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Is Ice Cream Junk Food? Why the Sweet, Sugary Treat May Be Bad News For You

Image for representation (Photo: Flickr/ Hanumann)

Image for representation (Photo: Flickr/ Hanumann)

By definition, junk food is an unhealthy food, high on calories due to the amount of sugar and fat present and has lesser forms of nutritional value. Intake of the sweet and sugary food is refreshing but it can also have potential downsides.

“I scream you scream we all scream for ice cream.” Ice cream is arguably one of the popular foods that are capable of driving the blues away. This magical stuff that comes with the heavenly combination of never ending taste and creamy texture has made almost everyone go weak in the knees sometime in their life. In the millennial lingo, the irresistible frozen dessert is popular as comfort food.

Nonetheless, the other side of the coin considers otherwise. A school of thought contemplates that devouring ice cream is bad for the body. The delectable treat, as everyone knows, is loaded with calories, sugar, and fat, counting in the list of junk foods.

By definition, junk food is an unhealthy food, high on calories due to the amount of sugar and fat present and has lesser forms of nutritional value. Intake of the sweet and sugary food is refreshing but it can also have potential downsides.

1. High in added sugar

As understood, the ingredients or the contents are responsible for influencing a whole product. The quantity of added sugar in most ice creams is not believed to be good for the health of the human body. One small serving of an ice cream can conveniently push beyond the daily limit of recommended sugar intake.

2. Calorie-dense

Excess intake of sugar results in multiple health conditions, including obesity, diabetes, heart disease and fatty liver disease. Yes, there is some calcium present in the dessert, but the calorie content is questionable. In addition to promoting fat and weight gain, the lack of necessary vitamins and minerals in ice cream makes it ‘having second thoughts’kinda food. Wrapped in high sugar, ice cream fails to provide the body with required energy, leaving one feel sluggish.

3. Artificial additives

Store bought ice creams are highly processed and contain components like artificial flavours and additives. These items and preservatives have been related to adverse health effects, few aside that are verified safe. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had few artificial flavourings banned, considering their connotation with cancer. Also, this is why consuming ice cream makes one feel a foggy brain.

4. Unwholesome compounds

Processed ice creams generally contain artificial food dyes. Even though most of them are approved, hyperactivity and behavioural concerns in children have been observed as a result of these synthetic colorants. Guar gum – a thickening agent – though common in ice cream, has also been associated with mild side effects, like bloating and cramps. Research suggests that carrageenan, found in ice cream, may stimulate intestinal inflammation.

5. Addictive

Ice cream is just too good but one needs to check the quantity of intake. It has been found that those who ate ice cream regularly relished it less with passing time. The conclusion is that the pleasurable feeling is altered, invoking a need to consume more of the frozen treat to reach the same euphoric feeling.

So the final answer: Everything in excess is bad, moderation is the key. There are alternatives to every choice, one can read the label when shopping and pick a healthier option. And finally, nothing beats the homemade version. DIY yourself a non 'junk' food version, guys!