Can I eat a lot of ice cream?

Melinda Dennis MS, RDN, LDN
Q: Can I eat a lot of ice cream? I like ice cream.


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.

Note: This information is provided by NCA and Melinda Dennis, NCA's Senior Consulting Dietitian. This information is meant for educational purposes and is not intended to substitute for personalized medical advice or replace any medical advice provided directly to you by your health care provider. This information can be printed and used in consultation with your physician or dietitian. No liability is assumed by NCA, Ms. Dennis or her nutrition consulting service Delete the Wheat, LLC. by providing this information..

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About Melinda Dennis MS, RDN, LDN

Melinda Dennis, Senior Nutrition Consultant for NCA, is an expert celiac dietitian and and Nutrition Coordinator for the Celiac Center at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, MA. Diagnosed with celiac disease in 1990, she specializes in the nutritional treatment of patients with celiac disease and gluten-related disorders.

Melinda lectures internationally and has written extensively on the nutritional management of celiac disease including the award-winning book Real Life with Celiac Disease. Melinda was the original founder of NCA in 1993 and so it is only fitting that she comes back to us in this capacity. We are truly honored to have her on our team.