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The benefits and disadvantages of our favorite dessert, ice-cream

Updated on June 30, 2013

How to make french vanilla ice-cream

Ice-cream. The words conjure up images of delight, enjoyment and delectable sin.

Ice-cream must be the world’s favorite cold dessert, eaten with abandon and relish when we want to forget, at least for a moment, the stresses of living. We bond over ice-cream and lovingly complain of the extra calories it piles upon our waists. We use it to placate others, and ourselves when we feel a little worse for wear.

Ice-cream has gotten a bad reputation for being both sugary and sinful. And so it is. As a form of assurance to those who do love this dessert, it is not ALL bad. It has, to everyone’s great relief, some comforting benefits if not consumed too voraciously.

What are these benefits? How, in fact, is ice-cream disadvantageous to the body? This article addresses these questions, delineates the history of ice-cream,clarifies a few myths and facts and presents a little Epulaeryu tribute to our favorite dessert.

Which is your favorite ice-cream flavor?

Which is your favorite ice-cream flavor?

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The invention of the ice-cream

The history of ice-cream

Many would be pleased to realize the almost immortal nature of this fine dessert. Dating back to the 4th Century B.C., the Roman Emperor Nero first ordered ice to be brought to his mountain retreats and covered with fruit toppings. Emperor Tang of the Shang Dynasty (A.D. 618-697) of the Shang Dynasty had a way of concocting ice and cream combinations. These concoctions, over the years, were slowly brought to Europe and served in Italian and French royal courts.

When the dessert arrived in America, influential people like its first President, George Washington and Thomas Jefferson first served it to their guests. London caterer Philip Lenzi announced that he had the wonderful cold confection for sale in 1774. The official term ‘ice-cream” was first used by American colonists. New York has the honor of having the first ice-cream parlor to open in America, and it dates back to 1776/7, though its name remains ambiguous.

The waffle cone is invented : the claims of two challengers

There are many theories that debate the invention of the ice-cream cone. Most credit goes to Ernst Hamwi, whose ‘zalabia’ or waffle like pastry that he sold from his pushcart was given to neighboring sell Arnold Fornachou at the St Louis Fair of 1904

Other credits goto Italo Marchiony, who sold Lemon Ice from his push cart. He dealt with the problems of hygiene, because lemon ice at the time was sold from glasses and termed ‘Penny Licks”. It cost a penny to lick the glass. The sanitation, or lack thereof, can be imagined.

Aside from that, people would either break the glasses or walk off with them. Therefore, the ice-cream cone - an edible container made of edible waffle cups - was born.


The disadvantages of ice-cream

When it comes to the pros and cons of ice-cream, I choose to begin discussing its disadvantages first, as it is what many would be more familiar with. We all know the health risks having too much of this delicious treat will pose.


We all know that high fat content in ice cream is a contributing factor of weight gain, and will be hard to contend with because an ice-cream treat is oh-so-delicious.

Aside from this, the high sugar content in some ice cream does not make it a proper slimming antidote.

The dangers of dairy

Ice-cream, being a dairy product, is derived from our favorite farm animals. Research has shown that these are a contributing cause to leukemia, a blood disorder previously linked to being Fairer skinned.

It is shown that those with darker skin tones are also prone to being at risk from an over consumption of dairy products.


Female farm animals are injected with synthetic estrogen to quicken development and produce its milk a little faster.

It is not surprising that it has the same effect on human beings and can cause them to reach the fullness of development a little too quickly.


We love ice-cream because of its sweetness and its complementary number one drug, sugar.

  • Sucrol

  • Maltose

  • Dextrose

  • Glucose

  • Saccharin

  • Aspartame

  • Xylitol

Asparthame and saccharin has been noted for being cancer causing because they are carcinogenic. Sugar converts to fat in the human body and is stored as fatty reserves, making ice-cream bad news.


The benefits of ice-cream

Our favorite treat should not be given such a bad health reputation, however. It is known for having some useful benefits, if eaten in moderation.

High calcium content

Being a dairy product, the creamy variety of ice cream is said to contain high amounts of calcium.

It is less fattening than made out to be.

Yes, our favorite cream does contain large amounts of saturated fat. That puts one in fear of eating the dessert for fear of spoiling the diet or unnecessary weight gain.

However, one serving of ice-cream contains about 10% of our needed energy intake a day. It contributes only about 15% of our daily requirement of fat. If eaten in moderation, ice-cream can still be enjoyed.

A source of vitamins and minerals

Ice-cream is also a source of important vitamins and minerals. It is rich in phosphorus, as well as Vitamins A,C,D and E.

Not a cause of colds

Our favorite dessert, contrary to popular belief does not cause coughs or colds and it is warmed up by the time it reaches the oesophagus.


Myths surrounding ice-cream

We have all grown up around the weight increasing, mucus producing and asthma causing features of dairy products. Some of these myths may not be as true as they seem, so certain of our fears should be debunked.

  • Dairy products cause you to put on weight.

Dairy products are infamous for being the contributors of weight gain. In actual fact, adding three servings of LOW FAT dairy foods in a CALORIE CONTROLLED diet may actually result in weight loss.

  • Spinach can substitute the calcium provision of dairy products.

There is more calcium in 1 cup of milk than 16 cups of spinach. Unless we are prepared to be Popeye, spinach cannot substitute milk as a calcium provider totally.

  • People whose bodies are lactose intolerant should not consume calcium

Lactose intolerance is not an an allergic reaction to dairy products but rather the inability of the body to digest milk sugar lactose. Lactose free dairy products would therefore be a good alternative, and there is no need to avoid calcium totally.

  • Dairy products cause asthma

Infants with milk allergies are prone to be asthmatic, but there is no research proving that dairy product consumption is a direct cause of asthma.

  • Dairy products increase the risk of heart disease

A diet rich in saturated fat, regardless of the source is a cause of heart disease. Blame should not be shifted to the good old dairy product or ice-cream totally.

  • Calcium supplements are a good substitute for dairy products.

Milk is a good source of calcium. It also contains other high quality nutrients such as protein, vitamins A, D, B12, riboflavin; zinc; potassium and magnesium.

Fermented dairy products can also be a source of probiotic organisms excellent for gastrointestinal health.

  • Dairy products cause mucus.

Some people mistake the thin film left in the mouth after consuming their ice-cream or milk as mucus.

It is, in fact, milk fat that melts near body temperature.

  • The human digestive system cannot accept cow’s milk.

Humans are omnivorous and can eat animal and dairy products, because of our inherent lactose enzyme.

  • Dairy products cause kidney stones.

It is suggested that calcium may actually bind to oxalates or organic acids in food, aiding digestion.

  • Dairy products cause acne.

The fact that dairy products are a direct cause of acne has not been scientifically proven.

What is an epulaeryu?

An epulaeryu is a poetic form that highlights our favorite delicacies ,so I have decided to include an epulaeryu tribute to ice-cream The author Joseph Spence combined the Latin word “Epulae” for feast with the Japanese word Ryu or form. Hence we have the epulaeryu.

The epulaeryu has 33 syllables. The first line has seven, the next 5, the third seven, the fourth five and so on in this order:


The last line that contains only 1 syllable has to end with an exclamation mark. This is so as to emphasize, of course, the poets favorite food.

Enjoy this little poem to ice-cream.

An Epulaeryu tribute to ice-cream

Epulaeryu by Michelle Liew Tsui-Lin
Epulaeryu by Michelle Liew Tsui-Lin | Source


So, the next time you decide to indulge in ice-cream, do not feel that pang of guilt, but remember to eat in moderation. Have a happy weekend!


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    • midget38 profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Liew 

      7 years ago from Singapore

      Ice-cream is always a heavenly treat! Thanks for sharing, Denise.

    • midget38 profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Liew 

      7 years ago from Singapore

      Thanks, Barbara!

    • go-barbara-go profile image


      7 years ago

      I love ice cream! Favorite bonding food shared with my daughter.

      Thank you for this informative hub.

    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 

      7 years ago from North Carolina

      A very interesting hub, Michelle. I love ice cream, but have to watch eating it because I'm lactose intolerant. My favorite flavor of ice cream comes from the company: Ben and Jerry's and it's called Phish food-a chocolate base filled with marshmallow and fudge chunks. YUM! Rated up/interesting and shared.

    • midget38 profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Liew 

      7 years ago from Singapore

      Thanks, Vinaya!

    • Vinaya Ghimire profile image

      Vinaya Ghimire 

      7 years ago from Nepal

      Even though I eat ice cream, I'm not particularly fond of this dessert.

      From history to the flavor, you have included everything one needs to know about ice cream. Great hub.

    • midget38 profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Liew 

      7 years ago from Singapore

      Thanks, Janet!!

    • janetwrites profile image

      Janet Giessl 

      7 years ago from Georgia country

      I write a lot about healthy eating nevertheless I also eat ice cream but with moderation. I have never seen such a great article about ice cream yet. Interesting facts, wonderful presentation and a beautiful poem. The pictures look very delicious.

    • midget38 profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Liew 

      7 years ago from Singapore

      That is too true, actually Gwen. Some how, someone will say that this food is harmful, harmless, or contains this or that...come up with some new research that debunks this or that....and in the end, as I said, everything in moderation and we will not go wrong! Thanks for sharing, Gwen!

    • midget38 profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Liew 

      7 years ago from Singapore

      Thanks, Lurana! Always glad to share an ice-cream!

    • midget38 profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Liew 

      7 years ago from Singapore

      Oh don't worry, tattwurn, it looks like everyone shares that sentiment, including me! LOL! Thanks for coming by and it is really nice to meet you!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I love ice cream, especially in the summer!! Have to have it as a shake or and ice cream dish or cone. I don't usually read up on all the hype about our food products, knowing down the road, the story will change somehow? But, I like your informative hub. : ) Voted it up and interesting!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Excellent, informative, fascinating history...and it's so wonderful to read the pros of ice cream! Sharing. :-) Lurana

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I've just had an ice cream tonight. Hehehehe.

      I may have known of the bad things about ice cream, but I just wanted to know about the good things of ice cream here in this hub hehehe. :)

      Very informative and well-written all around midget! :)

    • midget38 profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Liew 

      7 years ago from Singapore

      Hi Jackie, guess Sherbet gets away from the bad rap as it's less creamy! Thanks for sharing!!

    • midget38 profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Liew 

      7 years ago from Singapore

      Thanks, Mike.

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 

      7 years ago from the beautiful south

      Wow I did not know about those bad things. Something to think about! Thanks for all that info! I do have a lot of sherbet in summer, fat free. Maybe it is not really ice cream? lol I will have to see.

    • midget38 profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Liew 

      7 years ago from Singapore

      Ish, strawberry cheesecake is divine!! If my sweet tooth acts up, I like a good dose of cookies and cream. Thanks for sharing!!

    • Mike Robbers profile image

      Mike Robbers 

      7 years ago from London

      Great hub! Informative and well presented. Ice-cream is a favorite summer treat so it's to know some of the disadvantages.

    • midget38 profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Liew 

      7 years ago from Singapore

      Thanks, Eddy!

    • Eiddwen profile image


      7 years ago from Wales

      W0nderful Michelle and voted up as always.


    • midget38 profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Liew 

      7 years ago from Singapore

      Thanks, Caree!

    • midget38 profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Liew 

      7 years ago from Singapore

      Wow! Thanks, Hatter!

    • midget38 profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Liew 

      7 years ago from Singapore

      Thanks for the share, Rasma.

    • midget38 profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Liew 

      7 years ago from Singapore

      Hope that you've enjoyed it, Career mommy! I think most people would love the advantages! Thanks for sharing!

    • midget38 profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Liew 

      7 years ago from Singapore

      There are many disputes as to the date, but it was basically started because of a need for cold ice! Thanks for sharing, Rebecca!

    • midget38 profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Liew 

      7 years ago from Singapore

      Thanks Ruchira, you are right, it's fine in moderation!

    • midget38 profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Liew 

      7 years ago from Singapore

      Hope you've enjoyed it, Jenn Anne!

    • midget38 profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Liew 

      7 years ago from Singapore

      Hi, Pinto, thanks for sharing! Have some this weekend!

    • midget38 profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Liew 

      7 years ago from Singapore

      Thank you, Nithya!!!

    • midget38 profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Liew 

      7 years ago from Singapore

      Can completely understand, Rose, and I wouldn't, either! Thanks for sharing.

    • Ceres Schwarz profile image

      Ceres Schwarz 

      7 years ago

      Great hub on ice cream. This is really very detailed and filled with a lot of useful information on the benefits and disadvantages of ice cream. Ice cream is a really well-loved dessert by many people. Your poem on ice cream was also good.

    • midget38 profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Liew 

      7 years ago from Singapore

      Thanks, Peggy! A

      So for tweeting and sharing!

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 

      7 years ago from San Francisco

      Many moons ago I worked at an ice cream shop. I learned more from you than I ever knew,

    • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

      Gypsy Rose Lee 

      7 years ago from Daytona Beach, Florida

      Thanks for sharing this iformative and I should say delicious hub. Love ice cream. Passing this on.

    • Careermommy profile image

      Tirralan Watkins 

      7 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      Very timely hub. I literally just finished eating a scoop of snikerdoodle ice cream. I loved hearing about the advantages! LOL. This is a really detailed and well put together hub.

    • midget38 profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Liew 

      7 years ago from Singapore

      Please do Mary!! Would be honored. More advantages indeed!!

    • midget38 profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Liew 

      7 years ago from Singapore

      Oh, believe me, I can understand, Bill! Thanks for sharing!

    • midget38 profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Liew 

      7 years ago from Singapore

      Thanks, Peachurple! In moderation, ice-cream's long as we do not stuff ourselves!

    • midget38 profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Liew 

      7 years ago from Singapore

      I scream for ice-cream, Mary!

    • midget38 profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Liew 

      7 years ago from Singapore

      Thanks, J9, yes, it gets the unhealthy rap! Thanks for sharing!

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 

      7 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      Funny to stumble across this. I just read somewhere that ice cream was "invented" in 1776. Nice hub. I want ice cream!

    • Ruchira profile image


      7 years ago from United States


      Lovely hub especially on this hot day...felt good to read about it. I am restraining myself from this sugar food and indulge once in a week.

      I also liked your Epulaeryu. Honestly never heard of this word until now :)

      Shared across, my friend and voting as useful, awesome!

    • Jenn-Anne profile image


      7 years ago

      I came across this hub at just the right moment since I'm just getting ready to head out for some ice cream. Lots of interesting facts. I especially enjoyed reading about the history of the waffle cone. Yum!

    • pinto2011 profile image


      7 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Hi midget! Today I learned so much about icecream which were otherwise totally unknown to me. Thanks to your research and insight.

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 

      7 years ago from Dubai

      Totally enjoyed your hub on ice creams, the poem is the delicious cherry on top of the ice cream. Awesome, interesting and deeeeeeeeeeelicious!!

    • rose-the planner profile image

      rose-the planner 

      7 years ago from Toronto, Ontario-Canada

      I am not even going to look at the disadvantages, lol. That picture up top is making me crave ice cream. This was such a great article full of wonderful information on everybody's favourite dessert. Thank you for sharing. (Voted Up) -Rose

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      7 years ago from Houston, Texas

      What a fantastic hub all about ice cream. I think that people the world over love this sweet indulgence. You have written about so many aspects of it that this should zoom to Google heights, I would think. Many up votes and will share with my followers and also tweet and pin.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      7 years ago from Sunny Florida

      Everyone loves ice cream at our home. This was a very interesting hub. I have asthma so I don't eat dairy, but I do find I can have a little frozen yogurt. It is quite good also. Cute poem as well. Voted up!

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 

      7 years ago from Florida

      It is definitely ice cream weather here! I make it year round in my electric ice cream maker. I wrote a Hub about that. May I link this Hub to mine?

      There are more advantages to eating ice cream than disadvantages in my opinion!

      I enjoyed the poem, too.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      7 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I only read about the benefits. I didn't want to hear about the disadvantages. LOL

    • peachpurple profile image


      7 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      I love this ice-cream hub. It's good to know that there are some benefits in consuming ice-cream. Everybody knows the disadvantages but still indulge in eating ice-cream. Voted up

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 

      7 years ago from New York

      Michelle you are a star! This hub just shines from start to finish. No really. The subject matter is an eternal cream! The facts are all very interesting, your Epulaeryu tribute to ice-cream was delectable and your dividers adorable!

      Voted up, useful, awesome, interesting and shared.

    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 

      7 years ago from New York, New York

      I loved learning more about one of my favorite desserts. It truly gets a bad rap at times, but loved you showed both the positives and negatives here and your poem was awesome!! Have, of course, voted up and shared, too!!

    • ishwaryaa22 profile image

      Ishwaryaa Dhandapani 

      7 years ago from Chennai, India

      A wonderful hub highlighting the history, benefits, demerits and debunking myths! Your epulaeryu is really amazing. The photos are drool-worthy. Ice-cream tops my list of favorite desserts. My favorite flavors are Butterscotch & Strawberry Cheesecake. Well-done!

      Thanks for SHARING. Useful, Awesome & Interesting. Voted up

    • midget38 profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Liew 

      7 years ago from Singapore

      On the benefits and disadvantages of ice-cream, and an Epulaeryu poem.


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