Trader Joe’s New $2 High-Protein Ice Cream Sounds Dreamy

updated May 24, 2019
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(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

It seems like just yesterday that everyone was wild about Halo Top, the high-protein ice cream favored by workout fanatics. Hailed as a so-called “healthy” alternative to traditional ice creams, Halo Top has fewer than 300 calories, and 20 grams of protein. There’s just one downside: A pint of Halo Top usually costs around $4. As usual, Trader Joe’s is here to rescue shoppers on the hunt for deals. The beloved grocery store chain will now stock a much cheaper version of a protein-packed ice cream, called Swell.

Swell (formerly known as ProYo) costs just $1.99 per pint, and comes in a series of classic flavors including Dutch Chocolate, Vanilla Bean, Mocha, and Mint Chip. Now on to the numbers: A full pint of Swell contains 35 grams of protein. A half-cup serving only contain 120 calories, and just 9 grams of sugar. In comparison, a typical serving of Häagen-Dazs contains 19 grams of sugar.

As those fine folks who track new Trader Joe’s products on Instagram have revealed, so far Swell has shown up in locations across California, but hopefully it will start to appear all over the country. Just keep one thing in mind: While ice creams like Halo Top and Swell might be high in protein and low in calories, experts still wouldn’t necessarily recommend that you turn to them for your daily allowance of nutrients.

Halo Top CEO Justin Woolverton may have once insisted that eating a whole pint in one sitting will totally fit in with your diet, but you should really resist the urge — no matter how attractive the labeling, it’s still a processed food packed with sugar and dairy. You still need to get your protein from other sources (lentils, ground turkey, and nut butter are good places to start). As is true with almost everything in life, high-protein ice cream is best enjoyed in moderation.