The invention of ice cream happened probably in second century B.C. although the exact date and the inventor of the sweet treat are unknown. Alexander the Great enjoyed the dessert topped with honey and nectar and the Bible hinted that King Solomon also favored it. Even Nero Claudius Caesar enjoyed ice cream. Many other historical figures loved eating ice cream. Until 1660, ice cream was a treat available only for the rich.
Ice cream arrived in America at around 1744. Initially, it was only for the rich. It wasn’t until 1800 which saw the invention of insulated ice houses that everyone could afford the icy delight. Due to technological innovations, the ice cream industry began to flourish. Nowadays, ice cream comes in many flavors. It can be found everywhere and became really popular among people of all ages.
It’s interesting that the ice cream cone was invented by accident and much later than ice cream itself. It happened in 1904 at the St. Louis World’s fair, when a Syrian waffle maker started to roll his pastries into cones. The patent of the ice cream cone was owned by an Italian living in America.
Today, the world’s highest consumption per capita is in America. An American eats about 20 quarts of ice cream annually.
For the production of a gallon of ice cream, 5.8 pounds of milk and a pound of cream are required. The most popular ice cream flavors are vanilla and chocolate. On the other hand, there are some really strange flavors on the market. Such flavors include buckwheat, beer, parmesan, maple bacon and pepperoni pizza. The most popular ice cream topping worldwide is chocolate syrup.
In the U.S., the law requires at least 10% milk fat in the product in order for it to be labeled “ice cream”. As one of the most popular treats, ice cream has its own month of celebration. July is the U.S. National Ice Cream Month.
Ice Cream Nutritional Facts
Ice cream’s nutritional value isn’t the first thing that comes to your mind when you’re ordering an ice cream at the restaurant or buying it from the supermarket. It’s often considered unhealthy. However, it actually has some health benefits. The standard ice cream is made from milk or yogurt which are dairy products. However, you still need to read the nutrition label carefully before choosing your ice cream as it also has lots of calories, sugar and saturated fat.
However, ice cream also has:
Calcium is found in all dairy products. It contributes to strong and healthy bones. It’s required by the bones both for their proper functioning and healthy structure. When there’s a calcium deficiency, the body starts to use the stored calcium in the bones. This leads to weak bones and bone diseases like osteoporosis.
Calcium also plays a tremendous role in weight loss. Researchers suggest that there is some relation between regular calcium intake and weight loss. When there’s a calcium deficiency, the fat cells begin to store fat and enlarge themselves and fat-producing hormones also increase their secretion.
Ice cream provides protein for the body. It plays a really important role in the human body, especially for the blood, skin, muscles, cartilage and bones. Nails and hair are entirely made of protein, and bodily functions such as tissue building and tissue repair rely on that macronutrient as well. Protein is not stored in the body and this is the reason why a person’s diet should consist of foods and dietary supplements with high amounts of protein. Ice cream can be a part of the protein supply if eaten in moderation. Ice cream is the perfect food after training since the protein in in helps in muscle building and recovery. Ice cream can be part of a healthy milkshake if it’s combined with fruits, nuts and other beneficial food groups.
Vitamins such as A, B2 and B12 can be found in ice cream. The body requires only small amounts of them, but their role in the proper functioning of the body is significant.
Vitamin A provides healthy skin, bones and proper functioning of the immune system. Proper eye function also relies on that vitamin.
Important body functions such as energy metabolism, breakdown of fats, proteins and carbohydrates require adequate vitamins B2 and B12. Like vitamin A, vitamin B2 and B12 aren’t stored in the body.
Of course, those vitamins can be found in bigger quantities in milk rather than in ice cream.
What Are the Healthy Options?
Fat-free ice cream
It has less fat than the regular ice cream, thus has less calories.
This contains less milk which means that it has less of the vitamins, protein and calcium listed above. It’s thickened with gelatin or egg whites, but it has more sugar than low-fat ice cream.
Non-dairy ice cream
Soy-based ice cream has the same proteins and nutrients than regular ice cream and less calories and fat.
Fat-free ice cream
This uses plant-based sweeteners instead of sugar, which reduced its calories content.
Eat With Caution
Most kinds of ice cream contain a lot of sugar and saturated fats. They contain many calories. Toppings like chocolate, peanut butter, fudge, chocolate chips add extra calories and sugar. Thus the health benefits of ice cream significantly drop and can have the opposite effect. Eating too much ice cream could lead to diabetes, obesity and high cholesterol. Eat in moderation and remember to always check the nutritional label.
- Average Nutritional Value of the Most Common Ice Creams
|Serving size: 100g||Calories||Fat||Carbs||Protein|
|Vanilla ice cream||201||10.72g||24.4g||3.52g|
|Chocolate ice cream||216||11g||28.2g||3.8g|
|Strawberry ice cream||192||8.4g||27.6g||3.2g|
|Rich chocolate ice cream||255||16.98g||20.75g||4.72g|
|Fat free ice cream||138||0g||30.62g||4.48g|
|Vanilla ice cream without added sugar||105||5.07g||14.57g||2.7g|