July 16, 2008

You Ask, I Answer: Soy Frozen Desserts

What’s your opinion on soy frozen desserts, like Turtle Mountain Purely Decadent Dairy Free Ice Cream?

Are they any healthier than real ice cream?

-- Anonymous

Via the blog

Although many people view soy desserts as “healthy”, this isn’t always the case.

As far as the Purely Decadent brand you mention is concerned, it is definitely lower in saturated fat (about 65% lower) and higher in fiber (chicory root extract boosts the fiber content to 5 grams per serving) than most standard dairy premium ice creams.

However, the sugar content is the exact same as that of Ben & Jerry’s or Haagen Dazs -- approximately 22 grams (or 5 teaspoons' worth) per serving.

Calorically speaking, a half cup serving of Purely Decadent's chocolate flavor clocks in at 210, slightly lower than Haagen Dazs' 270 calories and Ben & Jerry's 260.

However, dairy ice cream varieties, like Edy’s, offer 150 calories and 15 grams of sugar per half cup serving (the "light" version adds up to a mere 120 calories per cup.)

My main rule with ice cream is that consumers should choose it based on taste preferences, not health.

If the ice cream you happen to like is high in calories and saturated fat, be mindful of your portions or, even better, have it only at the ice cream parlor (rather than in your freezer.)

If Purely Decadent is your treat of choice (I can understand why, all varieties are delicious!), savor and enjoy, but for all intents and purposes, when it comes to how much (and often) you eat, treat it like real ice cream.

1 comment:

Tim said...

I don't disagree with your general approach, but to say that Purely Decadent is only slightly lower in calories isn't really fair. It's 22% lower, which to me is significant. Their new coconut milk ice creams are only 150 calories (44% lower) and 12g of sugar and I think they taste even better than the soy ice creams. And they are sweetened with agave syrup instead of sugar.