Are you sweet on frozen treats? Save yourself a few bucks and the potential for a lot of damage to teeth by making your own reduced- and sugar-free ice creams. Before you get started, see how much you know about this cool concoction that everyone is crazy for.
Thomas Jefferson brought an ice cream recipe to America from France, and we've been eating it ever since.
While recipes for ice creams and their required equipment vary, you've got to have an ice cream maker to freeze the mixture.
There are many ways to create sugar-free or low-sugar ice cream, but two common ingredients are sugar-free pudding and milk.
Artificial sweeteners are synthetic sugar substitutes. Aspartame is an artificial sweetener. Agave nectar is a natural sweetener, while stevia is considered a combination of several sweeteners.
Artificial sweeteners have virtually no calories. Each gram of table sugar, in contrast, has 4 calories. One teaspoon of sugar is about 4 grams, so each teaspoon of sugar has 16 calories.
The number of calories in a half-cup serving of commercial no-sugar ice cream varies, depending on the flavor and whether the ice cream is also no-fat. However, there are generally at least 90 calories per half-cup serving, and may be as many as 200.
Physicians say your half-cup serving of ice cream should contain no more than 15 grams of sugar.
It depends on your own taste buds, of course, but in general, sugar-free ice cream can taste just as good as the full-sugar version. However, artificial sweeteners sometimes impart a slight aftertaste, so you may need to test a few to see which one you prefer.
There are plenty of recipes available that will help you create great ice cream. However, depending on the artificial sweeteners and other ingredients you use, your no-sugar ice cream may be more crumbly than regular ice cream after a few cycles of freezing and thawing.
Artificial sweeteners don't contribute to tooth decay like real sugar does. So if you eat a no-sugar ice cream that uses an artificial sweetener, it could help you avoid cavities.
How much sugar a particular food contains, how long it stays in contact with your teeth and whether the food is sticky all impact tooth decay. How soft a food is doesn't matter.
Sugar reacts with bacteria in plaque (the sticky coating on your teeth) and produces harmful acids that attack your teeth for about an hour.
Sugar reacts with the bacteria in your tooth plaque, forming an acid that eats away at your tooth enamel. Over time, the tooth enamel totally gives way, and a hole, or cavity, forms. Once your tooth has a cavity, the entire tooth is in danger of being destroyed.
Sugar may be listed simply as "carbohydrate." But it's still a sugar, and it still causes tooth decay.
They're not the same thing: "No added sugar" simply means no extra sugar was put into the product, but the ingredients themselves might contain sugar.
It's best to limit the amount of time and number of times that sugar comes in contact with your teeth, so it's best to limit ice cream (and all sweets) to mealtime.
The amount of sugar you consume is less important than how quickly you get the sugar out of your mouth. So neither one is outright better than the other, but sugar-free ice cream would be!
Ice cream, ice milk, sherbet and frozen yogurt all have about 18 grams of sugar per half-cup serving, regardless of brand.
Your saliva helps keep teeth healthy by constantly washing things off of them. But saliva is reduced when you sleep, so whatever food is left on your teeth overnight has a better chance of producing harmful acids. Therefore, it's most important to brushing your teeth right before bed.
You can make creamy, soft-serve "ice cream" from a frozen banana blended up in a food processor. It's not sugar free, though, because of the sugar that occurs naturally in the banana.