Whether you’re feeling down or just need a treat, there’s no denying that ice cream is a mood-lifter. But if you want to avoid a sugar crash and keep your cholesterol levels in check, it may be time to think twice about this frozen dessert.
Ice cream and other dairy products can raise your blood cholesterol, which is bad news for heart health. But there are a few lighter alternatives you can try instead.
High-Fat Dairy Foods
Despite the negative connotations of ice cream, high-fat dairy foods can provide important nutrients and may help lower your cholesterol. In fact, eating three servings a day of whole-fat dairy was associated with a lower risk of death and heart disease, according to new research.
The study looked at data from 136,000 people from 21 countries. They were asked to fill out a food questionnaire at the beginning of the study and then followed for an average of nine years.
Researchers found that people who ate no dairy had a higher rate of death, heart disease and stroke during the study than those who ate at least three servings a day. They also had higher levels of “bad” LDL cholesterol and triglycerides.
In the United States, saturated fat accounts for a large portion of dietary fat, making it important to reduce this intake. The American Heart Association recommends limiting your consumption of high-fat dairy to two to four servings per week.
Dairy foods provide many nutrients, including protein, calcium, vitamin D (in products fortified with vitamin D), riboflavin, phosphorus, vitamins A, B12 and K, and minerals like potassium, magnesium, choline, boron, zinc, selenium and iron. These vitamins and minerals are essential for good health.
They also aid in weight loss, by reducing feelings of hunger and satiety.
However, some dairy foods are high in cholesterol and should be avoided if you have a history of heart problems or diabetes. These include cheese, milk and yoghurt that are not fortified with vitamin D.
Similarly, butter should be avoided in high amounts. In addition to containing cholesterol, butter is also high in saturated fat.
It’s better to have a healthy diet that includes a variety of different types of foods, including plenty of fruit, vegetables, grains, fish, nuts, seeds, beans and lentils. If you want to eat some full-fat dairy foods, make sure they’re low in calories and have no added sugar.
High-Sugar Dairy Foods
Dairy-based desserts, such as ice cream and frozen yogurt, often contain a lot of added sugar. If you’re trying to keep your blood sugars in range, it’s important to choose plain versions of these products instead.
While dairy foods can be high in fat, they also provide a variety of vitamins and minerals. These include calcium, vitamin D, phosphorus, and potassium. They also help lower your blood pressure.
However, many people who consume a lot of dairy products, especially cheese and ice cream, are at higher risk for developing heart disease or other health conditions. This is because of the saturated fat in dairy and its effect on your cholesterol levels.
It’s no secret that saturated fat raises LDL cholesterol, which can lead to heart disease and other medical problems. In fact, the American Dietetic Association (ADA) recommends that you limit your intake of saturated fat.
The ADA’s guidelines recommend limiting your consumption of foods containing a lot of fat, including animal-based fats like butter and fatty meats, to less than 10 percent of your total daily calories. They also advise you to avoid consuming saturated fats and trans fats, which can be found in processed foods.
Some studies show that a high-fat diet can also increase your risk of developing diabetes. This is because of the insulin resistance that occurs when you consume too much fat, especially saturated fats.
You can avoid this by eating more lean proteins and whole grains. You can also choose low-fat or non-fat dairy products, such as skim milk and fat-free yogurt.
Adding fruit or nuts can help reduce the total sugar in your diet. You can also try topping your ice cream with these healthy ingredients to boost the protein and fiber content of the frozen treat.
The ADA also recommends that you avoid fatty cheeses and ice creams, which often contain vegetable oils and other unhealthy ingredients. Moreover, some studies have shown that high-fat dairy products can increase your risk of weight gain and obesity.
The good news is that there’s a lot of research that shows the positive effects that dairy can have on your metabolic health and blood sugar control. As long as you’re choosing wholesome natural, low-sugar options that have minimal amounts of carbohydrates, your blood glucose will stay in check.
Many Americans enjoy a delicious burger or hot dog from the local market, but these popular foods often come with harmful consequences. These include high-fat and cholesterol content, as well as added sugars that may cause weight gain or lead to health problems like diabetes and heart disease.
The American Heart Association recommends limiting processed meats to about three portions per week. These are equivalent to 350-500 grams (about 12-18 ounces) of cooked meat. Processed meat is any meat that has been cured, salted, fermented, or smoked.
According to researchers, processed meats are linked to higher cholesterol levels and increased risk of coronary heart disease. They also increase blood pressure and cause inflammation.
Fortunately, there are some types of meat that contain fewer saturated fat and a lower amount of cholesterol than most processed meats. This includes lean beef and pork. Other low-fat options include chicken, turkey, and fish.
But experts warn that it’s difficult to know how much of each type of processed meat you should eat and which ones are the best. “A lot of studies focus on a few highly consumed items, so it’s difficult to tease out which types are better or worse,” said Dr. Frank Hu, a professor of nutrition at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
In addition, processed meats contain a variety of chemicals that can contribute to cancer. Some are naturally occurring in meat and others are developed during the processing of these meats.
For example, when a piece of meat is cured or smoked, chemicals called nitrates and nitrites are formed. These can cause damage to the cells in the colon and rectum, and increase your risk of colorectal cancer.
Additionally, nitrates and nitrites can cause you to absorb more cholesterol into your body. Then, that cholesterol can build up and lead to heart disease and other health problems.
The best way to lower your risk of heart disease is to cut back on processed meat and other high-fat, high-sodium, high-calorie foods. However, it’s OK to indulge occasionally, as long as it’s in moderation and doesn’t happen too frequently.
Baked goods are a great way to treat yourself, but many of these items are high in saturated fat and cholesterol. This makes it important to eat a well-balanced diet and keep your cholesterol levels at bay.
Luckily, there are several ways you can make these sweet treats healthier without sacrificing taste. For instance, swap out butter for mashed bananas or other natural vegetable oils. Or, use low-fat frozen yogurt instead of ice cream for dessert.
You can also substitute whole-wheat flour for all-purpose flour. This will lower the amount of cholesterol in your food and add fiber. In addition, you can also choose a butter or margarine with phytosterols, an ingredient that has been linked to lowering LDL cholesterol.
Another great way to cut the fat in baked goods is to add fruit. Not only will fruits make your food sweeter, but they are high in fiber and are a good source of vitamins A, C and K.
The same is true of vegetables, as these foods are naturally low in fat and can be substituted for oil, butter or sugar. You can add grated carrots, yams and squash to your recipes.
These substitutions can reduce the total fat content of your baked goods, so you can eat more of them and still maintain a healthy weight. However, it is important to read the label of all ingredients to be sure that you aren’t getting any partially hydrogenated oils.
While you can enjoy a nice, indulgent slice of cake or a bowl of chocolate ice cream once in a while, it’s best to stick to a diet low in saturated fat and trans fat. That way, you can lower your risk of heart disease and improve your overall health.
In addition to the above suggestions, you can also make your baked goods healthier by choosing a recipe that calls for fresh fruit or vegetables. These fruits and veggies contain little to no refined sugar, and they are a good source of fiber and other nutrients.
Lastly, you can lower the amount of saturated fat in your baked goods by using olive oil or other heart-healthy oils instead of butter. This will help you to meet the American Heart Association’s recommendation that you limit your consumption of saturated fat to 5 to 6 percent of your total calories, on a 2,000-calorie-a-day diet.
Beyond the realm of flavor and technique, Adriano recognizes the importance of sustainability and conscious consumption. His writing often explores eco-friendly practices within the ice cream industry, highlighting the use of locally sourced ingredients, reducing waste, and supporting ethical production methods.