Ice Cream Facts & Fallacies
More than just a treat for the palate (and the soul), ice cream is a milk product that can also be nutritious. Let’s clarify a few myths that surround it.
Ice cream is deliciously nutritious
Did you know that a 125 mL (1/2 cup) serving of regular vanilla ice cream can be a source of nutrients such as calcium and vitamin A? To find out, check out the Nutrition Facts table on the label.
As with all foods that are high in fat, moderation is key. Ice cream, however, contains less fat than many other less nourishing treats.
Ice cream vs. frozen dessert
If it looks like ice cream, it must be ice cream, right? There was a time when that was true. But these days, you can’t be so sure. Many of the products for sale in the ice cream aisle at your grocery store are ‘frozen desserts’ that are often made with edible oil products and don’t contain the nutrients naturally found in milk. Read the Nutrition Facts table on the label: frozen desserts are made with oils like palm kernel or coconut oil, ice cream is made from 100% milk (including ingredients derived from milk, e.g. cream, skim milk powder, whey powder).
Most manufacturers have simply removed the words ‘ice cream’ from their packaging and replaced them with the term ‘frozen dessert’. So be sure to read your labels and look for the 100% Canadian milk symbol. And remember: If it doesn’t say ice cream on the package, it’s not ice cream.
Does your ice cream container feel light?
“Overrun” is a measure of the volume of air whipped into ice cream when it’s made. The amount isn’t declared on the label, but you can tell by picking up the container - if it feels light for its size, there’s more overrun. A container of higher-quality ice cream with less overrun feels heavy, and the ice cream inside is more dense and rich.