A trip to an ice cream shop isn’t going to break the diet bank, especially if you choose small sizes and lower-calorie options like low-fat frozen yogurt—and if you don’t make it a daily fix. But start adding in all sorts of cookie and candy toppings and you’ll get far more calories than you may have bargained for. For example, a small serving of frozen yogurt has only 100 to 200 calories, but add several toppings and you could double or even triple that amount.
Below, you’ll find a list of some popular add-ons. Your server may give more (or less) than the amounts listed. If you spoon toppings on yourself—some stores give you that option—don’t be heavy-handed.
Putting a freeze on the calories
- Let’s start with the frozen dessert itself. Calories range from 100 to 350 per scoop, depending on the type of product, flavor, and size (which can vary widely across stores and servers). Some sundaes and shakes have more than 1,000 calories. Most chains provide nutrition information on their websites, in brochures or on posters.
- Choose lower-calorie, lower-fat options, such as “light” ice cream, low-fat or nonfat frozen yogurt or sorbets. Ordering coffee frozen yogurt instead of coffee ice cream at Häagen Dazs, for example, will reduce the calories by about 25 percent. Note that some sorbets, such as coconut, may contain dairy products, and thus more fat and calories.
- Ask for one scoop—or even a mini or kid’s size, if available.
- Choose a sugar cone (50 calories) over a large waffle cone (160 calories)—or opt for a cup instead. Chocolate-dipped waffle cones can have 300 calories or more.
- Go for fresh fruit mix-ins, such as berries, mango and bananas, instead of candy or cookies. It’s a good way to get a little extra fruit in your day and save a lot of calories. For example, opting for blueberries (20 calories per ounce) over M&Ms (140) saves you 120 calories.
- Nuts are a healthful add-on, but high in calories: an ounce (a small handful) has from 160 to 200 calories.
What’s on Top
Here are the calorie counts for a one-ounce serving of each of the following toppings:
|Butterscotch/caramel topping||90–100 calories|
|Sprinkles, chocolate or rainbow||20–140|
Note: Calories and serving sizes can vary widely from chain to chain.