Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Ice cream alert: ingredients, toppings and giveaway


On Monday we brought you our frozen favorites. We included brands we stand behind who utilize good ingredients and produce honest products, no evil ingredients or delayed digestive distress. Well that was then and this is now. Your favorite ice cream may have a dark side and it’s important that you know about it. I don’t love being the bubble burster so we put our summer nutrition nerd Joanna on ice cream investigation.
Here’s a taste of what she found…
Trans fats
Even though trans fats have been banned, many ice cream companies have found ways to sneak trans fats into their products.  If a food has less than 0.5g of trans fat per serving, the food label can read 0 grams trans fat. Look for “partially hydrogenated vegetable/soybean oil” in the ingredient list.  This screams trans fat. And why are trans fats so bad? They increase bad cholesterol, inflammation and cancer risk.

Milk, Skim Milk, Cookies {Bleached Wheat Flour, Sugar, Vegetable Shortening (Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil), Cocoa Processed With Alkali, Corn Syrup, Caramel Color, Artificial Flavor, Soy Lecithin, Salt, Baking Soda}, Suagr, Polydextrose, Pre-Dip (Soybean Oil, Cellulose Gel, Mono And Diglycerides, Cellulose Gum, Vanilla Extract And Artificial Vanilla Flavor, Carrageenan, Maltodextrin, Polysorbate 80, Annatto For Color, Vitamin A Palmitate.
The list above are from a popular ice cream bar, let’s just say wish they were called “Ingredient Watchers”

Caramel Coloring
This ingredient has nothing to do with caramel. It is an artificial coloring commonly added to colas to give it their nice brown color.  Caramel coloring is contaminated with two chemicals, 2-methylimidazole and 4-methylimidazole, that the International Agency for Research on Cancer concludes are possibly carcinogenic to humans.  Cancer with your cone?  That doesn’t sound too sweet. 
Skim Milk, Wafer, (Bleached Wheat Flour, Sugar, Caramel Color, Dextrose, Palm Oil, Corn Flour, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Baking Soda, Modified Corn Starch, Salt, Mono And Diglycerides, Soy Lecithin, Cocoa), Sugar, Corn Syrup, Polydextrose, Cream, Whey Protein, Calcium Carbonate, Inulin (Dietary Fiber), Propylene Glycol Monostearate, Microcrystalline Cellulose, Sodium Carboxymethylcellulose, Guar Gum, Natural Flavor, Monoglycerides, Sorbitol, Carob Bean Gum, Yellow 5, Blue 1, Citric Acid, Vitamin A Palmitate Carrageenan, Salt.
Why can’t we have healthy cow versus Skinny Cow? Ingredients for mint sandwich pictured above.

Artificial Colorings Red 40, Yellow 5, Yellow 6
We’ve written about food dyes before, The three most widely used artificial colorings  Red 40, Yellow 5, and Yellow 6 can cause allergy-like reactions.  Yellow 5 can also trigger hyperactivity and other behavioral effects in some children. The Center for Science in the Public Interest is pushing to ban these food dyes, which are unsafe and serve no nutritional purpose.  This You Tube video featuring blue Gatorade (Blue 1) is pretty compelling. Look for products that use natural foods such as beet juice for color.
To-poopy (couldn't resist)
Sorbitol, Aspartame and other sneaky sweeteners
A nutritionist who will remain nameless, recently tweeted about the calorie savings from a certain coffee flavored tofu-based pop. Aside from the processed soy you’ll see sorbitol, the granddaddy of digestive distress and also aspartame. This sounds more like a price to pay than “savings”.

And before we wrap things up, a little bit about toppings.
Sprinkles: As pretty as sprinkles are, many companies use food dyes and partially hydrogenated oils to make their sprinkles.  Look for a company called India Tree, their Nature’s Colors use annatto and other natural colorings.
Maraschino Cherries: Red 40 is commonly used to give these cherries their bright color. Tillen Farms makes “Merry Marachino Cherries” free of preservatives or dyes and sweetened with cane sugar.

Fudge Topping: often  contains high fructose corn syrup and partially hydrogenated oils.   We love Newtree’s Dark Chocolate Noir over ice cream.  At less than 40 calories a tablespoon, with good incredients, this is a “dark side” we’re ok with.

Newtree is offering 1 free Dark Chocolate Noir (good on fruit, ice cream on a spoon) to one of our readers. To be eligible: comment and tell us your favorite ice cream topping and if you have any cows, watchers or topoopy lurking in your freezer. Winner announced Friday, please check back.

28 comments:

  1. Gina (Candid RD)June 20, 2012 at 4:21 AM

    Oh yes, I've got some artificial sweeteners (popsicles) lurking in my freezer!  And, I 'm not getting rid of them.  We don't eat them often, so I'm not too worried. However, I would still LOVE to try this chocolate sauce! Nick and I make our own fro yo (with almond milk) and love topping it with chocolate (and whipped cream!).

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  2. but why not have popsicles with better ingredients? Or DIY? just being "candid". 

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  3. I just "pinned" the sprinkles and chocolate sauce! Those with homemade whipped cream will make for super fun sundae treats!

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  4. Dark Chocolate Noir topping yes please!! My ice cream freezer is very "clean", but I have a (long ago) past life of maraschino cherry eating. I used to love those things, and remember going out to an old fashioned ice cream parlor with my aunt and uncle as a kid and ordering nothing but a big old bowl of mariscino cherries...then feeling pretty sick later on. I don't really get the appeal of sprinkles, but would love to find Natures Colors since my kids are sprinkle eaters. My favorite topping would be hot fudge or butterscotch with chopped nuts!

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  5. My mother used to make cherry ice cubes, now I can recreate without icky ingredients. Butterscotch- so good. I love caramel too.

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  6. cocochia is a fun topping Einat, have to check out your pinterest boards.

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  7. I'm a sucker for a good real caramel sauce.. but man I started drooling over that chocolate sauce when I saw it.  I had to throw out all of my ice cream toppings when I started paying attention to ingredients and now I eat my 'real' ice cream plain.. which is nice, but some chocolate sauce would be yummy.. 

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  8. chocolate sauce always makes things better. This one is insane.

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  9. I don't get sprinkles. Their allure evades me, but I love cherries. I don't buy the other, but these sound really good. I top vanilla ice cream with cold coffee and Kahlua. That's the only topping I typically use, but not for any reason other than calorie-avoidance. Some yummy chocolate topping could alter that quickly! 

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  10. ooh kahlua, good one. I get the alluring look of sprinkles but do they taste like anything? Unsweetened coconut much more interesting to me.

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  11. Sprinkles and Chocolate Syrup . I'd really love for my Belgian grandmother to get to try this, she has made me a chocolate addict.

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  12. I love fudge... and nuts!

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  13. Wow, that hot fudge really sounds good!  I also love some good caramel sauce, and pretzels!  I am really a topping junkie and I have to watch it at those Red Mango yogurt type places because they really can add up fast, lol. 

    That info on the skinny cow ice ream is pretty eye opening, it's just one more reason to keep steering my family towards those greek yogurt bars - they sell them at costco now.

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  14. another delicious but problematic topping.

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  15. yassos? those bars are great. Problem with ice cream stores is that we can't read topping ingredients.

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  16. candy
    amandahoffman35@yahoo.com

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  17. My favorite is hot fudge and salted peanuts.....love that salty sweet combo!

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  18. The Red 40 just grosses me out...I think it's in M & Ms too. Which of course are Maya's favorite.

    Favorite ice cream topping would have to be hot fudge. 

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  19. Hot fudge :) nice post, Lauren

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  20. hot fudge sauce!  or cracklin oat bran ... weird?

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  21. omg haven't thought of cracklin oat bran in years. Not so weird sort of granola like, right?

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  22. Just Red 40, not other dyes Ameena?

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  23. now you're talking, love salty sweet.

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  24. My new favorite topping is really super simple and couldn't be better for you! I put 1/4 cup of raspberries in a saucepan on the stove to heat then smash the berries down with a fork...I poor this over homemade banana "ice cream" that I make with my blender...no artificial ingredients needed and delish! :) Now....wouldn't it be even better with some of that tasty dark chocolate sauce added to my little sundae ;)

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  25. The Red 40 just grosses me out...I think it's in M & Ms too. Which of course are Maya's favorite.

    Favorite ice cream topping would have to be hot fudge. 

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