Along with aversion to some foods, pregnancy comes with some serious and unusual food cravings. Only a pregnant woman knows the severity of those cravings. And many of those foods may not be a healthy choice during pregnancy. Ice cream is one such most common food women crave when pregnant. Should you give into the craving and eat ice cream during pregnancy? Of course, you can. But pregnancy is a delicate time where you must eat healthy and nutritious for the health of you and your baby.

Let us understand how to eat ice cream during pregnancy and other important details that you should not miss.

Table of Contents:

Is it Safe to Eat Ice Cream During Pregnancy?

It is absolutely safe to eat ice cream during pregnancy. It is made of milk, cream, sugar and other ingredients that are harmless and,most times,beneficial for the body. Ice cream is also found to alleviate morning sickness during pregnancy. But you must follow certain caution and eat in moderation. As ice cream is a frozen dessert, it is very important that it should suit your general health. If frozen desserts cause sore throat, cold etc., you must eat in little portions and with care. Hygiene is also very important during pregnancy. Choose a brand or outlet that strictly maintains hygienic conditions.

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Nutritional Value of Ice Cream:

Ice cream is not just a pleasure food but nutritious too. It is rich in essential nutrients like calcium, magnesium potassium, zinc, phosphorus, vitamin A, vitamins B etc. These nutrients help in building healthy bones, eyes, nerves, muscle, skin etc. It is also rich in carbohydrates, proteins and fats which help in providing energy, building tissues etc. There are various flavours of ice cream like chocolate, mango, vanilla, coffee, butterscotch etc. and the caloric value depends on the type and flavor. A 100 gms of ice cream contains 180 to 260 calories.

Below is the nutritional information of simple vanilla flavor:

Calorie Information for 66 gm (half cup or one serving)

  • Total Carbohydrates – 15.6g
  • Dietary Fiber – 0.5g
  • Sugars – 14g
  • Fats – 7.3g
  • Protein – 2.3g
  • Vitamin A – 278mg
  • Vitamin C – 0.4mg
  • Vitamin E – 0.2mg
  • Vitamin K – 0.2mcg
  • Thiamin – 0.0mg
  • Riboflavin – 0.2mg
  • Niacin – 0.1mg
  • Vitamin B – 60.0mg
  • Folate – 3.3mcg
  • Vitamin B – 120.3mcg
  • Pantothenic Acid – 0.4mg
  • Choline – 17.2mg
  • Calcium – 84.5mg
  • Iron – 0.1mg
  • Magnesium – 9.2mg
  • Phosphorus – 69.3mg
  • Potassium – 131mg
  • Sodium – 52.8mg
  • Zinc – 0.5mg
  • Copper – 0.0mg
  • Manganese – 0.0mg
  • Selenium – 1.2mcg
  • Fluoride – 10.2mcg

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Risks of Ice Cream During Pregnancy:

Let us look at some risks involved with eating ice cream when you are pregnant:

1. Cold and Fever:

You may catch a cold, sore throat etc. by eating frozen desserts like ice creams. Severe cold may also cause fever and cough.

2. Infections:

If the milk and eggs used in preparing ice cream are not pasteurized, you will have the risk of contracting infections like E coli, salmonella, listeria etc. These infections not only affect the health of the mother but also cause pregnancy related complications. Listeria, though rare, is dangerous for pregnant women as it can cause miscarriage or stillbirths.

3. Obesity:

As ice cream is loaded with fats and sugar, you are at a risk of obesity if you consume it too much. Obesity or too much weight gain can cause complications in pregnancy.

4. Diabetes:

Women with diabetes must limit consumption as ice cream is loaded with sugar and calories. Pregnancy hormones also cause accumulation of glucose in the blood. Eating high calorie and sugar may increase blood glucose levels and cause gestational diabetes.

5. Respiratory Infections, Asthma and Sinusitis:

Ladies who are at a risk of respiratory infections, asthma and sinusitis should best avoid ice cream or consume with care as it worsens these conditions.

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Best Varieties of Ice Cream For Pregnancy:

Let us look at the best varieties of ice cream to safely eat when pregnant.

  • Non-fat ice cream varieties are always good if you are pregnant. They help you avoid saturated fats that increase bad cholesterol in the body.
  • Low sugar or zero sugar varieties work well if you are pregnant.
  • Yogurt ice cream is another variety that you can consume when pregnant. It is free from cream and fats. It is also less in sugar content compared to cream based variety. Yogurt also has its benefits for good health.
  • Frozen desserts like frozen custard, gelato, granita and sherbet are all healthy alternatives for regular ice cream.
  •  Homemade ice cream is the best to eat when pregnant as it is fresh and does not contain preservatives
  • Kulfi is the Indian version of ice cream which is more nutritious and safe than the regular ice cream.

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Ice Cream Varieties to Avoid During Pregnancy:

Ice cream flavours these days are unexpectedly creative and sometimes, unbelievably unusual. Let us look at some ice creams you must avoid when pregnant.

  1. Avoid any flavours or ingredients that have caffeine in them. Caffeine is linked to many pregnancy related complications and abnormal development of the baby. Coffee ice cream and green tea ice cream are common flavours containing caffeine.
  2. Some ice creams are very high in fat content. You must check the nutritional information before buying. The fats in ice cream are saturated fats and can cause cholesterol issues.
  3. Avoid ice creams made of vegetable oil instead of milk and cream.
  4. You must avoid ice creams with artificial dyes, titanium dioxide and hydrogenated soy bean oil.

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Things to Remember While Eating Ice Cream During Pregnancy:

Let us look at the things that you must be mindful of while eating ice cream when pregnant.

  • If you are allergic to nuts or other foods, double check the ingredients of the ice cream before eating
  •  It is good to go for ice cream with natural flavours and ingredients than artificial flavours and additives.
  • Make sure the ice cream is made of pasteurized milk and eggs. This is to avoid contracting harmful infections like listeria.
  • There are many good ice cream brands like Magnum, Halo Top, McDonalds, Quality Walls Cornetto etc. that sell very good ice cream. Choose the ice cream brand or outlet that strictly adheres to hygiene. To avoid the risk of food poisoning and infections you must choose ice cream prepared under hygienic conditions with clean and germ free ingredients and tools.

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Myths Related to Ice Cream During Pregnancy:

Many people believe ice cream can decrease the temperature of the body and affect the growth and development of the baby. But no study or research proves this, making it a mistaken belief or misconception. The unborn baby is affected when the mother is exposed to extremely low or cold weather conditions.

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Pregnancy is an interesting time of up and downs. Mood swings, food aversions, food cravings, yearnings for unusual food combinations and all make it fun but also a little irksome. With the information provided above, we are sure you will not have to worry about indulging in ice cream during pregnancy. We are waiting to know your experiences. So, feel free to comment below…

Frequently Asked Questions And Answers:

Q1. What Are The Reasons for Ice Cream Cravings During Pregnancy?

Ans: Around 50% – 90% of women experience food cravings during pregnancy. These food cravings start in the early pregnancy, in the first trimester, and decrease towards the end of third trimester. These cravings are linked to hormonal changes which are triggered by pregnancy and nutritional deficiencies. Ice cream craving is an indication that the body needs more calcium, sugar and cooling agent. Calcium is a very important mineral needed for the development for the baby. The mother also needs calcium to balance blood pressure and prevent complications in pregnancy.

Q2. How Much Ice Cream Can a Pregnant Woman Eat Per Day?

Ans: The amount of ice cream you can safely eat per day varies with the health of the body and various other factors. Some women can safely eat 2-3 scoops a day without any side effects or discomfort. But for some others, half a scoop can cause sore throat, runny nose and chills. Women who suffer from diabetes, asthma, respiratory infections etc. are advised to eat very tiny servings. If you are healthy, one scoop a day is a safe amount.

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Q3. Can I Have Liquid Nitrogen Ice Cream When Pregnant?

Ans: Liquid nitrogen ice cream is not recommended during pregnancy. The extremely cold temperature can harm the internal organs of the mother, cause complications in pregnancy and harm the growing baby. Sometimes the side effects could be fatal for the mother and baby.

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