Halo Top: Is It Worth It?

Halo Top: Is It Worth It?

An analysis of the ingredients and claims of Halo Top ice cream.
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This past summer, Halo Top ice cream hit the shelves with a bang. In the midst of 90-degree weather, people were cracking open the visually-pleasing cartons of ice cream and eating the whole thing in one sitting.

Halo Top recently came out with a slew of new flavors including Red Velvet, Peanut Butter Cup, and Chocolate Cookie Dough. Before, it only offered basic flavors, such as Vanilla, Cake Batter, and Strawberry. More flavors means more options, an incentive that draws in more costumers.

So how does it compare to “normal” ice cream? According to their website, Halo Top offers ice cream with less sugar, less calories, and more protein. It achieves this by using stevia instead of sugar. The website mentions that stevia is an “all-natural sweetener found in fruits like pears and grapes.” The website even compares the nutrition information of Halo Top ice creams with other competing brands.

Each carton is four pints, and each pint ranges between 240 and 360 calories. This is the trick; you can’t sit down and eat an entire carton and think “oh, I’m being so healthy.” In order to only eat the 240 calories that the ice cream displays on the carton, you have to eat it in 4 separate sittings.

As for protein and fiber, the ice cream consists of the ingredient “prebiotic fiber,” which is an added fiber that helps your good bacteria grow. See Prebiotin for the difference between probiotics and prebiotics.

Now back to sugar. There is a bit of a controversy surrounding the safety of stevia. While stevia boasts about being an all-natural sugar, it is actually a processed sugar, just like corn syrup. And just like how corn syrup comes from a plant, corn, stevia comes from a stevia leaf. Stevia actually tastes much sweeter than sugar, which is why it can be used in small amounts. But unlike sugar, stevia has zero calories, which is why it’s used as a healthy substitute.

Halo Top lists “erythritol” instead of sugar in their ingredient list. According to their website, “erythritol” is “technically a sugar alcohol.” Halo Top isn’t wrong, exactly, but what it neglects to explain is that this sugar alcohol is actually processed with corn. So if you’re eating stevia because it is “all natural,” that’s not actually the case. If you’re allergic or sensitive to processed sugars, then stevia might not be for you.

The FDA considers stevia safe, but that’s not saying much; the FDA also approves of formaldehyde in beauty products, such as nail polish and hair-styling products. However, unlike other processed ingredients, there are benefits to stevia. Unlike sugar, stevia does not spike blood sugar or cause bloating, as Halo Top mentions on their website. I can attest to this. I have tried two different flavors, Birthday Cake and Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough. After finishing a pint’s worth, I did not have that gross, heavy feeling that normal ice cream usually causes. Both tasted true to their flavors, and neither gave me a sugar high or a sugar crash.

Halo Top’s texture is different than normal ice cream, and it tastes a little different, but it’s not a bad different. My verdict is to treat Halo Top as you would any other dessert: eat it in small portions. Less is more. An occasional pint of Halo Top won’t kill you any more than an occasional pint of Ben & Jerry’s will. But Halo Top might just make you feel better for indulging in dessert.

Cover Image Credit: Alexis Collins

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To The Girl Struggling With Her Body Image

It's not about the size of your jeans, but the size of your heart, soul, and spirit.

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To the girl struggling with her body image,

You are more than the number on the scale. You are more than the number on your jeans and dresses. You are way more than the number of pounds you've gained or lost in whatever amount of time.

Weight is defined as the quantity of matter contained by a body or object. Weight does not define your self-worth, ambition or potential.

So many girls strive for validation through the various numbers associated with body image and it's really so sad seeing such beautiful, incredible women become discouraged over a few numbers that don't measure anything of true significance.

Yes, it is important to live a healthy lifestyle. Yes, it is important to take care of yourself. However, taking care of yourself includes your mental health as well. Neglecting either your mental or physical health will inflict problems on the other. It's very easy to get caught up in the idea that you're too heavy or too thin, which results in you possibly mistreating your body in some way.

Your body is your special, beautiful temple. It harbors all of your thoughts, feelings, characteristics, and ideas. Without it, you wouldn't be you. If you so wish to change it in a healthy way, then, by all means, go ahead. With that being said, don't make changes to impress or please someone else. You are the only person who is in charge of your body. No one else has the right to tell you whether or not your body is good enough. If you don't satisfy their standards, then you don't need that sort of negative influence in your life. That sort of manipulation and control is extremely unhealthy in its own regard.

Do not hold back on things you love or want to do because of how you interpret your body. You are enough. You are more than enough. You are more than your exterior. You are your inner being, your spirit. A smile and confidence are the most beautiful things you can wear.

It's not about the size of your jeans. It's about the size of your mind and heart. Embrace your body, observe and adore every curve, bone and stretch mark. Wear what makes you feel happy and comfortable in your own skin. Do your hair and makeup (or don't do either) to your heart's desire. Wear the crop top you've been eyeing up in that store window. Want a bikini body? Put a bikini on your body, simple.

So, as hard as it may seem sometimes, understand that the number on the scale doesn't measure the amount or significance of your contributions to this world. Just because that dress doesn't fit you like you had hoped doesn't mean that you're any less of a person.

Love your body, and your body will love you right back.

Cover Image Credit: Lauren Margliotti

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5 Things You Need To Know About Thinx Underwear

Those of you with a uterus, listen up.

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I first heard about Thinx underwear two years ago while on a subway in Washington DC. I thought the whole idea of leakproof underwear sounded a bit too much like diapers and brushed the product aside. Fast forward two years, my mom states that she is going to buy a pair to try and offered to get me one too. With nothing to lose and everything to gain, I decided to give it a try. I'm sure glad I did!

If you're not familiar with Thinx allow me to explain. It's a company that prides themselves on creating underwear specifically designed for individuals to wear during their periods. Looking at the reviews, everyone seemed to love them, and after trying them out for myself, I must say I like them quite a lot. Here are a few important things to know about Thinx underwear.

1. It doesn’t always replace your pads/tampons

Thinx may not replace tampons, but it can help cut back the amount you use.

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I learned this the hard way that if you have a heavy flow, you can't wear Thinx on its own. If you have a light flow, you could get away with only wearing these, but for us poor souls with heavy flows, I recommend making these your new period underwear. You never have to worry about any leaks, even at night!

2. They don't stain

Behold! No bloodstains!

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If you leak onto this underwear, fear not. Merely rinse them in the sink and then throw them in the wash like normal and boom! Clean underwear. No more ugly stained underwear to keep in the corner of your drawer.

3. There’s a bunch of cute designs/colors

There's something for everyone!

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One thing I must say about Thinx is that they have a wide variety of options. There are several different cuts, and almost all of them come in different colors options as well. They seem to be introducing new colors all the time, so keep an eye out for one you like.

4. They are super comfy!

These feel just like normal underwear.

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When I got my pair, I was worried that this underwear would feel like wearing a diaper or something else uncomfortable, but that was not the case at all! This underwear when you're wearing it feels like normal underwear, and while you're washing it, it feels like a swimsuit.

5. They donate to a good cause

Everyone should have access to period products. Period.

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For every pair of underwear that you buy, the company donates a pair to someone in need. It seems like most are sent to developing countries where women do not have access to proper menstruation hygiene products. In addition to this, Thinx was designed to help cut back the number of disposable pads entering landfills. They designed this underwear to be a more sustainable alternative for people with periods!

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