It’s not a great idea to eat a LOT of anything, especially a food so notorious for its sugar and fat content.

What else can we consider when making this personal decision about eating ice cream?

Has the person gained or is gaining unintended weight? In that case, ice cream servings could be reduced or a healthier substitution could be made – blended frozen banana topped with gluten-free nuts, or a yogurt parfait made with layers of Greek yogurt (preferably unsweetened), berries and gluten-free granola.

Is the person lactose intolerant and experiencing gas, bloating, cramping and/or irregular bowel movements? I like ice cream, too, but it doesn’t agree with my gut since I am somewhat lactose intolerant. Choose gluten-free, lactose free ice cream or try one of the suggestions above. Sometimes it’s the combination of fat, sugar and milk (lactose) that causes the gut disturbance. In that case, try ice cream that has less fat (caution with fat-free ice cream – it contains added starches and fillers and I don’t recommend it to my patients). Try gluten-free frozen yogurt (look for ones with less sugar). Consider gluten-free coconut yogurt slightly chilled for a different flavor and texture sensation.

And, as always, make sure it’s gluten-free. You can choose the ones labeled gluten-free or if it is not labeled gluten-free you can read the ingredients to be certain it is free of wheat, rye, barley, oats, malt or brewer’s yeast and the Contains statement to be sure it is free of wheat. Manufacturers are required to follow current standards of good manufacturing practice (GMP) that help to reduce the risk of cross-contact such as thorough cleaning of shared equipment, etc. Ice cream has less of a chance of coming in cross-contact in the facility with gluten than other typical foods, such as chips, nuts, crackers, etc. Avoid ice cream with added ingredients like jimmies/sprinkles, candies, etc, unless the product is labeled gluten-free. Enjoy!

Reviewed September 26, 2022.