Let’s understand the health benefits and drawbacks of ice cream.
ADVANTAGES OF EATING ICE CREAMS:
Source of vitamins
Ice cream is a rich source of vitamins. It contains many vitamins including vitamins A, B-6, B-12, C, D and E. It also contains thiamine, riboflavin and niacin. Ice cream also contains vitamin K which prevents blood clotting.
Ice cream is an outstanding source of energy. It has a very high nutritional value. It contains carbohydrates, fats and proteins – all of which are essential for energy. Also, it helps to gain weight. If you are looking for energy, you should have ice creams, and with all the goodness of milk, it also provides you with necessary sugars.
Source of minerals
Ice cream is a rich source of minerals like calcium and phosphorus. Besides helping in building and maintaining stronger bones and avoiding bone related diseases, researchers have also found that calcium reduces the chances of kidney stones. Calcium also helps in preventing mood swings and premenstrual symptoms – another reason why you should have ice creams!
Stimulates the brain
Ice cream stimulates the thrombotonin, which is a hormone of happiness and helps in reducing the levels of stress in the body. Ice cream is made of milk which contains L-triptophane which is a natural tranquilizer and helps in relaxing the nervous system. It also helps prevent symptoms of insomnia.
Reduces risk of cancer
The calcium content in ice cream also helps in reducing the chances of colon cancer. Apart from being a catalyst to building stronger bones, this particular benefit of calcium makes ice cream all the more beneficial.
In spite of all the benefits that ice cream has, there is no reason to over indulge in it because it also has a large number of disadvantages which are harmful for your health. So relish on ice creams, but in moderation.
Help fight infertility
Here’s a reason women may want to indulge in ice cream: A Harvard study published in the journal Human Reproduction suggests that consuming full-fat milk or ice cream may improve your chances of having a baby. The study looked at the eating habits of more than 18,000 women between the ages of 24 and 42. Women who ate full-fat ice cream two or more times a week had a 38% lower risk of ovulation-related infertility than women who had full-fat ice cream less than once a week.
Makes you smile
Wonder why you feel so good every time you take a lick of ice cream? It’s not just because it tastes delicious. One study found that a spoonful of the cold stuff actually makes you happy. Researchers out of the Institute of Psychiatry in London tracked the brain activity of people eating vanilla ice cream. As soon as the participants swallowed ice cream, they saw an immediate effect on an area of the brain called the orbitofrontal cortex, a pleasure center that activates when people enjoy themselves.
Boost your sex drive
Need some help between the sheets? Ice cream may be your answer. That’s because it has fairly high levels of calcium and phosphorus, both of which help build your muscles’ energy reserves and boost your libido. If you’re a woman, you may want to choose vanilla over other flavors. A study out of Chicago’s Smell and Taste Treatment and Research Foundation found that when men smelled the scent of vanilla it increased their arousal.
DISADVANTAGES OF EATING ICE CREAMS
Fat and Sugar Content
Ice cream is a high-fat food, since it must contain greater than 10 percent milk fat to be designated ice cream, with some products having as much as 16 percent, according to the University of Guelph. Milk fat is largely cholesterol, a saturated fat. When your blood cholesterol level is too high, it can build up as plaque, a fatty deposit in your arteries that interferes with blood flow and raises your risk of heart disease and stroke. Ice cream is also high in sugar, which makes up the majority of its carbohydrate content. The consumption of too much sugar may contribute to health problems such as weight gain, cavities and increased levels of blood triglycerides, another unhealthy type of fat. To lower your risk for high cholesterol and sugar-related problems, consume ice cream in moderation or choose a low-fat, low-sugar ice cream substitute.
Ice cream may cause problems for certain people because it is dairy-based and contains lactose, a milk sugar. These individuals, referred to as lactose-intolerant, are deficient in lactase, the enzyme needed to digest lactose, and may experience digestive upset if they consume ice cream. According to PubMed Health, about 30 million Americans are lactose-intolerant. If you are lactose-intolerant, taking a lactase supplement when consuming ice cream may alleviate this problem, or you can replace ice cream with a similar frozen product made with soy milk or another dairy substitute.
Regular Ice Cream Risks:
Regular ice cream, back in the day, used to feature wholesome ingredients like cream, egg yolks, sweeteners like organic maple syrup, and natural flavoring agents like pure vanilla extract. These days, commercially produced regular ice cream has become a brew of chemicals and synthetic ingredients contained in eye-catching packaging to lure people into buying the product.
Take for instance the main ingredient dairy. These non-organic dairy products like cream and milk are now harvested from feedlot-raised dairy cows. These animals are routinely injected with hormones to ensure continued milk production. One particular hormone used is called insulin-like growth factor 1 or IGF-1 and is studied to this day for its apparent link to hormone-dependent conditions ranging from acne, to serious diseases like prostate and breast cancers.
Regular ice cream also isn’t pure cream or milk anymore. Most brands now add hydrogenated fats as these are cheaper as compared to the traditional base ingredients. Hydrogenated fats started out as coconut oil or palm oil which are healthy on their own. However, these vegetable oils are subjected to high levels of heat as well as infused with metal catalysts so as to transform the oils into a solid state at room temperature to allow for easier handling and longer storage. Now nothing more than trans fats, the once healthy vegetable oils are more akin to plastics in terms of molecular structure, and wherein continued consumption may cause serious health problems like increased cholesterol levels in the blood, heart disease, stroke, and certain cancers.
Regular ice cream also contains sweeteners like high fructose corn syrup which is linked to diabetes, neurobehavioral disorders like ADHD in children, and decreased mental acuity in adults. No- or low-calorie versions of regular ice cream, on the other hand, contain either exclusively or a combination of aspartame, acesulfame, or sucralose. Consumer rights groups have reported various side effects of aspartame ingestion to the FDA. Acesulfame and sucralose, meanwhile, have to this day not yet been studied that thoroughly. This is alarming as both synthetic sweeteners don’t get fully processed in the intestinal tract, and we don’t know what happens with the acesulfame and sucralose that remain in the body.
Regular ice cream contains a concoction of synthetic additives and preservatives as well. Take for instance butraldehyde, a flammable liquid, and amyl acetate, a fruity-smelling alcohol. Both cause a range of symptoms such as irritation of the eyes and skin respiratory tract, dizziness, cough, sore throat, and in worst cases, pulmonary edema or accumulation of water in the lungs. Diethyl glycol, a poisonous liquid with a sweet taste, is added as an emulsifier as well. Acetaldehyde, another chemical that’s used in cherry-flavored treats, meanwhile has been identified by the EPA as a potential carcinogen and causes the same symptoms as butraldehyde and amyl acetate when ingested.
Regular ice cream with red, purple, or pink hues has most likely been colored with carmine or cochineal extract which may cause allergic reactions. Carrageenan, a thickening agent extracted from seaweeds, is a common additive, too. It is particularly unsafe for small children as they are more prone to immune system and gastrointestinal maladies which are the side effects of carrageenan ingestion.