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The Unhealthiest Ice Creams at Every Major Chain

You scream, I scream, we all scream for (healthier) ice cream!
FACT CHECKED BY Olivia Tarantino

Whether you're grabbing some ice cream from a parlor or picking up a pint to stick in your freezer, ice cream always sounds like a delectable treat. There are tons of options to choose from, from original flavors to ones with a mixture of ingredients and toppings. However, not all ice creams were created equal. Some are healthier for you, and others (although they may taste great) you should stray away from.

When the sweet tooth kicks in, and you absolutely need ice cream to crush that craving, you should at least be aware of the ones to stay away from completely. We spoke with The Nutrition Twins, Tammy Lakatos Shames, RDN, CDN, CFT, and Lyssie Lakatos, RDN, CDN, CFT, authors of The Nutrition Twins' Veggie Cure, to give us the inside "scoop" on the unhealthiest ice creams at your favorite restaurant chains.


Baskin Robbins: Icing on the Cake® Ice Cream

baskin robbins icing on the cake ice cream
Courtesy of Baskin Robbins
4 oz: 320 calories, 18 g fat (9 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 100 mg sodium, 35 g carbs (0 g fiber, 28 g sugar), 4 g protein

You can have your cake and eat it too with this Baskin Robbins ice cream flavor. However, you might as well stick to a birthday cake.

"Although this flavor is tempting and boasts real pieces of cake, frosting, and confetti ribbon, it has the highest calories of all of the flavors," says The Nutrition Twins. "One small, 4-ounce scoop clocks in at 320 calories with 7 teaspoons of sugar!"

Plus, most people don't just stop at one scoop. Typically, a Baskin Robbins' ice cream size has either a kids scoop (which is one scoop), a double scoop, or a triple scoop. With a double and triple scoop, you'll be doubling and tripling the calories, fat, sugar, and carbs.

RELATED: Best & Worst Ice Cream at Baskin Robbins


Carvel: Chocolate Hazelnut Ice Cream

Carvel chocolate hazelnut ice cream
Courtesy of Carvel
Size large: 980 calories, 51 g fat (29 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 480 mg sodium, 116 g carbs (3 g fiber, 91 g sugar), 15 g protein

A combination of chocolate and hazelnut may make for the perfect flavor storm, but this ice cream from Carvel will do more harm than good.

"With more than half of the calories that most people need in an entire day and with nearly a day and a half's worth of saturated fat, this ice cream isn't friendly for the waistline or the arteries," says The Nutrition Twins.

Furthermore, The Nutrition Twins say you're also consuming more than four days' worth of sugar for the average woman. Combining that amount of sugar and calories with eating it frequently can create the perfect storm for weight gain, high cholesterol, and high blood sugar.


Cold Stone Creamery: OREO Crème Ice Cream

Oreo Creme Ice Cream
Courtesy of Cold Stone Creamery
Size "Gotta Have It:" 1100 calories, 73 g fat (34 g saturated fat, 1 g trans fat), 250 mg sodium, 101 g carbs (0 g fiber, 93 g sugar), 7 g protein

A "Gotta Have It" size is the largest size you can order at Cold Stone Creamery. And while this ice cream will get your Oreo fix in, you may want to consider getting a smaller size.

"Anything with Oreos may seem tempting, but with nearly as many calories as many small females need in their entire day, this dessert can seriously set back any weight loss hopeful," says The Nutrition Twins.

According to The Nutrition Twins, this ice cream flavor uses multiple sweeteners, including sugar and high fructose corn syrup. Both may create inflammation in the body. Chronic inflammation leads to aging and disease and makes it easier to gain weight and harder to lose weight.

Furthermore, The Nutrition Twins say you'll also get 24 teaspoons of sugar. That is four days' worth of sugar for women and two and a half days' worth for men.

"One serving contains more fat than you should get in an entire day," says The Nutrition Twins. "That's 66 grams if you're following a 2,000 calories diet; there are 73 grams of fat in a serving."

RELATED: The Best & Worst Ice Cream at Cold Stone


Dippin' Dots: Cool Mint Crunch Ice Cream

Dippin' Dots Cool Mint
Courtesy of Dipping' Dots
1/2 cup: 190 calories, 9 g fat (5 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 90 mg sodium, 24 g carbs (0 g fiber, 20 g sugar), 3 g protein

When you think of ice cream, Dippin' Dots may not fit the mold. However, this frozen snack is just created by flash freezing ice cream mix in liquid nitrogen. And just like any other ice cream brand, Dippin' Dots has flavors worth skipping, like this Cool Mint Crunch.

"Compared to other chain ice creams, this one doesn't seem as bad, but this is the worst choice at Dippin' Dots," says The Nutrition Twins. "A small, half-cup serving sets you back with 5 teaspoons of sugar and nearly half of the saturated fat you should get in a day.

Although this is for only a half cup, The Nutrition Twins suggest most people have at least a cup. This means you'll nearly reach your daily maximum allotment for artery-clogging saturated fat. And, you'll get 10 teaspoons of sugar, exceeding the daily 9-teaspoon maximum that males should get each day. If you're a female, you should get only a maximum of 6 teaspoons a day.


Dairy Queen: Cherry Dipped cone

Dairy Quen Strawberry Cone
Courtesy of Dairy Queen
1 large cone: 650 calories, 30 g fat (24 g saturated fat, 0.5 g trans fat), 200 mg sodium, 82 g carbs (0 g fiber, 62 g sugar), 12 g protein

Just because they're the "queen" of blizzards, this cherry-dipped ice cream cone isn't an exception to unhealthy treats.

"If you like the crunchy, creamy, and sweet combo, just be aware that you'll get more than one-third of your daily calories in the cone and more than a day's worth of artery-clogging saturated fat," " says The Nutrition Twins.

However, if you do choose to get a cone there is a silver lining.

"By choosing a cone, no matter what flavor, you're pretty much guaranteed that it will be a better choice than most of the calorie-and-fat-bomb Shakes and Blizzards," says The Nutrition Twins. "Those can set you back more than 1000 calories and 75 grams of fat."


Ben & Jerry's: Chunky Monkey

Ben & Jerry's Chunky Monkey
Courtesy of Ben & Jerry's
1 scoop: 240 calories, 15 g fat (8 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 30 mg sodium, 24 g carbs (less than 1 g fiber, 22 g sugar), 4 g protein

Ben & Jerry's definitely wins the award for most creative ice cream names. However, they also win an award for unhealthiest ice creams.

"Outranking the other flavors in calories, 2 scoops of Chunky Monkey has nearly your saturated fat allotment for the entire day," says The Nutrition Twins.

The Nutrition Twins also suggest that since this flavor has a whopping amount of sugar, you may get into the habit of only being satisfied by this flavor.

"If you make a habit of it, one real downside is that this may set the bar for the sweet flavor for your taste buds and anything less may not be sweet enough," says The Nutrition Twins. "And, you may continue to crave more sweets, and less sweet foods may no longer satisfy you."


Haagen-Dazs: Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream

Haagen-Dazs Chocolate Peanut Butter
Courtesy of Instacart
2 scoops: 760 calories, 52 g fat (22 g saturated fat, 0.8 g trans fat), 340 mg sodium, 120 g carbs (4 g fiber, 52 g sugar), 16 g protein

Nearly everyone's favorite flavor combo, chocolate and peanut butter, it makes sense that these two are paired together. However, although delicious, this chocolate peanut butter ice cream comes at an unhealthy price.

"With more than 1/3 of the calories that you need for an entire day and more saturated fat than you should get daily, the real buzz kill is the whopping 13 teaspoons of sugar that will send you crashing down just as quickly as it sent you on a sugar high," says The Nutrition Twins. "And when you crash down, you'll crave one of the quickest pick-me-ups you can get, more sugar!"

Kayla Garritano
Kayla Garritano graduated from Hofstra University, where she majored in Journalism and double minored in Marketing and Creative Writing. Read more about Kayla