The INSIDER Summary:
We taste tested three different
brands of diet ice creams to see which one tasted the
We tried Halo Top vanilla bean, Enlightened vanilla,
and Arctic Zero maple vanilla.
We liked Halo Top the best because it had a rich,
creamy vanilla flavor and didn’t taste like diet ice
Enlightened had a weird texture, and Arctic Zero tasted
In theory, diet ice cream sounds like the perfect food.
It allows you to enjoy the taste of ice cream, but without the
However, not all diet ice creams — or frozen desserts as Arctic
Zero calls itself — manage to achieve that good ice
We pitted three different brands against each other to find out
which one satisfied our taste buds the most. We tried:
- Halo Top
- Arctic Zero
For consistency’s sake we tried each brand’s vanilla flavor. All
three of the pints — which we purchased in New York City — were
the same price: $7.49.
Keep scrolling to read our thoughts.
Arctic Zero vanilla maple
The closest thing Arctic Zero offers to vanilla is vanilla maple,
which sounded like a good combination. On its website, Arctic Zero describes the flavor as
“creamy vanilla and decadent maple.” We realized after our first
bite, though, that the dessert just didn’t live up to the
The maple flavor was sweet but artificially so, and it was
overpowering, meaning that we barely tasted any vanilla. The
creaminess advertised on the container just wasn’t there. The
whole pint will only set you back 150 calories — there’s 35
calories in one, half-cup serving — but we wouldn’t want to eat
anywhere near the whole thing.
Halo Top vanilla bean
just released seven fun new flavors, but we stuck to the
basics and grabbed vanilla bean. We were happy to see that the
ice cream had flecks of vanilla in it — something that made the
flavor seem like it would taste authentic.
And it did. The Halo Top was astoundingly rich and creamy for a
diet food product; it’s mind-boggling that a whole pint of it
only has 240 calories. Plus, the vanilla actually tasted
like vanilla. It wasn’t artificial or watered-down in any way.
This diet ice cream arguably tasted better than some regular ice
cream we’ve had.
Most of us had never heard of Enlightened before, so we were excited to give the
brand a try. Enlightened has the same number of calories per
serving as Halo Top (60 calories in a half-cup serving), and
about the same amount of protein (Enlightened has six grams, Halo
Top has five).
The first thing we noticed after trying this ice cream was its
texture. There was no roughness to it. Yes, ice cream is supposed
to be smooth, but this one was so smooth that it almost felt
gelatinous — which isn’t how we want our ice cream to feel.
The flavor itself was fine. It wasn’t the best vanilla we had
ever had, but it wasn’t bad either. It was pretty standard.
Halo Top crushed the competition in this taste test. It was rich,
creamy, and authentic, and it was almost impossible to tell
that it was a diet product. This was the only one we tried that
we would gladly eat a whole pint of.
Enlightened came in second place. Its overly smooth texture
definitely weirded us out, but the flavor was much
tastier than Arctic Zero’s maple vanilla.
We weren’t fans of the Arctic Zero. Although the brand refers to
its products as “frozen desserts” and not ice cream, we were
still hoping for something creamy and ice-cream-like. The product
fell far short of those expectations though; the maple
flavor was artificial and we couldn’t taste any vanilla. All
in all, we felt it was pretty bland.
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