Despite being unfavourable for our health, ice-creams will always be one of the top any-time dessert treats that we can pamper ourselves with. By proactively moderating the frequency and exercising portion control, you can actually have your ice-cream and also ensure you do not allow it to affect your health in a significant way.
Ice-cream is relished all year round by the young and old, alike. Little wonder then that we stock up with ice-cream at all times, and do not think twice about demolishing a bowlful of ice-cream almost everyday.
After all, if it’s readily available at home, then giving in to temptation can be as easy as opening the refrigerator and digging into its creamy, sweet and cooling goodness.
As the dollop of ice-cream melts in your mouth, you can feel the heat dissipating, making you feel cool, refreshed and satiated.
But how good is it really for you?
While it’s easy to get lost in its abundant richness, regular consumption of ice-cream can be bad news due to the high quantity of sugar and fats, the addition of emulsifying and stabilizing agents, preservatives, as well as synthetic food colours, synthetic flavours and other genetically modified components like soy lecithin, which go into making the ice-cream.
Moreover, the extensive processing as well as the addition of these detrimental substances to provide a smooth, creamy texture and flavour, make ice-creams an unhealthy choice for daily consumption. The repititive pattern of consumption of ice-creams has, without a shadow of doubt, led to diseases such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s Disease. endometriosis, allergies, ADD and ADHD, as well as increased the risk of cardiac diseases and cancer.
The next time you get an ice-cream, take some time to read the fine print on the label. Then carry out a Google search to educate yourself on the potential harm these substances cause or even whether it is safe for consumption. You will be surprised by what you find.
Moderation is the key
Yet, ice-creams are here to stay for good due to their irresistible flavour and sweetness. This is dictated by our desire to eat delicious food as well as the satiety that we get by eating such foods. No amount of discussion can convince you to give up ice-creams altogether.
A more practically doable suggestion would therefore be to embrace a middle path by observing moderation and limiting our consumption of ice-creams to a once-in-a-while dessert treat. Moreover limiting your intake by observing portion control is one of the key steps towards ensuring that you do not binge on it.
This moderation is important if you want to eat ice-creams and not allow it to affect your health. Our bodies can tolerate the ill-effects of any substance that we consume only to a certain extent. Repeated exposures, or in this case, bingeing on unhealthy foods takes a toll and affects the immune system as well as the optimal functioning of our organs right up to the cellular level. A case in point is the continuous exposure to carcinogens while chewing tobacco or areca nut. It is the repeated exposure coupled with a hampered immunity that triggers oral cancer.
How to observe portion control
While it’s easy to talk about portion control, observing it strictly can be quite another story. My aim is to help you control your portion size. By this, I definitely do not mean that we eat only half a serving of ice-cream instead of the full scoop. This will leave you unsatisfied and will set in food cravings till you feel satisfied and full.
Satiety is always at the top of my list. I believe that if we are satisfied with the food that we eat, we will also digest and assimilate it well, thereby supplying adequate nutrition to every cell in our body. So staying away from foods or eliminating them completely from your diet is an absolute no-no.
The solution to feeling satiated despite your reduction in the portion size of your ice-cream lies in replacing the half serving of ice-cream with healthy substitutes such as seasonal fruit, unsweetened cereal, nuts and seeds. Always go in for organic food stuffs as these will reduce the build-up of unwanted chemicals in your body.
Now, processed foods like cereals too are way down on my list. But these are also convenience foods, so you need to consider it as a trade-off and focus on the benefit you are getting. As long as the substitutes are not loaded with sugar, have the goodness of fibre and provide wholesome nutrition, you can safely consume them, despite being processed. Again, I urge you to read labels and choose your brands wisely to benefit from them optimally.
When you begin making such definitive changes in your diet, it will reflect on your overall well-being. Subtle changes like these will help you control your weight, reduce the risk of diabetes, reduce hormonal imbalance, and the risk of degenerative diseases that could potentially impair your lifestyle.
To get you started on this track towards optimal health and vitality, I present you the following ice-cream dessert recipe that will entice you towards healthy eating.
The idea for this recipe comes from the Indian tradition of offering fruit and sweetened milk to god during our festivals, since time immemorial. Milk and cereals such as vermicelli (kheer/payasam) are also offered during poojas and eaten as part of our festive spreads. Taking inspiration from these, I have come up with a simple variation that uses ice-cream, seasonal fruit and cornflakes/muesli.
You can bring in variation by using different types of citrus fruits such as strawberries, oranges, sweetlimes, kiwi fruit, grapes, pineapple etc. or fruits like apple, mango, custard apple, berries, banana and many others. Loaded with vitamins and antioxidants, they will help combat the harmful effect of free radicals and harmful substances on our body.
For best effect and an interesting experience, assemble the dessert in layers in a tall transparent glass or goblet. The tangy citrusy fruits balance out the sweet, creamy richness of the ice-cream. The crispy cornflakes/muesli add texture and crunch to the dessert. If you want to minimise ice-cream consumption, you can opt for a smaller glass or bowl and assemble the same.
Ingredients: (For one serving)
Vanilla ice-cream 2 tbsp
Strawberry 1/2 cup
Cornflakes/ muesli 2 tbsp
Honey 1 tsp
Grapes For garnishing
Assorted nuts Optional
Method of preparation:
- Take a transparent glass or goblet and throw in a few sliced strawberries.
- Top it carefully with a tbsp of ice-cream, without messing up the sides of the glass.
- Layer with strawberry slices and spread half the amount of cornflakes or muesli on it.
- Add the remaining tbsp of ice-cream carefully. Top it with a layer of strawberry slices.
- Sprinkle the remaining cornflakes or muesli and garnish with the grapes at the top.
- To finish off, drizzle a tsp of honey on the grapes and cornflakes for a wonderful glaze.
- Enjoy the richness, tang and texture in every bite.
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Until my next, eat your way to good health!