Ice Cream

April 4, 2011 |

Natural or low fat ice cream?

Summer is coming and people start to spend longer time by the ice cream aisles. What are our choices? Let us take a look at three different brands: Häagen Dazs all natural Strawberry ice cream, Weight Watchers low fat Dark Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake and Jamba low fat Vanilla Strawberry Jubilation.

Ice Cream Risk Score Labels

Häagen Dazs Risk Score Diagram, DDRS ~ 12

This all natural ice cream is made of only 5 ingredients, all nutritional (green segments). Therefore it gains lowest DDRS of 12 and DDFI = 0 for no foreign additives in it. If a healthy person eats the Häagen Dazs ice cream in moderation, no health problems are expected to appear.

Haagen Dazs Risk Score Diagram

Simply watch your sugar and fat intake! It is remarkable what the manufacturer tells us: “We gently “hug” our strawberries to release the juice. We add the juice to our ice cream and then fold in the fruit to maximize the flavor and preserve the natural color.” Looks like real fruit is what it takes to nicely color ice cream! No more, no less.

Haagen Dazs ice cream

Once again, the lessons we have learned are:

  • There is no need in an artificial dye or a flavor when enough of a real fruit is added;
  • If an artificial color or a flavor is present, there is none or very little of a real fruit in the food.

Weight Watchers Risk Score Diagram, DDRS ~ 117

Now look at Weight Watchers brand. Let us see what it takes the manufacturer, Wells’ Dairy, Inc., to make low fat Dark Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake to look like a normal ice cream fruit cheesecake. Well, they have made it with 32 ingredients (!!), 2 foreign (red segments, food dyes), 15 benign (yellow segments) and 15 nutritional (green segments) additives.

WeightWatchers Risk Score Diagram

They have used:

What can I say?  It could be worse; foreign additive risk impact is not too high, DDFI = 20/42 ~ 0.5.

Jamba Risk Score Diagram, DDRS ~ 53

Jamba Vanilla Strawberry Jubilation low fat yogurt & sorbet is made of 6 benign (yellow) and 12 nutritional (green) ingredients. Turmeric and fruit juice are added for the food coloring.

Jamba Risk Score DiagramWith twice as lower DDRS and no foreign additives (DDFI = 0) in Jamba Jubilation low fat ice cream you take much less health risks than with the Weight Watchers! Furthermore, it is much lower in calories, fat and sugar and you pay even less for all this!

Ice cream nutrition and risk comparison

Additives and Nutrients Häagen Dazs Strawberry all natural ice cream WeightWatchers low fat Dark Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake Jamba Vanilla Strawberry Jubilation, low fat all natural
 Colors added  None  Red 40, Blue 1  Turmeric, fruit juice
Calories per serving (52 g) 125 (a 110 66 (b
Fat, weight % 15 8 1.6
Sugars, weight % 19 23 19
Protein, weight % 4 4 1.6
Walmart price per 14 FL OZ (414 ml) $3.32 $4.30 (c $4.03 (d
DyeDiet Risk Score  (DDRS)





DyeDiet Foreign Impact  (DDFI)


20/42 ~ 0.5










a) Re-calculated from the original serving size of ½ cup, 104 g. b) Re-calculated from the original serving size of 1 bar, 63 g. c) RE-calculated from the original $4.88 per 15.9 FL OZ (470 ml) price. d) RE-calculated from the original $2.88 per 10 FL OZ (296 ml) price.

In conclusion, if you like all natural creamy ice cream, Häagen Dazs may be exactly what you are looking for. In the case if you are shopping for a healthy version of  a low fat sweet treat, you may want to look at the Jamba sorbets. I hope the DyeDiet analysis helps you to make healthier food choices.

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Category: Dairy products, Ice cream

Comments (3)

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  1. mikerosss says:

    Wow this is a great resource.. I’m enjoying it.. good article

  2. benamore says:

    DDRF of Häagen Dazs: 12
    DDFI: 0/12 = 0 (excellent)
    DDNF: 12/0 = ∞ (outstanding)

    DDRF of Weight Watchers: 117
    DDFI: 20/42 = 0.5 (not bad)
    DDNF: 42/75 = 0.6 (poor)

    DDRF of Jamba: 53
    DDFI: 0/31 = 0 (excellent)
    DDNF: 31/23 = 1.3 (good)

  3. DyeDiet DyeDiet says:

    Exactly! I highly appreciate your contribution. See, I have been developing the approach in the course of my work on the publishing the food facts. So as you may have noticed, some things were not done earlier, others were changed (modified) later. Thank you!