Are ice cream sandwiches fattening?

Quick Answer

Ice cream sandwiches can be fattening due to their high calorie and fat content. A typical ice cream sandwich contains around 230 calories and 12 grams of fat. Eating multiple ice cream sandwiches or consuming them frequently can contribute to weight gain over time. Moderation is key when enjoying these sweet treats.

Calorie and Nutrition Content

The calorie and fat content of an ice cream sandwich can vary depending on the specific brand, ice cream, and cookies used. Here is the nutrition information for some popular ice cream sandwich brands:

Ice Cream Sandwich Calories Total Fat (g) Saturated Fat (g) Trans Fat (g) Carbs (g) Sugar (g) Protein (g)
Klondike Original Ice Cream Sandwich 220 12 7 0.5 24 11 3
Blue Bunny Ice Cream Sandwich 190 9 4.5 0 25 13 3
Good Humor Chocolate Chip Cookie Sandwich 220 11 7 0.5 27 14 3
Turkey Hill Ice Cream Sandwich 240 13 8 0.5 26 15 3

As you can see, a typical ice cream sandwich contains around 220-240 calories and 11-13 grams of fat. The amount of saturated fat ranges from 4.5-8 grams. They also contain 24-27 grams of carbohydrates, most coming from added sugars.

So while an occasional ice cream sandwich can be enjoyed guilt-free, frequent consumption can add excess calories, fat, and sugar to your diet.

Ingredients That Make Them High in Fat and Calories

Ice cream sandwiches get most of their calories and fat from the ice cream filling. Here’s what makes ice cream so high in calories:

– Cream – Ice cream is made with cream, which contains significant amounts of saturated fat. Just 1 tbsp of heavy whipping cream has 50 calories and 5 grams of saturated fat.

– Milk – Milk provides additional calories, fat, and protein to ice cream.

– Sugar – Ice cream contains considerable amounts of added sugar, which provides calories without nutrients. Just 1/2 cup of granulated white sugar contains 773 calories!

– Egg yolks – Egg yolks are another source of fat and calories in ice cream.

– Flavorings – Ingredients like chocolate chips, cookies, candy, etc add more sugar and fat.

The cookies used in ice cream sandwiches also contribute additional calories, fat, and carbs:

– Flour – Refined flour lacks fiber and nutrients but provides a good amount of carbohydrates.

– Sugar – Cookies are high in added sugars like white sugar, brown sugar, corn syrup.

– Butter – Most cookie recipes call for a few tablespoons of butter, adding saturated fat.

– Chocolate chips – Chocolate chips add sugar, fat, and calories to cookies.

So in summary, the combination of high-fat ice cream and sugary cookies creates a sandwich that’s very high in calories.

Portion Size Matters

When it comes to ice cream sandwiches, portion control is very important. Here’s how the calories add up:

– 1 small ice cream sandwich = Around 220 calories
– 2 small ice cream sandwiches = Around 440 calories
– 1 jumbo ice cream sandwich = Up to 500 calories

Eating multiple ice cream sandwiches in one sitting can quickly cause you to consume excessive calories.

For example, just 3 regular ice cream sandwiches would provide around 660 calories. That’s one-third of the daily calorie needs for many adults!

Experts generally recommend limiting yourself to one small-to-moderate portion ice cream sandwich per day at most. And consider sharing if you choose a jumbo ice cream sandwich.

Weight Gain Risks

Because of their high calorie density, frequently eating ice cream sandwiches promotes weight gain in a few ways:

– It’s easy to passively overconsume calories. For example, eating two 220-calorie ice cream sandwiches adds 440 calories. If you continue to eat the same amount of other foods daily, you’ll create a calorie surplus.

– The high sugar content can increase cravings and appetite, making it hard to compensate for the extra calories. The blood sugar crash after the sugar high can further spike hunger.

– They have low satiety and are easy to overeat. It’s common to feel unsatisfied after eating one ice cream sandwich, making it tempting to have a second.

– High fat foods like ice cream sandwiches are very energy dense – providing lots of calories in a small serving. This makes it easier to eat excess calories.

Research confirms these concerns. A study in over 120,000 women found that those who increased ice cream intake by 1 serving per day gained an average of 1.11 pounds over 4 years (1).

Further, reducing ice cream and dairy dessert intake has been linked to better weight loss success (2).

So if you are trying to lose weight or prevent weight gain, ice cream sandwiches are best enjoyed in moderation. Be mindful of portion sizes and how often you indulge.

Healthier Low-Calorie Options

If you want to enjoy the great taste of ice cream sandwiches while controlling calories, here are some tips:

– Choose mini ice cream sandwiches. These provide 100-150 calories per sandwich. Stick to one mini sandwich as your portion.

– Make your own with low-fat or light ice cream and reduced-calorie cookies. This cuts back on fat and calories.

– Substitute ingredients like using banana “ice cream”, Greek yogurt, and graham crackers. Frozen blended bananas make a creamy filling.

– Opt for ice cream sandwiches made with whole grain or more nutrient-dense cookies like oatmeal raisin or peanut butter. This gives you more nutritional value per calorie.

– Look for options made with alternative sweeteners like stevia or erythritol to reduce the sugar and carb content.

– Buy ice cream sandwiches made with high protein or fiber ingredients like chickpea cookies or whey protein-enriched ice cream. This provides more satisfaction.

With some simple substitutions and paying attention to portions, you can still enjoy these frozen treats without going overboard on calories. Moderation and mindfulness is key.

Healthier Dessert Alternatives

If you are looking for more nutritious dessert options, here are some healthier ideas that are lower in calories, fat, and sugar than ice cream sandwiches:

– Fresh fruit – Fruit like berries, mango, pineapple, etc make a light, refreshing dessert without lots of added sugar. Include some plain Greek yogurt for extra protein.

– Baked apples – Bake apples filled with cinnamon, raisins, walnuts, and a touch of honey or maple syrup for a healthier dessert.

– Fruit parfaits – Layer Greek yogurt with fruit, nuts, shredded coconut, and a drizzle of honey.

– Chia pudding – Made from chia seeds, milk, and fruit, chia puddings are high in fiber and protein.

– Frozen banana “ice cream” – Blend frozen bananas into a creamy, icy texture. Add cacao powder, peanut butter, or berries for different flavor options.

– Dark chocolate avocado mousse – Blend avocado, melted dark chocolate, and cocoa powder for a lush chocolate mousse that’s dairy-free.

– Baked oatmeal – Make a moist oatmeal bake with oats, milk, yogurt, fruit, cinnamon, etc and serve warm.

– Chocolate zucchini muffins – Add shredded zucchini to chocolate muffins for extra moisture.

– Quinoa breakfast cookies – Whip up protein-packed cookies with quinoa, oats, nut butter, and dried fruit.

With a little creativity, you can come up with healthier sweet treats that don’t sabotage your health goals. Prioritize more natural ingredients like fruit, nuts, yogurt, oats, and dark chocolate over processed items.

How to Enjoy Ice Cream Sandwiches in Moderation

Here are some final tips for enjoying ice cream sandwiches moderately as part of an overall healthy diet:

– Eat slowly and mindfully to savor each bite. Don’t let ice cream drip to waste!

– Stick to a single serving size. Don’t have more than one sandwich per day. Cut jumbo sandwiches in half to share.

– Be careful of mindless eating directly from the box. It’s easy to overdo it!

– Keep reasonable portions on hand. Don’t buy a box of 12 ice cream sandwiches if you struggle with portion control.

– Balance intake throughout the week. Don’t have ice cream sandwiches daily. Limit them to once or twice per week.

– Avoid excessive toppings like hot fudge that further increase calorie intake.

– Practice portion control at social events. It’s fine to have an ice cream sandwich at a party, just balance it out the rest of the day.

– Compensate with more activity when you indulge. Take a walk or hit the gym to burn some extra calories.

– Don’t deprive yourself either. Having an occasional treat contributes to happiness and balance.

– Focus on healthy eating habits 80-90% of the time. Be flexible with treats in moderation.

With balance, moderation, and reasonable portions, you can satisfy your sweet tooth while still being mindful of your health. Ice cream sandwiches can be part of a well-rounded lifestyle.


Ice cream sandwiches can be fattening due to their high calorie density, fat content, and sugar load. Frequent overconsumption can easily lead to weight gain. However, with mindful portion control and balancing intake with nutrition and exercise the rest of the day, enjoying these frozen treats in moderation is possible without sabotaging your health goals. Limit portions to a serving or two per week, choose mini or lower-calorie varieties, savor them slowly, and balance out excess calories. You can still satisfy sweet cravings and avoid feeling deprived by allowing room for moderation and flexibility in your healthy lifestyle.

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