Halo Top is arguably the most popular “healthy” ice cream brand. It’s lower in calories, higher in protein and lower in added sugar than most ice cream brands.
But is Halo Top actually healthier than regular ice cream, or is just positioned as such because of effective marketing? Does Halo Top contain any questionable additive ingredients? What’s the healthiest Halo Top flavor? And how does Halo Top’s Keto Series compare?
In this article we’ll answer all of these questions and more as we review the ingredients in Halo Top based on medical research to give our take on whether the brand is really healthier than regular ice cream.
We’ll also give our recommendation for Halo Top’s healthiest flavor and share our thoughts on whether the brand’s Keto Series is a better option than their regular ice cream.
Halo Top vs. Regular Ice Cream
The ingredients for Halo Top Mint Chip are shown above.
For an ice cream brand, these are relatively unprocessed and healthy ingredients.
Peppermint oil is used as a natural flavoring agent, and is shown in a 2018 medical review to have favorable effects on gut health.
Stevia leaf extract and erythritol are plant-based sweeteners, the former of which is shown in a 2020 medical review to reduce blood sugar in those with high blood sugar and to have anti-inflammatory effects.
Natural flavors is the only additive ingredient we consider questionable in Halo Top, as this is a broad descriptor that was clinically shown to have toxicity concerns depending on the flavoring agents used, as we referenced in our Pink Sauce reviews article.
The ingredients for Turkey Hill Choco Mint Chip ice cream (a commercial brand) are shown above.
Corn syrup is a cheap, high-glycemic sweetener shown in a medical review published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition to be associated with increased risk of obesity.
Peppermint oil flavor is used instead of natural peppermint oil, and there’s no description of what chemical compounds are used to make this flavor.
Yellow 5 and Blue 1 are artificial food dyes, and as we detailed in our article on is Red Bull bad for you, all artificial food coloring compounds are clinically shown to have toxicity risk.
Halo Top also differs significantly from regular ice cream in regard to macronutrients.
One pint of Halo Top contains 330 calories, 18 grams (g) of dietary fiber and 16 g of added sugar. One pint of Turkey Hill contains 600 calories, less than 1 g of dietary fiber and 39 g of added sugar.
Overall, we consider Halo Top to be significantly healthier than regular ice cream. Not only is it much higher in fiber which can have positive effects on gut health and weight, it’s significantly lower in calories and added sugar and contains fewer questionable additive ingredients.
But what’s the healthiest Halo Top flavor? We’ll provide our recommendation in the next section.
What’s the Healthiest Halo Top Flavor?
We consider Strawberry to be the healthiest Halo Top flavor.
Strawberries are unsurprisingly one of the main ingredients, and a medical review published in the Food & Function journal found that this fruit helps with disease prevention, contains potent antioxidants and can even protect and repair DNA damage.
Because strawberries naturally contain sugar, this flavor of Halo Top only contains 11 g of added sugar per pint, which is 39% less than in the Mint Chip flavor we reviewed in the previous section.
Citric acid is included in this flavor, which may be inflammatory to a small subset of the population as we documented in our review of Juice Plus, but overall we still think it’s the healthiest option because of the whole food ingredient based and the reduced added sugar.
A TikTok user named Patricia Isabelle reviewed the flavor of Halo Top Strawberry favorably:
@patriciaisabelle #Halotop#icecream#fyp#toppings#strawberry#sweets#yum ♬ original sound - Patricia Isabelle
Good Morning America Reviews Halo Top
A Good Morning America segment with over 60,000 views reviews the healthiness and taste of Halo Top:
Is the Halo Top Keto Series Better?
Halo Top sells ice cream for people on a ketogenic (keto) diet that typically requires under 50 g of carbs per day and sometimes under 20 g. The ingredients in Halo Top Keto Mint Chocolate pint are shown above.
This ice cream can be incorporated into a keto diet, because it only contains 10 g of carbs per pint.
Halo Top Keto pints are healthier than Halo Top regular pints in our opinion, even for those not on a keto diet, because they are significantly lower in added sugar (1 g vs. 16 g). The majority of the other ingredients are exactly the same.
Two YouTube creators with a channel called “Keto Connect” did a taste test on Halo Top Keto Series:
Our Clean Ice Cream Recommendation
Daily Harvest Scoops is our top pick for a healthy ice cream brand.
This is the only ice cream brand we’ve come across that uses entirely whole food ingredients. As an example, their Rippled Berry ice cream flavor includes natural, nutrient-rich ingredients like organic coconut cream, organic strawberry puree, and dragon fruit puree.
Daily Harvest Scoops are vegan and are entirely free of questionable additive ingredients, and even contain functional, taste-free ingredients like probiotics that can improve gut health.
Interested consumers can check out Daily Harvest Scoops at this link to the product page on the official brand’s website.