Consumer Reports tested 25 ice creams and frozen yogurts in three popular flavors: vanilla, chocolate, and butter pecan. Granted, not all are health food, but Consumer Reports does look at nutrition information to see which ones are better for you. And of course, trained testers also rate them for taste.
The butter pecan top-rated for taste is Hagen-Dazs, which aside from being delicious is also the priciest. And no surprise here, it also scored the lowest nutritionally among all those tested. A half-cup serving has a whopping 300 calories and 22 grams of fat. So it's a real splurge!
For about half the fat and calories, try Walmart's Great Value Butter Pecan ice cream, which is just as tasty, with bits of flavorful, roasted nuts. And it's also the least expensive.
More of a flavor traditionalist? Both Hagen-Dazs and Ben & Jerry's vanilla and chocolate have big flavors and creamy textures, but the Ben & Jerry's are slightly lower in fat.
For an even healthier choice, try frozen yogurt. The hot new thing in the freezer aisle is Greek frozen yogurts, which pack more protein, but none of the four tested were standouts. Instead, go with traditional frozen yogurts. Blue Bunny Vanilla Bean and TCBY Classic Vanilla offer a treat that's both delicious and healthy. That is, if you're even thinking about nutrition!
Consumer Reports says it's interesting to note that descriptions in the ice cream aisle are changing. Breyers now calls some of its products "frozen dairy dessert," because among other things, they have too little fat to meet the official government definition of ice cream. And if you think that ice cream containers are shrinking, Consumer Reports says that many are. Some, such as those from Hagen-Dazs, look like a 16-ounce pint but only contain 14 ounces.
Complete Ratings and recommendations on all kinds of products, including appliances, cars & trucks, and electronic gear, are available on Consumer Reports' website. Subscribe to ConsumerReports.org.