Is Ice Cream Healthy? The Truth About Your Favorite Dessert

healthy ice cream in a gelateria italy

Ice cream: a true delight for the palate, a mood booster, a must-have on hot summer days.

But is it a healthy food? Or is it better to feel guilty after indulging in every scoop?

In plain terms: ice cream is not exactly a “healthy” food. The sugar, abundantly present in most ice creams, can lead to weight gain and health issues like diabetes and cavities.

Ice Cream and Weight Gain: Is There a Connection?

The answer is yes, ice cream can contribute to weight gain if consumed excessively.


  • Ice cream is calorie-dense: a medium-sized scoop can contain between 200 and 300 calories.
  • Ice cream is high in sugar: a medium-sized scoop can contain up to 30 grams of sugar.
  • Ice cream is high in fats: a medium-sized scoop can contain up to 10 grams of fat.

What Does Science Say? A Problem for Our Teeth Too

A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that people who consume ice cream regularly have a higher risk of weight gain and obesity. The British Journal of Nutrition also noted that ice cream consumption is associated with an increase in body mass index (BMI).

A Problem for Our Teeth Too

Sugar, abundant in most ice creams, is the number one enemy of our teeth. The bacteria living in our mouths use it to produce acids that attack tooth enamel, causing cavities.

The risk of cavities increases if we consume ice cream frequently, especially during the day, don’t brush our teeth immediately after eating ice cream, and choose ice creams with high sugar content.

Furthermore, milk and eggs, basic ingredients in many ice creams, are sworn enemies for those with intolerances or allergies.

Which Flavors Are Better Than Others?

We’ve understood the drawbacks of ice cream for our health, but that doesn’t mean we should banish it from our habits; quite the contrary! There are healthier alternatives to classic ice cream.

Vanilla ice cream: a classic flavor that can be made lighter by choosing a version with fewer fats and sugars.
Halo Top: a “low-calorie” ice cream that has become popular in recent years, with a significantly higher protein and fiber content than traditional ice cream.

Or a fresh alternative like fruit-based Sorbet (Sherbet Ice Cream), with a much lower fat and sugar content than traditional ice cream.

But beware!

Even though these ice creams are healthier alternatives, it doesn’t mean we can overindulge. Moderation is always the key to a balanced diet.

So, the next time you crave ice cream, take your time to choose the variant that suits your needs and enjoy your moment of indulgence without guilt!

Artisanal ice cream is generally healthier than industrial ice cream, as it contains higher-quality ingredients and less added sugars.
If you are lactose intolerant or vegan, there are various plant-based milk alternatives available.
Always read the nutrition label before buying ice cream to be aware of its calorie, fat, and sugar content.
Moderate ice cream consumption is allowed for everyone, even those following a balanced diet.
Always keep weight under control and maintain a healthy and balanced diet. This applies to ice cream consumption, which should be moderate.

Here are some general tips:

Limit ice cream consumption to once or twice a week.
Choose ice creams with lower calorie, sugar, and fat content.
Opt for smaller portions.
Associate ice cream consumption with regular physical activity.

The spontaneous question that may arise is: I care about my health, is it possible that there isn’t a way to enjoy ice cream without feeling guilty?

So, how to make healthy ice cream?

The answer is simpler than you think! Here’s how:

To eat ice cream as genuine as possible, it’s best to avoid industrial products full of artificial ingredients and preservatives. The key to healthy ice cream is to make it at home with fresh, high-quality ingredients. This way, you can control the amounts of sugar and fats, and use healthier alternatives like plant-based milk, Greek yogurt, or fresh fruit.

Healthy ice cream can be an excellent source of vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Additionally, moderate ice cream consumption can benefit mood and concentration.

You’re not a kitchen expert? Don’t worry! Making healthy ice cream at home is simple and fun. You don’t need to be a master chef to create a fresh and creamy dessert, perfect for cooling down on hot days.

Just follow some simple recipes and use quality ingredients. In this article, we’ll guide you step by step to discover healthy ice cream, revealing the secrets to achieving an irresistible texture and personalized taste.

Let’s start with the basics:

Choose fresh and genuine ingredients. Seasonal fruit, low-fat yogurt, plant-based milk, and honey are perfect examples to create a healthy and nutritious ice cream.
Limit the use of sugar. If you prefer a sweeter taste, you can use natural alternatives like stevia or erythritol.
Don’t be afraid to experiment! Add nuts, spices, or dark chocolate to create a unique and original ice cream.

Here are some examples of easy and quick recipes:

Banana and cocoa ice cream: blend a frozen banana with a tablespoon of unsweetened cocoa powder and some plant-based milk. You’ll get a creamy and delicious ice cream in minutes.
Yogurt and berry ice cream: mix low-fat yogurt, fresh berries, and a drizzle of honey in a blender. The result will be a fresh and light dessert, perfect for a refreshing break.
Mango and coconut ice cream: blend the pulp of a ripe mango with coconut milk and a pinch of vanilla. The exotic flavor of this ice cream will win you over at first taste.

In addition to classic recipes, there are several alternatives to prepare healthy and personalized ice cream. If you don’t have an ice cream maker, you can use a simple freezer. Just pour the mixture into an airtight container and freeze it for a few hours, stirring occasionally to prevent ice crystals from forming.

Healthy ice cream is not only a delicious dessert but also a real treat for your body. Fresh fruit provides vitamins and minerals, while yogurt provides protein and calcium. Moreover, moderate ice cream consumption can help improve mood and concentration.

Some scientific studies show that moderate ice cream consumption can bring health benefits. For example, a study published in the Journal of Dairy Science found that ice cream can help improve memory and concentration, reducing stress, and anxiety.

These are just a few examples of scientific studies that have examined the association between ice cream consumption and weight gain.

The information described in this article is general and is not considered a substitute for qualified advice. It is important to consult a doctor or dietitian for personalized advice on your diet and health.