Does Ice Cream Have Calcium?

Ice cream is a beloved treat enjoyed by many, but did you know that it can also be a good source of calcium? Calcium is essential for healthy bone development and can help prevent osteoporosis and fractures later in life. In this article, we will explore the calcium content of ice cream and its potential benefits for bone health.

The Role of Calcium in Bone Health

Calcium, along with vitamin D, plays a crucial role in bone accretion. Studies have shown that higher calcium intake is associated with increased bone mass in children, young adults, and postmenopausal women. In industrialized countries, milk and other dairy products are the primary dietary sources of calcium, providing 50% to 80% of our daily intake. However, changes in beverage consumption, such as the growing popularity of soft drinks, can lead to lower calcium intake.

Ice Cream as a Source of Calcium

Ice cream is not only a delicious treat but also a potential source of dietary calcium. It naturally contains calcium and can be fortified to provide even higher amounts without compromising taste and flavor. In a study, low-fat dairy ice cream enriched with milk minerals and a typical European vegetable-fat ice cream enriched with milk minerals were found to provide the same amount of calcium as a regular portion of milk. This means that a 60-gram portion of calcium-fortified ice cream can offer as much calcium as a 200-gram portion of milk.

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Calcium Absorption from Ice Cream

Although the bioavailability of calcium in ice cream has not been extensively studied, research comparing the absorption of calcium from ice cream and milk found no significant differences. This suggests that calcium-fortified ice cream can effectively deliver calcium to the body. Interestingly, the study observed similar results for ice creams with different fat types and contents (3% butterfat vs. 9% coconut oil). This contradicts previous research that linked the consumption of palm oil, which contains a high amount of palmitic acid, to reduced calcium absorption. In the case of ice cream, however, the lower concentration of butterfat seems to negate any negative effects on calcium absorption.

Incorporating Calcium-Fortified Ice Cream Into Your Diet

When it comes to fortified products, it’s crucial to ensure they can be easily incorporated into a regular diet. The calcium-fortified ice cream formulations mentioned in the study were designed responsibly in terms of nutritional profile. A single portion contained 220 mg of calcium, along with either 91 kcal (for the 3% butterfat formulation) or 115 kcal (for the 9% coconut oil formulation). In terms of energy content, this is comparable to a banana, a bowl of yogurt with muesli, or half of a chocolate chip cookie.

In conclusion, if you’re looking for a tasty way to boost your calcium intake, calcium-fortified ice cream can be a viable option. Remember to enjoy it in moderation and as part of a balanced diet. So go ahead and savor your ice cream, while also treating your bones to some much-needed calcium!

Ice Cream

Ice Cream

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