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Ice cream vs Sherbet - Health impact and Nutrition Comparison

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Ice cream
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Sherbet

Introduction

Ice cream is a popular semi-frozen food. Its main ingredients are sugar, cream, flavoring, and milk. Given its composition, ice cream is considered a dairy product because it is mainly done with milk, cream, or butterfat. 

Ice cream can be made to be full fat, low fat or reduced fat, and light fat. The fat content of milk in ice cream ranges from 10 to 15%. Light fat ice cream is the one with the lowest composition of milk fat at 5%

Ice cream can have creamy flavors, like vanilla, chocolate, cookie, etc. In addition, it can be fruity or sweet, like melon, banana, bubble gum, etc.

Sherbet is made from fruit puree, sugar, and very low amounts of milk fat, 1-2%. It is a sorbet with added milk fat. Stabilizing elements can be added into sherbets, like vegetable gum, egg yolk, etc. The stabilizing elements enhance the texture of the sherbet. 

Nutritional content comparison

Fat

Ice cream contains more milk fat than sherbet, the fat content of ice cream is higher than the fat content of sherbet.

Ice cream has more saturated fat, monounsaturated fat, and cholesterol.

Ice cream contains 6.79g of saturated fat compared to sherbet which contains 1.16g. The daily recommended value of saturated fat is less than 20g

The monounsaturated fat content of milk is 2.9g, whereas, sherbet contains 0.53g 

The cholesterol content of ice cream is 44mg and sherbet contains far less cholesterol, nearly considered negligible, 1mg.

Sherbet is lower in fat and cholesterol content compared to ice cream. 

Protein

Ice cream contains higher amounts of proteins compared to sherbet, this is due to the dairy content of ice cream. Ice cream has 3.5g of protein compared to sherbet which has 1.1g.

Carbohydrate 

When it comes to carbohydrates, sherbet contains higher amounts of carbs (30.4g per 100g) compared to ice cream (23.6g per 100g). This is due to the fact that sherbet is based on fruit puree and added sugar compared to ice cream which is based on dairy. 

The glycemic index of sherbet is lower than the glycemic index of ice cream. Sherbet has a glycemic index of 51 which is the highest level in the low glycemic index range, and for ice cream, the glycemic index is 61 which is considered as a medium glycemic index food. 

Calories

Sherbet has 218 calories per 100g and ice cream has 313 calories per 100g.

Vitamin content comparison

Sherbet is richer in vitamin C compared to ice cream. However, ice cream contains more vitamins A and B2.

The vitamin C content in sherbet is 2.3mg and for ice cream 0.6mg, with the daily requirement being 65-90mg. 

Ice cream contains 126mcg of vitamin A, keeping in mind that the daily requirement for males is 900mcg and for females is 700mcg. For vitamin B2, the amount in ice cream is 0.24mg with the daily requirement for males is 1.3mg and for females is 1.1mg.

Ice cream also contains some amounts of vitamin D, B12, B5, however, their amounts are not of importance. 

Mineral content comparison

Sherbet and ice cream have similar mineral profiles, however, their distribution is different;

  • Calcium: sherbet contains 54mg while ice cream contains 128mg. The daily requirement is 1000mg a day.
  • Sodium: sherbet contains 46mg while ice cream contains 80mg. 
  • Zinc: sherbet contains 0.48mg and ice cream 0.69mg. The daily requirement is 8mg for women and 11mg for men. 

Ice cream also contains 200mg of potassium. 

As seen in the data above, the mineral profile of sherbet and ice cream is similar when content is discussed, however, the amounts are 2-2.5x higher for ice cream. 

Health impacts

Individuals who have cholesterol or blood fat disorders must be careful when consuming ice cream in unmoderated quantities. 

Ice cream contains probiotic characteristics than influence the gut bacteria, the normal flora. (1)

Ice cream having a glycemic index above the low threshold contributes to developing acne in teenagers. (2)

Ice cream or sherbets for diabetics

Sherbets sometimes are considered healthier alternatives than ice cream because of the lower fat content. However, the sugar content of sherbets is higher compared to ice cream. For individuals who are diabetic and consider consuming a refreshing dessert, it is a better alternative to consume ice cream, in low amounts, instead of consuming sherbets. 

Varieties

Sherbets and ice creams have a wide range of flavors. Thus, the mineral, macronutrient, and vitamin contents can vary accordingly. 

A vanilla ice cream has different sugar and fat content compared to brownie or cookie ice cream. 

Similarly, sherbets with different flavors like raspberry, lemon, orange have different vitamin and mineral differences between them. These changes do not necessarily mean that there is a drastic change in the vitamin and mineral contents, however, the variation must be taken into consideration. 

A famous party beverage is the sherbet punch, the sherbet punch is made with different fruit juices, or a lime soda (7up). The sugar content must be taken into consideration because the amount of sugar tends to be high in them. 

Ice cream has an above low-level threshold glycemic index and is associated with acne formation in teenagers. In order to prevent this or reduce the risk of acne development or intensity lower, moderate amounts of ice cream are recommended to be consumed. 

Another aspect of both sherbet and ice cream is in the methods of producing them. Additives are usually added that can be harmful to the body and gut microbiomes. It is recommended to avoid ice creams and sherbets that have additives in them. 

Summary

In summary, sherbet is rich in vitamin C and has higher amounts of carbohydrates, and a lower glycemic index and calories. In comparison, ice cream is richer in calcium, zinc, sodium, potassium, vitamins A and B2, protein, and higher amounts of fats and cholesterol.

References

  1. https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-12-384947-2.00385-8
  2. https://doi.org/10.1186/1471-5945-12-13
Article author photo Jack  Yacoubian
Profession: Haigazian Medical University
Last updated: November 29, 2020

Infographic

Ice cream vs Sherbet infographic
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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 Calcium +137%
Contains more Potassium +107.3%
Contains more Magnesium +75%
Contains more Zinc +43.8%
Contains more Phosphorus +162.5%
Contains more Iron +55.6%
Contains more Copper +21.7%
Contains less Sodium -42.5%
Iron Calcium Potassium Magnesium Copper Zinc Phosphorus Sodium 4% 39% 18% 10% 8% 19% 45% 11%
Iron Calcium Potassium Magnesium Copper Zinc Phosphorus Sodium 6% 17% 9% 6% 10% 14% 18% 6%
Contains more Calcium +137%
Contains more Potassium +107.3%
Contains more Magnesium +75%
Contains more Zinc +43.8%
Contains more Phosphorus +162.5%
Contains more Iron +55.6%
Contains more Copper +21.7%
Contains less Sodium -42.5%

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 +815.2%
Contains more Vitamin E +2900%
Contains more Vitamin D +∞%
Contains more Vitamin B1 +51.9%
Contains more Vitamin B2 +147.4%
Contains more Vitamin B3 +84.1%
Contains more Vitamin B5 +159.4%
Contains more Vitamin B6 +108.7%
Contains more Vitamin B12 +200%
Contains more Vitamin K +∞%
Contains more Folate +25%
Contains more Vitamin C +283.3%
Vitamin C Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Vitamin B12 Vitamin K Folate 2% 26% 6% 6% 11% 56% 3% 35% 12% 49% 1% 4%
Vitamin C Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Vitamin B12 Vitamin K Folate 8% 3% 1% 0% 7% 23% 2% 14% 6% 17% 0% 3%
Contains more Vitamin A +815.2%
Contains more Vitamin E +2900%
Contains more Vitamin D +∞%
Contains more Vitamin B1 +51.9%
Contains more Vitamin B2 +147.4%
Contains more Vitamin B3 +84.1%
Contains more Vitamin B5 +159.4%
Contains more Vitamin B6 +108.7%
Contains more Vitamin B12 +200%
Contains more Vitamin K +∞%
Contains more Folate +25%
Contains more Vitamin C +283.3%

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
7
Sherbet
Mineral Summary Score
19
Ice cream
10
Sherbet

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
7%
Sherbet
Carbohydrates
24%
Ice cream
30%
Sherbet
Fats
51%
Ice cream
9%
Sherbet

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 Sherbet
Lower in Cholesterol ok
Lower in Sodium ok
Lower in Saturated Fat ok
Lower in glycemic index ok
Lower in Sugar ok
Lower in price ok
Rich in minerals ok
Rich in vitamins ok

Which food is preferable for your diet?

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

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Comparison summary

Which food is lower in Cholesterol?
Sherbet
Sherbet is lower in Cholesterol (difference - 43mg)
Which food contains less Sodium?
Sherbet
Sherbet contains less Sodium (difference - 34mg)
Which food is lower in Saturated Fat?
Sherbet
Sherbet is lower in Saturated Fat (difference - 5.63g)
Which food is lower in glycemic index?
Sherbet
Sherbet is lower in glycemic index (difference - 3)
Which food is lower in Sugar?
Ice cream
Ice cream is lower in Sugar (difference - 3.1g)
Which food is cheaper?
Ice cream
Ice cream is cheaper (difference - $2)
Which food is richer in minerals?
Ice cream
Ice cream is relatively richer in minerals
Which food is richer in vitamins?
Ice cream
Ice cream is relatively richer in vitamins

All nutrients comparison - raw data values

Nutrient Ice cream Sherbet Opinion
Calories 207 144 Ice cream
Protein 3.5 1.1 Ice cream
Fats 11 2 Ice cream
Vitamin C 0.6 2.3 Sherbet
Carbs 23.6 30.4 Sherbet
Cholesterol 44 1 Sherbet
Vitamin D 8 0 Ice cream
Iron 0.09 0.14 Sherbet
Calcium 128 54 Ice cream
Potassium 199 96 Ice cream
Magnesium 14 8 Ice cream
Sugar 21.22 24.32 Ice cream
Fiber 0.7 1.3 Sherbet
Copper 0.023 0.028 Sherbet
Zinc 0.69 0.48 Ice cream
Starch
Phosphorus 105 40 Ice cream
Sodium 80 46 Sherbet
Vitamin A 421 46 Ice cream
Vitamin E 0.3 0.01 Ice cream
Vitamin D 0.2 0 Ice cream
Vitamin B1 0.041 0.027 Ice cream
Vitamin B2 0.24 0.097 Ice cream
Vitamin B3 0.116 0.063 Ice cream
Vitamin B5 0.581 0.224 Ice cream
Vitamin B6 0.048 0.023 Ice cream
Vitamin B12 0.39 0.13 Ice cream
Vitamin K 0.3 0 Ice cream
Folate 5 4 Ice cream
Trans Fat
Saturated Fat 6.79 1.16 Sherbet
Monounsaturated Fat 2.969 0.53 Ice cream
Polyunsaturated fat 0.452 0.08 Ice cream
Tryptophan 0.045 Ice cream
Threonine 0.146 Ice cream
Isoleucine 0.195 Ice cream
Leucine 0.316 Ice cream
Lysine 0.258 Ice cream
Methionine 0.081 Ice cream
Phenylalanine 0.157 Ice cream
Valine 0.217 Ice cream
Histidine 0.088 Ice cream
Fructose

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. Sherbet - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/167577/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.