Cold, sweet ice cream cones are a favorite summertime treat—but don’t overdo it.
They’re high in calories and less nutritious than you probably think. That goes for frozen yogurt and flavored snow cones too, according to Suzy Weems, a professor of family and consumer sciences at Baylor University in Waco, Texas.
Many people think ice cream is a good source of vitamin D and calcium.
Not so fast, Weems said.
“It does have calcium along with vitamin D, vitamin A and some of the B vitamins to help with energy release, along with about 2.5 to 3 grams of protein—not much, but more than none,” she said in a university news release.
But at about 145 calories for a half-cup of vanilla and 160 for chocolate chip, it can break your diet—and fast.
A half-cup of vanilla frozen yogurt has about 117 calories and a little more calcium and protein, but Weems said it’s not any healthier.
As for snow cones, which are generally syrup and flavorings poured over shaved ice, Weems pointed out that each ounce of flavored syrup contains about 90 calories (4 calories for sugar-free).
In other words, you’re basically gobbling down sugar water.
“Sweetness doesn’t quench your thirst, but few people are going to drink water after a snow cone,” Weems said.
If you really crave a shaved ice treat, she suggests a pickle-juice cone. Its sourness will make you thirsty and kick-start your natural cooling system.
“The more you drink, the more you sweat,” Weems said. “When sweat evaporates, you’re cooler.”