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Love ice cream but on a keto diet? That’s not a problem! Generally, the carbs in ice cream come from the sugar, but with keto sweeteners, you can indulge in low-carb ice cream without guilt!
However, some dairy ingredients also have carbs in them, making it seem impossible to make or buy a no-carb ice cream. So, is there a no-carb ice cream? We take a look at common ice cream ingredients and how many carbs they contain. We also discuss three keto-friendly ice cream brands we highly recommend!
Common Keto Ice Cream Ingredients
To understand whether or not it’s possible to consume a no-carb ice cream, we take a look at the most common ingredients of keto ice cream in different recipes and how many grams of carbs they contain.
Most ice cream recipes do not need egg as an ingredient, but they’re recommended for keto ice cream for additional fat and protein. They also make your dessert softer and creamier. That’s because fat freezes differently and is less hard than water.
The yolk helps bind the fat and water together to avoid melting and aids in prolonging the shelf life of ice cream when in the freezer.
A serving of ice cream has about half an egg yolk in it, which contains about 2 grams of fat, 1g of protein, and just 0.3g of carbs. This means it has more benefits than disadvantages when you add egg yolks to your ice cream!
Sweeteners are used to replace sugar to add sweetness to your ice cream. Some of these sweeteners have zero carbs, one of which is monk fruit.
Monk fruit is a natural sweetener extracted from monk fruit which is a plant native to China. It contains natural sugars and compounds that account for the sweetness of the fruit. It has no calories or carbs.
Stevia is another sweetener that does not contain any carbs or calories and does not raise blood sugar levels. Aside from being safe and non-toxic, it is available in both liquid and powdered form and is usually much sweeter than regular sugar. Because of this, recipes require less stevia to achieve the same flavor.
Sucralose is another sweetener that passes through your body undigested without providing calories and carbs because it is not metabolized. One common sucralose-based sweetener on the market is Splenda. However, this is not a popular ingredient for keto ice creams
One of the most common ingredients in making keto ice cream is erythritol. It stimulates the sweet taste receptors in your tongue to mimic the taste of sugar. It has 4 grams of carbs per teaspoon, so it isn’t totally carb-free. Erythritol can also help lower blood sugar levels in your body.
If you aim to consume the lowest or zero-carb ice cream, then you might as well replace your usual sweetener with stevia or monk fruit.
Milk and milk alternatives are key ingredients in a lot of recipes, including ice cream. This is you we might lose all hope for the possibility of no-carb ice cream. But we’ll help you choose which keto-friendly milk is best to use.
Heavy whipping cream is an important ingredient in ice creams and is usually mixed with milk. It is the fatty portion that’s separated from fresh cow’s milk to make butter or whipped cream. It’s high in fat and calories but contains only 1 gram of net carbs per ounce. This means heavy cream in a serving of ice cream has about 2 grams of net carbs.
Here are some keto-friendly dairy and non-dairy products usually folded in heavy whipped cream to create that creamy consistency of ice cream:
- Almond milk
- Coconut milk
- Unsweetened condensed milk
Take note that these types of milk may be keto-friendly, but they still contain some carbs. When using coconut or almond milk, a serving of ice cream would increase in net carbs by just about half a gram. That means the whole dessert itself may have about 2.5 grams of net carbs per serving.
Sugar-free condensed milk in a serving of ice cream has about 1 gram of net carbs, leaving your whole dessert with about 3 grams of net carbs per serving.
That said, the lowest carb count that your ice cream can have is about 2-3 grams of net carbs per serving, assuming you use a no-carb sweetener and don’t use any flavors or toppings.
Flavors and Toppings
Flavors and toppings may also increase the carb count of your ice cream, although not all of them have carbs, and some even have a high amount of fat.
Here are some low-carb ingredients you can add to your ice cream
Best Low-Carb Ice Cream Brands
You may also opt to buy store-bought ice cream and wonder if there are brands out there with zero carbs. Unfortunately, there isn’t, but we share with you three of the keto-friendliest ice cream brands.
Mammoth Creameries Keto Ice Cream
Mammoth Creameries Keto Ice Cream is a sugar-free ice cream brand with a variety of interesting flavors. They offer low-carb ice creams made with cream, eggs, and grass-fed butter. They use sweeteners such as vanilla extract, and sugar alcohols.
It may have a slight impact on ketosis, but if you monitor your consumption it shouldn’t knock you out because half a cup of their chocolate peanut butter ice cream only has 9 grams of carbs and a mere 2 grams of net carbs per serve.
Halo Top Ice Cream
Halo Top is one of the most popular brands of low-calorie ice cream since it was first launched in 2012. It manufactures dairy and non-dairy ice creams which are all low in carbs. It’s made with natural and organic ingredients.
Although it is not marketed for keto dieters, a ½ cup serving of their vanilla bean ice cream provides about 14 grams of carbs and 6 grams of net carbs.
Rebel Keto Ice Cream
Rebel manufactures 14 ice creams that have no sugar. They’re tailored for the ketogenic diet and made with whole ingredients like cream and eggs. Although they’re just new to the healthy ice cream market, they have been loved by many for using monk fruit and stevia, as well as their very creamy texture.
Each ½ cup of Rebel vanilla ice cream has 10 grams of carbs and only around 1 gram of net carbs.
Go for Low-Carb Ice Creams!
Unfortunately, we have yet to find a no-carb ice cream because ice cream relies on the use of dairy products that contain carbs.
The lowest carb count that your ice cream can have is about 1-3 grams of net carbs per serving. But we think that is pretty close. This can be achieved when it’s homemade, plain, and made with low-carb milk and sweeteners.
You may also add keto-friendly toppings to make your homemade low-carb ice cream taste better! Or you can just go for store-bought brands tailored for the keto diet! It’s up to you, as long as you remember not to exceed your daily carb limit.