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Ice Cream Substitutes: Gelato, Sorbet and Other Alternatives to Ice Cream

Updated on June 2, 2010

You love ice cream. It's a terrific summer treat and can be comforting even on a winter's day if it's made into a sundae or added to the top of a mug of hot chocolate. But ice cream is also not the healthiest thing in the world for you so you may be looking for some ice cream substitutes to let you enjoy the craving without getting all of those calories.

Here is the basic information on some common ice cream substitutes:

  • Sherbet - Sherbet is very similar to ice cream and is one of the most common ice cream substitutes. It has less milk fat than ice cream so it's not as high in fat which is one of the main things that people are looking to reduce from their diet when they seek out ice cream substitutes.
  • Frozen Yogurt - Frozen yogurt might be an even more common ice cream substitute than sherbet. It's also lower in fat and sometimes comes in sugar-free flavors. Frozen yogurt is also said to be beneficial because of the healthy bacteria that is in the cultures of the milk it uses. Frozen yogurt is currently seeing a resurgence in popularity, particular in California where chain yogurt stores like Pinkberry are hot right now.
  • Gelato - This Italian ice cream substitute is popular amongst people who live in urban areas, especially those that have ethnic neighborhoods (like a Little Italy). Gelato is more dense than ice cream because it contains less air so the texture is different but it's very similar to ice cream in many ways.
  • Whipped cream and chocolate - Believe it or not, you can take whipped cream and sprinkle chocolate powder or chocolate syrup over it and then mix it together to make a thick creamy dessert. The dessert is very rich so it takes only a few bites to enjoy it, meaning that you get the full indulgence of dessert without taking in as many calories or as much sugar.
  • Sorbet - The main liquid base for sorbet is fruit juice. People who are looking for a non-dairy ice cream substitute regular choose sorbet because it is so similar to ice cream but doesn't have the milk. The fruit juice is generally considered healthier than the sugars in ice cream also, although that depends on whether or not additional sugars are added.
  • Soy ice cream or rice cream - People who are looking for ice cream substitutes because they want to avoid dairy sometimes get ice creams that are made with milk alternatives. Vegan eaters and those who are lactose intolerant sometimes get rice-based ice cream or soy-based ice cream instead of regular ice cream. There is even hemp-based ice cream sold in some areas.
  • Smoothies - Smoothies may actually contain ice cream or they may have yogurt and fruit as their base. Many people find smoothies a healthy alternative to ice cream because of the fruit that it contains as well as the fact that it's possible to get powder nutrients and vitamins to mix into smoothies without ruining their taste.
  • Popsicles - People who eat ice cream primarily as a summer treat sometimes find that popsicles are great ice cream substitutes. They still remind you of the childhood summertime treats that you used to enjoy and they have less sugar and almost no fat.


Submit a Comment
  • profile image

    The Diet Man 

    8 years ago

    Hey .. Well I Just Ate the Ice cream .. And I'm doing a diet .. I ate the strawberry flavor .. I loved it and I'm asking if there's a Fat In That Ice Cream Or Not..?

  • RussellLHuey profile image


    9 years ago

    Delicious,,,, thanks for sharing.


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