Ice cream is a dessert many people are fond of; in fact, according to the Louisiana State University Agricultural Center website, Americans eat more of the stuff than any other country in the world. While ice cream is tasty and can benefit eaters by boosting their moods, its ingredients, and particularly its nutritional value, make it a food which probably shouldn’t be eaten on too regular a basis.
Hard To Scoop
Ice cream needs to defrost a little before serving; attempting to scoop it before it has done so is tough, since the ice cream will be frozen and hardened. Ice cream preparation must therefore include around 15 minutes of defrosting time, as the Louisiana State University Agricultural Center website suggests, meaning the dessert can’t be served straight from storage.
Fat & Calories
The nutritional content of ice cream can vary according to the brand, but also depending on the flavor and ingredients--for example, whether the ice cream contains chocolate chip pieces or not. Any ice cream is likely to contain a large amount of fat and calories, which can lead individuals to put on weight if they eat ice cream on a regular basis. According to the Louisiana State University Agricultural Center website, 48 percent of ice cream’s calories are derived from fat, while the Parent Dish website notes that even half a cup of ice cream can contain as much as 20 grams of fat.
Ice cream is usually made from dairy products, and as such, can cause many of the ill effects associated with dairy product allergy. Those allergic to dairy foods may experience medical issues such as headaches, digestive problems or irritation of the skin after consuming ice cream. Since milk is a chief ingredient of ice cream, those vulnerable to lactose allergies should also be wary of eating this dessert, since lactose intolerance has been linked to bloating and nausea.
As a dairy product, another negative associated with ice cream is that dairy farming is environmentally unfriendly. Dairy farming causes both soil and water pollution, and releases greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. The cows used in dairy farming need to be well-fed and watered, and cost resources which could otherwise be put into other things, such as feeding the poor.
A common side-effect of eating ice cream is that it causes painful short-term headaches, often termed brain freeze colloquially. These headaches are brought about by the cold temperature of the dessert, as it makes contact with the nerves in the human palate after entering the mouth. These nerves react to the cold by making blood vessels in the head increase in size, thus triggering pain in the area.
- Louisiana State University Agricultural Center: Food & Health: Nutrition: Nutrients: Pros and Cons of Ice Cream
- Parent Dish; Is Ice Cream Bad for You; Sabrina Weill ; July 16th 2009
- Single Minded Women; Health; Health Trends; What’s Good & Bad About Ice Cream; Tracy Morris et al
- KidsHealth: Kids: Kids' Talk: Q & A: Ice Cream Headaches
- Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images