Whether we all scream for ice cream or not, one thing’s for certain: If you can eat dairy, you likely appreciate a scoop of the sweet stuff from time to time. You don’t have to run out to your town’s local ice cream shop to get a scoop or two, or, on the other end of the spectrum, buy an entire quart of ice cream from your grocer to satisfy your sweet fix.
The happy medium between the two is the pint of your favorite ice cream flavor that you can easily find in any supermarket, which contains anywhere from three to four servings depending on the brand (even though a pint might seem like a personal size and leave you eating the whole thing).
Of course, it’s hard to have self-control and eat just one serving of the frozen treat, which is why it’s not uncommon to demolish the entire container in just one sitting. For some brands though, eating an entire pint’s worth can cost you an inordinate amount of calories, fat, and sugar. Yikes.
Because we know it’s hard to limit yourself to a single serving, we set out to find some of the unhealthiest ice cream pints from a handful of top-selling brands nationwide, so that you know exactly what you’re committing to when you grab a spoon and crack open that container.
Methodology: In order to identify the unhealthiest ice cream pints in America, we compiled a list of the most caloric pints of ice cream from seven well-known ice cream brands in the United States. We excluded exclusively local and regional ice cream brands to avoid providing context for a niche audience.
We chose to showcase the top two most caloric pints of ice cream for the following brands: Ben & Jerry’s, Häagen-Dazs, Magnum, Tillamook, and Coolhaus, as they each have multiple high-calorie ice cream flavors. The other two brands represented on this list are Blue Bell Creameries and Blue Bunny.
We only considered the top two most unhealthy pints (at most) from each brand to ensure we represented a larger range of ice cream brands. To break ties, we deemed the ice cream pint more unhealthy with at least two of the following criteria: a greater amount of total fat, saturated fat, sodium, sugar, or a smaller amount of protein.
Only ice cream pints or ice cream pint equivalents were considered, which range from 14 ounces to the standard 16-ounce pint. We also excluded sorbet, gelato, and dairy-free products from our rank.
Here are some of the unhealthiest ice cream pints you can eat, calorically-speaking. We’re sorry in advance if your favorite frozen treat made our list!
From Bad to Absolute Worst
Blue Bell Creameries’ Pecan Pralines ‘n Cream
Note: this is not the image of the pint size.
Blue Bell Creameries has origins in Brenham, Texas, selling its first batch of ice cream over a century ago in 1907. Now, it’s among one of the most recognizable ice cream companies in the nation. While Blue Bell Creameries’ ice cream as a whole isn’t unhealthy, one particular flavor stands out among the rest: Pecan Pralines ‘n Cream. Why? Not only is it the most caloric pint of ice cream you can get your hands on within the brand, but it also contains an alarming 80 grams of sugar. To put this into perspective, that’s about as much sugar that’s in two 12-ounce cans of Coca-Cola.
Blue Bunny Peanut Butter Party
Blue Bunny is another reputable ice cream company that can be found in big supermarkets. A single pint of Blue Bunny’s Peanut Butter Party ice cream contains nearly 900 calories though—that’s almost half your daily calories, which is a lot to devote to just dessert. You’ll notice that ice creams with peanut butter swirled into the mix are some of the biggest calorie and fat offenders across the board (including on this list). Remember, just two tablespoons of the nut butter comprises about 16 grams of total fat and just under 200 calories.
Coolhaus’ Buttered French Toast
French toast in ice cream? Coolhaus goes beyond traditional flavors—they even have a flavor called “Milkshake & Fries AKA Fast Food.” This classic breakfast food-inspired flavor of ice cream is packed in calories, saturated fat, carbohydrates, and sugar, making it one of the unhealthiest pints of ice cream on the market. With a staggering 114 carbs and 99 grams of sugar, this pint of ice cream has more carbs and sugar than IHOP’s entire Original French Toast meal, which “only” costs you 84 grams of carbs and 28 grams of sugar.
Coolhaus’ Street Cart Churro Dough
Another one of Coolhaus’ funky ice cream flavors costs you a boatload of calories and saturated fat, so what made this particular flavor make the naughty list, and even more so than its French toast counterpart? A pint of the Street Cart Churro Dough ice cream just about wipes out half of your day’s worth of calories and costs you about 15 grams of saturated fat shy of what’s in an entire stick of butter. The one plus side to Coolhaus ice cream products is that they don’t use artificial sweeteners—so the sweetness your tongue detects in this particular flavor is from organic cane and brown sugar, as well as molasses. Still, that’s a small plus in comparison to the calories and saturated fat you’ll be consuming eating this entire pint.
Magnum’s Double Cookie Crumble Ice Cream Tub
Imagine breaking through the surface of a hard chocolate coating, just to plunge into a creamy pint of decadent sweet ice cream that encloses more bits of chocolate that are all entwined in swirls of chocolate cookie sauce. If you’ve got the mental image captured, then you know what you’re getting into when you crack open a pint of Magnum’s Double Cookie Crumble Ice Cream Tub. You can also likely infer from that description exactly why it contains more than 1,000 calories in a single pint.
Magnum’s Milk Chocolate Almond Ice Cream Tub
There are 91 grams of sugar in this pint of ice cream, which is about as much sugar that’s in nearly three standard 1.69-ounce bags of milk chocolate M&M’s. Not to mention, you’d save about 370 calories and nearly 20 grams of saturated fat if you opted for the three bags of the popular candy pieces over this ice cream.
Häagen-Dazs’ Banana Peanut Butter Chip Ice Cream
When you think of a rich and creamy ice cream, Häagen-Dazs likely comes to mind, and the Banana Peanut Butter Chip is at the forefront of decadent flavors. If the mere name of the ice cream flavor caused you to salivate, wait until you hear how the Häagen-Dazs company website describes this rich ice cream: “Ribbons of rich peanut butter and bits of chocolate chips are folded into sweet banana ice cream to create this playfully indulgent flavor.” But then that vision is shattered as you realize how much fat, sodium, and sugar is in one pint.
Häagen-Dazs’ Peanut Butter Salted Fudge Ice Cream
Another peanut butter flavored ice cream strikes again! A single pint of this ice cream which, note, is two ounces less than a traditional pint of ice cream, packs nearly 1,200 calories. For context, you can eat just as many calories in two McDonald’s Quarter Pounder (with cheese) sandwiches. If you ate the cheeseburgers, you would actually save 25 grams of total fat. While near identical in nutrition to its peanut butter cousin listed as the sixth unhealthiest ice cream, we deemed this Häagen-Dazs flavor a bit more unhealthy because of its lower protein content and higher sugar content.
RELATED: The easy guide to cutting back on sugar is finally here.
Tillamook’s Speculoos Cookie Caramel Ice Cream
Tillamook’s Speculoos Cookie Caramel Ice Cream may have fewer calories and total fat than some of the other ice creams that precede it, but the fact that it contains 111 grams of sugar lends it a jump in the rank. Just how much are 111 grams of sugar? Think about it this way, that’s about as much as what’s in 28 packets of sugar. Repulsed? So are we. On the bright side, this ice cream only contains 11 ingredients, which is much less than other packaged ice creams out there.
Tillamook’s Double Nutty Peanut Butter Ice Cream
At nearly 1,400 calories, Tillamook’s Double Nutty Peanut Butter ice cream is overflowing with fat, clocking in at a total of 102 grams. For context, you could eat half of a jar of Smucker’s Natural Peanut Butter—which contains about 1,330 calories and 112 grams of total fat—as a comparable treat. You’d also get 52 grams of protein, rather than just 33 grams in the ice cream version, not that we would advise you to do this, of course!
Ben & Jerry’s Chubby Hubby
What list about high-calorie ice cream pints would be complete without any mention of Ben & Jerry’s? The Chubby Hubby ice cream flavor is the second most unhealthy ice cream pint. Because the name of this flavor is cutesy and not descriptive—a signature move of Ben & Jerry’s—here’s what makes the Chubby Hubby what it is: “Vanilla malt ice cream with peanutty fudge-covered pretzels with fudge & peanut buttery swirls,” as stated on the site and at the bottom of the ice cream pint. So a ton of fudge, peanut butter, and pretzels mixed into malt ice cream—it’s pretty clear how this ice cream accumulates so much saturated fat, carbs, and sugar, yes? There’s a reason it’s one of their most popular pints.
Ben & Jerry’s Peanut Butter Cup
And finally, the most unhealthy ice cream pint of them all is Ben & Jerry’s Peanut Butter Cup. This pint has the largest combination of calories, total, and saturated fat, as well as sugar, of any of the brands incorporated on this list. If you just love peanut butter in ice cream but also want to save your waistline, it may be time to opt for an alternative ice cream brand. For comparison, HALO TOP’s Peanut Butter Cup ice cream clocks in at just 380 calories, 14 grams of total fat, and 24 grams of sugar per pint.