Those readers who are diabetic and really have difficulty controlling blood sugar might want to avert their eyes. Are you averting? Ok. The Breyers Carb Smart Ice Cream Bars are nearing the limit of what The Glucoholic is willing to consider “low carb”. Though nowhere near a sugar free snack, these bars do taste so good that they warrant a try for those who can tolerate relatively low net carb snacks. Looking a little closer at the nutritional information might help you make a decision about whether or not this product is a healthy choice for you.
First, let’s explain what we mean when we say “net carbs.” There is actually quite a bit of controversy over the meaning of this phrase, but we like to use it in our vernacular to mean “digestible carbs that will have some impact on blood sugar.” The next thing to do is to try to put together a formula that will take the carbohydrate information from the nutrition label and convert it to some number of grams that represents “net carbs.”
Using these ice cream bars as an example we see that each bar contains 9 grams of carbohydrates, including 2 grams of fiber, 5 grams of sugar, and 2 grams of sugar alcohol. In general, we can subtract the fiber from the total, leaving us with 7 grams of net carbs. Next we need to account for the sugar alcohol. If you do enough searching on the web you will find plenty of information about sugar alcohols, so for brevity we will say that in the worst case scenario the specific sugar alcohols used would yield about 1 gram of digestible carbs and 1 gram that would not be digested. This means that we can take one more gram from the total and get around 6 net carbs per bar. Not bad compared to a slice of pizza!
You will also get 15 grams of fat, of which 0 grams are trans and 11 grams are saturated. Each serving also contains 15mg of cholesterol, 45mg of sodium, and 2 grams of protein. At 170 calories these things have a lot of fat, and they are definitely not a low calorie snack!
The Glucoholic always likes to deliver the not perfect news first, so with that out of the way let’s talk about what is great about these little treasures – the taste! Each bar is sweetened with Splenda and acesulfame potassium and boy can you tell. The chocolate shell is crispy, but quickly dissolves in your mouth leaving a taste that is a little more like dark chocolate than milk chocolate. The ice cream is indistinguishable from traditional ice cream. The combination of tastes is something special, and is quite comparable to similar snacks that The Glucoholic would never be able to consider otherwise.