HOUSTON - Ice cream can fit into a healthy diet, you just have to choose the right kind.
We asked dietitian Catherine Kruppa from Advice for Eating to find out if there's a healthy ice cream.
FROZEN YOGURT, LOW CARB, LOW SUGAR
These types of desserts marketed as healthy options are kind of playing tricks with your head, according to Kruppa.
"We think in our minds they're healthier, therefore we can eat more," Kruppa said.
That's not true. Keep in mind, by eliminating an ingredient, they're usually adding artificial sugars.
You're better off with the real thing (full fat-ice creams) and Kruppa said slow-churned gets a bigger bang for your buck.
"The fat particles are smaller when they slow churn them," she said, "so you get a larger portion for smaller calories if you have slow-churned ice cream."
Gelato can be a good choice but carefully read the label.
"Authentic Italian gelato, actually the definition of it is that it has less than three and a half percent fat," Kruppa said that would be a wise decision for dessert.
However, American store-bought gelato doesn't always follow those rules.
"(Talenti) which was just bought here in the United States does not follow that rule and actually has, there are 90 calories for half a cup of (Breyers) and (Talenti) is 260," she pointed out.
INDIVIDUAL PORTIONS: DRUMSTICKS, ICE CREAM SANDWICHES, BLUE BELL CUPS
Her absolute favorite ice creams are the classics: Blue Bell cups or ice cream sandwiches.
There are no diet gimmicks here, but the small portion can fit in any healthy diet.
"We tend to stop. All our studies show we are more likely to stop when there's an ending point," she said we tend to not overeat with individual portions.
GOING OUT FOR ICE CREAM
If you find yourself eating these too often, or crave more in one sitting, she said an occasional trip to the ice cream shop might be your best bet.
"Have it be a family outing that you do together and to make it special, get what you really want, enjoy it and then it's not in your house all the time," Kruppa recommends.
IT DOESN'T HAVE TO BE PLAIN VANILLA
Even if you buy a flavor with fixings like nuts, marshmallows or chocolate chips, Kruppa said that doesn't add a huge amount of calories.
But that's not true if there are candy bars added in the ice cream. So, stick to the traditional toppings.
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