Why summertime treats don’t have to mean packing on pounds

With a heat index climbing to an ungodly 110 degrees this weekend, it’s natural to consider partaking in a frozen, delicious, sweet treat.

Indeed: June and July are when Ben, Jerry, Mr. Breyer, that blue rabbit and others make the most ice cream, according to the International Dairy Foods Association. (According to the group, vanilla is the most popular flavor, followed by chocolate; cookies and cream; mint chocolate chip; and chocolate chip cookie dough.)

All these summertime treats can take a toll on one’s beach body. Fortunately, one can still partake in these calorie-laden blessings without overindulging, said Sally Squires, who writes for the Lean Plate Club™ blog.

One scoop of ice cream — which equates to around a half-cup — weighs in at about 140 calories and 7 grams of fat. Just adding a cone can practically double that, she said: Smaller cones can add 100–120 calories, while larger waffle cones can add about 150–200 calories.

And a waffle cone “of course means you put more ice cream in it, too,” Squires added.

Another source of calories? Toppings such as gummy bears and chocolate chunks. “If you’re going to add toppings, make them fruit,” she said.

Manufacturers are making it somewhat easier to behave, fortunately. “This is where it’s really wonderful,” Squires said, “because there are so many options.”

These include concoctions that are fat-free and sugar-free, as well as regular treats that are packaged for appropriate portion control (100 calories per serving, for instance).

And for people who can’t do dairy for whatever reason, frozen-treat options have never been more plentiful. Ice creams made from non-dairy milks such as almond, coconut, cashew or oat are easy to find, as are fruit-based frozen treats such as sorbets.

Shaved ice and frozen juices are another great non-dairy way to keep cool, Squires said. For you less-ancient readers, here’s a primer on making some.

Listen to Squires’ full interview on WTOP:

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