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Ice Cream – Definition, Benefits, Types, Properties, and More

Ice Cream Definition

Ice cream can be a delicious treat as it is creamy, cold, and sweet. However, like many sugary sweets, it’s loaded with calories, sugar, and fat.

Naturally, you may be wondering about the possible downsides of this dessert and whether you can include it in a healthy diet.

This article gives you everything you require to know about ice cream.

What are the Benefits of Ice Cream?

ice cream

They have always told us that ice cream is terrible because it made us fat, the children took away their hunger, got sick from the throat, lead to cavities, etc.

If we observe its composition, it does not get as fat as we thought. Of course, if we abuse it, we will get fat. If we consume it in moderation, it will only bring us benefits.

Some benefits of ice cream consumption:

  • They provide us with a large amount of calcium since its main ingredient is milk;
  • Helps strengthen bones;
  • Those made by hand only have 6% fat;
  • They are not a source of empty calories because they have proteins and vitamins (from milk or yoghurt). Therefore, they can be a complete dessert or snack.
  • Ice creams have a euphoric effect (like chocolate)
  • People with diabetes who want to watch their weight can take them if they take diet ice creams. They usually contain non-caloric sweeteners, so, in moderation, they can consume without problems.
  • It is not true that they cause great colds, since they can consume at any time of the year.
  • Because they provide many vitamins, proteins, calcium, and little fat, they can be good food for the sick or the elderly with little appetite.

What are the Types of Ice Cream?

ice cream

The technical-sanitary regulations that regulate ice creams define them as food preparations brought to a stable, semi-solid, or pasty state by freezing the raw materials used.

It must maintain the degree of plasticity and sufficient freezing until the time of sale to the consumer. The classification performs base on its quantitative composition.

1. Cream Ice Cream

  • It contains a minimum of 8% in fat, exclusively of dairy origin, and a minimum of 2.5% in protein, solely of dairy origin. For this reason, to make it, cream or butter use.

2. Water Ice Cream

  • It contains a minimum of 12% total dry extract.

3. Milk Ice Cream

  • It contains a minimum of 2.5% fat, exclusively of dairy origin, and a minimum of 6% dry lean milk extract.
  • Usually, it is made with whole milk or with powdered milk and cream.

4. Skimmed Milk Ice Cream

  • Contains a minimum of 0.3% fat, exclusively of dairy origin, and a minimum of 6% of dry lean milk extract

5. Sorbet

  • It contains a minimum of 15% fruit and 20% total dry extract.
  • Dairy-based ice creams group the first four categories when they contain at least 4% egg yolk.
  • Depending on their elaboration, ice creams can also classify into artisan and industrial.

Properties of Ice Cream


  1. It helps reduce sweating, is nutritious, provides phosphorus, calcium and vitamins, and energy due to its sugar.
  2. It is the best complement to a good meal and takes after these, and ice cream helps digestion.
  3. Ice cream makes with the natural components mentioned above ( milk, sugar, egg, chocolate or cocoa, honey, nuts, fruits) that perfectly combine the flavour and the food.
  4. We all recognize the importance of milk in children’s development and its essential contribution to adults’ diets.
  5. It has a high biological value given by its assimilable proteins that contain essential amino acids that the human body cannot synthesize and therefore has to ingest them in the diet.
  6. Its contribution of carbohydrates, lipids, vitamins, and minerals such as calcium and phosphorus completes this healthy food.
  7. Milk contains fat-soluble vitamins and fatty acids.
  8. Sugars provide carbohydrates, which are ready-to-use energy, available now, that perform similar functions to lipids.
  9. The egg has a protein considered 100% essential biological value. Like milk protein, recommend a balanced diet.
  10. Chocolates and dried fruits like walnuts further increase protein, and chocolate also provides a brain-stimulating principle.
  11. Fruits are rich in vitamins and minerals, virtues that we all know. Among the usual vitamins, we can mention A, B1, B2, C, D, E. Among the minerals there are calcium, phosphorus, iron, potassium, and others.

Standard Nutritional Value of Ice Cream

nutritional value

As we have already seen, most ice creams have more than 25 g of sugar per 100 g of product.

The container contains 500 g of product; if we eat half (250 g), we would be ingesting almost 63 g of sugar, exceeding three times the maximum recommended daily intake (an outrage!).

Also, to this sugar, we would have to add as many others that we take throughout the day, whether we are aware that we take it (such as coffee teaspoons) or not (such as hidden sugar in food).

As an example, different from the image, I have chosen a dulce de leche ice cream from a famous brand. Let’s see the nutritional composition per 100 g:

Energy value: 265 kcal

Fat: 15.6 g

Saturated: 9.8 g

Carbohydrates: 26.7 g

Sugars: 26.2 g

Proteins: 4.4 g

Salt: 0.21 g

Dietary fibre: 0.1 g

Can you Take Ice Cream in a Healthy Diet?

  1. It is perfectly acceptable to enjoy an occasional dessert as part of a healthy diet. The key is moderation.
  2. To avoid over-the-top, try portioned products like ice cream bars or mini containers. Otherwise, you can use small bowls instead of large ones to control your portions.
  3. Remember that while low-fat or low-sugar varieties may seem healthier, they are not necessarily more nutritious or even lower in calories than other choices.
  4. They may contain artificial ingredients. Use discretion by reading labels carefully.
  5. Also, you can practice mindful eating to help you enjoy each bite.

Recommendations for a Healthy Ice Cream

When buying ice cream, check ingredients, and nutrition labels carefully. Choose products made primarily from real ingredients, such as cream, milk, cocoa, and vanilla.

If possible, avoid highly processed ice creams by selecting those with a small number of easy-to-read ingredients.

If you’re watching your weight, look for products with less added sugar and less than 200 calories per serving.

Alternatively, try making low-calorie, nutrient-rich ice cream at home using just two simple ingredients:

  • Two ripe bananas, frozen, peeled, and chopped.
  • Four tablespoons (60 ml) unsweetened almond, coconut, or cow’s milk

Pulse the elements in a blender or food processor until they reach a creamy consistency. Add more milk if necessary. You can give the mixture immediately or freeze it for a fluffier texture.

This dessert has no added sugar, fewer calories, and more nutrients than regular ice cream.


Ice cream is a sweet and refreshing snack. However, it is high in sugar, calories, and possibly artificial additives and ingredients.

Therefore, you must read the labels carefully if you want a healthier dessert. Ice cream can be part of a healthy and balanced diet if consumed occasionally and in moderation.

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