Fooducate Friday: "Is eating ice cream everyday bad?"

September 09, 2016

Every Friday I will post questions that have been asked by college athletes. Each time I meet with a team, it is important for me to allow them to write a question on a notecard to ask questions they might be really wondering about, but are too shy or unsure of how to ask. Many of their questions are fantastic! The questions are also great for ALL types of individuals. Eating ice cream every day is NOT bad. It is important to remember we are all human and we have wants, needs, and desires. If it is ice cream you desire, then let's allow you to have ice cream. The ability to survive life and enjoy the food you eat should be so -- it is just how you go about doing it. With that being said, I will say this right now: any diet that makes you eliminate something you enjoy, is a diet that is not going to probably work... and, was probably not recommended by a dietitian. So. For FOODucational purposes, a serving of ice cream is the size of TWO GOLF BALLS. I am sorry. I am very sorry to inform you of this horrible news, but I am simply the messenger. Now, it is how you choose to figure out YOUR portion, is how you are able to enjoy ice cream every day. Are you trying to increase calories? Have a little more. Did you save room in your day for some? Add another scoop. Are you trying to lose weight but still have ice cream? Stick to the serving size, or definitely reduce the portion size you were usually doing prior to this knowledge. The ability to add or keep something you enjoy is absolutely OK when it comes to diet and overall happiness -- I mean, how moody would you be if someone told you no more ice cream? I would cry. There are some other factors, of course. Are you newly lactose intolerant, must you avoid foods higher in saturated fats? These things might create situations in which label reading is important to find a similar product right for you. Low-fat ice cream, or frozen yogurt might be a better option for heart health. For those not wanting a full-fat high calorie serving, the reduced fat options might help, but remember this: eat what you think will truly satisfy you. Meaning, sometimes we end up eating more of the other substitute because we are still trying to feel satisfied or because it has less calories, we end up overeating it in general. This ice cream question pertains to almost anything in our everyday diet. Always know the 80/20 rule. Eighty-percent of the time, stay on good track and eat fruits, vegetables, good dairy or calcium rich foods, lean proteins, healthy fats, and complex carbohydrates... and the other 20%, enjoy eating! That can be once a day 80/20, or being really on point all week and on the weekend, having a giant waffle cone with sprinkles and not giving a hoot about how many golf balls that cone might be. Stick with what you think will work for you and overall your approach to "bad" foods will not seem so bad after all. Good health and well-being is about balance. If you believe in that, you will be a happy, healthy, and well-nourished both mentally and physically. Happy Noshing! Jenna Stranzl, RD at Cuisine 365