Chocolate Ice Cream Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits

Easy No-Cook Chocolate Ice Cream

The Spruce / Diana Rattray

Chocolate ice cream is a staple in home freezers everywhere and has long remained a favorite treat of dessert enthusiasts. You will find this frozen delight enjoyed by young and old.

It's not uncommon to see it on boardwalks during beach vacations, in summer backyard get-togethers, and even throughout wintertime when frozen foods typically do not see the light. People will still spoon up chocolate ice cream, no matter what the season or weather.  

Although chocolate ice cream contains a heavy dose of sugar, the dessert does offer some health benefits. Chocolate provides natural chemicals that can help protect you from cardiovascular disease and stroke, and the calcium in ice cream can work to build strong bones.

Chocolate Ice Cream Nutrition Facts

This nutrition information for 1/2 cup (64 grams) of chocolate ice cream is provided by the USDA.

  • Calories: 143
  • Fat: 7.26g
  • Sodium: 50.2mg
  • Carbohydrates: 18.6g
  • Fiber: 0.792g
  • Sugars: 16.8g
  • Protein: 2.51g

Carbs

Chocolate ice cream contains almost 19 grams of carbs, which come from high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, cocoa, and guar gum, a natural thickening agent.

Fats

The fats in chocolate ice cream come from milk products as well as various syrups used for flavoring. There are also non-fat or low-fat ice creams available from a number of brands.

Protein

Depending on the brand of chocolate ice cream you select, you can get up to 2.5 to 3 grams of protein per serving. The protein is found in milk and whey protein.

Vitamins and Minerals

Chocolate ice cream contains 71.9 milligrams of calcium, 19.1 milligrams of magnesium, 70.6 milligrams of phosphorus, 164 milligrams of potassium, and 0.462 milligrams of vitamin C.

It also contains 50.2 milligrams of sodium. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends keeping your sodium count at less than 2,300 milligrams per day, an equivalent of about 1 teaspoon of table salt.

To boost the nutritional benefits of eating chocolate ice cream, try adding a scoop of berries to a serving. You also can slice a banana and add it to the top or heat up a tablespoon of peanut butter and drizzle over the top for additional protein.

Calories

A 1/2 cup of chocolate ice cream contains 143 calories, although this can vary depending on brand and type. For example, non-fat or low-fat ice cream could contain fewer calories.

Health Benefits

The ingredients of chocolate ice cream could provide some health benefits. Here is an overview of the potential health benefits of chocolate ice cream.

May Prevent Heart Disease

The cocoa added to create chocolate ice cream is rich in a chemical called flavanol, which can help protect the heart. Several observational studies support the benefits of cocoa flavanols. For instance, flavanol supports the production of nitric oxide in the cell lining of blood vessels, which helps improve blood flow and lower blood pressure.

What's more, several observational studies found a link between high cocoa or chocolate intake of 6 grams daily (1 to 2 small squares) and a reduced risk of heart disease. They also noted that eating dark chocolate daily could also play a part in reducing blood pressure and inflammation.

May Reduce Stroke Risk

Eating chocolate might lower your risk of stroke, according to a voluminous study published in Heart. Researchers tracked how diet impacts long-term health on 25,000 men and women using a baseline food frequency questionnaire. They found that eating chocolate every day can minimize stroke risk.

They also found that higher chocolate intake is associated with a lower risk of future cardiovascular events. What's more, researchers note that there does not appear to be any evidence suggesting that chocolate should be avoided in those who are concerned about cardiovascular risk.

May Improve Athletic Performance

Those who participate in endurance sports might want to consider adding dark chocolate to their diet. In a study from the Journal of the International Society of Sports Medicine, researchers found that in a randomized, crossover study on male cyclists, eating 40 grams of dark chocolate resulted in a higher gas exchange threshold, enhanced time-trial performance, and reduced oxygen expenditure of moderate-intensity exercise.

May Promote Muscle Growth

Ice cream contains calcium, which the body needs for muscular movement and for nerves to carry messages between the brain and other body parts. Calcium also helps vessels move blood to organs, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Calcium helps release hormones and enzymes that impact almost every function in the human body. And, this nutrient helps maintain strong bones while carrying out important functions.

Boosts the Immune System

The magnesium in ice cream can help prevent you from catching a cold. This macronutrient is one of the most powerful minerals that can boost your immune system and destroy germs.

However, about half of adults in the United States do not consume enough of it. Low magnesium can lead to inflammation, causing the body to fight itself rather than any outside substances (such as bacteria) entering the body.

Allergies

Food allergies from chocolate ice cream are typically a result of milk or egg allergies. Although people might say they are allergic to chocolate, according to a published report, the majority of defined chocolate and cocoa allergies are actually thought to be a cross-contamination allergen from tree nuts, milk, or peanuts. No reports have shown any immediate allergy to chocolate.

People also may assume they are allergic to milk but instead are lactose intolerant. Lactose intolerance is a condition in which your body cannot digest all the lactose you consume. Symptoms include nausea, gastrointestinal distress, bloating, and stomach pain, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK).

If you are concerned that you may have a food allergy or are lactose intolerant, talk to a healthcare provider about your symptoms.

Storage and Food Safety

You should store ice cream in a freezer. When this frozen food is exposed to temperatures greater than 10 degrees Fahrenheit, changes in texture can occur. If you leave the ice cream out for longer than 2 hours, you should discard it as bacteria could grow at a quick pace and cause food poisoning. 

Ice Cream Storage Safety Tips

To ensure your safety against bacterial growth, you should follow these protocols, according to the International Dairy Foods Association:

  • When shopping at the grocery store, make ice cream the last item you put into your cart. This will keep it in the freezer for as long as possible.
  • If the market stores ice cream in bins, only pick a product below the freezer line.
  • Place the ice cream container in a separate area of your cart, away from warm or room temperature foods.
  • Keep the ice cream in the main part of your freezer rather than in the door, as items in the door can get subjected to multiple temperatures. 
  • Always close the lid as tightly as possible. 
  • Put the container back in the freezer right after scooping.

Recipes

 

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10 Sources
Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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