July is National Ice cream month and while we want to over indulge in sugary goodness, to keep our bodies healthy we should make sure that we consider portion control and moderation while enjoying this delight.
While ice cream isn’t typically eaten for its nutritional value, there is several health benefits associated with this frozen treat. Since ice cream is a dairy product like milk or yogurt, it contains some of the same vitamins and nutritional content. It is important to read the nutrition label when selecting a type of ice cream to indulge in to maximize health benefits, while minimizing the health risks typically associated with ice cream due to its high calorie, sugar and saturated fat content.
While most traditional ice creams may be loaded with calories and are packed with sugar and fat, there are several, healthier options available:
- Low-fat, light or reduced fat ice cream: less fat and lower calorie content than traditional ice cream with some of the same health benefits.
- Soft-serve ice cream: contains twice the amount of air as traditional ice cream giving it a lighter texture with less fat and lower calorie content, but often contains unwanted fillers and additives.
- Sherbet: contains less milk than traditional ice cream along with egg whites or gelatin for thickness giving it less fat than regular ice cream, but higher sugar content than low-fat ice cream.
- Non-dairy ice cream: typically soy-based containing the same protein and nutrients with less fat and lower calorie content than regular ice cream.