Every Ben &Jerry's Flavor—Ranked By Nutrition!
It's safe to say just about everyone has a favorite Ben & Jerry's ice cream flavor, right? See, what sets Vermont's finest ice cream company apart from the competition is more than just an affinity for drool-worthy flavors with creatively punny names. Since 1978, the socially- and environmentally-conscious company has remained committed to the quality of its ingredients; their dairy is hormone-free, their eggs are cage-free, every ingredient is non-GMO, and the cocoa, sugar, bananas, coffee, and vanilla they use are all Fairtrade Certified. And even without knowing the good things this company is doing for its customers and the world, we would all still buy a pint (or two) whenever we're looking for a frozen treat. Why? Because Ben & Jerry's makes great ice cream.
Even though most of us are fine with ice cream being solely about taste and do-goodery, it's worth knowing just what kind of damage these indulgences are doing to your body. So we're about to serve up a nutritional reality check: the average serving of Ben & Jerry's is packed with more fat and sugar than most of its competitors. And here's another newsflash: a pint is supposed to serve three—not just you. That being said, you don't have to give these delicious scoops a hard pass if you're trying to maintain your waistline. When eaten in moderation, ice cream serves up a dose of muscle-building protein, healthy fats, and minerals like calcium, potassium, and magnesium.
So we decided to rank the traditional line of Ben & Jerry's ice cream pints.
How We Ranked Them
We grabbed nutrition information for one serving size of each flavor. First, we sorted by calories. From there, points were deducted based on sugar, carbs, fat, and saturated fat. When dairy was the only source of fat, the flavor fared better than those with added vegetable oils. Research from the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston suggests that higher consumption of whole-fat dairy decreased participants' risk of dying from stroke by 42%. If there were any close calls, points were awarded to those with higher protein and fiber counts.
A note on trans fats: You'll notice these ice cream pints contain trans fat—which is, surprisingly, not as scary as you may think. Here's why: It's not the same industrial trans fat which has been banned by the FDA due to its role in cardiovascular disease. This is a naturally-occurring trans fat that's found in higher quantities (along with heart-healthy omega-3s) in quality milk from cows who graze—that's thanks to Ben & Jerry's commitment to sustainable dairy farming through their "Caring Dairy" program. Unlike industrial fats, a review published in The BMJ found that cattle-derived trans fats are not associated with a higher risk of coronary heart disease. Additionally, researchers suggest these fats possess beneficial health effects as they act as a precursor to CLA, a fatty acid which has been found to aid in weight loss and even possesses anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory properties.
Below is our ranking of Ben & Jerry's flavors, ranked from the not as bad to the absolute worst option out there. Use our rankings as a guide so you can get a cup of something sweet—that isn't so sinful. (And while you're trying to stay on course with your health goals, be sure to check out these 21 Best Healthy Cooking Hacks of All Time.)
Red, White & Blueberry
Taking a look at the ingredients list, you'll find blueberry and raspberry puree and strawberries listed. Yay for fruit! Overall, this pint serves up the least amount of calories and sugar per serving.
When in doubt, it's never a bad idea to go for the basic vanilla option. It is higher in saturated fats and fats compared to the other flavors, but because it's just vanilla, those are entirely milk-derived (whereas many of the fats from other flavors are added from inflammatory vegetable oils). It's also the second-lowest in sugar.
You either love the pistachios, or you hate them. We love them. And we also love that this flavor has the one of the lowest amount of sugar out of all Ben & Jerry's Pints! It might be high in fats, but many of those come from the polyunsaturated fats found in nuts that can actually improve your cholesterol profile and lower your risk of heart disease.
S'mores are supposed to make you think of campfires, not setting those new pants you fit in on fire because you're so furious they no longer fit you after eating a couple scoops of this.
Despite the name, and despite the fact that it's one of the best flavors on the team, food probably shouldn't be used as therapy. Emotional eating is one of the top reasons why people regain weight after losing it. We'd recommend finding alternative ways of coping, like going for a walk or run or knitting.
It seems fitting that the top three flavors are the three most popular in ice cream cases across the country: strawberry, chocolate, and vanilla. Jerry and Ben jazz it up with some cheesecake pieces to make it all the more delectable.
One of the earliest developed mixes, this medley of cherries and cream overall earns a stamp of approval for when you're looking to indulge once in a while.
Berry Sweet Mascarpone
This flavor combines sweet blackberry and creamy mascarpone ice creams with shortbread cookies and fudge-covered almonds. While we feel better seeing coconut oil on the ingredients list, as the saturated fats in coconut oil actually convert "bad" LDL cholesterol into "good" HDL cholesterol, helping to promote heart health, soybean oil is also still listed. It's an oil that is notorious for having high levels of inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids
Coffee, Coffee BuzzBuzzBuzz!
Coffee lovers, over here! This is one of the better Ben & Jerry's flavors. It's lower in calories, fats, and carbs compared to the other bean-derived flavors. And this one is more buzz-worthy.
Chocolate Fudge Brownie
You can feel good that one of your favorite chocolatey, fudgy ice creams ranks pretty well on our list, and then you can feel even better than the brownies are made by New York's Greyston Bakery, a company that provides jobs and training to low-income city residents. This ranks better than the split because it carries more fiber and protein per serving. Just watch out for the sugar here, as it is a bit high.
This is a newer flavor that started out as a limited batch option until its popularity led to it becoming a full-time flavor.
Mint Chocolate Cookie
It may have a gram or so more fat, but Mint Chocolate Cookie is lower in sugar and higher in protein than its other mint counterpart, earning it a spot closer to the best of the best.
Hop on your sleigh and ride through a dreamy wonderland of mint ice cream, marshmallows, and chocolate cookie swirls—all for just over two doughnuts worth of sugar.
Milk & Cookies
If anyone could make the classic feel-good combo of milk and cookies any better, it's our good friends Ben and Jerry. Just because it's more on the better end of our list doesn't mean you can eat the whole pint, though. Soybean oil is still listed as an ingredient!
Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
Ben & Jerry's was the first ice cream shop to introduce the world to Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough ice cream back in 1984, so you can blame them for your cravings. It might be one of their all-time most popular concoctions, but it still has a higher carb count.
Brewed to Matter
You know what would matter more? If there wasn't as much liquid sugar, sugar, cane syrup, corn syrup, and canola oil in our ice cream.
Peanut Butter Half Baked
Peanut Butter Half Baked was another limited batch flavor that was so beloved, it made its way to the full-time big leagues. Just because it's popular, doesn't mean you should be eating this all the time!
If you're going to indulge in this truly classic flavor, be sure to stick to the serving size to avoid any deleterious effects this large whack of carbs may have on your blood sugar.
Triple Caramel Chunk
Eating this flavor would serve up the same amount of sugar as what's in 10 pieces of Werther's Original caramel hard candies. Not even our grandma could make us eat that.
(FYI, this is the science-backed way to curb your sweet tooth in 14 days!)
This pint may contain "1776% of your recommended daily allowance of freedom," but it also contains your full daily allowance of saturated fat. And 34 grams of sugar? Big yikes.
Salted Caramel Almond
It may be high in fat, but at least this flavor can attribute some of that from the healthy-fat-laden almonds sprinkled in their vanilla ice cream with a salted caramel swirl.
Netflix & Chill'd
This flavor came about thanks to a partnership between Ben & Jerry's and the streaming service giant. It's specifically designed to be the perfect blend of sweet and salty ingredients, creating an unrivaled combination of flavors to help you binge-watch your favorite series on Netflix. But you're much better off munching on some popcorn and tossing in a few small pieces of dark chocolate for that sweet and salty combo!
Glampfire Trail Mix
Ben & Jerry's doubled down on the campfire theme with countless flavors featuring roasted marshmallow. Unfortunately, this pint isn't worth pitching a tent (or renting out a glam cabin) for due to its high-fat content.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Split
The mix of chocolate, banana, and peanut butter make for a delicious trio. But this ice cream is high in calories, fat, and sugar. You're much better off eating an actual banana, and drizzling some PB and dark chocolate on it for a sweet treat.
Vanilla Caramel Fudge
How did something so simple go so wrong? This pint is basically made up of cream and sugar, so much so that over 25 percent of every bite you take is just pure sugar.
We really, really wish this flavor wasn't as bad as it is. And that's only because a portion of PHISH's royalties from this flavor go toward environmental efforts in Vermont's Lake Champlain Watershed. If you really want to help out, make a donation instead. Or, buy a pint, but eat it a spoonful at a time—an entire serving sets you back more than a day's worth of added sugars.
This ice cream isn't going to help out your buns, that's for sure. This flavor was docked for its high carb and sugar content. Over a quarter of the ingredients used to make this batch are some type of sugar. We can not lie, leave this one on the shelf.
Coffee Toffee Bar Crunch
You may have known this flavor as "Coffee Heath Bar Crunch," but thanks to B&J's commitment to sourcing Fairtrade Certified and non-GMO ingredients, the company had to develop their own toffee to replace the previous candy bar brand. Unfortunately, that feel-good feeling you'll get knowing you're eating ice cream that's good for the world might go away once you see how much fat is in it.
If you're looking for the flavor of bourbon, pour yourself a glass instead and save yourself 400 calories in just one scoop and 35 grams of sugar.
The Tonight Dough
With all that slow-digesting fat preventing you from getting a restful night's sleep, we should add "Eating 'The Tonight Dough' during The Tonight Show" to our list of late-night habits that prevent you from losing weight.
Fans go bananas for this flavor, but you'd have to be nutty to eat more than a serving. We do appreciate, however, that Ben and Jerry subbed out the vegetable, palm, soy, or canola oils found in other flavors for coconut oil.
New York Super Fudge Chunk
It would be in your best interest to drop this tub in a New-York minute. This flavor is packing when it comes to fat. Luckily, some of those fats are heart-healthy, polyunsaturated fats thanks to its medley of walnuts, pecans, and almonds—we just think you could do without the 34 grams of sugar.
Gimme, gimme… actually, maybe pass on this version of the campfire treat, too. It has more sugar than the plain "S'mores" flavor.
Everything But The…
This Ben & Jerry's flavor might leave you hanging, but if you're reaching for a spoon and wondering, the answer isn't "kitchen sink," it's the "satisfaction of reaching your goal weight."
Oat of This Swirled
Just because it has oats in the name doesn't mean it should evoke fond memories of healthy overnight oats. This buttery brown sugar ice cream with oatmeal cookies has five times the fat as an Apple Cinnamon microwaveable cup of oatmeal from Bob's Red Mill.
Peanut Butter World
A world of peanut butter ice cream is filled with calories and fats. You're better off keeping the fatty peanut butter separate from the fatty ice cream if you're looking to slim down.
And the #1 Worst B&J Flavor Is… Peanut Butter Cup
Whether it was Ben or Jerry, someone managed to stuff this Peanut Butter Cup ice cream full of more than half a day's worth of saturated fat and more calories than a McDonald's double cheeseburger.