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Advice Column: “But, It’s Fat-Free Ice Cream!”

September 26, 2013 by  


By Noor H. Salem

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Question: I found fat-free and low-calorie ice cream with delicious flavors. Are these good treats to replace regular dessert with as part of my weight loss plan?

Answer:

ice-cream-cone“Fat-free” ice cream, “low-calorie” crackers and “light” bread are hitting the store shelves. The question is, are these things really part of a healthy lifestyle? I strongly and undoubtedly say: no! There is a major problem in this country, and that is our food industry.  We have people trying to eat healthier on one end, and multi-billion dollar corporations aiming at making every penny out of us that they can-even if it means replacing natural ingredients in our food with chemical based ones. Suddenly food labels like ice cream, cookies, and desserts smack a label with “sugar-free” on the front. How could this be? Well, companies simply went from using cane sugar (much more natural) to processed laboratory made ingredients (sorbitol, aspartame) to replace the natural tastes in food.

Your “fat-free” ice cream may appear like a wonderful choice, but in fact, there is much more than calories when it comes to eating healthy. The ingredient list on these “diet” foods are triple the normal one. If you date back decades of years, ice cream was made of basic ingredients like milk, cream, sugar, and fruit for flavors. It’s normal for ice cream and dairy products in general, to be full in fat. When you have low fat and fat free cheese, milk, and butter you know something is wrong. They are heavily processed and unnatural at that point.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t find any “tara gum”, “sorbitol”, “aspartame”, “carrageenan” “propylene glycol esters”, “disodium phosphate”, or “malodextrin” in my refrigerator, freezer, or pantry. Yes, these are ingredients found in many ice cream products today. I don’t cook my dinner with these ingredients, so why would I want them in my dessert?

I will not mention any brands names in specific, but so many companies are claiming “all-natural”, “low-fat” and  “sugar-free” on the front. When you flip the container over, well you see a different story. Well obviously, they want you buying it. Be wary. One brand with few ingredients is Talenti Gelato, but even here, you need to be careful. CIAO BELLA is another product line of gelato, sorbet and ice cream that uses very few ingredients. They even use organic cane sugar as the sweetener in some novelties. So there are options out there for you, you just have to find them.
So my advice to you is to both discover ice cream that’s made with all natural ingredients and enjoy it as a treat, or make your own. ;)

In fact, I personally make my own homemade “ice cream” with just two or three ingredients. I use whole foods, add no sugar, and enjoy every single bite. I’ll definitely share one or two recipes next week! As for now, you’re better off keeping that fat-free ice cream at the store.  

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