I Scream, You Scream

by Leighann on November 12, 2010

Ice Cream

Image via Flickr. Click for source.

We are big ice cream eaters. We like ice cream. We like popsicles. We like it in a dish. We like it in a cone. We like it with birthday cake.

We even like it in a box and with a fox.

I recently received a PR pitch framed around Diabetes Awareness Month about no sugar added ice cream. Would I like to receive some to try?*

But see, here’s the thing. I didn’t.

We are actually customers of this particular brand, one of several brands of ice cream and frozen treats we purchase. But I don’t buy the no sugar added version of their products.

Why?

Because I read labels.

I have always found it curious, the marketing toward people with diabetes. Sugar-free this. No sugar that. Net carbs.

What does it all mean? Should we automatically buy a product because it carries a seal of approval by this diabetes organization or that one? I say no. I say read, compare, and think before putting something into your cart and into the mouths of your children.

I try to avoid sugar alcohols because they can wreak havoc on the digestive system, particularly those of young children. And the reality is that some quote unquote sugar free products have all sorts of artificial sweeteners and sugar alcohols, but not less carbs than the real thing!

I’m going to use Blue Bunny as an example because they have a sugar-free and a regular version.

No Sugar Added
Fat Free Ice Cream
Vanilla
Premium Ice Cream
Vanilla
Serving Size1/2 cup1/2 cup
Calories80140
Fat0 g8 g
Total Carbs20 g16 g
Sugars5 g15 g
Sorbitol2 g0 g
Number of Ingredients2112
Sugar Sources (besides dairy)Polydextrose, Maltodextrin, Sorbitol, Sucralose, Acesulfame PotassiumSugar, Corn Syrup
SourceBlue BunnyBlue Bunny

The sugar-free version has MORE carbs!

(Even a no sugar added ice cream is going to have sugar because it is made with milk and/or cream which naturally has sugar.)

Do you know what kind of ice cream I really like? Haagen-Dazs Five. Five ingredients in each flavor. That’s it. I always think the least processed foods are the best foods for so many reasons and the Five ice creams really approximate ice cream made in a kitchen, not in a factory.

But give me Ben & Jerry’s Cherry Garcia any. day. of. the. week.

And yes, my daughter CAN have ice cream!

*At least it wasn’t a pitch for snake oil or cinnamon.

NaBloPoMo 2010Read all of my NaBloPoMo 2010 posts.

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Nicole November 12, 2010 at 2:40 pm

This is something that I NEVER understood!! Sugar free but loaded with Carbs and other crap…not for my T1!

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2 Heidi November 12, 2010 at 3:34 pm

I’m SO in agreement with you on this…well, except for the Cherry Garcia part! I’ll take some B& J Mint Chocolate Chunk instead! 🙂

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3 Denise November 12, 2010 at 7:19 pm

Now I am craving ice cream! thanks!!
I totally agree about the sugar-free vs regular thing. I worry about the people who don’t know how to read labels and see what they are really getting. Bring on the regular ‘with sugar’ stuff for us!!

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4 Reyna November 12, 2010 at 7:51 pm

I am all about whole foods and less ingredients, hence less CRAP in the food I feed my children.

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5 Lani November 12, 2010 at 9:05 pm

We love ice cream too! But, yep, it’s all about label reading!!

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6 Amy November 13, 2010 at 11:06 am

Thank you, thank you, thank you for this post.

When Ellie was first diagnosed, ALL sorts of people emailed me about ‘diabetic foods’ and sugar free this and that. A mom even bought sugr free ice cream for Ellie to have at a birthday party and I remember pointing out to her the carbs were higher than the regular one she was serving to all the other kids!

Sugar alcohols MESS with my digestive system, too. So ….. none for Ellie!

I don’t want to change how I feed my family just because of the T1 diagnosis. I believe foods in their natural state are the best for your body and nto to mess with mother nature!

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