I know.  I know.  It’s hot out and there is nothing like a cold refreshing dish or cone of your favorite ice cream to curb that sweet tooth.  You think that buying the reduced fat, low fat, or fat free version of the ice cream will save you the calories, but what are you really putting in your body? 

The low-fat option:  A half cup serving can contain no more than 3g of total fat.  Check out the ingredients on the label though.  If you can’t pronounce the ingredients, you don’t want to put them in your body! 

The reduced-fat option:  This basically means that it contains 25% less fat than that brand’s original version.  Usually it will still contain between 4-6 grams of fat, and not the healthy kind of fat.

Light option:  What does the word light actually mean.  It’s such a broad term that carries a lot of implication but not a lot of substance.  For example, does light refer to amount of calories, or does it refer to fat?  And if they guarantee the same flavor, what chemical did they put in the ice cream that your body isn’t meant to digest? STAY AWAY!

Fat-Free:  This is my personal favorite reference to ice cream because….technically it’s not really ice cream if it’s less than 5% fat!  Thickeners and stabilizers are used (carrageenan and cellulose gum) are added to enhance flavor.  Avoid fat-free!

So, what advice do I have to give about ice cream? 

  1. Go ahead, treat yourself,  Enjoy the most natural ice cream there is available.  Go for organic 5 ingredients or less. 
  2. Watch your portions!  If you want the treat, opt for the smallest size available.  I find that going to Rita’s or Bruster’s with my son one small dish is enough to share.  It satisfies the sweet tooth and I feel no guilt!
  3. Check out the ice cream shop’s website before you head out!  Have a plan, and stick to it
  4. Chocolate Mint Shakeology.  HEAVEN!
  5. Explore other options!  Instead of ice cream, try blending greek yogurt and fruit.  Place it in the freezer for a few minutes for a healthy snack! My personal favorite:  Create your favorite shakeology recipe, place it in the freeze for a half hour or so.  Take it out, and enjoy!!!!!    
Cooking Light July/August 2012

Katy Ursta