Friday, April 26, 2013

Food Reward Friday

This week's lucky "winner"... ice cream!!

Ice cream needs no introduction.  It makes adults stand in line for half an hour, and it makes kids run up and down the block.  Ice cream makes us smile when we eat it, and cry when it falls on the sidewalk.  The average American eats 13 pounds of it a year, up from 3 pounds per year one century ago (1).

Ice cream's power over us emphasizes its extreme reward value and palatability.  Its attractiveness comes from the combination of emulsified fat, sugar, a nice texture, a pleasant flavor, and the cold sensation in the mouth.

It's no coincidence that ice cream is one of the most commonly sold snack foods, often placed near the checkout counter in convenience stores where it will maximize the chance of an impulse buy.  Ice cream melts in the mouth, leaving no solids to fill the stomach and therefore providing very little satiety per calorie eaten.  It's perfectly designed to bring pleasure without fullness, so you don't have to stop eating.

The best thing about ice cream is that it helps you lose weight, as explained in this ad sponsored by the sugar industry:


  1. Just had some last night. Amy's Ice Cream, dark chocolate, with candy sprinkles. Yum!

  2. Can I use the ad? It is great. Looks like it's from the 70s?

  3. Wow. They weren't even trying to be subtle with that picture in the ad were they?

  4. Real ice cream, made with cream, whole milk, egg yolks, sugar and fruit, is very hard to find - it's almost a delicacy. What you find now is a chemist's concoction of skim milk, artificial flavorings and gums.

    Real ice cream is actually very good for nursing the frail and elderly back to health - especially those who have a poor appetite and are not taking enough fluids.


  5. LOL. I've to to take (some) exception to this one! My experience has been that "traditional" ice cream (meaning cream, sugar, egg yolks, and some flavoring, like berries or vanilla) is quite satiating, although yes, you can always make some extra room for it at the end of a meal...

    Where I think people get into trouble with it is putting it on a cone, or some of the more garish ingredients, like cookies, or snickers bars. Now you're into the junk-food buffet territory that rats are so fond of...

    Traditional ice cream doesn't include seed oils or grains, and so as a "treat" it's one of the more healthful options, I find. So long as you keep it a treat, and don't make it a staple....

    Goat's-milk ice cream is also quite tasty, for those who don't do well with dairy, although it's can be hard to find.

    Keep up the good work!

  6. I make my own raw food ice creams. Try this recipe of a vanilla/nut bomb - the texture is indistinguishable from "real" ice cream, and the flavors are immense.

    4 dl of plain cashew nuts
    3-4 dl of water
    1-2 dl maple syrup (according to taste)
    2 vanilla pods (the entire cane)

    Blend the ingredients super smooth, poor into container with lid and out in freezer. Try to keep your filthy hands off it for long enough. :D

    This is enough for 4 or maybe 5 people, as a dessert. I usually serve with coconut and cinnamon sprinkled on top.

  7. I went to Berkeley as a postdoc 30 years ago and we lived in Berkeley Hills where the garden was full of wildlife and orange trees. The oranges were small and bitter and I made some ice cream with them. Milk, cream, bitter oranges and dark brown sugar. Best ice cream I've ever had.

  8. > is quite satiating, although yes, you can always make some extra room for it at the end of a meal...

    the real LOL - state a claim and after 2 commas and 2 words, contradict it.

  9. Can ice cream make you gain weight? Of course, but in terms of a dessert, it's probably one of the healthiest desserts you can have. Milk fat has one of the best fatty acid profiles in nature (high SFA, very low PUFA), there is actually a good amount of protein and the protein is extremely high quality and sugar, while potentially fattening, is at least clean. There are no lectins, gut irritants, etc. Of course, this assumes you purchase quality ice cream - milk, cream, eggs, sugar and a flavoring (chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, mint, almonds, etc). Sometimes it can be good for you to let go and have a treat, and ice cream is probably one of the healthiest treats you can have.

  10. My wife and I eat a small portion of Haagen-Dazs vanilla ice cream daily. It contains only cream, skim milk, sugar, egg yolks and vanilla and has 60% of calories from fat.

    When I bought ice cream today I checked out all the other available brands and found that all of the four other brands available at the store contained carageenan which is made from seaweed and used to improve the consistency of ice cream and other foods such as skim milk, soy milk and chocolate milk. Cornucopia recently produced a lengthy study on the gut problems associated with carageenan and has a campaign going to get carageenan out of foods. Carageenan is used in some animal studies to stimulate inflammation.

  11. Hi ChocoTaco,

    Ice cream doesn't have much protein per serving, but... I like your screen name.

    Hi Casey,


  12. Haagen Dazs has a number of flavors with very basic ingredients one might use if they made their own.

    Absolutely no comparison with the "low fat" or otherwise doctored varieties.

  13. I try to be very careful with what I put in my body but I can say that when I what to indulge just a little bit, ice cream is my first choice ;) Come and take a look a my all new blog "be your best self"

  14. I love icecream! But only indulge once in a blue moon.
    Interestingly, a TCM practitioner told me it was a 'triple yin sin' - as in it's cooling effects are 3 fold due to it being milk, its temperature cold and because its full of sugar.

  15. >The average American eats 13
    >pounds of it a year, up from 3
    >pounds per year one century ago (1).

    Be more interesting to compare it to 50 years ago.


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