Halo Top Review: A Dietitian’s Take on Taste and Nutrition – Healthline


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Halo Top ice cream comes in more than two dozen traditional and whimsical flavors, such as Birthday Cake and Peanut Butter Cup, all of which contain the same core ingredients.

Generally, most flavors include ingredients like skim milk, erythritol, eggs, prebiotic fiber, cream, organic cane sugar, vegetable glycerin, and organic stevia leaf extract. However, the ingredients may vary slightly for specific flavors.

For instance, in addition to the ingredients listed above, the vanilla flavor also includes milk protein concentrate, natural flavors, sea salt, vanilla beans, organic carob gum, and organic guar gum.

The dairy-based pops contain most of the same ingredients as the pints in varying amounts but are made without soluble corn fiber.

In vegan versions, the milk and eggs are replaced with a base of coconut cream mixed with water, which is essentially reduced fat coconut milk.

Most Halo Top fruit pops are made with real fruit and contain other ingredients such as soluble corn fiber, sugar, stevia, natural flavors, citric acid, and lemon juice concentrate.

Meanwhile, items in the keto series have most of the same ingredients as the dairy-based ice creams and pops but contain more cream and are made without cane sugar.

Here’s a closer look at some of Halo Top ice cream’s core ingredients.

Sugar substitutes

In addition to cane sugar, Halo Top contains two natural sugar substitutes — stevia leaf extract and erythritol.

Stevia leaf extract comes from the Stevia rebaudiana plant and is calorie-free (2, 8).

Erythritol is virtually calorie-free in the amounts typically used. The source of this sweetener varies. The erythritol used in Halo Top ice cream is made from yeast fermentation of corn starch (9, 10).

Because of its chemical structure, erythritol is classified as a sugar alcohol. In contrast to other sweeteners of this type, including sorbitol, it’s unlikely to cause nausea or diarrhea unless you eat more than 50 grams. One pint of Halo Top ice cream contains 20 grams (11).

Fiber and gums

Ice cream doesn’t naturally contain fiber. However, Halo Top contains added prebiotic fiber, which may fuel the growth of good bacteria in your large intestine (12).

Two gums — carob and guar — are also used in the ice cream. They come from carob seeds and guar beans, both of which are legumes (13, 14).

These gums are soluble fibers, meaning they absorb liquid and form a gel. They are added to Halo Top to help replace fat and stabilize the product. This helps reduce ice crystal formation, resulting in a smoother texture (15, 16).

Nevertheless, Halo Top doesn’t have the same creamy texture as regular ice cream. Rather, it may feel somewhat dry in your mouth.

Protein concentrate

Some of the protein in dairy-based Halo Top products comes from skim milk and eggs. The rest comes from milk protein concentrate — milk that has been filtered to collect the proteins (17).

The protein in the nondairy, vegan versions is isolated from rice and peas. It amounts to only 3 grams per 1/2-cup (64-gram) serving, compared with 5 grams in the dairy varieties.

Other additives

Vegetable glycerin, natural flavors, and natural colors are also added to Halo Top products.

Glycerin, which is made from vegetable oil and helps retain moisture, improves the product’s texture and may provide subtle sweetness (18).

It’s uncertain what the natural flavors are, because they’re regarded as trade secrets. “Natural” simply means they’re derived from plants, animals, or the action of microbes (19).

The natural colors come from the juices of vegetables and fruits, as well as golden-colored turmeric and annatto, a red plant extract.

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