There is the saying that you scream, I scream, we all scream for ice cream. There might be more reason to scream than you think. While some of us think it’s too cold for the frozen treat, others consider it a year-round pleasure. We have shared ice cream recipes in the past. But, when it comes to the store-bought varieties, you might want to steer clear of it for your heart.
Dairy fat can boost heart health. So you might logically think that ice cream could be a healthy option. So many brands add healthy buzzwords to their labels that it’s a fair assumption to make. Nowadays, many list the amount of protein and make other laudable claims that you might think you’re making a great choice. But, ice cream is something to avoid in the supermarket.
“I call it the triple threat. It has sugar, fat and salt,” said Dr. Juan Rivera. He thinks you should skip it for the sake of your heart.
While studies have found dairy fat can be healthy, ice cream isn’t the same as a glass of milk or unsweetened yogurt. It has so many things added to it that the benefits of fat are being stripped away. Instead, you have a high-calorie sugar bomb that can raise your triglycerides and blood sugar. If you want to eat ice cream from the store, read the labels and pick the one with the lowest sugar and saturated fat levels. Or opt for sugar-free ice pops, sorbets or frozen yogurts. But, again, with the frozen yogurts, you need to read the labels because they are often wolves in sheep’s clothing. Brands will load up a yogurt base with tons of additives and market it as a healthy alternative.
Eating ice cream as an occasional treat when you have planned for it and worked it into your diet most likely won’t impact your health. But, having traditional ice cream as a part of your daily diet means ingesting more sugar and concentrated amounts of fat than you should. You can make your own healthy versions at home, which isn’t hard. Or, you can treat it as a special dessert. The important thing is to educate yourself, read labels and know that commercially available ice cream isn’t a healthy choice — no matter what the carton says!