Have Your Ice Cream and Lose it Too!

Summer is the season of barbecues, ice cream cones and all sorts of treats that aren’t doing your waistline any favours. Is it possible to enjoy things like ice cream without compromising your healthy resolutions? The answer is, yes! Occasional treats can be a guilt-free part of a healthy, balanced diet. Here’s how to work one of summer’s tastiest treats into your healthy diet.

Lighten up

Experiment with frozen treats that pack in all the flavour of regular ice cream for fewer calories and less fat:

Gelato is Italy’s variant of ice cream has and it’s recently become a hit in Calgary. It is made with some of the same ingredients as other frozen dairy desserts but has a lower fat content than ice cream: 4-8% fat versus 14% for ice cream. Gelato generally has a slightly lower sugar content, averaging between 16-22% versus approximately 21% for ice cream. Non-fat milk is added as a solid.

Low-fat or light ice cream has less than 10% milk fat and the same sweetener content as ice cream. It is sometimes referred to as ice milk.

Frozen yogurt is made from yogurt or other dairy products. It is slightly more tart than ice cream, as well as lower in fat due to the use of pure milk instead of cream.

Sherbet is a frozen dessert with a smooth, creamy consistency. It is made primarily of fruit juice, sugar, water, milk and eggs.

Sorbet has a softer consistency than sherbet.  Fruit sorbets can be wonderfully light and refreshing, with a grainy consistency. They are typically made from fruit, water and sugar and do not contain dairy or eggs, making them virtually fat-free!

Control portions

If premium ice cream is irreplaceable, go ahead and enjoy it on special occasions. Keep in mind that portion control is key.  A serving size of ice cream is a ½ cup or 4 oz but a typical scoop at an ice cream parlour often packs double or triple this amount.

To keep your serving waist-friendly, order a baby or junior-size scoop. When purchasing store-bought premium ice cream, buy it individually wrapped. This can make portion control a lot easier to manage. And of course, always make sure to savour your treat, enjoying it slowly and making the most of every lick.

Work it off

Why not enjoy your treat while making the most of the beautiful weather? Grab an ice cream cone and enjoy it while strolling in the park, catching up with friends by the pool or walking the dog.  A ½-cup serving of premium ice cream rings in at about 180 calories.  This is the equivalent of a 45-minute leisurely walk, 35-minute swim or 25-minute bike ride.

Any food can fit in your healthy diet when paired with smart choices, moderation, a balanced diet and regular physical activity. Enjoy your ice cream, and enjoy losing it too!

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