There are different types of ice cream and each has a number of nutrients that can help certain people. Find out more about the nutritional value of these foods.
The main ingredients of ice cream are milk, cream, cocoa, vegetable fats, sugars, eggs, nuts, fruit, nougat, cookies … but from a nutritional point of view, a classification can be established :
- Ice cream based on cream and milk.
- Water-based ice creams (such as popsicles, sorbets, and slushies).
- The frozen desserts, which contain a wide variety of ingredients.
Ice cream as we know it today is a complex food, the result of advances in food technology. It is a homogeneous mixture with air inside that makes us taste it as a foam without perceiving the tiny crystals of thread inside. The forms of consumption of ice cream have become very sophisticated and the variety of flavors is spectacular.
Nutrients in ice cream
Ice creams based on cream or cream contain between 200 and 250 Kcal per 100 g. The protein value is about 5 g per 100 g and they usually contain more than 10% fat, generally saturated.
The caloric content of popsicles and other ice creams is much lower since they do not contain fat and their protein value is almost zero. The carbohydrates that ice cream provides are approximately 25% of its weight in the form of sugars such as sucrose and glucose, although there are also ice creams with fructose or sweeteners .
As for vitamins and minerals, their content will depend fundamentally on milk and eggs if the ice cream contains them. Milk or cream ice creams are rich in calcium and the main vitamins are riboflavin and vitamin A. Those made from water contain hardly any micronutrients.
Who is it good for and who is not?
As there is so much variety of ice creams, it is difficult to generalize since, for example, a lactose intolerant person will not be able to consume ice cream, milk and cream, but will not have any problem with ice cream.
They are recommended for:
- Anorexia and / or cachexia: In people who suffer from states of malnutrition and / or little feeling of hunger and have early satiety, we must promote foods of high nutritional value and low volume, such as ice cream.
- Xerostomia or lack of salivation: When you suffer from dry mouth, which can be caused by different pathologies or treatments, we will look for juicy and easy-to-consume foods with little salivation. Ice creams, especially ice creams, are a very good option to hydrate the mouth and offer the freshness that a dry mouth lacks.
- High nutritional and energy needs: Being a food with high nutritional density, it helps us to provide a good amount of nutrients and energy in a small volume of food. If what we value is its nutritional contribution, we must opt for milk-based varieties.
They are not suitable for:
People who are overweight or obese. In general, ice creams are caloric foods, although it is true that there are very diverse varieties and some specimens are less energetic. As a rule, it is not going to constitute a food that should be included in the diet of people with excess weight , but its consumption should be limited to specific and sporadic occasions.
Buying and conservation advice
When buying an ice cream we must assess what type of ice cream we want and its nutritional quality. For this we must review the labeling and especially the list of ingredients. Taking into account that the foods appear in the list of ingredients ordered from highest to lowest content, we will look for the first ingredients to be milk or cream , cocoa, nuts, etc. If possible we will avoid those with trans or hydrogenated fats.
Ice cream conservation must be frozen. When buying them, they should be taken just before paying, to avoid thawing . If this happens and then they are frozen again in the domestic freezer, larger ice crystals will be created that we will notice when consuming them, thus reducing their organoleptic quality, in addition to the health risk involved in breaking the cold chain.
What you should know…
- Benefits: refreshes and provides energy and, if it is of quality, also interesting nutrients.
- Ideal for: people with a poor appetite, high energy needs and dry mouth.
- In case of overweight or obesity, their consumption should be limited , especially if they are based on milk or cream.