During the summer, one of the tastiest ways to stay cold is by indulging in some ice cream – and fast food chains definitely know that. On this episode of The Perfect Bite, host Andrea Jenna is joined by registered dietitian Marcia Sivilotti of ME and YOU Nutrition. They take a look at five popular fast food ice cream treats to determine which is the healthiest (and tastiest) option.
“These are extremely, extremely decadent,” says Marcia. “They are packed with calories, sugar, fat and a lot of additives. Some of the range from 330 to over 1,300 calories.”
So can you actually indulge in ice cream in a guilt-free way?
“Absolutely,” Marcia says. “If we don’t do it as often, if we limit our portion size – a portion size is half a cup or two golf ball-sized scoops – and we watch how much added extra stuff we put in there, we can definitely have it.”
To keep it consistent, Andrea and Marcia taste test five Oreo cookie frozen treats.
Baskin Robbins Oreo Layered Sundae (Least healthy option)
Lots of chunky Oreos and fudge dominate this sample, which Marcia and Andrea both say tastes good.
While those chunky cookies and fudge may taste good, they also helped contribute to this sundae’s whopping calorie count. This was by far the least healthiest of the bunch, with 1330 calories for a 347-gram serving. The sundae packed 61 grams of fat and 146 grams of sugar.
“Some people, that could be the amount of calories that they actually need for the entire day,” Marcia explains. “Even worse, there’s over 900 milligrams of sodium. And there’s 37 teaspoons of sugar.”
That’s more than six times the recommended sugar intake for women (6 teaspoons per day) and more than for times what it should be for men (9 teaspoons per day).
This calorie-laden treat is actually equivalent to eating 24 Oreo cookies.
McDonald’s Oreo McFlurry (Andrea’s favourite)
“This one is a lot whiter than the [Baskin Robbins] one,” Andrea notices. “I taste the Oreo cookie itself.”
“There’s more ground Oreos in it,” Marcia says. “It’s more Oreo than the ice cream.”
The McFlurry narrowly beat out the Blizzard when it came to Andrea’s favourite treat.
A large Oreo McFlurry has 570 calories, 20 grams of fat and 64 grams of sugar.
Wendy’s Oreo Frosty Parfait (Healthiest option)
Both Marcia and Andrea notice this treat is more ice cream-based than Oreo.
“It’s very plain looking actually,” comments Marcia.
“There’s not very many Oreos in this one at all,” agrees Andrea.
“It tastes pretty much like vanilla ice cream,” Marcia says. “And the Oreo actually tastes a bit stale.”
In terms of calories, this parfait beats out the other options. A serving size of 190 grams has 330 calories, 9 grams of fat and 47 grams of sugar (which equals out to 12 teaspoons).
Dairy Queen Oreo Blizzard Treat (Marcia’s favourite)
“This one actually tastes a lot like [the McDonald’s Oreo McFlurry],” says Andrea. “And it looks the exact same.”
“It tastes actually more like ice cream though than that soft serve-type one,” Marcia says. “And it’s really blended.”
This yummy treat won over nutritionist Marcia, who said it was her favourite of the bunch. “I think it’s because there are chunks of the Oreos but it was also blended so there was lots of flavour.”
Andrea almost chose the Blizzard as her favourite, but ended up going with the McFlurry, which is very similar.
A medium Oreo Blizzard has 800 calories, 29 grams of fat and 89 grams of sugar.
Cold Stone Creamy Oreo Overload
After taking her first spoonful, Andrea says this blend reminds her a lot of the Baskin Robbins sundae. “Just from looking at it, it looks like there’s fudge in there as well,” she says.
And that’s not all – Marcia notices there’s also chocolate chips.
But the chocolate might steal the spotlight from the Oreo taste.
“This doesn’t taste anything like Oreo,” Marcia says.
“Not at all,” Andrea agrees.
If you’re looking for a tasty treat to indulge in (but not over-indulge), our taste testers recommend going for the Wendy’s Parfait, which has 330 calories and 12 teaspoons of sugar. But if you’re watching your sugar or calorie intake, you might want to skip the Baskin Robbins sundae, which has over 1,300 calories – and 37 teaspoons of sugar.
What’s your go-to fast food ice cream? Let us know in the comments.