Food Industry Nutrition

Are Magnum ‘No Added Sugar’ ice-creams good for you?

Okay, so Magnums, the ice-creams beloved for their luxury mouthfeel and signature ‘crunch’ – not to mention their ‘so sexy they should be watershed’ TV ads – are not known for their health credentials. And that’s their indulgent appeal.

So it seems like a fairly nascent – yet not stupefying – activity for them to finally take a leap into the health world with two new No Added Sugar varieties: Vanilla Caramel and Forest Fruit.

It’s a venture that other big luxury ice-cream brands like Ben & Jerry’s have rolled out with great success. But how does Magnum compare? To find out, continue reading below.

Firstly, what is in Magnum No Added Sugar?

The No Added Sugar range sells itself not just on its low sugar content (notice I said ‘low sugar’ and not ‘no sugar’ – let’s go back to that later) but also on its low-calorie credentials, too.

Related: The Difference Between “No Added Sugar” & “Sugar Free” on Packaging


This is because the No Added Sugar range uses low fat and low sugar alternatives. For instance, sugars are replaced with maltitol and erythritol (sweeteners), sugar syrups like glucose and glucose-fructose syrups are swapped for inulin (a plant-based sugar substitute) and, in places, whole milk powder is replaced with skimmed milk powder.

Related: Can Ice Cream Be Healthy?

In themselves, the ingredients for both Vanilla Caramel and Forest Fruits are pretty holistic. However, it does say something that they’re the only two of the Magnum range to include a laxative warning, due to the high concentration of sweeteners.

How much healthier are Magnum No Added Sugar sticks vs regular Magnums?

It’s super important to get perspective in the food world. After all, a healthy swap is only so because alternatives are considered less healthy. Unless you know both sides of the coin, how much can you really know about what you’re doing for your waistline?

So, let’s begin. First of all, sugar.

As you’d hope, the No Added Sugar Magnums contain far less sugar than the standard Magnums*. The Vanilla Caramel flavour has just 3.2g sugar (a little less than a teaspoon) vs a whopping 20g sugar in the regular Salted Caramel alternative. That’s over five times as much sugar per portion!

*While the difference in sugar content is great, don’t be fooled by the wording No Added Sugar. There is still sugar in No Added Sugar varieties. In many cases, the sugar just takes on different guises in the form of sweeteners or fruit purees (as so happens with the Forest Fruits variety).

Related: Is frozen yoghurt healthier than ice-cream?

Now, calories.

The No Added Sugar ice-creams are 154 calories, around one-third less than regular Magnums (around 230 calories per stick). The ‘fatty’ components, such as whole milk powder, are replaced by low-calorie and low-fat skimmed alternatives to keep calories down.

Having said this, all ice-creams from the regular and No Added Sugar ranges use reconstituted skimmed milk as their main ingredient.

How about protein?

Typically, when you strip out dairy fat, you lose protein. This is common in things like low fat yogurt and cheese. However, this isn’t the case with Magnum No Added Sugar.

Related: Are Low-Fat and Fat-Free Yogurts Healthy?

In fact, the protein is often higher for the low sugar ice-creams (negligible, by around 0.2g per portion, but an increase nonetheless). The only outlier is the Almond Milk Choc, where there is slightly more protein per portion due to the 5% almond content.

The bottom line

I’m always reluctant to accept the legitimacy of No Added Sugared *anything*.

They’re usually way too high in synthetics, with too many lab-based ingredients. By doing so, they end up being so far removed from the original that you know, in your heart of hearts, you’re never going to stop craving the full-fat, full-sugar original which kind of defeats the purpose, doesn’t it?

Anyway, this is categorically not the case with Magnum No Added Sugar. They’re just as luxurious and satisfying as the originals. They could have even have replaced the original for me altogether – and that’s saying something!

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