“Ice cream!!! You know how much I love it…! But I guess my question is if I am going to have it, what’s the best (and worst!) option to go for? I know it’s not exactly good for you, but some tips would be great”
I must admit, this months ‘client query’ is from none other than my flatmate Abi. You may have come across ‘Abi’ in various Instagram posts (follow me @rachelclarenutrition). Most recently the delightful 30-day squat and abs challenge she attached to our fridge door. If you find yourself in such a challenge, I advise not doing day 5 in smart trousers you wore to your uncles 65th birthday bash earlier that day. After 55 squats I heard a loud rip and a sensation of fresh air around my buttock region…
I’m not sure if the ‘ripping of the trousers’ is due to the growing gluteus muscles or perhaps the growing adipose tissue due to the amounts of ice-cream I have recently ate for ‘research’ of this post – either way, I blame Abi.
So, back to the question. In simpler terms, can ice-cream be healthy?
I’m going to present the information to you, give you some tips for consumption but ultimately – the decision is yours. Do you feel that ice-cream can be part of a healthy, balanced diet for you or do you think the quantity of ice-cream in your diet should probably be lessened and replaced by a much healthier alternative?
I wonder if you are as surprised by these results as I am? I’ve put the results in order of sugar as this is the current buzz word of nutrition. I’m devastated (and I’m sure Abi is too) to see that Magnum’s are the highest in sugar, calories AND fat!! Interesting to see that the common ‘healthy’ choice in the ice-cream section Solero Exotic is in fact pretty high in sugar and the frozen yoghurt by the beloved B&Js doesn’t fair too well either. One might conclude from this that the ‘best’ / ‘healthiest’ option is a humble 2 scoops of Carte D’or vanilla. Compliment this with some fresh fruit and you could justifiably call this a nutritious dessert.
I’ve spoken before about mindful eating and a non-diet approach to guide your dietary choices and intake. When categorising foods as ‘every day’ or ‘occassional’ rather than good/bad – a humble portion of Carte D’or vanilla with fresh fruit comes somewhere in between the two! If you have kids that are bugging you for ice-cream almost every day during this summer weather, encouraging them to have Carte D’or more often than not will go a long way. If you are not in the population group whereby food choices influence children as well as yourself – I’d say categorise ice-cream more so in the ‘occasional’ section. For example, out in the sun with friends and a round of ice-creams are in order or hosting dinner and having ice-cream for dessert. In these occasions, eat mindfully – enjoy the moment, take note of the flavours, texture, temperature!
If you’re the type to eat ice-cream on a regular basis, in front of the tele perhaps with a tub of B&Js (we’ve all been there…) Think what type of hunger are you feeding? Is it your heart hunger because you’ve had a bad day? Think of another way to feed your heart! Take a bath, paint your nails, talk to a friend etc. Is it eye hunger because you saw a half price advert in the shop window on your way home? Recognise that marketing ploy – rise above it, you don’t need it and your health is more important! Do you have stomach hunger and genuinely need to fuel your body? Think of a better alternative! Click to my blog on snacks to see some healthier options for stomach hunger…
If you’re looking for an alternative which is cold and sweet you could try:
– A frozen banana. As you know, I love bananas. I recently tried putting a banana in the freezer (take the skin of first, as I found out the hard way) as I heard it has the same type of consistency as ice-cream and is therefore a great alternative. The rumour was true.
– Put your own Greek yoghurt in the freezer. Since coming back from Crete, I’m literally obsessed with Greek Yoghurt. It’s full of healthy fats, lots of calcium and tastes super! Top with some red berries and you are good to go.
So I hope this has cleared up a few things ice-cream and you feel more equipped to make a choice when it comes to this summer favourite. Now, time to do day 6 of my challenge…
Healthy lives are fruitful lives.