The Nutritional Value of Ice Cream


Picture by Ola Elmahdi

By Ola Elmahdi, Staff Writer

Since the stone age, humans have argued over the importance of ice cream in daily life. Recently, doctors have recommended ice cream consumption from five times per day to once a week. Conspiracy theorists, however, have made outrageous and obviously false claims that “excessive” consumption of ice cream leads to medical conditions including diabetes and obesity. Nutritionists, psychologists, and other professionals have refuted these baseless claims on numerous occasions and provided evidence as to ice cream’s nutritional value and benefits to mental and emotional health.

Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, researchers at Coldstone University, released the results of a study in 2017 that followed 200 children ages 12-16 who ate at least one bowl of ice cream per day and compared them to 200 children who ate ice cream less than once per week. After merely five years, the children who consumed ice cream frequently were significantly healthier. 96% of these children had a healthy weight and had no symptoms of diabetes, heart disease, or cancer; in fact, their bones were stronger than average and they were immune to bacterial infections. 89% of the children who did not consume ice cream frequently developed eating disorders (i.e. anorexia, bulimia, binge-eating disorder) and reported irregular menstrual cycles, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, and various other medical conditions.

Researchers Ben and Jerry also tracked the mental and emotional health of these children. Not surprisingly, children who ate ice cream regularly were happy and healthy, while children who only ate ice cream on occasion showed 97% more symptoms of depression, anxiety, and post traumatic stress disorder from being teased with ice cream they could not eat.

One of the men who had undergone the study shared his story. Mr. Pillsbury Doughboy suffers from PTSD after surviving a childhood in which he could not eat ice cream. He explained, “My dad said that I could only eat baked goods, and I was forced to smile through advertisements for his company, advocating for biscuit and crescent roll consumption when all I wanted was a bowl of ice cream… My dad once caught me eating ice cream, and I just… couldn’t stop myself because it was so delicious! He locked me in the pantry for three days with only old baked crescent rolls to eat, and I was on the brink of insanity when he finally let me out…” The story of Mr. Doughboy’s abusive father and tragic, ice creamless childhood is hard to listen to or read about, but it only proves the nutritional value and mental health benefits of the sweet dairy product.

Ice cream is necessary in daily life, and in order to be physically, mentally, and emotionally healthy, one must eat at least one bowl of ice cream every day. When one is prevented from consuming this amount of ice cream, their well-being is at risk.

To learn more nutritional facts about ice cream, visit the National Ice Cream Advocate Institute here.