Compared to a bowl of fresh salad, ice cream is definitely not a good choice. But, overall, you should not feel guilty for loving ice cream, as long as you know when to have it and how to make the most of your frozen delight.
The key is in moderation. It doesn't matter whether you eat something daily; it's about portion control, calories, and giving your body all the nutrients it needs to function normally.
Similar to chocolate, ice cream doesn't count as a food group, but having a scoop or two, now and then, comes with some health benefits.
Now imagine what our lives would look like if broccoli tasted like a scoop of chocolate chip cookie dough...
Is ice cream junk food?
Junk food is generally unhealthy since it brings just a bit more than empty calories to the table. It's not an enemy, but it's not your best friend either.
The creamy delight we love and can't get enough of is full of sugar. Even one serving is more than recommended daily sugar intake. Hence, calling ice cream junk food is not a stretch. Sadly.
Obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and fatty liver disease are the most caused by excess sugar intake. Furthermore, processed ice creams generally contain artificial food dyes.
Carrageenan and guar gum in ice cream can cause bloating, cramps and inflammation.
We all know that sugar's addictive. That's why taking one scoop of ice cream is so hard. Yet, homemade ice creams and reading labels for healthier options mean that having ice cream in moderation won't harm you.
In fact, there is some good news for all ice cream lovers. That's pretty much all of us!
How Often Should You Eat ice cream?
If your diet is made of veggies and proteins, having a tiny bit of ice cream every day won't kill you.
But, let's face it: ice cream is a treat, dessert, delight. Not many can handle having just one spoon. That's torture.
Instead, keep it for special occasions. You can have it as dessert once a week, but don't take other sugary treats during that day.
There are low-fat and no-sugar-added choices out there. But these still tend to be full of calories, mainly due to the presence of dairy and creams, and they usually include alternative sweeteners. Sometimes, these sweeteners are worse than actual sugar.
So, in a nutshell, you should try to restrain yourself. Ice cream, like a glass of champagne, isn't part of your everyday life. It's made for special occasions. And no, Fridays aren't a reason to celebrate.
What are the benefits of eating ice cream?
Finally, some moderately good news. Because living healthy is all about moderation. From regular exercising to getting all the good nutrients, finding balance is the key.
Shopping around for non-dairy alternatives to ice cream, such as soy, almond, and coconut-milk-based products, will undoubtedly make your life easier. But dairy ice cream has its perks.
Milk has calcium, essential for healthy bones. It's also great for your metabolism, and you get an extra kick of dopamine, making you more energetic and awake.
And there's another less-known perk for including a bit of ice cream into your weekly meal plan.
According to one study, those women who consumed one or more servings of high-fat dairies, such as ice cream, had 27% fewer ovulation issues. Meaning, if you're planning to get pregnant, ice cream might be included in the foreplay.
Ice cream also contains some vitamins, a bit of protein, but all that fades when you compare its nutritional values of ice cream to what your body needs during the day.
Can I eat ice cream at night?
Of course, you can eat ice cream at night, but only if you're not planning to have a good night's rest.
High in fat and sugars, ice cream is generally not the best idea to snack in the middle of the night. In fact, you should avoid eating sweets in the evening because sugar directly disrupts your beauty sleep.
Ice cream boosts dopamine, a feel-good hormone, which allows you to be alert and awake. So, no, you shouldn't eat ice cream at night, unless it's some kind of emergency, like a nasty breakup or slumber party.
What happens if we drink water after eating ice cream?
As you're devouring a sundae, you suddenly feel the rush of thirst. What's up with that?
Ice cream is full of sugars and sodium.
Drinking a glass of water after the ice cream is just fine. But, you have to keep in mind to drink only water at room temperature.
Ice cream's cold, and our blood's not, so you are maintaining your normal body temperature by drinking warmish water.
If you want to destroy your throat, then you will pick iced water.
In all seriousness, there were many silly things about ice cream and water. The most common one is that you'll catch a cold from ice cream and water. Being hydrated will more likely prevent the cold, so there you go.
The ugly truth
Choosing an organic brand seems like a reasonable option.
Ice creams contain plenty of unhealthy ingredients, including trans fats, glycerin, erythritol, artificial colors, and gums such as cellulose, often made from cotton seeds or wood pulp.
If you eat it every day, you'll gain weight and put yourself at risk of various diseases.
There's one simple yet tragic rule in life. If it's tasty, it's not good for your body. That's why we keep saying balance, moderation, self-control... So, once or twice a week should be your limit when it comes to ice cream.
Yes, life's not fair, and just by saying that out loud, you will want to have a scoop of ice cream. Or three. But, keep it for joyous occasions or when you really, genuinely need comfort food.