Are Popsicles Bad for You?
Refreshing popsicles and other frozen novelties can be especially satisfying during the summer months, providing some sweet relief during the hottest days of the year. But are popsicles healthy? While these treats can occasionally run a little high in extra fat and sugar, many may be healthier for you than you think.
The good news is that options for health-friendly popsicles at the grocery store are steadily on the rise, as consumers have started to shy away from high-fat ice cream bars. Single-serve individually wrapped ice pops also mean the portion control is done for you, leading to less over-indulging.
While making your own popsicles may still be the best way to avoid extra sugars and artificial flavors, here are a few of our favorite (and not so favorite) store-bought alternatives that we highlighted in one of our recent “Love it, Like It, Hate it” segments:
- Low-sugar popsicles featuring natural sweeteners and/or fresh fruit. Available from Whole Foods, GoodPop Strawberry Frozen Pops have very simple ingredients (think strawberries, water, cane sugar) and only 60 calories. Diana’s Bananas Babies get their sweetness naturally from the dark chocolate-dipped banana, while SoDelicious Coconut Milk Minis Fudge Bars are sweetened with monk fruit and are also dairy/ lactose free plus Vegan.
- Low calorie frozen pops that sneak in a little extra fruit/ vegetable juice. Trick picky eaters with Whole Foods 365 Carrot Tangerine Fruit and Veggie Bars, which taste like regular fruit popsicles but file carrot puree first under the list of ingredients. While Sugar Free Popsicles do contain added sweeteners and dyes, they clock in at only 15 calories, making them a bit healthier than some of the other frozen novelties out there.
- Ultra-premium, high-fat ice cream bars and popsicles filled with high fructose corn syrup and artificial coloring. Some rich ice cream bars can pack more calories and saturated fat than a McDonalds cheeseburger, while other colorful ice pops come loaded with corn syrup, sugar, and artificial food dyes. Keep an eye on the list of ingredients, as there are plenty of more healthful options out there!
For more details on this topic, see Molly’s full Get the Skinny Segment on WGNO’s Good Morning New Orleans.