In 1984, the Soviet Union boycotted the Olympic Games, Bill Cosby was America’s favorite TV dad, and president Ronald Reagan declared July National Ice Cream Month. Clearly, times have changed, but July is still a great time to eat ice cream, and the Men’s Fitness staff was recently introduced to Arctic Zero—a high-protein version of the ultimate dairy treat. We put it to the test, assessing everything from its taste to nutritional value, to determine if this dessert deserves a spot in your freezer.
Arctic Zero comes in “Creamy” (straight ice cream) and “Chunky” (chunks of treats mixed in) varieties. We got our spoons into both, and both taste like real country-store ice cream—not a low-carb imitator or so-called “healthy” alternative that’s packed with artificial sweeteners. Flavors include standards like chocolate peanut butter, mint, and cookie dough, but also pomegranate, salted caramel, and cake batter. Our favorite? Brownie Blast, which includes chocolate chips.
Arctic Zero isn’t as rich and creamy as conventional ice cream, but we wouldn’t say that’s a flaw. It doesn’t curl up on your ice cream scoop the way, say, a Ben & Jerry’s pint does, but the flavor isn’t any weaker.
It’s easier to list what Arctic Zero doesn’t have than what it does: no gluten, no fat, no lactose, and no GMOs. It derives most of its sweetness from cane sugar and, interestingly, monk fruit. The second ingredient on the label is whey protein concentrate.
With only 35 calories per serving—150 per pint, should you not be able to stop yourself—Arctic Zero gets our vote for the healthiest dairy-based ice cream on the market. There are five grams of sugar per serving, but two grams of fiber to help slow them down and prevent blood sugar spikes. Finally, there are three grams of protein per serving, and while that isn’t enough to warrant replacing your post-workout shake with a pint, it’s at least a gram more than what conventional ice creams offer.
Leading ice cream brands offer nearly four times as many calories per serving and around seven grams fat. Even if you kill a pint of Arctic Zero in one sitting, you won’t do as much damage as you would hoggin’ Dazs or Breyer’s (forgive the pun). Pick it up in stores or online at arcticzero.com. For July only, every online order of Arctic Zero will come with a free bonus pint voucher.