There is nothing better than having a chilled dessert to stay cool in this hot summer. However, you are likely to be shocked by the high fat and sugar contents of these summer treats, including the lovely melt-in-your-tongue ice cream. While summer has just begun, Green Common is here to help you understand the nutrition facts of commercial ice creams and teach you how to make healthier ice cream without the fatty dairy.
The Consumer Council has just published a report regarding food analysis of commercial ice creams and frozen dessert in their latest issue of Choice Magazine. Their results showed that more than 65% of the tested samples were “high-sugar” and “high-fat” foods. The sugar contents of the 29 samples ranged from 12g to 22.7g of sugar per 100g of food, which is about 3 to 5.5 cubes of sugar.
The World Health Organisation recommends that adults should consume less than 50g of free sugars in their diet. If an adult has one serve (81g) of the tested ice cream with the highest sugar, he/she will have consumed about 4 cubes of sugar (18.3g), reaching over 35% of the recommended free sugar intake. Frequent consumption of high-sugar foods will make your blood sugar maintain at high levels, increasing fat accumulation and risks of overweight and hyperlipidemia.
Free sugars are common sugars (e.g. white sugar, cane sugar, rock sugar, brown sugar etc.) added to foods and beverages, and sugars naturally present in honey, syrups, fruit juice and fruit juice concentrates (even the fruit juice/concentrates claim to have no added sugar). However, sugars naturally present in unprocessed, fresh fruits are not categorised as free sugars.
The Consumer Council also found that the total fat contents of tested samples ranged from 4.3g to 21.4g of total fat per 100g of ice cream, while all samples contained saturated fat – the type of fat which increases your “bad cholesterol” in blood. If an adult has one serve (71g) of the tested ice cream with the highest total fat, he/she will have consumed about 1 tablespoon of oil which is over 20% of the recommended daily intake.
The creaminess of commercial ice creams is given by the main ingredients: dairy milk and cream. Saturated fats in dairy milk and cream make the ice cream smooth and rich in texture. The role of fat in ice cream is to provide thickness and structural support. Therefore, it is inevitable to have some fats in ice cream. However, consuming too much saturated fats will increase risks of obesity, cardiovascular diseases and type 2 diabetes.
You don’t need to give up the mouth-watering ice cream while managing your weight! A good idea to keep yourself cool in a heatwave is to make healthy, vegan ice cream with wholesome food ingredients. Without the high-saturated-fat dairy milk and cream, vegan ice cream becomes a guilt-free summer treat for health-conscious people. Plus, plant-based ingredients like plant milks and seasonal fruits can boost the nutritional value of the vegan ice cream. Doubting the creaminess of vegan ice cream? You will be surprised by how smooth, creamy and delicious it is when using healthy-fat-containing cashews to make ice cream!