Ice cream is creamy, cold, and sweet, making it a delicious treat. But like many sweet treats, it’s full of calories, sugar, and fat.
The nutritional value of ice cream varies by brand and type, but it is generally a good energy source. Ice cream is high in carbohydrates. Ice cream is great if you need energy or participate in a weight gain program. If you are wondering about the potential drawbacks of this dessert-and whether you can include it in a healthy diet. This article describes everything you need to understand about ice cream.
What is ice cream? How is it made?
Commercial ice cream is usually made from fresh cream derived from milk. The cream is stored in a significant cooling silo at shallow temperatures and mixed with the skim milk powder, stabilizers, emulsifiers, sugar, and corn syrup. The mixture is then pasteurized, homogenized, cooled, and flavored.
Finally, it is cooled and whipped; the mixture is mixed with air, changing from a liquid to a soft solid with a creamy texture. The ice cream is then packaged on its own or used to make treats such as ice cream bars, ice cream sandwiches, and frozen dessert corn.
The nutritional facts of ice cream depending on the brand, taste, and type.
In most cases, it will be richer and creamier than regular ice cream-rich in sugar, fat, and calories.
Interestingly, low-fat or sugar-free products are often advertised as healthier, but these options can include about the same number of calories as regular ice cream. (4)
In addition, sugar-free products usually contain sweeteners such as sugar alcohols, which can cause indigestion such as gas and wind.
Still, most ice creams are a rich source of phosphorus and calcium, providing about 6% and 10% of the daily value per 1/2 cup (65 grams) serving, respectively. Both minerals are essential for muscle function and skeletal health. (5)
However, this mineral content does not compensate for the high calorie and sugar load of ice cream.
Drawbacks from ice cream
High in calories and low in nutrients
Ice cream is high in calories but has few nutrients other than calcium and phosphorus. If you eat ice cream once in a while, you don’t have to worry about nutrient deficiencies. (6)
However, frequent replacement of nutritious foods such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains with ice cream can lack dietary vitamins and minerals. Also, the high-calorie content of ice cream can promote weight gain if you overeat.
Highly Additive Sugar
It is a well-known fact that ice cream contains sugar. Many varieties contain 12 to 24 grams of sugar in just 1/2 cup (65 grams) of serving. (7)
Limiting the amount of sugar added to less than 10% of the daily calories, or about 50 grams for a 2,000 calorie diet, is recommended. Therefore, you can easily reach this daily limit with just a few or two ice creams. (8)
It May contain harmful additives
Many ice creams are highly processed and contain ingredients such as artificial flavors and additives.
In particular, the Food and Drug Administration recently banned seven artificial flavors, including benzophenones, because animal studies have linked them to cancer. These compounds were well-known in ice cream and other desserts. (13)
Guar gum, used for thickening and texturing foods, is also ordinary in ice cream. Although generally considered safe, it is associated with minor side effects such as gas, gas, and cramps. (14)
In addition, animal and test-tube studies suggest that carrageenan (a family of natural linear sulfated polysaccharides that are extracted from red edible seaweeds), also found in ice cream, may promote intestinal inflammation.
Is it possible to include ice cream in a healthy diet?
Sometimes eating desserts as part of a healthy diet is perfectly acceptable. Moderation is important. Try pre-divided products such as ice cream bars and mini-containers to avoid excessive luxury.
Otherwise, you can use a small bowl instead of a large bowl to reduce serving. Low-fat or low-sugar varieties may look healthy, but forget that they are not always more nutritious and low in calories than other options and may contain artificial ingredients. (15)
Healthy Ice Cream
Advice When buying ice cream, pay close attention to nutrition and ingredient labels. Choose products made primarily from genuine ingredients such as cream, milk, cocoa, and vanilla pods. (16)
If possible, choose ice cream with less readable ingredients and avoid over-processed ice cream.
When monitoring your weight, look for products with low sugar content and less than 200 calories per serving. Try making low-calorie, high-nutrition ice cream at home using or just two simple ingredients.
- 2 ripe bananas, frozen, peeled, chopped
- 4 tbsp (60 ml) sugar-free almonds, coconut, or milk
Pulse the material in a blender or food processor until you reach a creamy consistency. Add milk as needed. You can immediately serve the mixture or freeze it for a texture that is easier to scoop. This dessert has less sugar, fewer calories, and more nutrients than regular ice cream.
Health Benefits of Ice Cream
- Rich in Vitamins and Minerals
- Helps Boost Immunity
- Helps Strengthen Bones
- Prevents Breast Cancer
- It Improves Your Fertility
Ice cream is a sweet and delightful treat. But it’s rich in sugar, calories, and perhaps additives and synthetic components. Therefore, if you need a healthier dessert, you need to read the label carefully. Ice cream, when taken in moderation occasionally, can be part of a healthy and balanced diet.
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