On a positive note, ice cream is generally a great source of energy. Due to its 7 grams of fat and 2 grams of protein per serving, ice cream is an “energy-dense” food. According to SFGate, half a cup of vanilla ice cream provides 137 kilocalories of energy. Ice cream is also an impressive source of vitamins and minerals, including calcium, phosphorus, and vitamins A, C, D and E. In addition, ice cream also contains niacin, folate, thiamin, riboflavin, and vitamins B-6, B-12 and K.
Despite the ice cream’s health benefits, its fat, sugar and lactose content requires that it only be eaten in moderation. Although ice cream makes for a delicious dessert or snack, it is a high-fat food, which does not fare well for those with high-cholesterol or weight gain.
In order to incorporate ice cream into a balanced diet, it is best to choose the healthiest ingredients possible. Firstly, choose brands that have ingredients you recognize as natural. One reason why vanilla ice cream is one of the best choices available, is because it contains fewer additives than other ice cream flavors and utilizes the most basic ingredients. Secondly, be wary of ice creams that say ‘low-fat’ or ‘sugar-free’ on the label. Although they may appear to be the healthier option, these ice creams are often filled with chemicals and other additives that make up for their loss of flavor. So, when you decide to go out for ice cream, watch your portions, go for the simpler flavors, and always check ice cream web pages for the nutrition facts.
If you have the time, making your own ice cream is always a healthier alternative, allowing you to ensure that the ice cream contains the most natural, organic ingredients. If not, make sure to enjoy today’s Vanilla Ice Cream Day in the healthiest way possible by keeping its nutritional value in mind.
By Brittany Nieves