Can ice cream replace a meal?


With the summer heat, the desire to cook is less and less and we want to eat something refreshing and practical. Is ice cream a healthy and nutritionally balanced choice to replace meals? The answer from nutrition experts is no, or at least, no more than once a week and with certain precautions.

Ice cream: because it cannot replace the meal on a nutritional level

At a caloric level, therefore considering only the energy intake, we can see that the calories provided by an ice cream are similar to those of a complete meal, within a balanced diet of 1600 Kcal. An ice cream has 400-500 Kcal. However, Kcal does not represent the only factor to consider when talking about a balanced meal from a nutritional point of view which instead must also include fats, sugars, proteins, fibre, micronutrients.

Ice cream, compared to a complete meal, has a high quantity of sugars and fats while in terms of protein and mineral salts, fiber and macronutrients it is decidedly lacking, and not comparable to those provided by vegetables, cereals (especially whole grains), meat, fish, eggs.

When to eat ice cream

Il ice cream, as nutritional experts advise, can be considered an equivalent meal in terms of calories, since a medium cup with three flavors (about 350 g) has the same calories as a meal, i.e. 400-600 calories, but in a balanced diet it would be better to enjoy an ice cream at snack time, with a small portion perhaps at the fruit and in a cup. If you really have to replace your meal with ice cream, do it at most once a week.

Creams or fruit: which flavors to choose?

Nutrition specialists agree that any flavor – preferably artisanal or packaged – lacks nutrients: creams lack complex carbohydrates and fibre, while if fruit ice cream and ice creams made with water are certainly less caloric than cream ones, they lack proteins. Most of the nutrients in cream ice cream are sugars and fats, with a small amount of protein from eggs and milk. The most suitable flavour? The yogurt ice-cream and dairy-free dark chocolate.

Ice cream: calories of every flavour

By clicking on the various types of ice cream it is possible to know, in addition to the calories, also the percentage content of carbohydrates, fats and proteins.


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