artificial flavor aftertaste in my mouth after consumption.

    My philosophy it’s probably just better to eat foods that are “bad” for you in smaller quantities than to eat large amounts (i.e., the whole pint) of food that may or may not be artificially flavored or questionable in origin.

  • Jeanie

    I love Halo Top! It as a pretty good balance of macros for anyone who cares about that. I treat fake sugar like real sugar though. As in, I don’t go crazy eating a whole lot thinking there won’t be consequences. I’ve eaten the full pint a couple of times, but usually I try to stick to the serving suggestion of 1/4 pint. It’s harder for me eat real ice cream without it snowballing into me craving it everyday, so I try to limit it.

    The real deal is that Halo Top is pretty expensive.

  • spicyearlgrey

    tbh eating ice cream by the pint is overkill and SO american (i come from australia where american is almost derogatory lmao)

    • spicyearlgrey

      ay that comment comes across mean but just wanted to let y’all know that eating by the pint should not be a habit – i mean u probs already know this but like it’s not really in treat yo self if ur rly not doin future u a solid

  • Cynthia Schoonover

    Many of these low sugar, no sugar added products are also for diabetics or people who must watch their blood sugar. I say all things in moderation.

  • Autumn

    Personally, I think Halo Top is overrated. I’ve tried a couple different flavors and neither were very good. The chocolate almond crunch was so almond-y it felt like my mouth was burning. And the cookies and cream one tasted…just…weird. Like a confusing-weird where I’m not sure what the flavors were. Give me the real stuff any day!

  • Alice

    For me, counting calories is not only an effective way to lose weight but to prioritize foods with more nutrients. I think low calorie options like Halo Top not only help mentally (if you “accidentally” eat too much you don’t feel guilty) but also allow to eat more nutrient dense foods. If I’m craving ice cream it’s better if I can have a balanced meal and then a filling amount of ice cream than just the ice cream.

    I wish we had Halo Top in europe! Instead I have to portion Ben & Jerry’s (SO HARD) and eventually one day my lack of self discipline triumphs and I eat too much.

  • Jolie

    My nutritionist, who is reeeeally strict and doesn’t even like when I eat beets because they’re too starchy, approved a half pint serving of Halo Top without any qualms. I was so taken aback, lol. I do like some Halo Top flavors (Peanut Butter Cup is the name – I think – of my favorite one), but yeah, it doesn’t satisfy that “I WANT ICE CREAM NOW” craving.

    Please note that I’m having a really tough day and I’m sick so I just ate an ENTIRE pint of Ben & Jerrys Half Baked for the first time in years. So I’m on top of the world.

  • pamb

    I am going to eat the whole pint in two sittings. So I’m going with Halo Top when it’s on sale, otherwise it’s ridiculosly expensive. The Kitchn did an article on the best flavors if you’re interested. Otherwise I’m buying individually packaged ice cream bars from WW or Skinny Cow, or Aldi’s private label. By body may not know what to do with the artifical ingredients, but I have to be real and say “don’t care. Gimme the ice cream”.

  • Sarah

    i actually eat (Regular, very fatty Tillamook) ice cream almost every night. It has become this little thing my boyfriend and I do together, and then we let our dog lick the bowls. How can we break this habit, when it makes my sweet puppy so happy? I really need to get off of it though, it is almost like an addiction, and I know all my working out is practically negated.

    I recently started purchasing Think Thin protein bars because they advertise that there is zero sugar. Come to find out under Sugar 0 g it lists “Sugar Alcohol 20 g”. Sounds like the same as this ice cream. Sounds like a way to trick us into thinking something full of sugar has no sugar.

  • Leslie Thompson

    I got severely sick after eating a pint of Halo Top Ice cream. Within 20 minutes, I felt drunk, and ended up vomiting and was sick for 2 days!

    I even ended up getting welts and rashes all over my body!

    I went to the Dr.’s and they referred me to an allergist and I was told it was most likely from erythritol.
    I further researched erythritol and it is used in insecticides! Say NO TO HALO!! I NOW REFER TO IT AS “HELL-NO!”

  • PCE

    When the doctor said he/she couldn’t say whether it was better to eat a pint of this versus a pint of Haagen Das, I stopped reading.

    Sorry MR, don’t kill my halo top vibe!