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It is really hard to find someone who doesn't like the ice cream, there are those like me who eat it in all seasons, there is no winter that holds, but in summer it is "on everyone's lips". In Italy you can find very good ones but how to choose the best and healthiest ice cream? There are many deceptions and false beliefs about this delicious food, it is better to delve into its characteristics before enjoying our ice cream cone of the day.
How to choose ice cream: false myths
The biggest falsehood we must immediately clarify, about the ice cream, is the one that concerns the supremacy of artisan ice cream over packaged one. It is not a rule, it is not always the case. If we know of a truly artisan ice cream parlor, which works from fresh raw materials without the use of additives, then yes, there is no comparison with the tray that we find in supermarket freezer. Unfortunately, very often the even more “lacquered” ice cream parlors that we find around use chemical mixtures in powder form, offering us a completely poorer product than the industrial ones.
Today it is mandatory by law to display the ingredients for which you are not ashamed to check so as not to pay how "Artisanal" an ice cream which is a compound of additives and dyes.
In terms of ingredients, we should always find milk, sugar, cream and eggs, and then the ingredients that characterize the specific taste we have chosen: yogurt, chocolate, hazelnut…. Very often fruit jelly does not have eggs, or even milk, and remains a sort of sorbet.
Another misconception that we must unmask is the one that describes ice cream as a perfect substitute lunch, especially in summer when sometimes you are not very hungry for lunch because of the heat and you just want something fresh. It will also be energetic, sure, but it is by no means nutritious and complete like a complete lunch that cannot be just a based on sugars and saturated fats. Ice cream is an excellent snack, or a complement to a meal, if light. By itself it does not satisfy us and, above all, it does not give us the elements we need to better enjoy our day.
How to choose the best and healthiest ice cream
Here are some tips to choose the most genuine ice cream and to eat it in the most appropriate way and time.
When we have to choose the combination of flavors for our ice cream cone it is better to choose a cream flavor and a fruit flavor. It may seem bizarre as an indication, also because some creams pair well and the same goes for some fruits, but a mix is good for our health. Think of the famous "Strawberry and chocolate" that many of us took for years as children: he respected this very rule.
A fruit cone gives us too much sugar and nothing else. Flavors like strawberry and melon can give us in a cone, much more than that of creams which are rich in fats and proteins. A mixture of fruit and creams is not too caloric but at the same time it does not give us a glycemic spike and nourishes us better.3 or 4 teaspoons of sugar per serving,
Still on the subject of tastes, we try to choose the simple, the classic, the traditional ones. Chocolate, cream, fiordilatte, strawberry and lemon, yogurt… Today you can see them all in the ice cream parlor, with very alluring names and a lot of ingredients sometimes even improbably put together.
Beyond the flavor, questionable, it is just one health issue. Flavors like Smurf, Cookies or Kinder are tremendously industrial and mostly made up of additives and chemical ingredients. For those not on a diet, nougat, zabaglione, cassata and 'strange' tastes like sponge cake and custard, malaga, marron glacé that are elaborate but not unhealthy.
Don't fool yourself that icicles and slushes are healthier than traditional ice cream just because they are lighter. Wrong: they are almost always composed of water and syrups, and dyes. They only provide us with a lot of sugar but without taking away our hunger. If we love this type of desserts we should not try it but look for those made with quality raw materials, so not just syrups, and eat them for example at the end of a meal or dinner.
On the contrary, ice cream is not good or how meal replacement but it is not even the top after a meal. Sure everything is relative, but in general it's best as a mid-afternoon snack. The recommended dose is that of the small or medium cup.
We always check labels and ingredients if we want to be sure we are buying good ice cream. If it is industrial, the game is done and some brands are very attentive to the ingredients: we do not assume that it is all garbage just because it is not artisan. If, on the other hand, we prefer the artisanal one, we check that it really is so that it does not contain syrups, powdered proteins, pasteurized eggs or semi-finished products.
If we have to be careful about the figure or lose weight, we limit the consumption of ice cream but we do not fall back on that of rice or soy. If you look carefully, the ingredients are not much lighter than those of traditional ice cream but, at least in my opinion, there is no comparison in terms of taste. Better then cheaper but good.