The Scoop On Ice Cream For Health

little girl eating ice cream

Forget Kale, kids, it’s time to dive into a pint of “Ben and Jerry’s” for that boost of good health.

For those like me with a weakness for the cold, creamy concoction, that bit of news is music to my ears. Ice cream has always been my go-to food for both comfort and celebration and now if it turns out to be not only good but good for you, I couldn’t be happier.

MSNBC’s Nicole Wallace seemed to agree.

That was my takeaway the other day when an effusive Nicolle Wallace reported on the latest story causing controversy.

For once it had nothing to do with Donald Trump or the Republicans.

The latest scoop was, she reported, ice cream is healthy. Beaming, this self-described ice cream devotee admitted this was her favorite story to report.

Our ice cream lover-in-chief Joe Biden.

Ice cream lovers worldwide were rejoicing, as waffle cones were licked, and pints of cookie dough ice cream were devoured.

Here’s the scoop.

A recent article in the Atlantic suggested that indulging in your favorite flavor of ice cream might be healthy. The article states: “Studies show a mysterious health benefit to ice cream. Scientists don’t want to talk about it.”

The story, which is causing controversy, is a deep dive into how nutritional science works — for better and for worse. It begins by looking at Harvard research from 2018 showing that diabetics who consumed half a cup of ice cream a day had a lower risk of heart disease. And it notes that other studies had drawn similar conclusions.

But truthfully, ice cream as a health food is not news.

That bit of nutritional information has been bandied about for decades.

Ice Cream For Health

Vintage ad 1927

A hundred years ago, it was touted as a necessary and nutritious food for children and oldsters alike. Served at the best hospitals and sanitariums it was highly recommended by doctors and dieticians.

In fact an ad from 1921 suggested you “Eat a dish of Ice Cream Every Day” because it contained vital and important nutrients. As healthy for you as a juicy, T Bone Steak!

“Famous specialists have recommended the use of ice cream for years back. One quart contains the same amount of protein as half a dozen eggs or 2 pounds of beefsteak.”

I Pledge Allegiance

Vintage ad 1927 A pledge you could trust

In the 1920s the Research Council of the Ice Cream Industry ran a series of advertisements explaining the benefits of their wholesome product, their logo stating proudly  Ice Cream For Health.

At the end of each ad, they offered their pledge: “Look for this emblem. Through this pledge to you, the Research Council of the Ice Cream Industry assures you of a safe and wholesome product.

“What Greater Tribute Could Be Given to a Health Food”

Vintage Ad 1927 Ladies Home Journal

“Ice cream heads the list of wholesome nutritious appetizing food in hospitals and health sanitariums. Doctors and dietitians know that it is a health food full of nutrition. Nutrition experts recognize it as an accepted way of giving children pure rich milk and cream.

What greater tribute could be given a health food.


Vintage ad 1926 Ladies Home Journal

“It is fortunate the food they love is so good for them.

But there is food that boys and girls and grownups too just love and that’s good for them-  ice cream  The ice cream of today contains only pure rich milk sugar and wholesome ingredients.

It was a great source of milk, at a time when the word milk did not set people into lactose intolerant shock.

Nature’s Most Perfect Food

Milk was once dubbed nature’s most perfect food.

Milk was a miracle, the stuff of magical fairy tales. In the world of nutrition, if meat was King, milk took on the notion of a Messiah.

The gospel of milk as proselytized by the zealous devout domestic scientists, that milk was nature’s perfect food, was established in the dark days of WWI. So pure, so white, so wholesome, a bottle of milk was a bottle of health, and children needed to drink at least a quart a day.

Milk they said would be the key to greater health of this generation and future generations. Because scientists had recently found that milk contained Vitamin A which caused growth, mothers regarded it as a magic potion.

Books and articles appeared, rhapsodizing about Milk as the miracle food.

The physical changes that can be brought about through the use of milk within a short period of time would be considered unbelievable by the average individual.

Yet thousands of people throughout the country are ridding themselves of grave ailments by the proper methods in the use of milk.

Milk possesses energy-building powers greater, perhaps than any substance in the world. It brings quick reinforcement of red, tissue-building disease-fighting blood, to the weakened body and gives it the power to overcome practically any ailment.


But soon this miracle food was not just for babies anymore, but an essential drink for everyone. It was so vital a food that the domestic scientists strongly preached the necessity of having a glass of this miracle elixir at every meal, with every glassful tasting better n’ the last.

And a wholesome dish of ice cream was a wonderful source of this miracle food.

Stay as Sweet As You Are

Vintage ad 1941

Vintage ad 1941 Corn Products Refining Company “The additional food energy value of dextrose is still another reason for the frequent serving of ice cream to young and old alike.”

But milk wasn’t the only health component of ice cream.

Sugar was a health component too. And not just any old cane sugar would do- Dextrose- good ol American Refined Corn syrup was the added health bonus for this confection.

This ad from 1941,  explained that ice cream is a genuine “food.”

It yields fuel for body heat and muscular energy.  Good ice cream is improved by Dextrose sugar. Better ice cream included dextrose. This pure white sparkling sweet sugar which is the chief “fuel of the human body does more than add quick food energy value to ice cream. Dextrose enhances delicate flavors and textures.

Intelligent parents who realize the food value of ice cream encourage children in their enjoyment of this delightful food treat.


© Sally Edelstein and Envisioning The American Dream, 2023. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Sally Edelstein and Envisioning The American Dream with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.







  1. Thanks Sally. Ice cream makes you smile. And, we need more smiles. Keith


  2. Approaching perfection: Haagen Dazs coffee ice cream to which I add a handful of roasted almonds.


    • Coffee is my go-to flavor…roasted almonds sound incredible! Because ice cream is a nightly indulgence, I veer toward the Lite ice creams and recently am enjoying a Swedish-style one called Nicks,and Halo. Low in calories, it satisfies the craving and I still get the good ice cream feel and taste. But there is a local shop down the block that sells homemade ice cream and that is my special treat.


  3. I don’t have it very often, maybe 3 or 4 times in the summer. I can’t have it at night either – it will keep me awake. I prefer Haagen Dazs above all others, and I will only accept the full fat version! Thanks for putting a smile on my face, Sal. Have a wonderful day!

    Liked by 1 person

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