Trader Joe's is now selling its own low-calorie ice cream

Ellie Conley

Over the past few years, low-calorie, high-protein ice creams have been infiltrating frozen aisles of grocery stores. Like America's favorite ice cream brand, Halo Top, people seem to love the idea of "healthifying" their favorite treats. Trader Joe's knows this and is finally jumping on the bandwagon with their own version of healthy ice cream.

Trader Joe's Light Ice Cream is now in stores and you're going to want to pick up a couple pints. According to the store's website, the ice cream is "rich, fluffy, and full-flavored, combining a delicious ice cream base with glorious mix-ins. Each bite is light, but satisfying, without ever feeling altogether too heavy." 

Each flavor packs in at least 20 grams of protein, achieved by swapping "the more calorie-rich ingredients with milk protein concentrate." 

Now, let's talk about the flavors, because although classic, they're bound to rock your world. First up is Chocolate Peanut Butter, which combines milk chocolate ice cream with velvety swirls of peanut butter. It packs in 23 grams of protein and only 370 calories per pint. TJ's recommends pairing it with a little whipped cream or more peanut butter cups, because why not?

The second flavor is Joe-Joe's Cookies & Cream, a nod to the grocery chain's famous Oreo-like cookie. This flavor mixes vanilla ice cream with crunchy pieces of Joe-Joe's Cookies and is loaded with 20 grams of protein and 310 calories per pint. Another epic recommendation by TJ's: Mix in your favorite gummy worms for a throwback to your childhood "worms in dirt" snack. 

Both flavors are kosher-certified and will only put you back $2.99 per flavor. While there isn't yet a dairy-free version, we're keeping our fingers crossed for our vegan and lactose-intolerant friends. 

In the past, dietitians have been quick to condemn ice creams marketed as "healthy," not only because of the added chemicals, but because they encourage consumers to eat a whole pint and use words like "guilt-free." Regular, full-fat ice cream should not cause anyone guilt for eating—most things are OK in moderation. 

“I agree that the messaging associated with these ice creams has an underlining food/fat shaming tone,” Dr. Jessica D. Bihuniak, assistant professor of clinical nutrition at NYU Steinhardt Department of Nutrition and Food Studies and a registered dietician, told Huffington Post in 2018. “As a dietitian by training, I followed the school of thought that ‘all foods fit’ and that people should be able to include dessert foods in their diet in moderation.”

So, eat Trader Joe's Light Ice Cream or pick up a pint of the regular stuff, too. Either way, you'll be alright.