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Creamy Goodness

"Nutritional content of ice cream "
By: Vanessa ValenzuelaCreamy Goodness

The nutritional content in every serving of ice cream depends on the type and flavor you choose. The range of values can differ significantly for every variant that it is really difficult to create an allowance guideline for “ice cream” by itself.

Just to have a basis for evaluation, let’s take plain regular vanilla ice cream with 10 percent butterfat as an example. Each serving (½ cup is the US Department of Agriculture’s standard serving for ice cream) gives about 140 calories—8 grams of fat and 16 grams of carbohydrates. If these numbers were the only basis for determining the nutritional value of ice cream, you can say that it is indeed junk food because of the calories and fat that a small amount can bring you.

But what most critics fail to see is that ice cream contains other essential nutrients that are actually part of the average daily requirement. The same serving of regular vanilla ice cream can also give you 92 mg of calcium, 2.5 grams of protein, 76 mg of phosphorus, 10 mg of magnesium, 143 mg of potassium, 0.5 grams of dietary fiber, and small amounts of zinc, copper, manganese, selenium, fluoride, vitamin C, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, vitamin B6, folate, choline, vitamin B12, vitamin A, retinol, vitamin E, vitamin D, and vitamin K!

Now, how could something like this even be considered junk food? The biggest problem with ice cream is that we don’t get satisfied with just ½ cup of it! Did you know that a typical waffle cone that you buy can hold up to three servings? So really, it’s our eating habits that give ice cream its evil reputation, not ice cream itself.

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