Facebook Pixel

5 Tips for Healthier Ice Cream

Rate This

Americans love affair with ice cream has steadily increased over the years. Each year, consumers indulge in about 48 pints per person—more than any other country in the world.

In 1984, President Ronald Reagan declared July as National Ice Cream Month. The industry has grown to generate more than $21 billion in annual sales and about 9 percent of all the milk produced by U.S. dairy farmers makes ice cream.

Flavors have certainly innovated over the years too. Choices used to be as simple as chocolate, vanilla or strawberry. Now you can find Ben and Jerry’s Chunky Monkey or more artisanal flavors like Mexican Chili Chocolate at Steve’s Ice Cream in New York City or Wildberry Lavendar at Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams in Columbus, Ohio.

Originally, ice cream was a simple mix of cream, sugar and honey—not a health food, but a nice treat every now and again. The recipe has also evolved. Today, many ice cream brands sold in stores or at your local shop are loaded with ingredients that you can’t pronounce. Think artificial sweeteners and colors, trans fats and preservatives.

So how can you enjoy the occasional scoop, but avoid unwanted ingredients?
Be Food Smart, a website dedicated to educating and informing the public about food additives and ingredients, has created a chart to help consumers gage the health of their ice cream. They offer questions to consider like, “Is it homemade?” and “Does it have more than 5 ingredients?”

The site also offers some great tips for healthier ice cream eating including:

1. Read the Label: Only buy ice cream with an extremely short list of easy-to-understand ingredients.

2. Make Your Own: Experiment. There is nothing like fresh, homemade strawberry ice cream.

3. Top Smart: Try homemade whipped cream, toasted nuts or fresh fruit.

4. Go Hormone Free: Support creameries who say no to growth hormones and antibiotics.

5. Buy Local: Chances are you have some fabulous, small-batch goodness in your own backyard.

Friends turned business partners Alexis Miesen and Jennie Dundas established Blue Marble Ice Cream in April 2007 in Brooklyn, N.Y. Their award-winning ice cream comes from local dairy farms in New York State and features high-quality, simple ingredients without preservatives, artificial colorings or corn syrup. They are also committed to green business practices.

“Blue Marble is committed to doing all it can to limit our spoonprint on the environment,” says their website. “That’s why we use as many biodegradable/compostable/recycled supplies as possible.”

Suzanne Boothby is a Brooklyn-based wellness writer, certified health coach and co-founder of New York Family Wellness. Visit www.suzanneboothby.com to learn more.


Edited by Shannon Koehle

Add a CommentComments

There are no comments yet. Be the first one and get the conversation started!

Enter the characters shown in the image.
By submitting this form, you agree to EmpowHER's terms of service and privacy policy

We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

Healthy Eating

Get Email Updates

Health Newsletter

Receive the latest and greatest in women's health and wellness from EmpowHER - for free!