Is Ice Cream healthy? Yes, according to research

If you ask someone to describe ice cream to you, it’s highly unlikely that “healthy” would make it into their thoughtfully crafted description — unless you ask a picky 10-year-old who thinks he is being clever. But that 10-year-old might be on to something.

According to Harvard’s nutrition department, the frozen dessert has health benefits. In 2018, a Harvard doctoral student named Andres Ardisson Korat was led to a strange conclusion during one of his studies: for those with diabetes, eating a cup of ice cream a day was associated with a lower risk of heart problems, reports The Atlantic.

The discovery stumped the Harvard researchers. It made no sense. How could a sugary dairy treat provide such results?

“There are few plausible biological explanations for these results,” Ardisson Korat wrote in his thesis of his “unexpected” findings.

Scientists are still baffled by Ardisson Korat’s findings — they defied all logic.

“I still to this day don’t have an answer for it,” Mark A. Pereira, an epidemiologist at the University of Minnesota told The Atlantic.

Harvard’s nutrition team continued its search for answers. Over the span of several years, researchers took a look at prior studies, considered new hypotheses and performed dozens of tests. Ardisson Korat’s study was not the first to produce such results.

During the 1980s, Harvard researchers began collecting “food-frequency questionnaires” and medical data from thousands of health care workers. The university’s first observational study of Type 2 diabetes and dairy came out in 2005 — it was based on data collected between 1986 and 1998. The researchers claim that higher consumption of low-fat dairy was associated with a lower risk of diabetes.

“The risk reduction was almost exclusively associated with low-fat or nonfat dairy foods,” a Harvard news bulletin explained, per The Atlantic.

According to the results, men who consumed two or more servings of skim or low-fat milk a day experienced a 22% lower risk of diabetes. The men who ate two or more servings of ice cream a week had the same results, according to the study.

The theory has even been supported by “real world evidence.” Anthony Howard-Crow, a YouTuber and online trainer, shed 32 pounds and saw improvements in his bloodwork after consuming only ice cream and protein supplements for 100 days. But the process was not enjoyable.

“This diet was, hands down, without a doubt, the most miserable dieting adventure I have ever embarked upon,” Howard-Crow told Men’s Health.

Our course of roughly a decade, a handful of studies had similar findings. While the results continue to baffle researchers, nothing has proven wrong.

There is a lot of science involved that the average Joe (such as myself) doesn’t quite understand — but if scientists are claiming ice cream has health benefits, I’m happy to roll with it.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top