As a favourite treat, one of the biggest things to let go of when you are on a diet is ice cream. Cutting it out completely from your diet can be a very difficult thing to do, particularly since you have eaten it since childhood. Surrounding all this confusion, it may definitely be a pleasant surprise to find out that ice cream isn’t as bad as you make it out to be.
Eaten in moderation on a daily basis, ice cream can offer you a lot of benefits. If it’s calories that you’re worried about, then low calorie ice cream is a great option to look into. While regular ice cream doesn’t offer a lot of benefits, switching to low calorie can be a completely different story. The following are some major benefits you can get from eating low calorie ice cream:
Better for Your Mood
Ice cream has been linked with putting one in a good mood. This isn’t just a general observation either. The Institute of Psychiatry in London conducted a study which tracked brain activity of participants as they ate ice cream. The data showed that eating ice cream stimulated the orbitofrontal cortex of the brain; the same area that is associated with happy sensations. Eating ice cream can put everyone in a happier mood and make even the worst of days look good.
Improved Bone Health
Made from milk, ice cream has some nutritional benefits to its name too. It is particularly high in nutrients such as phosphorous, potassium, calcium and vitamin B. These nutrients help promote healthy bones in the body, help lower your blood pressure and improve cell growth and regeneration. Ice cream also contains cytokines and lactoferrins which help to strengthen your immune system.
Boost of Energy
Rich in healthy proteins, fats and carbohydrates, ice cream can give one a much needed boost of energy. While it is not a proper substitute for a high protein snack like healthy peanut butter cookies, eating ice cream will still give you a bit of energy to make it through the day. The Department of Agriculture in the U.S. stated that half a cup of ice cream can generate around 173 kilocalories for the body. In comparison, half a cup of milk can only produce 86.5 kilocalories for your body.
Is Low Calorie Ice Cream Better?
In the quest to eat healthier, many people tend to steer clear of ice cream. It is often looked upon as frozen sugar because it contains so much of it. Moreover, depending upon the flavour you pick, one scoop of ice cream can easily hold up to 330 or 460 calories. Now multiply that number by a tub of ice cream and you know you are just adding extra, extra calories to your diet.
A good alternative happens to be low calorie ice cream as it does not contain as much as sugar and fat as ice cream does. Still not convinced about the how low calorie ice cream is better for you? Take a look at the following factors:
Guilt-frree Cheat Meal
Low calorie ice cream actually makes a wonderful cheat meal since you don’t have to worry about unintentionally falling off your diet. In fact, they are such good snacks that it has led to the development of the “Ice cream diet.” Apart from your meals, you can eat a scoop or two of low calorie ice cream when you are feeling hungry. Not only will you be satiated but you will also feel happier and have a nice boost of energy too. This can be very useful for when you feel hangry or sad because of your diet.
The ingredients in low calorie ice creams are better and will give you more benefits in terms of nutritional value and boosting energy. All ingredients are also chosen with a lot of attention to their caloric count, the fat content, protein and sugar they contain. Many low calorie ice creams are made with such attention to quality that they are better than regular ones.
The Best Ones are Vegan
If you want the best low calorie ice cream, opt for a vegan option. These are dairy-free, gluten-free and have the lowest amounts of unhealthy fat and sugar. Being plant based does not make these ice creams weird in texture or taste. You can also find different variations made from almond milk or soy milk. Due to this factor, a lot of the best low calorie ice creams are vegan. These are also great for you when you are lactose intolerant or are looking to cut out dairy products from your diet.
Making Your Own Low Calorie Ice Cream
A good idea to follow is you want to keep an eye on the fat content is to make your own vegan, low calorie ice cream. It is very easy and you don’t even need an ice cream maker. Try out this one today!
- Almond milk – ¼ cup – (unsweetened)
- Peanut flour – 2 tablespoons
- Vanilla extract – ½ teaspoon
- Honey – 2 teaspoons – (can use agave nectar instead)
- Salt – as needed
- Banana – 1 (large, chopped and frozen)
- Mini chocolate chips – 1 teaspoon (optional)
In a bowl, add the almond milk, vanilla extract, peanut flour, salt and honey and mix well. Take a silicone ice cube mold and fill it with the mixture. Pop it in the freezer for an hour or until it is solid. Take the cubes out of the mold and let them defrost with the frozen chunks of banana for 5 to 10 minutes. Now add all the cubes and banana into a food processor and pulse for 2 minutes or until it is smooth. Make sure to stop and scrape the sides for an even mixture.
Serve your delicious low calorie ice cream with sugar-free chocolate chips sprinkled on top. You can also store it in a container in a freezer for up to a week.