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How to choose ice cream and sorbet

Ice cream and sorbets are a delicious treat to cool you down on a hot day. Here’s what to look for to make a healthier choice.

What’s available?

There’s a range of flavours and types of ice creams and sorbets. We found milk, coconut and soy ice creams and sorbets, giving a range of options even if you are dairy free or vegan.


An ice cream scoop is about 50-60g (100ml) and this was the serving size for most of the ice creams we tried. This was a good size for a side to a pudding, but as a dessert on its own might be a bit small.

Taking double scoops, or seconds, can quickly make the energy add up. The products we tried ranged from 600kJ to 1000kJ or more per 100g. The more indulgent the flavour, the more energy it is likely to have.

If ice cream is becoming a regular treat over summer, it’s worth checking how much energy is in your scoop. Sorbets are generally lower in kilojoules than ice creams.

We recommend choosing ice cream or sorbet with 800kJ or less per 100g, but 600kJ or less per 100g is better.

Saturated fat

Coconut is high in saturated fat, meaning coconut ice cream is too, with double the saturated fat of some of the other products.

Ice cream made from milk also contains saturated fat, with most of the products we tasted coming in around 6g to 8g saturated fat per 100g. Sorbets, as well as soy and reduced-fat ice creams, were the lowest in saturated fat.

We recommend choosing ice cream or sorbet with 2g or less saturated fat per 100g. But if this is too difficult, aim for less than 4g saturated fat per 100g.

How to choose

Use these criteria to compare ice cream and sorbets.

Some healthier choices we found

Minoo Wildberry Sorbet

$4.79 per 460ml punnet (315g)
Per 100g: 395kJ, <0.1g saturated fat; $1.52

Gorgeous berry flavour.

Kapiti Feijoa & Pear Sorbet

$9.49 per 1 litre punnet (630g)
Per 100g: 515kJ, <1g saturated fat; $1.51

Stunning flavour. Fresh and zingy – a nice palate cleanse.

New Zealand Natural Mango Sorbet

$9.50 per 946ml punnet (568g)
Per 100g: 550kJ, 0g saturated fat; $1.67

Surprisingly creamy for a sorbet. Tastes like summer.

So Good Vanilla Bliss

$8.09 per 1 litre punnet (510g)
Per 100g: 630kJ, 0.7g saturated fat; $1.59

Very light, with a subtle creamy flavour.

Tip Top Light Vanilla

$6.99 per 2 litre punnet (1040g)
Per 100g: 672kJ, 1.8g saturated fat; $0.67

Creamy texture. Doesn’t taste ‘light’.

Like Licks Oat & Chocolate

$9.00 per 480ml punnet (284g)
Per 100g: 720kJ, 1.1g saturated fat; $3.17

Creamy chocolate with a nice nutty, oaty flavour.

Ghiotti Sorbetto Limone

$9.00 per 800ml punnet (400g)
Per 100g: 637kJ, 2.5g saturated fat; $2.25

Sharp and refreshing citrus flavour with a punch.

Zilch Reduced Fat Ice Cream Chocolate

$9.49 per 946ml punnet (539g)
Per 100g: 650kJ, 3.6g saturated fat; $1.76

Incredible dark chocolate taste. Rich and creamy.

Date modified: 23 January 2018
First published: Feb 2018


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