The hot weather we have been experiencing recently makes it really difficult to stay away from the neighbourhood ice cream shop or frozen dessert section of the local grocery store. The good news is that among all the full-fat ice cream varieties available, you can now find a delicious selection of low fat, fat-free, and ‘no sugar added’ items. There are also frozen yogurts, sorbets and soy-based products to consider. The trick is to choose wisely. Utilize the Nutrition Facts table on the containers to your best advantage in order to beat the heat while watching your waistline and keeping your heart healthy. Here are some tips from Alyssa Rolnick, a registered dietitian:
- Pay attention to the serving listed on the container. For example, a serving of ice cream is typically 125 ml. (one half cup). This is the equivalent of 2 ice cream scoops the size of golf balls, not tennis balls or baseballs.
- Check the saturated fats. The frozen desserts that contain primarily cream and plenty of “chunky” treats also usually contain a high percentage of saturated fat that can contribute to unhealthy cholesterol levels. Avoid the brands with as much as 10 grams of saturated fat per serving and select a treat with only 2.5 grams per serving. Sorbets, sherbets and frozen yogurt are usually excellent low-fat options.
- Keep an eye on the calories. Even if your frozen dessert choice is low fat, it may contain as many as 200 calories per half cup due to the high sugar content. This is another reason to pay close attention to the serving size and avoid all the “chunky” bits of chocolate, cookie, and candy. Not only is weight gain an issue, excess weight can negatively affect your heart health.
- Look for minerals and vitamins in your choice of frozen treats. There are several varieties of delectable desserts that contain protein, calcium, and vitamins A or C.
- Eat out wisely. It is very difficult to control portion size, toppings and whipped cream when ordering a frozen dessert in a restaurant or fast food place. The calories and saturated fats can push the scale into the ‘red zone’ at a great rate of speed. Ask your server to hold the sprinkles, whipped cream, syrups, and other sugary options.
So there you have it – how to have your frozen treat and eat it too! And now, because Sesame Street is a modern day learning ‘institution’, here is some good advice from the show: Bert and Ernie are sitting outside one day. Bert turns to Ernie and asks, “Hey Ernie, wanna go get some ice cream?” Ernie replies, “Sure Bert.”
I would like to take this opportunity to advise all the members of Community Care for South Hastings that our Annual General Meeting is scheduled for Wednesday September 20th at 2:00 p.m. in the Parrott Room at the CrossRoads to Care complex in the Bay View Mall. If you are planning to attend, please call 613-969-0130 to register.
Secondly, the partner agencies at the CrossRoads to Care are collaborating and planning a really exciting Open House for Friday October 13th from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. There will be 8 educational sessions throughout the day, information booths, tours, and much more. Mark your calendars and plan to join us!