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Truth About Ice Cream, Snow Cones May Be Hard to Swallow

FRIDAY, June 17 (HealthDay News) -- Ice cream, frozen yogurt and snow cones may be favorite hot weather treats, but they don't offer much in the way of nutrition, a food expert says.

Some people believe ice cream is rich in vitamin D and calcium, but that's not the case, according to Suzy Weems, a registered dietitian who chairs the family and consumer sciences department at Baylor University and formerly headed the American Dietetic Association's legislative and public policy committee.

"It does have calcium along with vitamin D, vitamin A and some of the B vitamins to help with energy release, along with about 2.5 to 3 grams of protein -- not much, but more than none," Weems said in a university news release.

But ice cream is heavy in calories -- about 145 for a half-cup of vanilla and about 160 for chocolate chip, she noted.

Frozen yogurt has fewer calories -- 117 for a half-cup of vanilla -- and a little more calcium and protein, Weems said, but it's pretty much the same as ice cream in terms of health value.

Snow cones contain 90 calories per ounce of regular syrup, compared with 3.5 calories per ounce of sugar-free syrup, she said. One pump equals about an ounce of syrup.

Even snow cone syrups with fruity names are basically sugar plus water, offering little in the way of nutrition, Weems said.

More information

The American Academy of Family Physicians offers nutrition tips.

-- Robert Preidt

SOURCE: Baylor University, news release, June 14, 2011

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