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Is Ice Cream Keto-Friendly?

Ice Cream on a kitchen counter

'Is Ice Cream Keto-Friendly?' Well it's a common question for anyone who has a sweet tooth in keto.

The short answer is no, due to its high carbohydrate content.

In this article, we break down the carbohydrate content of ice cream and the implications of its consumption on a keto diet. Moreover, we explore some keto-compatible alternatives.

We aim to provide you with the required information to make informed decisions.

Let's get started!


  • Is Ice Cream Keto-friendly? No, due to its high carbohydrate content.
  • Ice Cream, containing 22.9g of carbs per 100g serving, is not compatible with a typical keto diet.
  • While Ice Cream does have some nutritional benefits, such as calcium and Vitamin A, it's also high in unhealthy fats and cholesterol.
  • Consuming Ice Cream can make it difficult to maintain ketosis, a crucial aspect of a ketogenic diet.

Is Ice Cream Keto-Friendly?

Based on the nutritional data provided, it can be stated that traditional Ice Cream is not considered keto-friendly. The key reason for this is it's carbohydrate content.

Can You Have Ice Cream On a Strict Keto Diet?

Given the high carbohydrate content of Ice Cream, it would not typically be included in a strict ketogenic diet. This strict regime usually involves limiting oneself to less than 20g of net carbs per day, and given that a 100g serving of Ice Cream alone contains 22.9g of net carbs.

Even for those following a more relaxed version of the keto diet or a low-carb diet, where the limit might be raised to 30-50g of net carbs per day, Ice Cream would still pose a challenge. Consuming Ice Cream would take up a significant portion, if not all, of the daily carb allowance, leaving little room for other foods.

Carbs In Ice Cream

Let's delve deeper into the carbohydrate content of Ice Cream. A 100g serving of this dessert contains 23.6g of carbohydrates. Since it contains a negligible amount of fiber, the net carb value is 22.9g per 100g as well. Net carbs, which are the carbs that your body can digest and turn into energy, are calculated by subtracting the fiber content from the total carbohydrates.

These figures are significant when considering the carbohydrate limitations set by ketogenic and low-carb diets. For instance, a strict keto diet typically caps daily carb intake at less than 20g, and even a more relaxed low-carb diet might only allow for 30-50g of net carbs per day.

Ice Cream Nutrition Facts

Let's look at the nutritional facts about ice cream, particularly vanilla. A 100g serving has 207.0kcal. It's high in carbohydrates, with net carbs being 22.9g and total carbs at 23.6g. There's also a trace of dietary fiber, about 0.7g.

In terms of fats, it contains 11.0g, with 6.79g being saturated fats, 2.97g monounsaturated, and 0.45g polyunsaturated. Moreover, it offers 3.5g of protein, including essential amino acids such as leucine (0.32g), lysine (0.26g), and valine (0.22g).

Nutrient NameAmount and Unit per 100g
Net Carbs22.9g
Carbohydrate, by difference23.6g
Fiber, total dietary0.7g
Total fats11.0g
Sodium, Na80.0mg
Potassium, K199.0mg
Magnesium, Mg14.0mg
Calcium, Ca128.0mg
Vitamin A118.0ug
Vitamin B-60.05mg
Vitamin B-120.39ug
Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid0.6mg
Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol)0.2ug
Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol)0.3mg
Vitamin K10.3ug
Copper, Cu0.02mg
Iron, Fe0.09mg
Phosphorus, P105.0mg
Selenium, Se1.8ug
Zinc, Zn0.69mg
Fluoride, F15.4ug
Manganese, Mn0.01mg
Pantothenic acid0.58mg
Folate, total5.0ug
Choline, total26.0mg
Aspartic acid0.25g
Glutamic acid0.68g
Fatty acids, total saturated6.79g
Fatty acids, total monounsaturated2.97g
Fatty acids, total polyunsaturated0.45g
This data was provided by the US Department of Agriculture's FoodData Central system.
'Ice Cream' was not found in FoodData Central, so nutritional data for 'Ice creams, vanilla' was used instead under Cast Iron Keto's editorial and research standards.

Health Implications of Ice Cream on a Keto Diet

Consuming Ice Cream while on a ketogenic diet can pose significant challenges when it comes to maintaining ketosis. With its high carbohydrate content, including this dessert in regular meals could potentially disrupt the state of ketosis.

Keto-Compatible Alternatives for Ice Cream

  1. Keto Ice Cream: There are numerous brands offering Keto-friendly Ice Cream options in the market. These products are usually made with sweeteners like stevia or erythritol that do not spike blood sugar levels, making them suitable for a keto diet. For example, a serving of a typical Keto Ice Cream could have as low as 3g net carbs and still offer a satisfying sweet treat.
  2. Frozen Keto-Friendly Fruits: Certain low-carb fruits, like berries, can be frozen and blended to create a refreshing and naturally sweet alternative to traditional Ice Cream. A cup of mixed berries has approximately 10g net carbs and also provides valuable fiber, vitamins and antioxidants.
  3. Homemade Keto Creamsicle: A simple mix of heavy cream, vanilla extract, and a low-carb sweetener can be used to make a delicious, creamy, and keto-friendly popsicle. This homemade treat contains roughly 2g net carbs per serving and also provides a good amount of fats, making it a perfect low-carb substitute.
  4. Avocado Ice Cream: Avocados, with their high-fat and low-carb profile, are perfect for making a creamy, keto-friendly Ice Cream. Paired with a low-carb sweetener and some lemon juice, this alternative could have just 4g net carbs per serving and offers the additional health benefits of avocados like fiber and healthy fats.

Concluding Thoughts on Ice Cream and Keto

Although Ice Cream is a beloved dessert for many, its high carbohydrate content makes it incompatible with a strict ketogenic diet. A 100g serving of Ice Cream contains 22.9g of carbs, which can easily exceed the daily carb limit set by a typical keto diet.

Remember, the essence of a ketogenic diet lies in maintaining a state of ketosis, where the body burns fats for energy instead of carbs. Consuming Ice Cream, due to its high carb content, can disrupt this state. Therefore, it's usually best to avoid this dessert when following a keto diet.

However, the world of keto-friendly alternatives is vast. From Keto Ice Cream to homemade treats using low-carb fruits and even avocado, the options are plentiful. These alternatives not only satisfy your sweet tooth but also align with the nutritional requirements of a keto diet.

Explore our Is It Keto Knowledge Hub.

Are Desserts Keto-Friendly

Cast Iron Keto's Editorial and Research Standards

Certain rare or exotic food items may not have nutritional profiles in the FoodData Central database. If an exact match is not found in the FoodData Central database, then, the Cast Iron Keto team utilizes a three-prong approach to provide readers with the closest relevant nutritional data, where possible.

First, in the event that nutritional profiles for a rare or exotic food item is not available in the FoodData Central database, we investigate alternative names for that particular food item and use that data, when possible. Second, in cases where no alternate names exist, Cast Iron Keto will use nutritional data for a close relative or similar food item. Finally, if no close relatives or similar items exist, we refrain from publishing nutrient data tables.

When making dietary or health decisions based on FoodData Central's data, we suggest readers consult with a nutritionist or other health experts, particularly if the food in question has a significant role in your diet or if you are using the food item to treat any health disorder(s).

Furthermore, it is important to note that even if a close relative or similar item is used to approximate the nutritional data, different food items can have varying levels of nutrients due to factors such as soil quality, farming practices, and regional differences.


The information on this website is only intended to be general summary information for public use, designed for educational purposes only and is not engaged in rendering medical advice or professional services. This information does not replace written law or regulations, nor does it replace professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have questions about a medical condition or are seeking to evaluate the health merits of certain food items for the treatment of any medical condition, you should seek the advice of a doctor or other qualified health professionals.

The views expressed at, or through, Cast Iron Keto are for informational purposes only. Cast Iron Keto cannot guarantee the validity of the information found here. While we use reasonable efforts to include accurate and up-to-date information, we make no warranties as to the accuracy of the content and assume no liability or responsibility for any errors or omissions in the content. All liability with respect to actions taken or not taken based on the contents of this website are hereby expressly disclaimed. The content on this posting is provided "as is;" no representations are made that the content is error-free.

Frequently Asked Questions

No, Ice Cream is not suitable for a ketogenic diet due to its high carbohydrate content.

Even with low-sugar or sugar-free options, Ice Cream often still contains carbs from other sources like milk and flavorings, making it difficult to include in a strict keto diet.

While Ice Cream does offer some nutritional benefits like calcium and Vitamin A, it's also high in unhealthy fats and cholesterol.

Yes, creating your own homemade keto-friendly Ice Cream using low-carb sweeteners and high-fat, low-carb ingredients like avocados can be a great alternative.

Ice Cream's high carb content can easily exceed the typically low daily carb limit of a ketogenic diet, potentially disrupting ketosis.