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Ice cream vs Custard - Health impact and Nutrition Comparison

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Article author photo Jack  Yacoubian by Jack Yacoubian | Last updated on November 29, 2020
Education: Haigazian Medical University
Ice cream
vs
Custard

Summary

Ice cream is richer in zinc vitamins A, B2, and C. It has higher amounts of carbohydrates, fats, a higher glycemic index, and calories. In comparison, the custard is richer in calcium, selenium, vitamins D and B5, and cholesterol. The content of protein, sodium, and potassium is similar.

Introduction

Ice cream is one of the most famous refreshing desserts. It is mainly made with cream, milk/milkfat, sugar, and flavorings. Ice cream is considered a dairy dessert, mainly because it's made with butterfat, milk/milk fat, or cream.

There are different types of ice cream; other than flavors, the fat content can make a difference. Ice cream can be sold as light fat, reduced fat, low, and full fat. The lowest fat content of ice cream is the light fat which contains 5% milk fat. The upper range of fat content is 10-15%.

There can be different ice cream flavors, from fruity flavors like banana, strawberry, melon to creamy flavors like brownies, vanilla, and chocolate.

Custard is not very different from ice cream as they have the same essential ingredients; milk, cream, and sugar. However, an additional main ingredient is added to custard which is egg yolk. Flour or cornstarch can also be added as ingredients to give it a more solid texture. However, this is optional. The two most common flavors of custard are vanilla and chocolate. Other flavors can also be available but not as common, and these flavors are; raspberry, strawberry, and mango. These flavors are usually in the form of powdered custard and synthetic.

Nutritional content comparison

Fat

The fat content of ice cream is 11g compared to custard's fat content, which is 4g—the fat content of ice cream is much higher than custards.

Ice cream, compared to custard, contains higher amounts of saturated fats and monounsaturated fats. However, custard contains more cholesterol, and this is due to the additional egg yolk as the main ingredient in its preparation.

The daily recommendation of saturated fat is less than 20g. Ice cream's saturated fat content is 6.79g, and custard contains 2.03g of saturated fat.

Milk contains 2.9g of monounsaturated fat compared to custard which contains 1.1g.

Custard, having additional egg yolk in its ingredients, has more cholesterol relative to ice cream. The cholesterol of custard is 51mg compared to ice cream, which is 44mg.

Ice cream has a higher fat content, and custard contains higher amounts of cholesterol.

Protein

The protein content of ice cream and custard are nearly similar, with a slight negligible difference. Ice cream contains 3.5g of proteins compared to custard which contains 3.4g of proteins.

Carbohydrate

Ice cream compared to custard contains higher amounts of carbohydrates, 23.6g, whereas custard contains 17.6g of carbohydrates.

Sugars

Ice cream contains higher amounts of sugars than custard, as the sugar content of ice cream is 21.22g and for custard 4.82g.

The sugar content of ice cream is 4.4x higher than that of custard.

Glycemic index

Custard is considered a low glycemic food, with a glycemic index of 38. On the other hand, ice cream is considered a medium glycemic index food, with a glycemic index of 61.

Calories

Custard has far fewer calories per 100g compared to ice cream. Custard has 110 calories, whereas ice cream has 313 calories.

Vitamin content comparison

Ice cream and custard have mainly similar vitamin profiles. Similar vitamins are vitamin A, B2, B5, and D.

The vitamin profile of both ice cream and custard are as follows:

  • Vitamin A: 421 IU for ice cream and 182 IU for custard
  • Vitamin B2: Similar in both at 0.24mg for ice cream and 0.22mg for custard
  • Vitamin D: 0.2 mcg for ice cream, whereas for custard its 1.2mcg
  • Vitamin B5: 0.58mg for ice cream and 0.7mg for custard

Thus, ice cream is richer in vitamin A and B2, and custard is relatively richer in vitamin D and B5.

An additional vitamin that is relatively higher in ice cream than custard is vitamin C at 0.6mg.

The daily requirement is between 65 and 95mg.

Vitamin Comparison

Vitamin comparison score is based on the number of vitamins by which one or the other food is richer. The "coverage" chart below show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of the food
:
Contains more Vitamin A +131.3%
Contains more Vitamin E +400%
Contains more Vitamin C +500%
Contains more Vitamin K +50%
Contains more Vitamin D +500%
Contains more Vitamin B1 +48.8%
Contains more Vitamin B3 +13.8%
Contains more Vitamin B5 +20.3%
Contains more Vitamin B6 +33.3%
Contains more Folate +80%
Contains more Vitamin B12 +33.3%
Equal in Vitamin B2 - 0.22
Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin C Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Folate Vitamin B12 Vitamin K 26% 6% 6% 2% 11% 56% 3% 35% 12% 4% 49% 1%
Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin C Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Folate Vitamin B12 Vitamin K 11% 2% 36% 1% 16% 51% 3% 42% 15% 7% 65% 1%
Contains more Vitamin A +131.3%
Contains more Vitamin E +400%
Contains more Vitamin C +500%
Contains more Vitamin K +50%
Contains more Vitamin D +500%
Contains more Vitamin B1 +48.8%
Contains more Vitamin B3 +13.8%
Contains more Vitamin B5 +20.3%
Contains more Vitamin B6 +33.3%
Contains more Folate +80%
Contains more Vitamin B12 +33.3%
Equal in Vitamin B2 - 0.22

Mineral content comparison

Custard and ice cream are composed of similar minerals, however, with different distributions.

  • Calcium: custard contains 139mg compared to ice cream, which contains 128mg. With a daily requirement of 1000mg
  • Sodium: custard contains 84 mg, and ice cream contains 80mg—similar sodium content for both.
  • Potassium: Custard contains 207mg of potassium compared to ice cream, which contains 199mg. The potassium content similar to sodium can be considered similar for both of them.
  • Zinc: Custard contains 0.51mg and ice cream 0.69mg. With a daily requirement of 11mg for men and 8mg for women.

An additional mineral present in custard is selenium which is 6mcg with a daily requirement of 55mcg.

Mineral Comparison

Mineral comparison score is based on the number of minerals by which one or the other food is richer. The "coverage" chart below show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of the food
Contains more Zinc +35.3%
Contains more Iron +277.8%
Contains more Magnesium +14.3%
Contains more Phosphorus +23.8%
Contains more Copper +30.4%
Equal in Calcium - 139
Equal in Potassium - 207
Equal in Sodium - 84
Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Zinc Copper 39% 4% 10% 45% 18% 11% 19% 8%
Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Zinc Copper 42% 13% 12% 56% 19% 11% 14% 10%
Contains more Zinc +35.3%
Contains more Iron +277.8%
Contains more Magnesium +14.3%
Contains more Phosphorus +23.8%
Contains more Copper +30.4%
Equal in Calcium - 139
Equal in Potassium - 207
Equal in Sodium - 84

Health impacts

Both ice cream and custard contain cholesterol which we must consider for individuals who suffer from high cholesterol problems. For individuals with normal cholesterol levels, both should be consumed in moderate amounts. (1)

Ice cream contains probiotic characteristics that influence the gut bacteria, the normal flora. (2)

Acne

The high content of sugars and the high glycemic index of ice cream is related to the increased risk of acne development and severity in teenagers. Ice cream should be consumed in moderation by teenagers or young adults with acne. Alternatives to ice cream with lower amounts of sugar, like custards, are a better option. (3)

Diabetes

For diabetic individuals, it is preferable to consume custard compared to ice cream due to its lower glycemic index. The low glycemic index prevents insulin levels from spiking up and to the lower amounts of sugars. (4)

Varieties

Ice cream has a broader flavor range than custard. Thus it has a higher difference in its mineral, vitamin, and micronutrient composition.

A plain vanilla ice cream has a different fat and carbohydrate, specifically sugar content, then strawberry or cheesecake ice cream.

On the other hand, custard can be homemade or bought in powder form. The primary flavors are vanilla and chocolate; however, additional flavors can be found, strawberry and raspberry, for example. Usually, there is not much variation in their compositions.

Custards, however, can be found differently around Europe, it can range from a typical dessert to a gourmet dessert. Different preparation methods can be made, like caramel, chocolate syrup, whipped cream, among others. The nutritional profile of all these variations must be considered while preparing or consuming these types of custards.

We can make ice cream and custard to be non-dairy with alternative ingredients to milk and eggs in case of custard. Soy milk, almond milk can be used as milk alternatives. Instead of eggs, We can use bananas or other alternatives. The replacement of bananas makes the nutritional profile of both desserts highly different, with lower amounts of cholesterol and fats, which are one of the main concerns while consuming these foods.

Another important note on both ice cream and custard is the methods of preparation. Some ice cream and custard producers add additives, which can be harmful to the gut microbiome and develop problems in the long run. Avoiding ice cream and custards that have additional additives and conservatives in them is recommended.

References

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6115945/
  2. https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-12-384947-2.00385-8
  3. https://doi.org/10.1186/1471-5945-12-13
  4. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31374573/
Article author photo Jack  Yacoubian
Education: Haigazian Medical University
Last updated: November 29, 2020

Infographic

Ice cream vs Custard infographic
Infographic link

Comparison summary table

Pay attention to the most right column. It shows the amounts side by side, making it easier to realize the amount of difference.
Ice cream Custard
Lower in Sodium ok
Lower in Cholesterol ok
Lower in price ok
Lower in Sugar ok
Lower in Saturated Fat ok
Lower in glycemic index ok
Rich in minerals ok
Rich in vitamins Equal

All nutrients comparison - raw data values

Nutrient Ice cream Custard Opinion
Net carbs 22.9g 17.6g Ice cream
Protein 3.5g 3.99g Custard
Fats 11g 4g Ice cream
Carbs 23.6g 17.6g Ice cream
Calories 207kcal 122kcal Ice cream
Starch g g
Fructose g 0g Custard
Sugar 21.22g 4.82g Custard
Fiber 0.7g 0g Ice cream
Calcium 128mg 139mg Custard
Iron 0.09mg 0.34mg Custard
Magnesium 14mg 16mg Custard
Phosphorus 105mg 130mg Custard
Potassium 199mg 207mg Custard
Sodium 80mg 84mg Ice cream
Zinc 0.69mg 0.51mg Ice cream
Copper 0.023mg 0.03mg Custard
Vitamin A 421IU 182IU Ice cream
Vitamin E 0.3mg 0.06mg Ice cream
Vitamin D 8IU 47IU Custard
Vitamin D 0.2µg 1.2µg Custard
Vitamin C 0.6mg 0.1mg Ice cream
Vitamin B1 0.041mg 0.061mg Custard
Vitamin B2 0.24mg 0.22mg Ice cream
Vitamin B3 0.116mg 0.132mg Custard
Vitamin B5 0.581mg 0.699mg Custard
Vitamin B6 0.048mg 0.064mg Custard
Folate 5µg 9µg Custard
Vitamin B12 0.39µg 0.52µg Custard
Vitamin K 0.3µg 0.2µg Ice cream
Tryptophan 0.045mg 0.082mg Custard
Threonine 0.146mg 0.192mg Custard
Isoleucine 0.195mg 0.207mg Custard
Leucine 0.316mg 0.337mg Custard
Lysine 0.258mg 0.214mg Ice cream
Methionine 0.081mg 0.091mg Custard
Phenylalanine 0.157mg 0.173mg Custard
Valine 0.217mg 0.233mg Custard
Histidine 0.088mg 0.092mg Custard
Cholesterol 44mg 51mg Ice cream
Trans Fat g g
Saturated Fat 6.79g 2.032g Custard
Monounsaturated Fat 2.969g 1.127g Ice cream
Polyunsaturated fat 0.452g 0.312g Ice cream

Which food is preferable for your diet?

ok
ok
is better in case of low diet
Ice cream Custard
Low Fats diet ok
Low Carbs diet ok
Low Calories diet ok
Low glycemic index diet ok

People also compare

Vitamin and Mineral Summary Scores

The summary score is calculated by summing up the daily values contained in 300 grams of the product. Obviously the more the food fulfills human daily needs, the more the summary score is.
Vitamin Summary Score
17
Ice cream
20
Custard
Mineral Summary Score
19
Ice cream
22
Custard

Macronutrients Comparison

Macronutrient comparison charts compare the amount of protein, total fats, and total carbohydrates in 300 grams of the food. The displayed values show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of food.
Protein
21%
Ice cream
24%
Custard
Carbohydrates
24%
Ice cream
18%
Custard
Fats
51%
Ice cream
18%
Custard

Comparison summary

Which food contains less Sodium?
Ice cream
Ice cream contains less Sodium (difference - 4mg)
Which food is lower in Cholesterol?
Ice cream
Ice cream is lower in Cholesterol (difference - 7mg)
Which food is cheaper?
Ice cream
Ice cream is cheaper (difference - $1.5)
Which food is lower in Sugar?
Custard
Custard is lower in Sugar (difference - 16.4g)
Which food is lower in Saturated Fat?
Custard
Custard is lower in Saturated Fat (difference - 4.758g)
Which food is lower in glycemic index?
Custard
Custard is lower in glycemic index (difference - 27)
Which food is richer in minerals?
Custard
Custard is relatively richer in minerals
Which food is richer in vitamins?
?
It cannot be stated which food is richer in vitamins. See the charts below for detailed information. See the charts below for detailed information. See the charts below for detailed information.

References

The source of all the nutrient values on the page (excluding the main article the sources for which are presented separately if present) is the USDA's FoodCentral. The exact links to the foods presented on this page can be found below.

  1. Ice cream - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/167575/nutrients
  2. Custard - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/168773/nutrients

All the Daily Values are presented for males aged 31-50, for 2000 calorie diets.

Data provided by FoodStruct.com should be considered and used as information only. Please consult your physician before beginning any diet.