Every summer, the ice cream market explodes. In 2018, ice cream consumption reached a record year, with an increase of 7% over its usual, and 237.8 million liters of ice sold (Source 1). Praised for its freshness and taste, ice is also appreciated for its lightness. But do you know how many calories exactly is in a scoop of ice cream? Can we really fit it into the dessert category? “healthy” ?
What are the different types of ice cream and what do they contain?
According to the Association of Ice Cream Companies, the ice would take its roots in the East : “History especially retains its dissemination in Europe by Marco Polo who would have discovered it in China. However, it seems that the Italians already knew it at the time of Nero. This one tasted sorbets made from crushed fruits in honey and mixed with snow “(source 2).
Although we often use the word “ice”, there actually exists different categories of ice cream, which do not have the same composition or the same manufacture. We distinguish :
- Ice, which is a mixture of water, milk proteins, sugar, natural flavors and / or fruit and / or fruit syrup. It must contain at least 5% fat. Depending on where you buy it (at an ice cream parlor, in a supermarket department, etc.), it can be served either in a cone (ice cream cone), in a jar, in a tub, in a stick;
- Ice cream, whois a mixture of milk (condensed or powdered), cream and sugar and must contain at least 8% milk fat;
- Frozen yogurtor “frozen yogurt” : it is a yoghurt that will be frozen in the freezer, often mixed with cream, sugar … Its texture is very smooth and is similar to that of ice cream;
- Italian ice cream or “gelato”: Another winner in terms of smoothness, the Italian ice cream is made with a base of whipped cream and egg yolks, which makes its texture voluminous (it would also bear the name of “gelato” to distinguish it. French-style ice creams which, at the time of their creation, were harder;
- Sorbet is a mixture of water, sugar (glucose) and fruits (25% minimum, 15% for sour fruits, 5% for nuts). It does not contain any dairy products;
- Granita or more traditionally “granita”: this is a type of granular sorbet invented in Sicily. This semi-frozen liquid made from water, sugar, and fruit juice exists in a multitude of flavors.
How many grams does a scoop of ice cream make?
Although the weight may vary depending on the form in which it is purchased (in a cone or in an individual jar at an ice cream parlor, in a tray in the supermarket shelves, in a log, in sticks, in mini-cups …) , a classic ice cream scoop weighs around 30 grams, while two scoops of ice cream are about 50 grams, and 3 scoops of ice cream about 100 grams. Do not forget the ice cream sold in containers on supermarket shelves: you will find containers of 450 grams, 500 grams, 600 or even 800 grams …
Is ice cream low in calories?
Of course, ice creams are made from sugar, milk, cream or egg yolks … and therefore contain calories. Corn they are part of the desserts relatively low in calories compared to pies and cakes (a chocolate eclair brings about 260 kcal).
If the caloric intake of an ice cream depends on its ingredients, on average :
- A scoop of ice cream provides 60 kcal. This is less than most of the traditional French favorite desserts, such as strawberry tart or chocolate fondant;
- Two scoops of ice cream provide 130 kcal. While there is therefore no question of depriving themselves of them, they must however be consumed in moderation.
While most ice creams contain at least 5% fat, in general the fat content is around 10%, a lower number than most other desserts. Ideally, an ice cream should contain between 6 and 10% fat, to stay low in calories.
Can we go so far as to say that ice cream does not gain weight, or that it makes you lose weight? The same goes for all desserts: it should be consumed in moderation. If you swallow 3 liters of ice cream, it will have nothing of a dessert “healthy”, because the amount of sugar and fat ingested will be significant! It also depends on the rest of your diet: ice does not make you fat and remains balanced if it is part of a good food balance in general.
The cone, an addition of calories
Are you a fan of ice cream cones? Warning: if you prefer ice cream for its low calorie intake, then it may be best to skip the cone, made with a waffle dough that is still quite high in calories. Otherwise, go for it, because everyone knows that an ice cream cone is simply delicious!
Sorbet or ice cream: which ice cream has the lowest calories?
Sorbet is a special type of ice cream because it only contains water and fruit; no dairy product is included in its composition. He thus won the prize list of the least caloric ice cream: two scoops of sorbet contain about 90 kcal. In comparison, an apple provides between 75 and 100 kcal depending on its size.
Sorbets are therefore less caloric than ice cream, because they contain no fat, especially if they are homemade based on fruit puree (and not fruit syrup). They are therefore to be preferred when monitoring your line.
It is important to remember that the caloric intake of an ice cream depends on its composition and its shape : a cream-based ice-cream will be fatter than an egg-yolk-based ice-cream, a frozen yogurt will contain less fat and less sugar than an ice-cream, while a sorbet will not contain any substance fatty, but may contain more sugars .. And if there is a topping (peanuts, almonds, honey …), a chocolate shell or other, the calories will increase!
How much sugar in an ice cream?
There is no precise figure, but in general the carbohydrate content is 20% on average. Be careful, because sometimes sorbets can be false friends: they are less caloric because they have less fat, but they are richer in sugar. Again, it all depends on the base with which they are made. Remember to check the carbohydrate (sugars) and lipids (fat) content when you have the possibility!
The health benefits of ice
What calcium intake?
Calcium is iimportant for the growth and strength of bones and teeth. The Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) of calcium for a child aged 4 to 9 is 800 mg. For an adolescent aged 10 to 18, the RDA is 1,200 mg. And it turns out that ice does contain it! Indeed, two scoops of ice cream provide approximately 80 mg of calcium.
But if ice cream contains milk and therefore calcium, they do not replace dairy products. A plain yogurt provides, for example, on its own, 155 to 210 mg of calcium.
What energy intake?
Ice creams, sorbets and ice creams are fast sugars that provide a dose of energywhose effect is immediate. To give yourself a boost, you can enjoy a fresh ice cream! Corn no question of abusing it for all that. Occasionally, this helps give back to the body, for a limited time. Without forgetting that ice creams, and especially sorbets, are rich in water, and allow rehydrate (even if they do not replace water …).
What vitamin intake?
In milk, we find vitamins B2 and B12, which will also be found in ice cream! But above all, these are sorbets which are sources of vitamins, because their fruit concentration is a minimum of 25%. A particular type of sorbet called “full fruit” must even contain at least 45% fruit, and vegetable sorbets at least 25% vegetables.
Tips for storing and consuming ice cream
When you go to buy your ice cream, bring an insulated bag for transport from the store to your freezer. You can keep them several weeks or even several months at -18 ° C.
Remember that ice creams, ice creams and industrial sorbets contain additives and can be contaminated with germs. These are foodstuffs very sensitive. We must therefore be vigilant about storage conditions. As with all food products, the use-by date is indicated on the packaging.
Take the ice cream out of the freezer 10 to 15 minutes before consumption. If it’s too cold, it won’t reveal all of its flavors. Once everyone is served, we don’t let it soften, it is immediately put back in the freezer.