Popular low-calorie ice creams, ranked worst to best

Whether you're closely watching your weight or simply want a flawless excuse to eat even more delicious ice cream, the growing popularity of low-calorie ice cream options has surely grabbed your attention. How popular is low-calorie ice cream? Halo Top, an early pioneer in the field, now sells more pints than any other ice cream company — including legendary outfits such as Ben & Jerry's and Häagen-Dazs.

The health benefits of going the low-calorie ice cream route are notable. For example, a pint of Ben & Jerry's Peanut Butter Cup ice cream has more than 1,400 calories. That's a ton of calories, especially considering that the low-calorie ice creams listed below have between 160 and 600 calories per pint.

Unfortunately, the taste of low-calorie ice cream varies widely. Some of this ice cream is great, but a lot of it is practically inedible. To help you figure out what you should try, we've ranked the popular low-calorie ice cream in order of worst to first.

16. Arctic Zero: Pistachio ice cream

Unless you want to swear off low-calorie ice cream for the rest of your life, do all you can to avoid the Pistachio flavor of Arctic Zero. This stuff is seriously revolting. It's like someone took some leftover protein powder, scooped up some lawn clippings from their backyard, added some water, blended it together, and then froze the resulting concoction. It's a mystery how this ice cream is even considered pistachio flavored. Sure, it's green — but it doesn't taste like pistachio at all.

As bad as it tastes, the texture might be even worse. This Arctic Zero ice cream is extremely icy. If you're able to chisel out a scoop, what you'll find in your bowl is more reminiscent of an ice cube than real ice cream.

While it's admirable that this ice cream only has 160 calories per pint and uses monk fruit as a sweetener, this abominable Arctic Zero product needs to stay far away from your freezer.

15. Breyers Delights: Mint Chip ice cream

The Mint Chip flavor of Breyers Delights (now at 310 calories per pint) is anything but delightful. Your first disappointment will be when you open the container and see that it's much less filled than you were hoping. It's not uncommon to see about an inch of space between the lid and the top of the ice cream. Then, when you decide to try a scoop, your frustrations will mount. For this ice cream to be scoopable at all, you'll need to let it sit on your kitchen counter for about 20 minutes. Otherwise, there's literally nothing you can do with this rock-hard dessert.

After you patiently wait for your Breyers Delights treat to defrost and finally get some of the ice cream into your mouth, you will realize all your effort was a waste. This is supposed to be Mint Chip, but it tastes more like toothpaste with grains of sand in it. In fact, toothpaste might actually be more appetizing than this stuff.

14. Halo Top: Strawberry ice cream

Halo Top has some tasty flavors — but it also has some duds. While Strawberry is a popular flavor and only has 290 calories per pint, it's one you should actively avoid.

First of all, this ice cream has a strong chemical taste to it. Instead of your taste buds being met by the endearing flavor of strawberries, they're met by something that tastes like an industrial-strength cleaner. Amazingly, it only gets worse from there, as the aftertaste adds a separate flavor that also tastes like a chemical of some sort.

While the texture is better than the two previous ice creams, it's also painfully obvious that a lot of air has been added to the mix. Although Halo Top is known to fill its ice cream with air, it's a more glaring issue with the Strawberry flavor than it is with most of the other flavors. Then again, with as bad as this stuff tastes, the air is actually a welcome reprieve by comparison.

13. Sundae Shoppe: Chocolate ice cream

Sundae Shoppe is Aldi's brand of low-calorie ice cream. Considering that this ice cream is relatively inexpensive when its price tag is compared to that of the competition, you may be really tempted to buy it. Unfortunately, that's not a good idea.

Of Sundae Shoppe's three main flavors, the Chocolate flavor (280 calories per pint) is the best. If you're expecting a deep, rich, chocolatey taste, you will be underwhelmed. It tastes more like watered-down chocolate. Flavor-wise, this ice cream isn't terrible — but it isn't great, either. Then again, it's better than the Vanilla Bean and Mint Chip flavors also offered by Sundae Shoppe.

While the taste of this low-calorie ice cream is average-ish, its downfall is the texture. Instead of being creamy, its consistency when it's in your mouth is somewhere between chalk and baby powder. It's not quite off-putting enough for you to spit it out, but you will certainly be tempted. When you're finished with your pint, you will know that next time you're better off spending a couple more dollars to acquire a better brand.

12. Skinny Cow: Vanilla Gone Wild ice cream

Don't worry, despite the name Vanilla Gone Wild, everything about these low-calorie ice cream sandwiches by Skinny Cow is completely G-rated. Although, when you open the package, you will be excited because these sandwiches look very much like the real thing. Visually, you will absolutely adore them, and you won't be able to stop yourself from taking a big, loving bite.

After the Skinny Cow's Vanilla Gone Wild is in your mouth, you will still be impressed by the texture. The chocolate is sturdy enough to keep your fingers clean but soft enough to not get in the way. The vanilla ice cream in the middle is creamy and satisfying.

Sadly, the flavor of this ice cream sandwich will eventually turn you off. You might enjoy your first bite, but the diet food taste will soon be too much to ignore. It's awesome that these sandwiches only have 160 calories, but the fact that you can tell it's a diet food negates a lot of what would otherwise be a pleasurable experience.

11. Ben & Jerry's Moophoria: Mocha Fudge Brownie ice cream

If you want to take a gamble, buy the Mocha Fudge Brownie flavor (600 calories per pint) of Ben & Jerry's Moophoria. Sometimes, you will love what you get. Other times, you will be totally let down, and you will feel like you got shortchanged.

The base ice cream in this Mocha Fudge Brownie dessert is a combination of chocolate and coffee — and it's really, really tasty. You'll also find swirls of toasted marshmallows, which gives it a yummy s'mores-like flavor. However, what will completely determine your satisfaction level will be the number of brownie chunks you find in your pint of low-calorie ice cream. If you get a lot of chunks, you'll be thrilled. If you only get a lone brownie chunk or just a couple of them, you will feel like you got the raw end of the transaction.

Tip: When you are looking for Ben & Jerry's low-calorie ice cream, be sure that it has the word "Moophoria" on the package. Compared to regular Ben & Jerry's ice cream, the Moophoria versions have much less fat, sugar, and calories.

10. Archer Farms: Maple Caramel Bourbon Pecan ice cream

There's actually a whole lot to like about the Maple Caramel Bourbon Pecan low-calorie ice cream (380 calories per pint) by Archer Farms. The white ice cream base has a pleasant maple flavor to it. The swirls of caramel throughout the dessert are supercharged by bourbon flavoring — and, yes, those swirls are as delicious as they sound. To top things off, there are jolly pieces of pecans found throughout the ice cream.

What stops this Maple Caramel Bourbon Pecan flavored dessert from climbing higher in this ranking? The maple-flavored base ice cream tastes good, but it's so light that it doesn't have a chance of filling you up. In fact, it's more like whipped cream than typical ice cream. Imagine trying to fill up by eating whipped cream — it's just not going to happen. If that's a deal-breaker, don't purchase this low-calorie ice cream.

To find Archer Farms low-calorie ice cream, you will need to shop at Target. Archer Farms is Target's store brand.

9. Edy's Slow Churned: Rocky Road ice cream

A low-calorie ice cream with the words "Rocky Road" on the package is bound to excite you. Finding a low-calorie alternative to real Rocky Road ice cream would be glorious. While this Edy's Slow Churned version (110 calories per serving) is good, it's not as substantive as you would hope.

The dominant flavor of this low-calorie Rocky Road ice cream is chocolate. Unfortunately, the chocolate flavor is relatively light and lacks the richness found in traditional Rocky Road. This dessert also has relatively big chunks of marshmallows, but they lack a genuine sweetness. The pieces of almonds taste fresh, but there just aren't that many pieces in each pint.

If you're really craving Rocky Road ice cream and you want it in the form of a low-calorie pint, then this stuff will do. You won't be overly ecstatic by the dessert, but it will have scratched your Rocky Road itch. Otherwise, go with one of the popular low-calorie ice creams higher on this list.

8. Skinny Cow: Full on Fudge ice cream

For an above-average low-calorie ice cream experience, go with the Skinny Cow ice cream bars called Full on Fudge that have only 120 calories per bar. Like the name suggests, this ice cream really does taste like chocolate fudge. And unlike the previously mentioned Vanilla Gone Wild ice cream sandwiches by Skinny Cow, it doesn't taste like diet food. Eat one of these Full on Fudge bars, and your sweet tooth will be overjoyed.

However, there are two slight issues that stop these bars from being an elite low-calorie dessert option. Firstly, they are extremely messy. It's fantastic that they're so creamy, but that same attribute causes them to easily get all over your face and hands. Don't eat these bad boys if you're on the run — you'll live to regret it.

Secondly, these Skinny Cow desserts can get boring after a while. There's not enough flavor diversity to keep your attention and stop you from daydreaming of something that is more than just all chocolate fudge.

7. Chilly Cow: Sweet Cream Peanut Butter ice cream

If you like sweet desserts, this Sweet Cream Peanut Butter flavor of low-calorie ice cream by Chilly Cow will be one of your favorites. If too much sweetness tends to overwhelm your senses, you should probably look elsewhere.

This Chilly Cow dessert features a sweet ice cream base that is extra creamy. Within the ice cream, you will find swirls of sweet peanut butter. These peanut butter swirls are really good. In fact, they are so good that you will be sad that there aren't more swirls in each container.

Technically, this Sweet Cream Peanut Butter low-calorie ice cream has 380 calories per pint. However, Chilly Cow is one of the few companies that sells half-pints, so the more pertinent number to know is that these desserts are 190 calories per half-pint. If a full pint of ice cream is too much for you to eat in one sitting, these smaller containers may be the perfect size for you.

6. Breyers Delights: Cookies and Cream ice cream

Of all the flavors of Breyers Delights low-calorie ice cream, Cookies and Cream (330 calories per pint) is the best. If you want a healthy Cookies and Cream ice cream, this is the dessert for you.

The vanilla ice cream base is rich and completely enjoyable. However, what you'll reminisce about is the number of cookie crumbles and how scrumptious each piece of cookie tastes. It actually tastes like they use real Oreo cookies in this dessert. To add to the enjoyment factor, some of the cookie pieces are big and some are small — so you never know quite what to expect with each spoonful.

This Breyers Delights product would have a better spot in this ranking except for the fact that it needs time to defrost, just like the aforementioned Mint Chip flavor. This ice cream needs to be left out about 20 minutes for you to be able to scoop it. You may be tempted to run hot water over your ice cream scooper to speed up the process, but that's actually a really bad idea.

5. Edy's Slow Churned: Neapolitan ice cream

Good strawberry low-calorie ice cream is difficult to find. Thankfully, Edy's Slow Churned ice cream is able to deliver just that in its Neapolitan flavor. One-third of this dessert, which has 140 calories per serving, is yummy strawberry ice cream that has the perfect level of sweetness. Most low-calorie strawberry flavors have a chemical aftertaste, but that's not the case at all with this Edy's Slow Churned dessert.

The vanilla ice cream is also really delicious. It's creamy and rich, so much so that you will cherish each spoonful that has vanilla in it. Unfortunately, while the strawberry and the vanilla flavors are great in this Neapolitan ice cream, the chocolate portion isn't anything to write home about. It's not horrible, mind you, but it's far and away the worst of the three flavors. The chocolatey flavor is so light and inconspicuous that it can easily get lost in the shuffle.

4. Yasso: Fudge Brownie ice cream

Yasso says it isn't "fudging around" with these low-calorie dessert bars (100 calories per bar), and your taste buds will wholeheartedly co-sign that assessment. These Fudge Brownie bars are seriously delectable, especially considering that there are so few calories in each one.

While the Full on Fudge ice cream bars by Skinny Cow will eventually cause you to yawn with boredom due to the lack of diversity, these Yasso bars have brownie chunks within the chocolate fudge to liven up the party. That one-two punch of flavors and textures will keep you fully engaged until the box of these bad boys are gone.

While these bars look and taste like ice cream and are found in the ice cream section of your grocery store, Yasso actually uses Greek yogurt instead of ice cream. Considering the quality taste and the low number of calories, that was a wise decision. The only hint that this isn't real ice cream will be a very slight bitter aftertaste. However, it shouldn't bother you at all.

3. Halo Top: Mint Chip ice cream

Halo Top has more than 20 flavors of low-calorie ice cream and a wide variety of ice cream bars. The company also sells dairy-free and keto desserts. Of their entire selection of products, their Mint Chip ice cream is the cream of the crop. It's amazing how good this ice cream tastes, especially since it has only 330 calories per pint. Not surprisingly, this ice cream gets rave reviews by dieters who keep a close eye on everything that enters their bodies.

This Halo Top ice cream has tasty chocolate chips generously dispersed within each pint. The chips are rich with a deep chocolatey flavor. Although the chocolate chips are memorable in their own right, it's the mint-flavored ice cream that will steal your heart. While the Breyers Delights version of Mint Chip tastes like toothpaste, this Halo Top dessert has a much lighter and much fresher mint flavor that you will love from the first scoop to the last bite.

2. Enlightened: Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough ice cream

If you're scouring the shelves of your local supermarket to find a worthy low-calorie ice cream, you might be hesitant to reach out and grab one that claims to have a cookie dough flavor. Logically, it just doesn't seem possible that a cookie dough ice cream can be good when the calories are restricted. But somehow, some way, the Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough flavor of Enlightened low-calorie ice cream (100 calories per serving) replicates the traditional version. In fact, if you did a taste test of your own, it'd be virtually impossible to tell the difference.

This Enlightened flavor has a scrumptious vanilla ice cream base. From there, things only get better, as there is a whole bunch of chocolate chip cookie dough in each pint. You can be very confident that each spoonful will have some cookie dough in it. There are also some standalone chocolate chips intermixed in this ice cream, which only adds to the incredibleness of it all.

1. Ben & Jerry's Moophoria: Cherry Garcia with a Twist ice cream

Cherry Garcia is one of the very best flavors of regular Ben & Jerry's ice cream. With a history dating back to 1986, Cherry Garcia has been extremely popular in the ice cream world for more than three decades. When Cherry Garcia with a Twist hit the market, it was met with a lot of eye-rolling. But, amazingly, not only does this Ben & Jerry's Moophoria low-calorie ice cream not tarnish the name, multiple reviewers agree that it's actually better than the original Cherry Garcia!

Cherry Garcia with a Twist has a mix of cherry ice cream and chocolate ice cream, which both taste absolutely spectacular. From there, flakes of fudge and pieces of cherries are added in, and the result is breathtaking. Each bite will leave you yearning for more.

Considering that the original Cherry Garcia has 240 calories per serving, it's simply astonishing that Cherry Garcia with a Twist has only 140 calories per serving. Better ice cream with fewer calories? Sign us all up!