How many calories are there in ice cream?

In this brief guide, we’ll address the search query: “How many calories are there in ice cream?” Also, we’ll explore what ice cream is, how ice cream is made, where ice cream originated, what the nutritional flavor of ice cream is, and whether or not eating ice cream is healthy. 

How many calories are there in ice cream? 

On average, a one-cup serving of ice cream (132 grams) can provide 273 calories–though the exact amount of calories in ice cream will depend on the size of the serving, and the ice cream itself. 

Some ice creams are made with added sugars and sweetened with high-fructose corn syrup, which raises the number of calories. Others can be made with more artisanal ingredients such as natural fruits, and have little sugar added to the mix. 

Ultimately, our readers may have to research the exact brand and type of ice cream they purchase, to discern not only the number of calories but also its overall nutritional content. 

What is ice cream? 

Ice cream is a food that is (most often) served as a frozen dessert. It is sweet and usually made from dairy products such as milk and cream. It can be made in many flavors, both natural and artificial, and it can be served alone, or with other decorative, yet edible garnishes such as fruits, and syrups. 

It can be combined with an array of other ingredients to make other types of desserts such as sandwiches (when scooped and frozen between two biscuits), sundaes, smoothies, milkshakes, ice cream sodas, etc.

Texture-wise, ice cream is a foam, and quality ice cream should have no chunks of actual ice suspended within the foam.     

Ice cream is ubiquitous, and it can be found in specialized shops, convenience stores, restaurants, and even sold in mobile shops that distribute it to neighborhoods. 

How is ice cream made? 

Ice cream is made by mixing milk, sugar, cream, and eggs, and heating the stirred mixture to 72°C. This is done to kill off any microbes present in the mixture before it is cooled to -28°C. 

Once cooled, solid ingredients can be added, and these may include dried fruits, cookie chunks, chocolate, baked goods, etc. 

Once the solids have been mixed evenly throughout the mix, the resulting ice cream can be packaged into differently-sized containers such as pints, quarts, half gallons, etc.

Alternatively, a pre-flavored mixture of milk and cream can be combined with liquid nitrogen to make it quickly descend to subzero temperatures while being stirred, and the result will be the same. 

Each brand and manufacturer has its equipment, guidelines, and recipes that it follows to make its ice cream products readily available to consumers. 

Where did Ice cream originate? 

Historically, many cultures enjoyed ice cream or variations of ice cream, so it may be a little difficult to pinpoint its exact origin. Ice was a luxury commodity before the advent of refrigerators units, and flavored ice was also a sign of status. 

In essence, there are records of Chinese emperors of the Tang Dynasty as having enjoyed a frozen dessert made with milk.

It wasn’t until the sixteenth century that ice cream arrived in European royal courts, and in the mid-seventeenth century (1660) that it was first sold to the public. 

What is the nutritional content of ice cream? 

On average, a 1-cup (132-gram) portion of ice cream will provide: 

  • 273 calories – of which 131 are sourced from fat
  • 4.6 grams of protein
  • 15 grams of fat (23% of the RDI) – of which 9 grams are saturated (45% of the RDI), 0.6 grams of polyunsaturated fat, and 3.9 grams of monounsaturated fat.
  • 31 grams of carbohydrates (10% of the RDI) – of which 0.9 grams are dietary fiber (4% of the RDI), and 28 grams are sugar.
  • 58 milligrams of cholesterol (19% of the RDI)
  • 106 milligrams of sodium (4% of the RDI)
  • 263 milligrams of potassium (8% of the RDI)

Additionally, the same portion of ice cream will supply 11% of the recommended daily intake of vitamin A, 1.3% of vitamin C, 13% of calcium, and 0.7% of iron. 

*Recommended daily intake values are calculated based on a 2000 calories per day diet. 

Is eating ice cream healthy? 

When consumed in moderation and combined with a balanced diet and a healthy, active lifestyle, eathing ice cream should have no adverse effects on a person’s health.

The exact health benefits of consuming ice cream will depend on the brand, presentation and the ice cream’s formulation. 

Specifically, some types of ice cream are made with added sugars, others are low-fat and some high-end types are processed to make their taste more velvety, and richer. 

Despite the vitamins and minerals present, ice cream has a high concentration of calories, which means it should be consumed in moderation, and as a small part of a balanced diet. 

Consuming too much ice cream can have noxious effects such as increasing the risk of insulin resistance, obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, circulatory disorders, and other diseases.

Ergo, we urge our readers to be mindful of their daily calorie intake, and to avoid overeating ice cream, and other calorie-rich foods that are high in sugars and fat.  


In this brief guide, we’ve addressed the search query: “How many calories are there in ice cream?” Also, we’ve explored what ice cream is, how ice cream is made, where ice cream originated, what the nutritional flavor of ice cream is, and whether or not eating ice cream is healthy.


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