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Halo Top has a new Mochi Green Tea flavor—but is it actually healthy?


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Graphic by Abby Maker for Well+Good
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The world will always hold a spot in its ice cream-loving heart for two men named Ben and Jerry. But over the past few years, a new pint has taken preference.

Halo Top, currently holds the spot as the best-selling ice cream brand in America, and it’s beloved for its low-calorie (it has just 240–400 per pint), high-protein (five grams per serving, or around 20 grams per pint) claims. And now, as Halo hype seems to reach its peak, the brand just released seven new flavors, including Pancakes & Waffles (which includes actual pieces of pancakes and waffles), Chocolate Covered Banana, Rainbow Swirl, and more.

Here’s what to know about the “healthy” new flavors.

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There’s a Mochi Green Tea flavor

Made with actual pieces of mochi and having that signature matcha-specific green tea earthiness taste, Mochi Green Tea is one of the least sweet flavors—AKA it’s lower in sugar, but it still has 20 grams of it in the pint. (Real talk: The serving size says 5 grams, but that’s only half a cup, and who do you know that eats that small of a serving?)

Another not-so great surprise: It has 320 calories per pint, which is actually more than its Rainbow Swirl and Caramel Macchiato counterparts, which clock in at 240 and 280 calories, respectively. Still, it’s dessert, so that’s a bit expected.

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You probably don’t need all that extra protein

With 5 grams of protein per serving—and 20 grams in a pint—a hearty serving of Halo Top packs a hefty dose of your daily protein intake. But if you’re downing a pint as your post-dinner treat, you almost definitely don’t need it.

“Protein is such a hot nutrient right now,” registered dietitian Keri Gans tells Time. “People are buying it without really knowing why.” (Though Gans notes that when it comes to the rest of Halo Top’s ingredients, there’s nothing she would question “as a red flag.”)

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There’s a difference between “healthy” and “healthified”

While Halo Top’s old and new offerings may skew on the healthier side of the ice cream scene when it comes to the numbers, that doesn’t exactly make it a healthy food. To get down to just 320 calories per pint, Halo Top relies pretty heavily on Stevia, the artificial sweetener that might be somewhat health sabotaging.

“Everybody has their own definition of healthy,” Halo Top Creamery CEO Justin Woolverton tells Time. “For us, [it means] foods that are as unprocessed as they can be. Halo Top is something where people can eat the whole pint, or a lot more than a quarter of a cup of ice cream. It can fit into their diet without breaking the calorie bank.”

The bottom line: Eat what you love, consider everything in moderation, and remember that a “healthy” ice cream is still ice cream.

There healthified ice cream market is booming: Häagen Dazs recently introduced dairy-free ice cream flavors, and these are the best—and healthiest—vegan options in the freezer section right now.

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