The Best and Worst Ice Cream Truck Treats

It’s summertime, which means beaches, barbecues, and barenaked bellies. But careful, folks: Right around the corner is something that could sabotage a hard-earned beach body. It's the neighborhood ice cream truck. Luckily, you'll hear it coming a mile away.

My goal isn't to talk you out of indulging in a frozen treat. It's hot. You're suffering. I get it. But if you make smarter choices, you'll eliminate hundreds of calories and a ton of sugar from your diet, ensuring you can show skin and indulge in your favorite foods till Labor Day and beyond. Here are five ice cream truck treats to avoid, and five to enjoy.

 

 #5: Worst Popsicle
Popsicle Sponge Bob Square Pants Bar
100 calories
0 g fat
14 g sugar

To be fair, this icy ode to everyone's favorite underwater sponge isn’t such a bad option, as far as frozen treats are concerned. It’s only 100 calories, which makes it preferable to pretty much every other “Worst” on this list. But why choose the Sponge when you can cut over half the calories by opting for the patriotically colored Firecracker popsicle, instead? Red, white, and blue never looked so good.

Bonus Tip: Liquid calories (frozen liquid qualifies) are the most overlooked culprit behind America’s weight gain. Why? Because, for example, our Drink This, Not That! research revealed how our 35-calorie coffees have turned into 350-calorie coffee drinks. Some of these "donuts in a glass" even contain 700 calories and more than 100 grams of sugar. (That's 25 spoonfuls for those keeping score!) See how many of these you’ve gulped down without realizing the damage it might be doing to your waistline with this must-see list: The 20 Worst Drinks in America. You'll learn how to lose up to two pounds of belly fat a week without changing a single thing you're eating!

Eat This Instead!
Popsicle Firecracker pops
35 calories
0 g fat
7 g sugar


#4: Worst Packaged Ice Cream Cone

Nestlé Triple Chocolate Extrême Cone
390 calories
21 g fat (13 g saturated)
35 g sugar

The Nestlé Drumstick line of ice cream truck treats is a summer snacking staple. But you should pass on anything but a Lil’ version of the original drumstick—all other iterations will cost you well over 200 calories, whether they’re plain vanilla dipped in chocolate syrup or this gargantuan Extrême cone that more than lives up to its name. The Lil’ Drums Cones come with the same great taste of the original version without ruining your child’s appetite for dinner.

Eat This Instead!
Nestlé Lil’ Drums Cone Vanilla with Chocolatey Swirls
140 calories
7 g fat (4 g saturated)
10 g sugar


#3: Worst Frozen Candy Bar
Snickers Ice Cream Minis (4 pieces)
370 calories
23 g fat (13 g saturated)
30 g sugar

Nothing tastes more delicious than this frozen version of your favorite candy bar. But be careful about packaging claims—in trying to make the smarter decision, you could be causing a dietary disaster. Beware of any “mini” versions of your favorite foods. As with sliders and regular-sized burgers, a “serving” of the smaller Snickers ice cream bars is actually worse for you than the original. There are twice as many calories and grams of sugar in the minis as in the regular Snickers Ice Cream Bar! 

Bonus Tip: When you look at the nutrition label, look at serving size before calories. (It's so easy to mistake a high-calorie food for something healthy, because the serving sizes are smaller than you'd expect.) And get back in shape in record time with this indispensable story: the 100 greatest fitness tips ever!

Eat This Instead!
Snickers Ice Cream Bar (original)
180 calories
11 g fat (6 g saturated)
15 g sugars


#2: Worst Frozen Novelty

Klondike Choco Taco
290 calories
15 g fat (11 g saturated)
24 g sugar

When it comes to frozen goodies, Klondike practically defines the market. And the Choco Taco is one of the most famous treats—which is unfortunate, considering the caloric cost it comes with. It’s not surprising that this novelty invention is so bad for you—the taco “shell” is made from heavy waffle cone, and it’s filled with ice cream, fudge, peanuts, and more chocolate. Reduce your caloric intake with another Klondike specialty—the ice cream sandwich. The Oreo Sandwich cuts out nearly a third of the calories and almost all the saturated fat. (Make this kind of Eat This, Not That! smart swap every day and lose 10 pounds a year without ever dieting.)

Eat This Instead!
Klondike Oreo Sandwich
200 calories
7 g fat (2 g saturated)
17 g sugars

Speaking of sandwiches, the bread-wrapped kind can be just as dangerous to your diet as desserts. Check out this amazing compilation of The Worst Sandwiches in America to find out which make you large--and which can make you lean. 


#1: Worst Ice Cream Bar
Good Humor Candy Center Crunch Bar
300 calories
21 g fat (17 g saturated)
21 g sugar

What’s baffling about this ice cream bar is that it’s made from low-fat, artificially flavored ice cream—and yet still packs as many calories as a McDonald’s Cheeseburger, as much sugar as 7 Rainbow popsicles, and as much saturated fat as 17 strips of Oscar Mayer bacon! The Good Humor line of ice cream bars isn’t all bad news, though—stick with the Cookies & Cream Bar for a tasty treat with only a fraction of the calories, sugar, and saturated fat.

Bonus Tip
: Did you know that white chocolate isn't technically chocolate, since it contains no cocoa solids? (It's mostly fat and sugar.) For other shocking health, fitness, and nutrition secrets, follow me on Twitter here.

Eat This Instead!
Good Humor Cookies & Cream Bar
90 calories
1.5 g fat (1 g saturated)
10 g sugar

And remember: You can get daily food and nutrition secrets and strategies with our FREE Cook This, Not That! and Eat This, Not That! newsletters. It'll be like having your own free personal weight-loss coach and nutritionist with you every day!

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