A Closer Look at Ice Cream
Per capita, Aussies are among the leading ice cream consumers in the world, eating 18 litres each per year. In this post, we take a closer look at Ice Cream and why you can include it in a balanced diet.
Most ice cream (even better, frozen yoghurt ice cream) is actually rich in essential nutrients. With dairy being a main component in this chilly dessert, it means that it’s loaded with vitamin A, B6, B12, C, D, K and also rich in antioxidants, niacin, thiamine and riboflavin. These nutrients help to strengthen the immune system, as well as improve organ and nerve functions.
Ice cream is a great source of energy. It’s rich in carbs, fats and proteins, all needed to synthesise energy. As long as you eat in moderation and keep active (putting to good use all the calories that your fav ice cream has) you won’t gain weight by eating ice cream.
Makes you happy!
Sure, ask anyone about ice cream and they’ll probably tell you it makes them happy! But did you know there’s actually a scientific explanation to why we all scream for ice cream? Ice cream contains a compound that stimulates the production of thrombotonin. Thrombotonin is a hormone that uplifts the mood and prevents mood swings, it’s also known to reduce stress levels. In addition to this, the L-tryptophan in milk acts as a natural sedative, relaxing the nervous system, preventing insomnia and stimulating the brain.
Because of the whole milk content, this also means they can be high in saturated fat, consuming too much ice cream will lead to elevated cholesterol levels and elevated blood pressure. There’s also a reason why diabetics can’t eat ice cream, it contains large amounts of sugar in every serving. Overeating ice cream consistently will lead to weight gain, cardiovascular diseases, and diabetes.
How to enjoy it in balance
- Fruit Toppings. To curb the calories stick to a half cup serving, about the size of half a tennis ball, and pump up your portion by topping it with a cup of fresh berries or grilled in-season fruit like peaches, plums or apricots.
- Try non-dairy options. Coconut milk ice cream packs about the same number of calories as cow’s milk ice cream, and it’s high in fat, but studies have found that coconut fat may actually aid weight loss. That’s because the type of fat coconut contains, called medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), are metabolised differently than other fats. MCTs have also been shown to help raise “good” HDL cholesterol and coconuts provide antioxidants similar to those in berries, grapes and dark chocolate.
- Help portioning. Try getting ice cream in individual packages rather than getting a whole tub (which could easily be devoured in one sitting). Or soften up hard ice cream, fold in fresh fruit, and transfer it to popsicle moulds yourself.