Picture of Mary Ellen Phipps, MPH, RDN, LD

Mary Ellen Phipps, MPH, RDN, LD

Mary Ellen Phipps, MPH, RDN, LD, the founder of Milk & Honey Nutrition, is a diabetes dietitian (Registered Dietitian Nutritionist) renowned for combining her knowledge of diabetes and culinary expertise into easy-to-follow recipes and articles!

Overview

Best Ice Cream for Diabetes According to a Diabetes Dietitian

Article Overview

best ice cream for diabetes

What is the best ice cream for diabetes and what should you be looking for at the grocery store?

I am a registered dietitian and have been living with type 1 diabetes for 30+ years, but I also consider myself the ultimate ice cream and frozen treat connoisseur! In this post, I’ll walk you through what we want to look for in an ice cream or frozen treat and some of my favorite options for ice cream for diabetes. We’ll cover:

  • Most popular ice cream brands for diabetes
  • Best sugar free ice cream
  • Best low sugar ice cream
  • Popsicles for diabetes
  • Frozen treats for diabetes
  • Best ice cream sandwiches

*Note: this post contains affiliate links through the Amazon Affiliates Program and the Walmart Creator Program. This means I will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you, if you choose to purchase something through one of the links provided.*

*This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis, opinion, treatment or services. The article and the links contained in it provide general information for educational purposes only. The information provided in this article is not a substitute for medical care. Do not use it in place of the advice of your physician or registered dietitian.*

What ice cream can people with diabetes eat?

People with diabetes can eat any type of ice cream. Just like with other foods and desserts. 

If you’re looking to enjoy specialty low sugar, low carb, blood sugar friendly brand and options, I’ve listed some of my favorite ice cream for diabetes choices below. 

Best ice cream for diabetes at the grocery store

Here is a list of ice cream and frozen treats I know you’ll love, categorized by their type.

Most popular ice cream brands for diabetes and best sugar free ice creams

  1. Blue Bunny Sweet Freedom  
  2. Breyers Carb Smart or No Sugar Added
  3. Blue Bell single serving ice cream cups
  4. Rebel ice cream

Best low sugar ice cream

  1. No Sugar Added Blue Bell

Popsicles for diabetes

  1. GoodPop popsicles
  2. Yasso Greek yogurt bars

Frozen treats for diabetes

  1. Dark Chocolate Almond Sea Salt KIND Frozen Bars
  2. TruFru frozen fruits

Best ice cream sandwiches

  1. Blue Bell “mini” ice cream sandwiches

Enjoying “regular” ice cream

If you want the real deal regular ice cream, here’s a few tips for enjoying it:

  • Enjoy your ice cream after a meal that also has protein and fiber
  • If you opt for toppings, choose lower sugar options
  • Choose treats that are in single servings like ice cream cups or sandwiches that are already portioned out
  • Make your own at home! You can control how much sugar and the other ingredients that go into it. 
vanilla ice cream for diabetes in cuisinart ice cream maker

This is the ice cream maker I have at home and it’s incredible! It’s so much fun to come up with your own creations. I’ve played around with the following blood sugar friendly options:

  • Decreasing the sugar in a recipe by about half. I use the standard recipe that came in the info with the machine, and cut the sugar by 1/3.
  • Opting for low sugar mix ins like: chopped nuts, fresh fruit, and peanut butter
Low Carb frozen yogurt homemade without ice cream machine with cookie dough

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Homemade Low Carb Frozen Yogurt

Yes, you read that correctly because we’re making chocolate chip cookie dough homemade low carb frozen yogurt without an ice cream maker!
View Recipe

How often can people with diabetes eat ice cream?

If you asked me what my favorite food is, I’d say ice cream without hesitation. Just like with other foods, ice cream can be included as often or as little as you’d like… but it is important to pay attention to the types you’re choosing, and serving sizes, and follow the directions of your doctor and/or dietitian.

What to look for in diabetes-friendly ice creams and frozen desserts

If we’re selecting an ice cream for diabetes that’s made to be blood sugar friendly, I like to look for one or more of the following:

  • Protein >5g
  • Fiber >2g
  • Added sugar <5g
  • Single serving options

Type 1 diabetes ice cream tips

Ice cream with type 1 diabetes often means guessing on carbohydrate counts. And, with the way ice cream is scooped out it can be hard to guess correctly. Plus the idea of placing all that ice cream in a measuring cup and then into a bowl is just a lot. 

I recommend using a food scale (this eliminates the need for measuring cups) instead. This is the one I have.  Or, opting for single serving ice cream cups or treats that have already been carb counted for you.

Best ice cream for diabetes

Let’s take a look at my picks for the best diabetes ice cream options. These can apply whether you’re considering ice cream and type 2 diabetes, gestational diabetes and ice cream, or ice cream for people with type 1 diabetes. 

The brands listed below are either blood sugar friendly themselves or come in a single-serving-already-carb-counted-option… or both! Nutritionally, they all meet one or more of the criteria listed above, though I think some outshine others in flavor and texture. 

Note: Keep an eye out for options with maltitol. This sugar alcohol can potentially cause increased GI distress symptoms compared to other sugar alcohols and may still impact blood sugar levels. 

1. Blue Bunny Ice Cream for Diabetes (Sweet Freedom)

blue bunny sweet freedom bunny tracks ice cream for diabetes

Category: Most popular ice cream brands for diabetes

Blue Bunny Sweet Freedom is a widely available option of no sugar added ice cream that you can find at most major grocery stores for an affordable price point. 

2. Breyers Carb Smart or No Sugar Added

breyers carb smart vanilla ice cream for diabetes

Category: Most popular ice cream brands for diabetes

I prefer Breyers Carb Smart over Blue Bunny, but both brands are equally loved by people looking for low sugar ice cream options. 

3. Blue Bell single serving cups

blue bell single serving cups chocolate and vanilla

Category: Most popular ice cream brands for diabetes

As I mentioned above, single serving ice cream cups are incredibly helpful for people with type 1 diabetes or anyone who needs to count carbohydrates… and let’s be real… you can’t beat Blue Bell. 

4. Rebel Ice Cream

rebel ice cream for diabetes keto ice cream

Category: Most popular ice cream brands for diabetes

So, I’m not the biggest fan of Rebel ice cream myself, but I know SO many people who love it so it’s worth including on the list. It’s not a diet ice cream by any means, but it is labeled as keto and has no added sugar. The flavor is great, but the texture is what I’m not a fan of. But again, I know many people who absolutely love it.

5. Blue Bell No Sugar Added

blue bell no sugar added ice cream for diabetes

Category: Best low sugar ice creams

This recommendation might be part nostalgia and part the fact that I’m a born raised Texan… but in my opinion, there’s no better added sugar free ice cream for diabetes than Blue Bell. I grew up eating both the vanilla and chocolate versions and this will always be my go-to. 

And, if you’re ever in Brenham and stop by the Blue Bell creamery for a tour, you can get a scoop for just $1!

6. GoodPop popsicles

Good Pop orange 'n cream popsicles

Category: Best popsicles for diabetes

If you asked me my favorite flavor of GoodPop popsicles, I’m sure I’d be able to list several (Double Chocolate Fudge, Orange n’ Cream, and the Fruit Juice pops to name a few), but in reality I’ve never tried a flavor or product I didn’t like. All of their flavors are lower in sugar and just truly delicious. And, the fruit juice pops make for a great low blood sugar treatment for kids with type 1 diabetes in the summer.

7. Yasso Frozen Greek Yogurt Pops

yasso greek yogurt popsicles mint chocolate chip

Category: Best popsicles for diabetes

I love the added protein content in the Yasso Greek yogurt bars. All of the flavors have 5g protein and minimal amounts of added sugar. My favorite flavors are: Mint Chocolate Chip, Vanilla Chocolate Crunch, and Coffee Chocolate Chip.

8. KIND Frozen Treat Bars

kind frozen treat bars Dark Chocolate Almond Sea Salt & Nut

Category: Best frozen treats for diabetes

If you’re looking for something that tastes exactly like a frozen Snickers bar (and yes I do mean exactly), but has 7g fiber and only 8g sugar… you have to try the Dark Chocolate Almond Sea Salt KIND Frozen Bars. You’ll savor every bite and wonder how in the world they make them taste so good!

9. TruFru Frozen Chocolate Covered Fruit

tru fru chocolate covered frozen raspberries

Category: Best frozen treats for diabetes

Whether you’re looking for bananas, raspberries, or blueberries, TruFru has the most simple but equally delicious frozen treat options. Chocolate covered fruit offers that hint of sweet but also a small dose of fiber with the fruit… which is great for people with type 2 diabetes. 

10. Blue Bell Mini Ice Cream Sandwiches

blue bell mini ice cream sandwiches

Category: Best ice cream sandwiches for diabetes

I actually love the idea of ice cream sandwiches as a diabetes friendly dessert. Again, because the carb counting has already been for us. This Blue Bell “mini” version has 16g carbohydrate per ice cream sandwich. This is especially helpful for people with type 1 diabetes and insulin dependent type 2 diabetes to have the carb counting already done for us.

best ice cream for diabetes

Diabetes ice cream at Walmart

Whether you have type 1 diabetes, type 2, gestational, or another type, Walmart has some great ice cream options! Head to my Walmart grocery finds post to check out some of my favorite options!

diabetes foods at walmart from a diabetes dietitian

References

  1. Gastrointestinal Disturbances Associated with the Consumption of Sugar Alcohols with Special Consideration of Xylitol: Scientific Review and Instructions for Dentists and Other Health-Care Professionals, International Journal of Dentistry, (2016). https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5093271/ 
  2. Carbs, Protein and Fats – Their Effect on Glucose Levels, Joslin Diabetes Center (2021). https://www.joslin.org/patient-care/diabetes-education/diabetes-learning-center/carbs-protein-and-fats-their-effect 
  3. Know Your Limit for Added Sugars, CDC (2023). https://www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/healthy_eating/sugar.html 

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One Response

  1. I just tried the Tru Fru frozen raspberries this last week and highly recommend! It’s a nice bite of sweet but it only takes 1-2 pieces to enjoy so it lasts /isn’t really impacting my blood sugar.

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