Is ice cream bad for you?: If you love ice cream so much that you can’t spend a day without a cone, you’re not alone, we’ve all been there. If you eat ice cream every day, you are probably among the 10 million Americans who licks the bowl clean every day.
Ice cream is so delicious, full of sugar, comforting, creamy, and cold. It’s literally irresistible once you’ve tasted the first spoonful melting down your throat.
But is ice cream bad for you? Is it detrimental to your health? Read on, because this and more is what we are going to look at in this entire article.
What is ice cream and how is it made?
According to Wikipedia, “Ice cream is a sweetened frozen food typically eaten as a snack or dessert. It may be made from dairy milk or cream and is flavored with a sweetener, either sugar or an alternative, and any spice, such as cocoa or vanilla.”
So, how is ice cream made?
Ice cream is not any different from normal ice, only that it does not form stiff blocks of frozen liquid. For example, when you put water or milk in a container and place it in a freezer, you can easily get blocks of ice.
For the case of ice cream, dairy milk or cream and the other ingredients are treated to special techniques like constant churning, mechanically or by hand to form smaller ice crystals and incorporate air to form the soft, creamy ice cream that all of us are used to.
Which spices go into ice cream making?
We have a number of spices that go into ice cream making and these include;
- star anise
- Black pepper
- Vanilla beans
- Dried tangerine
Does ice cream have any nutritional value?
The nutrition value of ice cream will depend on the brand, flavor, and type. Most ice cream has a lot of added sugar and many calories yet low in nutrients. Premium ice cream for example is richer and creamier than regular ice cream with more sugar, fat, and calories.
Low-fat and no-sugar-added ice cream choices are marketed as healthier, but these are calorie-dense and contain sweeteners. According to the FoodData central by the U.S. department of agriculture, 4 common varieties of vanilla ice cream per 1/2-cup serving have the following nutrients.
|Regular||Premium||Low-fat||No added sugar|
Is ice cream bad for you?
Although it has some nutritional benefits, we should eat ice cream in moderation. It has potential downsides due to the high sugar, fat content, and unhealthy food additives and preservatives. That said, here are the facts behind the bad side of ice cream.
Half a cup serving (105 grams) of chocolate Cheesecake Ice Cream has around 300 calories. A whole pint (4 servings) adds up to 1,200 calories which are more than half of your daily intake. You are therefore likely to take many calories a day, which may not be used but later turn into stubborn fat.
Too much fat
Premium vanilla ice cream contains 13 g of fat in a single half-cup serving and 70mg of cholesterol. According to the American Heart Association, saturated fat and LDL cholesterol increase your risk for heart disease and stroke.
Too much sugar increases your glucose levels, makes you absorb fewer vitamins and minerals, and can drain away calcium from your bones. High sugar consumption also puts you at risk of diseases like diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and osteoporosis.
Ice cream is high in carbs. These are stored as fat if the body does not use them up. High carb intake wreaks havoc on glucose levels, putting you at risk of diabetes.
Trehalose and Listeria
Store-bought ice cream has up to 11% trehalose which according to the National Institutes of Health has been linked to fatal infections from a bacterium (Clostridium difficile) found in our guts. Ice cream products also have a bacterium called listeria that can cause serious illness.
Which ice cream is healthy?
The healthiest ice cream is that which is minimally processed and contains few ingredients. To ensure this, you can make your ice cream at home that is simple and nutrient-dense using ripe bananas and unsweetened almond, coconut, or cow’s milk. This has no added sugar, fewer calories, and yet nutrient-dense compared to regular ice cream.
If you cannot make your ice cream at home, be careful when shopping for ice cream. Avoid heavily processed ice creams. Look at the nutrition and ingredient labels. Avoid hard-to-read ingredients. Go for ice cream products from real ingredients like cream, milk, cocoa, and vanilla beans.
If you are looking to lose weight, ice cream products with less added sugar and fewer than 200 calories per serving are the best for you.
What is the benefit of eating ice cream?
Good source of calcium
Ice cream contains calcium that will keep your body strong and your metabolism functioning efficiently. Also, calcium helps us to build strong bones and teeth.
Vitamins and minerals
The milk and cream in ice cream are great sources of calcium, vitamin D, riboflavin, vitamin A, and phosphorus.
The flavor of ice cream also determines the nutrients you are likely to get from your ice cream. Vanilla beans have antioxidants, calcium, manganese, magnesium, potassium, zinc, and iron. Dark chocolate is loaded with antioxidants and flavonoids that are good for the heart.
Good for the brain
According to a study by Kyorin University in Tokyo, having ice cream for breakfast can boost your brain. According to the research, the group that had ice cream first thing in the morning was more alert compared to that which had a glass of water.
Gives the body energy
Ice cream is packed with sugar that contains glucose which is an instant source of energy for our bodies.
Boost your immunity
Ice cream is actually fermented dairy. Fermented foods protect our bodies from gastrointestinal and respiratory infections. Stronger gut and respiratory systems imply a stronger immune system.
Research shows that women who consume one or more servings of high-fat dairy have 27% fewer ovulation issues. So, if you are trying to get pregnant, do not hesitate. Pass by the nearby grocery store tonight and pick your favorite ice cream.
Ice cream makes you happy
Ice cream produces serotonin, the feel-good hormone in our bodies. No wonder medical professionals recommend ice cream to people with seasonal affective disorder.
Reduces the risk of breast cancer
Most breast cancer patients have one thing in common: calcium deficiency. Since ice cream is a good source of calcium, having ice cream will reduce the chances of developing breast cancer.
Did you know that bringing a pint of ice cream at home can get your partner in the mood for intimacy? Ice cream contains phosphorus that helps to keep testosterone levels in check, which boosts one’s sexual arousal. Phosphorous gives the tissues oxygen, maintains our pH balance, and this boosts human libido.
What are the most popular ice cream flavors?
The list of the most popular ice cream is largely based on the best-selling ice cream flavors or on the flavors people think are their favorite. Here is the list of the most popular ice cream flavors according to the International Dairy Foods Association’s annual list of the best-selling ice cream flavors in America.
- Cookies N’ Cream
- Mint Chocolate Chip
- Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
- Buttered Pecan
- Cookie Dough
- Moose Tracks
To sum up our question “Is ice cream bad for you?” What we can say is that: most ice creams are high in sugar, calories, and additives, and artificial ingredients that are harmful especially if over consumed.
It is okay to enjoy an occasional dessert to your diet, but this should be done in moderation. To keep your intake in check, try pre-portioned products such as ice cream bars or use small bowls instead of large ones to keep your intake in check. Also carefully read labels to avoid consuming toxic ingredients.
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