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Gelato or Ice Cream: What’s Healthier?

by Sana Cashmiri

When it comes to ice cream, even the healthiest and strictest gym enthusiasts can break. Just browsing the flavours can be overwhelming and dangerous. They vary from vanilla, to mango, to even cookie dough, making them completely irresistible at first glance.

What you may have recently noticed is the shift from using the term ‘ice cream’ to ‘gelato’. But is there a difference? And if so, what impact can either have on your diet? Well, gelatos are the Italian versions of ice cream, but better with the main difference being the ratio of milk and cream. Ice cream contains more cream and less milk. While, gelato is on the milkier side with lower amounts of cream. Owing to the lesser quantity of cream, gelato becomes a healthier alternative with 10% less fat.


There is also a major difference in their textures. Gelatos are richer, softer, creamier and denser as desserts, allowing for a more flavourful treat. While, ice creams are lighter with higher air content. However, unlike gelatos, ice creams need a lot of artificial sweeteners and binding agents to keep them intact and cannot be flavoured with natural flavours.

A typical 3.5 oz serving of vanilla gelato contains 90 calories and 3 grams of fat, compared to 125 calories and 7 grams of fat in the average vanilla ice cream. But since gelato is denser, people tend to eat more. Since gelatos can be sweetened with real fruits or fruit juice, it can be considered healthier and of higher nutritional value. However, fruits can increase the amount of carbohydrates being consumed per serving.


In more recent years, low-fat ice cream has also served as an alternative to normal ice cream, offering about a quarter of the calories of normal ice creams by sweetening their ice creams with stevia. But because these ice creams are sold in personal pint-sized containers, you may end up overindulging by accident.

We know how heart breaking it is to throw away all the ice cream or gelatos when starting a new diet, but now that you’re better informed, maybe you don’t have to! The key is to have whatever you want, but in moderation. If you really crave ice cream, opt for the low-calorie options or just stick to gelato. Gelato seems to be a win-win considering its softer, richer and creamier too.

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