With warmer temperatures comes the craving for cooler foods, including that favorite summer standby, ice cream.\nWhether you like it in a cone or a bowl, this sweet treat can seem like the perfect way to top off a barbecue or day at the beach. It\u2019s no secret that ice cream isn\u2019t always the healthiest choice. Ice cream tends to be high in sugar and fat, for starters.\nSo are there smarter options?\nIn recent years, \u201chealthy\u201d ice cream brands have popped up in supermarkets. These products claim to be low in sugar and calories and high in protein, making them popular among people who are trying to lose weight or get fit. But are these ice creams good for you \u2014 or just a gimmick?\nRELATED:\u00a0Is Frozen Yogurt Really Healthy?\nThe Good News About \u2018Healthy\u2019 Ice Cream Brands\nSo-called healthy ice creams claim to be lower in calories than traditional ice cream, and that\u2019s true.\nGet healthy with the help of UPMC Nutrition Services\nDepending on the brand, low-calorie ice creams tend to contain between 35 and 60 calories per half-cup serving. That compares to about 130 calories per half-cup serving of regular ice cream.\nHealthy ice cream products are also lower in fat and sugar: One serving typically contains less than 2 grams of fat and 4 to 5 grams of sugar, while a serving of regular ice cream can have upwards of 7 grams of fat and 14 grams of sugar.\nSome \u201chealthy\u201d ice creams boast that they contain a higher amount of protein \u2014 which can appeal to bodybuilders and others trying to increase their muscle mass \u2014 but they actually have just a gram or two more per serving than regular brands.\nRELATED:\u00a06 Tips for Healthier Summer Drinks\nThe Questionable News About \u2018Healthy\u2019 Ice Cream\n\u201cHealthy\u201d ice cream brands keep their calorie content low in a couple of ways.\nFirst, they tend to contain more air and less actual food: According to one estimate, a half-cup of low-calorie ice cream product only weighs about two-thirds as much as its regular counterpart. This suggests that the product has been made fluffier and less dense \u2014 but that doesn\u2019t necessarily mean it\u2019s better for you.\nSome healthy brands list fiber on their labels, an ingredient that\u2019s usually not found in standard ice cream. But this frozen treat is hardly the best source of fiber.\nYou\u2019re better off getting it from wholesome foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and seeds because they also contain more vitamins, minerals, and other important nutrients.\nThe Bad News About \u2018Healthy\u2019 Ice Cream\nHealthy ice cream often contains sugar substitutes rather than pure sugar. Although this helps keep calories at a minimum, these alternative sweeteners may carry their own risks.\nFor example, erythritol is a sugar alcohol that is low in calories but can cause unpleasant side effects, including bloating, gas, and other digestive woes.\nPlus, \u201chealthy\u201d ice cream products are highly processed and can contain various additives, such as glycerin, carob gum, and guar gum, which are used to mimic the feel of real ice cream.\nThe Bottom Line on This Sweet Treat\nHealthy ice cream may be a decent substitute for standard varieties, especially if you\u2019re counting calories. But that shouldn\u2019t give you license to consume higher amounts of it, and it certainly isn\u2019t a health food. Limit yourself to an occasional serving \u2014 not the whole pint.