Frozen dairy delights

Summer means enjoying your favorite frosty treat, but the trick is weaving through the irresistible variety of ice cream products, flavors, and toppings! You do not have to ignore your craving for your favorite summer delight, but there are a few things to consider when choosing your frozen treats.

A single serving of ice cream is ½ cup or about the size of a tennis ball. Most ice cream products contain dairy which means they do provide your body with Calcium and protein.  The down side to ice cream’s nutritional profile is that is in high in fat and sugar.

Nutrition snapshot of frozen desserts:

Ice Cream Gelato Low-fat Frozen Yogurt Sherbet Sorbet
Serving Size: ½ cup vanilla ½ cup vanilla ½ cup vanilla ½ cup ½ cup citrus flavor
Calories: 138 143 112 139 95
Total Fat: 7g 7g 1g 2g 0g
Total Sugar: 14g 17g 21g 23g 20g
Total Calcium: 85mg 72mg 156mg 52mg 9mg

Ice Cream: President Ronald Reagan declared July National Ice Cream Month in 1984. The United States ranks highest in ice cream consumption around the world – with about 90% of American homes being ice cream lovers!

Traditional ice cream, the all American favorite, is made using cream, sugar, and flavorings. There are many types of ice cream products, keep an eye out for the words “premium” and “light” on packaging. Premium ice cream has a higher fat content and is made with higher quality ingredients. Regular ice cream contains about 10 percent milkfat and “light” ice cream contains about 50 percent less fat and one-third the calories of the regular type.

Gelato: The Italian-style semi-frozen dish is a combination of sweeteners, milk, cream, egg yolks and other flavorings. Known for its thick texture and stronger flavor, gelato uses less cream and few egg yolks, resulting in an overall lower fat content.

Frozen Yogurt: Compared to regular ice cream, frozen yogurts provide probiotics that are good for digestion. It also has more of a “tart” flavor. This treat is produced by mixing sweeteners, milk and nonfat milk in addition to other flavorings, but do not require the minimum 10 percent milkfat. Similar to ice cream, there are nonfat and low-fat options.

Sherbet:  Mixed with more sweeteners and a milkfat content of 1-2 percent, sherbet is an icy and fruity option. Because of the milk, there is a greater amount of fat in sherbet than sorbet, but much less than there is in traditional ice cream.

Sorbet: If you have a dairy allergy, you do not have to skip out on a sweet icy treat! Sorbet is completely dairy-free, but is similar to sherbet in terms of its sweetness and texture.

Top it off!

Instead opting for candy bar or cookie crumbles to top your iced delight, add a little more nutrition to it by choosing:

  • Fresh fruit
  • Dried fruit
  • Dark chocolate
  • Granola
  • Peanuts
  • Pistachios
  • Almonds