5 healthy reasons you may want to choose gelato over ice cream

Nutrition

By pH health care professionals

Gelato recently went viral after i-Creamy, a gelato store in Sydney, Australia, posted the most gorgeous photos of their flower-shaped gelato on Instagram. However, though beautiful, it’s the health benefits we’re most excited about.  

With so many different flavors, with chunks of fruit, nuts or chocolate mixed in, it comes as no surprise that gelato is loved by many. But for those trying to make healthy food choices, your gelato may come with a side effect -- guilt. Not anymore! Gelato actually has some health benefits!

We talked to gelato expert James Haskins from Tondi Gelato about some of those benefits and did a little research on our own.

Here are 5 health benefits of gelato:

1. Vitamins, minerals and antioxidants

Depending on the gelato, you may have fresh fruit, dried fruit, nuts or cocoa in there, providing a bounty of nutrients!

Gelatos made with fresh berries, for example, may be rich in antioxidants! Antioxidants fight free radical damage in your body, which means they are powerful tools for disease prevention. One such antioxidant is vitamin C, which is important for a strong immune system, healthy skin, and repairing and maintaining your cartilage, bones and teeth.

You can also find calcium, iron, vitamin A and protein in gelato -- though the amount can vary widely depending on the company and the flavor!

2. Energy

Gelato contains carbohydrates in the form of simple sugars, which your body can quickly absorb and use as energy.

3. Digestive enzymes

Enzymes, such as those found in pineapple, help your digestive system work better. In Italy, certain flavors, such as lemon sorbetto, are actually served between the first and second course at lunch or dinner to cleanse the palate or after the meal to help you digest.

4. Hydration

Gelato certainly can’t replace good hydration habits, but it does contain a fair amount of water.

5. Lower in fat and sugar than ice cream

Your ice cream may contain 10-15 percent milkfat (or more), but gelato generally contains 0-8 percent total fat, Haskins said. Because gelato is lower in fat, it actually makes this frozen treat more flavorful than ice cream, and gelato makers don’t need to add as much sugar for you to experience that flavor.

When comparing gelato vs. ice cream, many people prefer gelato because it tends to be lower in fat, sugar and calories!

Ready to dig in?

This may be stating the obvious, but too much gelato (or really too much of anything!) is not a good idea. But if you want to enjoy a treat in moderation, dig right in and ditch the guilt.

Also, be sure to check the nutrition labels of your chosen gelato! While the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has specifications for what can be called “ice cream” in the U.S. (must contain at least 10 percent milkfat, for example), gelato is not regulated here and it may vary widely. We know too much sugar is not good for our health, so be proactive and take note of your daily intake! 

 

Enjoy Your Healthy Life!

The pH professional health care team includes recognized experts from a variety of health care and related disciplines, including physicians, health care attorneys, nutritionists, nurses and certified fitness instructors. To learn more about the pH Health Care Team, click here.

 

 

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