Friday, September 17, 2010

Day 62+ Icecream vs Sorbet

-Post may induce cravings-

I figured I'd start today off with a quick comparison of Ice cream and Sorbet. I think most people believe that Sorbet is a healthy alternative to the fatty dessert, ice cream. Which it kind of is. But there's a lot more going on behind that icy dessert than what you thought.

For my own curiosity I looked up the calories of some common household ice creams. Vanilla, Strawberry, Neapolitan, and for fun Bear Claw. The calories in each of these ice creams for 1/2cup (ya I know, who eats only 1/2cup of this?) is 100, 110, 130, and 150. So it looks like the more "stuff" you throw into regular ice cream the higher calorie content with some exceptions (french vanilla is 140 cals). But where do these calories come from? Mostly, fat. 60-90 calories come from fat. 6-8g of it in fact, half of which is saturated fat. The rest comes from carbs/sugars, about 16-19g total carbs, of which about half are sugar. So there you have it, a diet-kryptonite for most of the U.S. population. Spelled out in simple English. Now, lets go take a look at his cousin, that most people consider "better" for them.

Sorbet...right off the bat, the most interesting factoid is 1/2 cup of sorbet is across the board 130 calories. It doesn't matter which flavor, which color, or whose freezer it came from (arguably the colder it is the less calories it has FYI - perhaps I'll explain this in another post, why it's important to always drink COLD water). But RIGHT OFF THE BAT, the biggest difference is the fat content. 1.5g of total fat. Less than 15 calories from fat. Wow, those of you who are trying to cut back on fat - congratulations. However, cutting back the fat is generally NOT the problem. Especially when you're trying to lose weight. You'd want to be watching your CARBOHYDRATES. And here is where sorbet turns ugly. Sorbet has about 25-28g of carbohydrates, and typically over 23g of sugar. Nearly 90% of the carbs consumed are simple sugars. That's going to give your pancreas a heart attack (that is, if your pancreas had a heart). A sugar rush like that... well it's like going home and eating 5 teaspoons of sugar straight up, and in just 1/2 a cup! Like ice cream, who eats just 1/2 cup of sorbet? Even 1 rounded scoop is closer to 1-cup than 1/2 cup.

And lastly, the final big difference (especially for those P90Xers) ice cream typically has about 2-5g or protein, where as sorbet has 1g. It's not a factor you should really pay attention to, because frankly, I don't think people on a diet should be eating Sorbet or Ice cream. They are just too unhealthy in general. But for any of you who have been making the substitute, you're not doing yourself any good by eating sorbet over ice cream, they are equally bad, but for different reasons.


  1. Interesting points to consider...and I always thought I was making the healthier choice!

  2. How about if making your own sorbet? Should be a little better. And as for ice cream craves, could just freeze some banana and then blend them, put some cocoa powder and bam you got a healthier chocolate ice cream :D