It wouldn’t be summer without an ice cream in hand, melting down your arm on a scorching hot day. Nowadays there are so many choices of what to put in your bowl or cone. Do you choose ice cream or gelato? Sorbet or sherbet? What is the best choice? Sobeys dietitians break down summertime treats for you.
Let’s start with ice cream, a traditional favourite. It is made from a combination of milk, cream, eggs, flavourings and sugar. Usually the more ‘goodies’ it contains (i.e. chocolate bits, caramel sauce, cookie pieces), the higher the calorie content. Half a cup of ice cream will give you about 200 calories and 10 grams of fat. But a big bowl of ice cream or two scoops from the local dairy bar could cost you up to 800 calories and 40 grams of fat!
Gelato is made from basically the same ingredients but compared to ice cream, the ingredients are mixed very slowly. This allows less air resulting in a thick, dense texture. By weight, gelato would have less fat, sugar and calories than ice cream. But since gelato is denser, the serving size is only ¾ of the size of an ice cream serving. Since we eat with our eyes, this may be hard to remember when you’re filling your bowl.
Frozen yogurt is similar to ice cream and gelato but made with yogurt instead of cream. If you are looking for a lower calorie, lower fat choice, this would be it. If you are concerned about sugar, be sure to read the nutrition label as some frozen yogurts have more sugar than you think.
Sorbet is made from whipped fruit puree, water, juice and sugar. This is a dairy-free choice and has fewer calories and less fat than ice cream. It may have more sugar though, so if this is a concern, you should read your nutrition label or stick to a small serving size.
Sherbet is made with the same ingredients as sorbet but has some milk added. It again would have less calories and fat than ice cream, but sugar may be higher. Always read your label to be sure.
We hope this helps break down your frozen treats. The bottom line is read your nutrition label and know what you are choosing. Since there are clear differences in the frozen aisle and many choices, you can find one that will suit your health goals. As always, these are treats. Whatever you decide to choose be aware of portion size, frequency and enjoy it mindfully.
Want to know the best choice? Make your own! (You knew we were going to say that). Here is one of our most requested recipes to satisfy those summertime cravings:
5-Minute Strawberry Frozen Yogurt
4 cups (1000 ml) strawberries, frozen, unsweetened
2 tbsp (30 ml) honey
½ cup (125 ml) plain yogurt, lower fat
1 tbsp (15 ml) lemon juice
1. Add all ingredients to the bowl of a food processor. Process until creamy, about 5 minutes.
2. Serve the frozen yogurt right away or transfer it to an airtight container and store it in the freezer for up to 1 month.
Nutrition Information per Serving:
Fat 0 grams
Carbohydrate 17 grams
Fibre 2 grams
Protein 2 grams
Sodium 18 milligrams
Tip: Looking for a flavour twist? Try this recipe with any combination of frozen fruit.
Source: Sobeys Dietitians
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