Ice cream can contain a fifth of daily calories
THEY may be hard to resist on a hot day but a single ice cream could be a fifth of your daily calorie requirements in one go.
Ice creams contain up to 360 calories – but if you choose carefully, there are also many lower-calorie options on sale to minimise the damage.
Following calls last week to limit the hard sell by ice cream vans on estates, the Irish Independent looked at how ice creams compare nutritionally.
Our survey of nine popular ice cream treats found that HB's Cornetto King Cone was by far the most fattening option of those examined, with 360 calories, some 18pc of an adult's daily recommended intake.
It also contained a whopping 17g of fat, which is a quarter of the recommended limit.
The sugar content of a Cornetto King Cone – which is not stated on the packet – is 36g per product, which is nine teaspoons.
Smaller is usually better if you want to limit the calorie damage. A regular Cornetto – around half the weight of a King Cone – contains 250 calories.
A spokesperson for HB makers Unilever said: "Cornetto King Cone, like all of the ice creams in the HB range, is intended to be enjoyed as a treat and, like all treats, should be consumed in moderation."
A Magnum Classic, meanwhile, contains 260 calories and six teaspoons of sugar. And even the modestly sized Choc Ice or Iceberger contains 190 calories while a Brunch has 170 calories. Soleros are a better option as they contain 94 calories and just 1g of fat.
The Irish-made Rocket ice-pops from Palmgrove have the lowest calorie content of any ice cream we surveyed at 50.
Nutritionist Gaye Godkin said that people shouldn't get hung up on calorie content as the real danger was the combination of fructose, glucose and other processed sugars with fat.
"Choose one with just cream and sugar in the ingredients if possible, not 1,900 different types of sugar," she said.
Fine Gael senator Eve Noone called last week for measures to restrict ice cream vans from making multiple visits to housing estates each day.
This hard sell should be restricted as part of the fight against obesity, she said.