Avoid these critical mistakes when eating ice cream

Embrace a healthy lifestyle without denying yourself treats that nourish both body and soul, like ice cream. In honor of International Ice Cream Day, discover tips for making the right choice.

  (photo credit: INGIMAGE)
(photo credit: INGIMAGE)

Summer calls for ice cream, as the soaring temperatures demand refreshing ways to cool down. Surprisingly, ice cream is an almost ideal treat, as it contains essential nutrients like protein, calcium, sugar, and a little fat. But it's crucial to know what to look for in order to make the best choice.

The wide array of ice cream types available can be overwhelming: Dairy ice cream, fruit sorbet, store-bought ice cream, non-dairy ice cream, ice pops, and slushies, to name a few. Not to mention the additional options of sugar-free, low-fat, lactose-free, and vegan ice cream.

This diverse selection makes it challenging to choose not only the best flavor but also the most suitable option for our health.

The nutritional values of ice creams

When it comes to nutritional content, store-bought ice cream is abundant in food additives, flavoring agents, and a significant amount of sugar. In contrast, higher-quality ice cream contains fewer of these additives.

Additionally, higher-quality ice cream boasts a higher content of fat, protein, and calcium compared to both store-bought ice creams and sorbet. On the other hand, sorbet is lower in calories and fat but higher in carbohydrates and sugar.

  (credit: SHUTTERSTOCK)

From a health perspective, it is preferable to opt for ice cream with minimal food additives and flavoring agents, resulting in a shorter ingredient list. These ice creams tend to offer higher levels of protein and calcium and lower amounts of sugar.

To make an informed choice that aligns with your health condition, consider the following tips:

1. Opt for a short and healthy ingredient list. 

Check the food label when purchasing packaged ice cream or ice pops. Choose products with a short list of recognizable ingredients, and ensure that unhealthy ingredients like sugar and hydrogenated fat are not at the top of the list.

2. Avoid eating directly from the pint. 

Instead, serve yourself one or two scoops of ice cream on a plate or bowl. This will help create a visual boundary for your indulgence.

3. Stick to single-serving portions. 

Choose ice creams or ice pops that come in single servings to avoid eating too much.

4. Start with a single scoop.

If using an ice cream maker, start with a modest portion to prevent overindulgence.

5. Opt for fruit toppings. 

Instead of calorie-rich toppings like candies and cookies, go for healthier alternatives like fresh fruit.

6. Treat ice cream like a dessert. 

Eat ice cream as a dessert or snack, not as a mindless treat. Take your time, sit at a table, and savor each bite to control your intake and feel satisfied.

7. Consider making homemade ice cream.

By preparing ice cream at home, you can regulate the amount of sugar and fat and choose your own toppings.

Try this delightful homemade ice cream recipe:


  • 250 ml sweet cream
  • 2 tablespoons sweetened condensed milk
  • Add vanilla extract for extra flavor or your choice of fruits (mango, strawberry, pineapple, berries)


  1. Whip the sweet cream in a mixer until it becomes firm.
  2. Add 2 tablespoons of sweetened condensed milk and vanilla extract (if desired). Mix for another minute.
  3. If you want, add your choice of fruits to the mixture for a burst of flavor.
  4. Freeze the mixture for approximately 12 hours.