If you are an ice cream lover like me, you may be wondering the effects of eating ice cream every day. Perhaps you are worried about the sugar content or the weight gain that may come from eating ice cream every day or you are worried you will become addicted to it. Well, I’m here to set the record straight when it comes to ice cream and answer the question you are probably thinking:
Is it ok to eat ice cream every day?
I will answer that question and dive deeper into the health effects of eating ice cream daily.
Is ice cream bad for you?
This is kind of a loaded question. First, we need to define what makes a food “healthy” or “unhealthy”. Typically we define the “healthiness” of a food based on calorie content, nutrient density and how much “bad stuff” is in it.
Calorie content refers to the amount of calories in a typical serving. As for ice cream, since it is made of heavy cream and sugar (mostly) which are both calorie dense foods, ice cream is considered a high calorie food.
Nutrient density refers to the amount of beneficial nutrients in a food. Ice cream may be calorie dense, but it does provide some health-boosting nutrients. Based on a 1 cup ice cream serving, ice cream provides greater than 10% of your nutrient needs for the day for the following nutrients:
- Vitamin B5
- Vitamin B12
- Vitamin A
So, ice cream definitely does provide some beneficial nutrients to help support health and prevent deficiencies.
Finally, what “bad stuff” is in ice cream? Well, most notably, 1 cup of ice cream provides about 9 grams of saturated fat and 28 grams of sugar (this varies depending on the brand).
So, based on this criteria, is ice cream an unhealthy food?
Well, this truly depends on you and your goals. For example, if you are calcium deficient, ice cream can improve your health. If you are an athlete and need a high calorie intake that you struggle to reach, ice cream can improve your health. If you are struggling with an eating disorder, ice cream can improve your health.
Also, it’s important to remember that all foods can fit into a healthy diet if you so choose. Calories are important to fuel the body, therefore ice cream being high in calories isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Nutrients are important to fuel the body, there the nutrients in ice cream can help support your health and prevent nutrient deficiencies.
And though ice cream does contain some saturated fat and added sugars, it’s important to remember that having some of these “bad” nutrients is 100% fine, in fact it’s important to have some saturated fat and sugar in your diet. The main goal is not to go too overboard.
The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends limiting saturated fat and added sugars to 10% of your daily calories. Therefore it’s absolutely ok to have saturated fat and added sugar! Everything in moderation.
Plus, it’s also important to note that eliminating foods or food groups can lead to binge eating, disordered eating and eating disorders. Having foods that make you happy every day will not only not affect your health much, but can be beneficial in preventing conditions that will absolutely hurt your health.
What happens if I am eating ice cream every day?
Based on everything just discussed, if you ice cream every day, nothing is going to change much. If ice cream is a nightly tradition to help satisfy a sweet tooth, go for it!
As for health effects, you may notice some weight gain if you are adding it on to what you normally eat. But, if you are eating intuitively (learn more about this here), then you will likely see little weight gain.
If you are calcium deficient, you will likely see improved health with adding in ice cream. If you are chronically under eating, whether due to dieting, a high metabolism, or any other reasons, you will likely see an increase in energy when eating ice cream every day. So, to sum it up, the effects of eating ice cream every day depends on you as a unique person.
But, if you are worried about your health being ruined by having ice cream every day, I promise you that it won’t. No one food can make you healthy or unhealthy. What matters is your diet as a whole.
So is it ok to eat ice cream every day?
Yes. It is 100% ok to eat ice cream every day. In fact, I encourage it if it makes you happy and helps satisfy a craving. Just remember, restricting certain foods due to fear of weight gain or its effect on your health can lead to an unhealthy relationship with food and even an eating disorder if brought to the extreme.
So remember this: balance is key! Add in some fun foods along with nutrient dense foods. And eat ice cream every night if you so choose!