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Ben & Jerry’s just launched a line of healthier-for-you ice cream—and here’s the verdict


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Photo: Well+Good Creative

When you’re trying to eat healthy, you can stay away from the refined carbs, added sugars, and use as many inflammation-fighting ingredients as your meals can pack. But when you’re indulging, a vice is a vice, and regardless of the scientific strides we’ve made, ice cream will never be a straight-up health food. Recently though, you’ve probably noticed a few healthier-than-usual variations showing up in the freezer aisle. Halo Top is always rolling out new flavors and vegan variations of its low-calorie, high-protein pints; Haagen-Dazs has a dairy-free version; and Ben & Jerry’s, which has its own line of vegan ice cream, has been not so secretly experimenting with an-oh-so trendy kombucha flavor. Now, that last iconic confectionary duo is rolling out its own take on the “nice cream” trend.

Today, the ice cream purveyor announced the release of Moo-phoria, a line of light ice cream that, according to a press release, has 60 to 70 percent less fat and 35 percent fewer calories than traditional ice creams, and it does not use sugar alcohols or sugar substitutes. The three-flavor collection—Chocolate Milk & Cookies, Caramel Cookie Fix, and PB Dough—weighs in nutritionally between 140 and 160 calories per half-cup serving. For nutritional context, Halo Top flavors have anywhere from 200 to 400 calories per pint, but the Moo-phoria line doesn’t cut out the decadent add-ins, like crunchy cookies or caramel swirls.

All of this aligns with the goal of the line, which, Ben & Jerry’s senior innovation manager Dena Wimette said in the release, is to “have an incredible new option for our fans who say they can’t be trusted with a pint of Ben & Jerry’s in their freezers.”

TBH, I still might not be able to be trusted with one of these in my Zen den: The Moo-phoria flavors, to me, (especially the PB Dough) tasted just like “regular” (see: more fat and sugar) ice creams. I really didn’t think twice about the fact I was, in actuality, enjoying a lower-calorie version of the creamy goodness, and my only real qualm was having to dig two inches into the pint before finding the admittedly small peanut butter cookie dough bits. But, considering the Moo-phoria flavors have 4.5-5 grams of fat per serving—compared to B&J’s traditional flavors that tend to hit the 16 gram mark, and many of Haagen-Dazs’ that similarly come in around 18 to 19 grams—the peanut-butter crunch sacrifice is really an NBD concession.

So, sure, other nice cream options may leave you with less (when it comes to calories, fat, and taste), but since moderation is key with all of these desserts, I’ll pick this legitimately satisfying version any day of the week. Still, I’m left wondering one key question: Ben & Jerry’s, how long until Moo-phoria expands to offer a lighter version of cult-beloved (as far as my freezer’s concerned, at least) Cherry Garcia?

Use your ice creams to make a gut-friendly kombucha float or DIY your own vegan ice cream at home.

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