Are you hoping against hope that keto friendly ice cream exists?
You’re in luck. There are two major low carb ice cream brands that sell tasty, diet-friendly ice cream: Halo Top and Enlightened. These two options cater to the low to moderate carb crowd. Certain flavors can also be keto-friendly.
These low carb ice cream brands also happen to cater to the low fat crowd. What that means is that you may need to eat more ice cream than you’re used to before your are satiated. That also means that these pints contain some added sugar, though the amounts are magnitudes lower than in conventional ice cream.
Instead, if you’ve ever asked “Is Halo Top ice cream keto friendly?”, you’ll find out why or why not and which flavors are the best fit for your keto or low carb diet.
The best part?
While you can find both brands of keto friendly ice cream in stores like Sprouts and Whole Foods Market, they are also available to purchase online. That means if you live in the contiguous United States, you can have keto friendly ice cream shipped straight to your door.
Seriously. No more searching endlessly for the perfect keto, low carb ice cream recipe online and debating whether or not you you should invest in an ice cream maker!
Do these products qualify as keto friendly ice cream?
If you go off the standard 20g net carbs a day recommended for keto, these ice cream options can absolutely be a part of your keto diet.
And we don’t mean as a cheat meal but as an actual tool. Why is that?
If you allow yourself to enjoy some low carb ice cream, you may be less likely to binge on other higher carb snacks and sweets. That can be a valuable tool to support turning your keto diet into a lifestyle.
Don’t let the keto police try to convince you otherwise– if it fits into your daily target carbohydrate range, you can absolutely eat it without guilt. We have been on the keto diet for over 2 years and just knowing that we have the option of eating keto friendly ice cream has helped us immensely.
The Low Fat Elephant in the Room
In addition to reducing the amount of sugar in these low carb ice creams, ice cream makers simultaneously cut out the fat content to cater to the low-fat, low-calorie crowd.
To that end, they substitute in skim milk for heavy cream. Skim milk has around 12g of sugar per cup, while cream has almost no carbs.
The keto friendly ice cream brands we highlight still taste great, you’ll just have to find your fat elsewhere.
Where can I find ice cream made just for the keto crowd?
Like we mentioned above, if you simply substitute heavy cream for the skim milk, you can save a ton of carbs. We’ve thought aloud multiple times wondering why no one has come out with a keto ice cream.
Well, now they have. And about as soon as we found the first keto ice cream brand, a bunch started sprouting up seemingly everywhere. This is a great problem to have!
We’ll highlight the best current keto ice cream brands after the Enlightened vs. Halo Top comparison.
These are the best widely available keto friendly ice cream brands
Some of the flavors in our list are so low carb that you could plow through a whole pint of ice cream and still end up below 20g net carbs total!
Again, we’ll reiterate that while the keto diet is an ultra low carb diet, you can have some carbs. Keto isn’t a zero carb diet and you should not feel bad for having some carbs.
Our M.O. is that if you don’t love what you eat, you’re not going to be able to stick to a diet or lifestyle long-term.
**Quick Note: Make sure to check out our pro tips at the bottom for ideas on how you can take your keto friendly ice cream to the next level!
Affiliate Note: When you click on some of the links on this page, we may receive a small kickback from Amazon, which in turn helps us keep the lights on. We greatly appreciate your support and hope you discover some awesome keto and low carb products from our site.
Halo Top vs. Enlightened: Tale of the Tape
- While there are a number of new players to the game, these are still the two most readily available ice cream…I mean you can even get it at AMC theaters now!
- Both of these low carb ice cream brands use nearly the same ingredients, just in varying quantities.
- The main difference between the brands is texture and flavor.
- The sweetener used in these varieties erythritol, which is a naturally-derived sugar alcohol.
- Based on our taste, Halo Top tends to have a sweeter taste compared to the Enlightened flavors.
- Halo Top’s texture tends to be less creamy compared to Enlightened, in general.
We rank Enlightened above Halo Top because from the net carb perspective, there are many more low carb flavor options from Enlightened than from Halo Top.
Case in point: Halo Top’s lowest net carb flavor is Birthday Cake, coming in at 5g net carbs. In contrast, Enlightened has 12 flavors that are at or below 5g net carbs, compared to just one for Halo Top.
As a result, it’s more likely that you’ll find a low carb flavor that you will enjoy with Enlightened.
Speaking of flavors, our favorite Enlightened flavors are:
- Strawberry Cheesecake at 5g net carbs per 1/2 cup (think of your childhood Strawberry Shortcake ice cream bars)
- Snickerdoodle at 4g net carbs per 1/2 cup (think Mexican horchata)
- Butter Pecan at 4g net carbs per 1/2 cup (think butter and… pecan?) You can thank us later 😀
Pro-Tip: Enlightened also sells their ice cream in pops for a few of their flavors. However, this is only available in limited stores.
#2 Halo Top
Halo Top is the best selling ice cream pint in America! And that’s not just for low carb or keto friendly ice cream crowd, either. Halo Top actually beats out ALL major ice cream pints sold in the States on volume.
Yes, even Ben and Jerry’s and Haagen Daz! To say Halo Top is popular is an understatement.
Don’t get us wrong, we thoroughly enjoy Halo Top– it just comes down to what we are feeling on a certain day and how many carbs we have to spare.
Our favorite Halo Top flavor is Birthday Cake, which also happens to be their lowest net carb count flavor at 5g net carb per 1/2 cup.
**Halo Top has also recently introduced 14 non-dairy, low carb flavors. They use coconut cream as the base, though the flavors are still low fat despite the addition of the coconut.
Halo Top Flavors
What about that high fat, low carb ice cream you were talking about?
Recently, a few companies have emerged to try to fill this previously untapped niche. More keto friendly ice cream brands seem to be coming out weekly. What a time to be alive!
Because these are generally very small operations, availability is limited (mostly online sales in bulk).
We also answer what makes these keto ice cream brands more keto friendly than Enlightened and Halo Top?
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- Local, slow churn style ice cream made in partnership with a long-standing creamery.
- Sweetened with chicory root fiber, Monk Fruit Extract, Erythritol, prebiotic soluble fiber from tapioca and Stevia.
- All flavors are 3g net carbs per serving! High in fat (13-14g). Lower protein (5g)
- A dash of whole milk makes this texture and taste very similar to real ice cream!
- The overall texture is like a decadent(fatty), mousse!
Keto Pint does these flavors AMAZING – Caramel Sea Salt, Coffee, and Chocolate!
Keto Pint Flavors
Sola recently reformulated their ice creams to make them even more low carb and creamy! The net carb numbers in the table below have been updated to reflect this change. However, the below video review is of their old formulation. All the flavors remained the same but now they are just creamer and lower carb! The below video will give you a great idea of flavor profiles!
New Video Review to come April 2019
Sola Sweets makes a bunch of low carb products, including their proprietary sweetener blend. They use that same sweetener for their keto friendly ice cream.
This is what really sets this brand apart. They add a bunch of ingredients, but they absolutely do not compromise on taste or texture! Based on texture and flavor many of our none keto family members love them the most.
- Full fat (around 11g fat)
- Milk and Cream (that’s probably why the texture is so good)
- Uses stabilizers (also why the texture is probably so good)
- Sweetened with tagatose, maltitol, monk fruit extract, stevia leaf extract
- Note that maltitol has a glycemic index of about half that of table sugar, so there is some blood sugar impact. However, Sola states that the max amount per serving is 2.5g, so you can essentially add 1g net carb to each carb count.
- Tagatose is molecularly similar to sugar but does not affect blood sugar (glycemic index 0)
- If you are weird about their ingredients you can read their post — Is Sola Keto Friendly AND the study they ran to see if their zero glycemic sugar blend spikes glucose levels (it doesn’t)
- We even confirmed this by testing our own glucose levels after eating sola and it didn’t spike! (Check out the video).
SOLA does these flavors AMAZING – Strawberry Swirl, Butter Pecan, and Caramel!
This a local brand out of our hometown of Austin, TX
- Sweetened with birch tree xylitol, which has a glycemic index of 12 (about 1/5 that of table sugar)
- Mammoth has the Highest Fat Content and the LEAST amount of ingredients out of all the keto ice cream brands.
- NO GUMS, NO FIBERS!
- Mammoth Creameries is now in Whole Foods Market in the Southwest US (Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma)!
- They also sell online!
- 1g net carb per 1/2 cup serving!
- High Fat at 26g fat (16g saturated) Holy cow!!
- Fat is from the grass-fed butter (MCT Source!) and heavy whipping cream
- This tastes very custardy, which is great! None of the other keto ice creams have custard taste. The flavor is richer than any other low carb ice cream we have tried. If you like vanilla custard, this is going be right up your alley.
Chocolate Peanut Butter
- 2g net carbs per 1/2 cup serving
- 25g fat (14g saturated)!
- This is more peanut buttery than chocolatey so all my peanut butter fans unite! It’s fatty just like their Vanilla has a very airy and whipped texture. A little goes a long way so sticking to the half cup is easy!
Again, please check their website for updates on when they expand outside of Austin.
You know a product is going to be keto-friendly when it lists the net carbs prominently on the front of the packaging.
The lowest carb flavor is 5g net carbs per pint or a meager 1.25 net carbs per serving!
We love how the list our the net carb front and center for the WHOLE PINT. They know people are doing work! 😀
But, wait, there’s more.
While most manufacturers round their nutritional numbers, Rebel Creamery gives you the exact amount of carbs per pint. We’ve chatted with the Rebel team and they know their stuff and have done their research on every single ingredient and how each affects flavor, texture, and your body!
- Erythritol, Chicory Root Fiber, and Monk Fruit Extract sweeteners
- Low protein (2g)
You can buy Rebel Ice Cream at grocery stores in a few states at this time. Check their Store Locator for the exact locations.
However they also now sell online in bulk!
REBEL IS FOR PEOPLE WHO LOVE — Cookie Dough, Mint Chip and Vanilla
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- 15g of fat (10g saturated)
- More fat is better on keto!
- The more fat, the better the ice cream texture. It also saves on carbs because the fattier cream uses less of the gums (carbs) that are added for texture.
- Low protein (3g)
- Protein, like carbs, can affect your ability to enter ketosis. That’s why we prefer lower protein.
- Killer Creamery carries a high protein version of their ice cream as well, so be sure to only buy the Low Carb version.
- Zero Glycemic Impact sweeteners erythritol and chicory root fiber (inulin) are used.
- MCT oil is a bonus to the Killer Whey brand. MCT oil has a host of benefits for keto and we are always happy to see it on the label.
KILLER WHEY IS FOR PEOPLE WHO LOVE — CARAMEL and PB&J
Killer Whey Flavors
SO WHICH KETO FRIENDLY ICE CREAM BRAND IS THE BEST?
Honestly any of these will work for keto, and to be honest you should try all of them and find your perfect match. We’ve tried them all and love them all. It really is about what fits into your macros and your life.
We can fit any of these keto ice cream brands into our daily diet and we do! We have our favorite flavors by brand (which we mentioned above) and rotate 😀 What a time to be alive!
PRO TIP – For ALL these KETO ICE CREAMS you must leave the ice cream out for 30-45 minutes to get that typical ice cream creamy texture (this is a must!) Also, if you are in a hurry you can microwave in increments of 5-10 seconds until it’s at your liking but we have found it to be the best if you leave it sitting out 😀
Some new entrants into the game
There are a few other keto friendly ice cream brands that have come out in recent months. However, they are not readily available online or even in stores.
Just in case, keep your eyes out for the following at your local stores:
Pro-Tips to take it to the next level!
- Pair some ice cream with your favorite low carb cookie for the perfect ice cream sandwich moment (above!!) Check out our favorite keto friendly and low carb cookies here!
- Craving a keto dirt and worms? Pair keto gummy bears, with vanilla ice cream and low carb double chocolate cereal for the perfect pairing!
- Missing toppings? Make sure to add some of your favorite low carb and keto friendly chocolate AND the best keto friendly nuts to make it the perfect KETO SUNDAE!
- You can also top your favorite keto friendly ice cream sundaes off with sugar-free syrups. Our favorite brand is ChocZero’s Honest Flavored Syrup which is 100% sweetened with Monk Fruit, a natural plant alternative sweetener with zero glycemic impact. ChocZero’s Syrup flavors include:
- Make your favorite ice cream shake by combining any of the syrups, ice cream, and your favorite keto milk alternatives together!
Sonja & Thanh: foodies at heart, globetrotters and avid discoverers of keto, low carb and organic products. Based out of Austin, Texas, we scour the world for food options that fit our healthy, active lifestyles.Learn more