Ice cream diet: which one to choose, ideal dose and complete menu

Ice cream diet: which one to choose, ideal dose and complete menu

The ingredients used make the difference. The nutritionist explains how to include it as part of a proper diet

Ice cream is the summer food par excellence. And not only that: if chosen with awareness, based on the ingredients it contains, it can offer a good nutritional supply, refreshes on sultry days and is gratifying to the palate. But be careful not to confuse it with a meal, warns Dr. Valentina Schirò, a biologist and nutritionist specialized in Food Sciences. "Due to its nutritional composition – explains the expert – ice cream cannot be considered as a substitute for a balanced meal, because it is lacking in some fundamental components such as fiber, but also due to the excess of simple sugars and fats, especially in case of cream ice cream. The situation worsens in the case of fruit ice cream because, in addition to having a high glycemic index, there are no proteins, fats and fibers ".

However, it is possible to place it in the context of a healthy diet. The nutritionist explains how to choose it, when to eat it and what is the ideal dose if we are on a diet.


  • Which one to choose
  • Ice cream between tradition and innovation
  • The ideal dose
  • "Typical" menu of the day

Which one to choose

“A distinction must be made between cream ice cream and fruit ice cream because of their different composition”, says Dr. Schirò.

  • Cream ice cream (portion of 100g – 200Kcal approximately)
    “Thanks to the presence of simple sugars and lactose, cream ice cream – he explains – is a considerable source of added simple carbohydrates equal to about 36%. The presence of lipids, about 56%, is also particularly high thanks to the presence of cream. The protein content (about 8%) is on the other hand. It should not be underestimated how this type of ice cream represents a source of minerals, especially calcium, zinc, phosphorus and selenium, but also of vitamins such as those of group B and vitamin A ".
  • Fruit ice cream, dairy free (100gr portion – about 130 Kcal)
    "The carbohydrate intake is also high in this case (34%) and is due to the presence of simple added sugars and fructose. The contribution in water is high (65%). Obviously absent are fats, proteins and minerals such as calcium. The presence of other minerals such as magnesium, potassium, and vitamins, especially A, C, depends on the type of fruit that will be used for the preparation of the dessert ".

"In both cases – continues the expert – the caloric intake varies considerably if other ingredients are added to the ice cream such as dried fruit, fresh fruit in pieces, dehydrated fruit, biscuits and waffles, but also vegetable oils especially in the case of industrial ice cream. .

The choice depends exclusively on personal taste, but if we do not want to overdo the calorie intake, the most obvious one will be that of possibly homemade fruit ice cream. In the latter case, it is always necessary not to exaggerate in the frequency of intake: 1, maximum 2 times are the recommended weekly doses.

Otherwise, if we want to pamper ourselves with ice cream, but want to maintain a balanced diet, it is preferable to enjoy it as a dessert at the end of the meal (possibly with fruit) during which we ate a good amount of fiber that will help us slow down the absorption of sugars. simple and fat. An alternative is to enjoy it as a snack, mid-morning or mid-afternoon, either with fruit or cream, especially when our day will be intense from the point of view of energy expenditure ”, advises the nutritionist.

Ice cream between tradition and innovation

With consumption growth of 14% since the beginning of the year, estimates that show optimism for a sector that has strongly suffered the restrictions resulting from the new Coronavirus health emergency, the SIGEP Observatory has defined the ice cream of summer 2021 as a real "SPA" for the palate where tradition and innovation meet, but with an eye to new ingredients from nature.

Like the ice creams from Rimini Sonia Balacchi, who won the title of World Pastry Champion at Sigep. Among its novelties, the Natura Sandwich Gold, with apricot, orange and saffron biscuit bread filled with Kefir mango, pineapple, maca and candied ginger ice cream; Natura Sandwich Purple with berries biscuit bread filled with red grape Kefir ice cream, beetroot, black carrot and goji berries; the Natura Sandwich Green, lactose-free and vegan, with lemon and banana biscuit bread filled with kiwi sorbet, avocado, apple and moringa.

Petals and berries, on the other hand, come thanks to Giancarlo Timballo, Friulian Maestro, president of the Gelato World Cup. “We – he declared – work for short periods with the dandelion, which in Friuli is a typical plant of the territory. But we also work with dog rose or poppy petals, then it's up to sea buckthorn and juniper. We work first the petals and then the berries, with the infusions we prepare the variegations. This is how the dandelion ice cream variegated with poppy is born. Ingredients that require patience and careful processing, with which for years I have interpreted my attention to the health aspects of ice cream ".

Eugenio Morrone, a Calabrian transplanted to Rome, on the other hand, focuses on simple combinations that arouse curiosity. “Today – he said – out of 25 flavors, 13 are sorbets and 12 creams. Water, sugar and pistachio – it's simple and it works. I go to visit the nurseries for basil that I combine with Sorrento lemon and cinnamon. I find sage, which I combine with Smith apple and pineapple, which I work with high solids content, with a texture similar to creams. Peppermint, I work cold. The classic coffee or zabaglione remain in the hearts of the Romans. But there is the exploit of the raw almond that divides the podium with the pistachio and the cocoa mass ".

The ideal dose

Ice cream yes, therefore, in summer but also during the rest of the year. As long as you don't overdo it, especially if you are following a weight loss diet. The ideal dose? "The average one – especially if we have to stay on a diet is that of a glass of 100 ml", concludes the nutritionist.

"Typical" menu of the day

BREAKFAST: Tea without added sugars; wholemeal bread; jam with no added sugar

LUNCH: Grilled vegetables; grilled or baked fish (eg sea bream or sea bass); mixed raw vegetable salad; cup of fruit ice cream. Dressing: extra virgin olive oil and aromatic herbs
DINNER: Salad of shredded chicken, cherry tomatoes and basil; whole grain bread. Dressing: extra virgin olive oil and aromatic herbs
SNACKS: Tea, without added sugar, with mint and peach leaves (cut into small pieces) or natural yogurt or cream ice cream (especially for the most intense days and possibly mid-morning).

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Tag: Diets

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