I do not like consuming foods that do not bring any nutritional benefit to my body. Therefore, I avoid all foods with added, refined sugars as a rule. Most foods that contain refined sugars are calorically dense while being nutritionally poor in nature. They are a waste of calories to fuel the body with. However, this does not mean that I never enjoy a small indulgence on occasion. If you take the time to look, there are several products available at most grocery stores to have as a special treat. Some are better than others as with all food products, and then, some are simply excellent. I find Enlightened Vanilla Bean ice cream to be an excellent choice over the other sugar free, or low carb ice creams I have tried in the past. If you are on Keto, or practicing any type of low carb dieting, then this ice cream is for you!
The first thing besides the taste that I enjoy about Enlightened Vanilla Bean is the truly creamy texture. While Halo Top and Rebel keto friendly ice creams are popular with many people, I find their textures to be strange for ice cream. While the Rebel ice creams taste far superior to Halo Top, they both kind of crumble when you eat them. Ice cream should never be crumbly, especially after letting it sit out to soften for a bit. What you will find when you put a spoonful of Enlightened in your mouth is a truly creamy ice cream as it should be. This ice cream has a delicious vanilla flavor and a creaminess to satisfy any ice cream lover while also being free of added sugars and low in carbs. The carbs are low enough that even those who are practicing Keto could enjoy a serving on occasion. I firmly believe that if you are going to treat yourself, then treat yourself with something that you are going to actually enjoy instead of a product that leaves you wanting.
When looking at ingredients, you need to know what you are looking at in order to actually know the contents. Then you need to scan the nutritional label to determine if there is enough of a less desirable ingredient listed to make you place the item back on the shelf. Enlightened contains tapioca syrup, which is not as bad as refined sugars, it is still less than desirable for me. If you’re regularly sweetening your meals with organic tapioca syrup, thinking it’s healthier than sugar, it’s time to scale back. If you are going to eat it, your total added sugar intake – which includes sweeteners you add to foods, as well as added sugar already found in processed and packaged foods – should not exceed 9 teaspoons for men daily and 6 for women. People who eat more added sugar face a higher risk of obesity and heart disease, and those who consume sugar-sweetened beverages have a greater risk of type-2 diabetes.
Here is why you also need to scan the nutrition labels:
When you look at the label, there is nothing inherently bad about this products nutrition. It is low in calories per serving, contains protein, is low in carbs and serves up a nice amount of fiber and erythritol (sugar alcohol) to offset the carbohydrates:
14g Carbs – 4g Fiber-6g Sugar Alcohol = 4g Net Carbs
At 4g net carbs, even those on Keto could enjoy this ice cream.
I like erythritol and use it quite frequently in baking and other foods. But, it seems many people do not know anything about this sugar alcohol.
What is erythritol?
Erythritol belongs to a class of compounds called sugar alcohols. Many different sugar alcohols are used by food producers. These include xylitol, sorbitol and maltitol. Most of these function as low-calorie sweeteners in sugar-free or low-sugar products.
Most sugar alcohols are found in small amounts in nature, especially in fruits and vegetables. The way these molecules are structured gives them the ability to stimulate the sweet taste receptors on your tongue.
Erythritol appears to be quite different from the other sugar alcohols. To begin with, it contains much fewer calories:
Table sugar: 4 calories per gram
Xylitol: 2.4 calories per gram
Erythritol: 0.24 calories per gram
With only 6% of the calories of sugar, it still contains 70% of the sweetness.
There is one major issue with most sugar alcohols that is not found with erythritol — they can cause digestive issues. Due to their unique chemical structure, your body can’t digest them, and they pass unchanged through most of your digestive system, or until they reach the colon. In the colon, they are fermented by the resident bacteria, which produce gas as a side product. Consequently, eating high amounts of sugar alcohols may cause bloating and digestive upset. that you are not going to enjoy. However, what makes erythritol different than the other sugar alcohols is that it gets absorbed into the bloodstream before it reaches the colon. Erythritol circulates in the blood for a while, until it is eventually excreted unchanged in the urine. About 90% of erythritol is excreted this way
Overall, erythritol is an excellent sweetener.
It contains almost no calories.
It has 70% of the sweetness of sugar.
It doesn’t raise blood sugar or insulin levels.
Health-conscious people might choose to sweeten their food with stevia or honey. However, honey contains calories and fructose, and many people don’t appreciate the aftertaste of stevia. Erythritol appears to offer the best of both worlds.