If you're watching your waistline, sherbet may be a better dessert choice than ice cream because it usually contains fewer calories. While a 1/2-cup serving of vanilla ice cream contains 137 calories on average, the same portion of orange sherbet contains just 107 calories. The calorie count varies, however, depending on ingredients, such as chocolate chips, and added toppings like syrup, nuts and whipped cream.
Although orange sherbet contains fewer calories than vanilla ice cream, it often contains more sugar. The 18 grams of sugar in sherbet contribute 72 calories to the total count, whereas ice cream's 14 grams of sugar provide just 56 calories. Ice cream is much higher in fat, however. Its 7.26 grams of fat contribute about 65 calories to the total, while sherbet's 1.48 grams of fat provide just 13 calories. Most of the fat in both desserts is the saturated variety, which is linked to high cholesterol levels.