Hand-made gelato is a balanced food, made up of a series of simple natural ingredients. As such, it has all of the nutritional characteristics of foods – proteins, sugars, fats: it is obvious that eating too much of it can affect your waistline, just like for any other food. A few calculations can help you keep the peace with your scales: here’s how to do it.
Summer is getting closer, the desire for gelato is growing by the day and with it grow the usual dilemmas: “What do you reckon, will it make me fatter? How many calories has it got? Which are better, fruit or cream flavours?”.
In fact, the issue of the caloric content of gelato is a very controversial one: the variety of different recipes on the market make it difficult to set a standard energy value, but this does not mean that it is impossible to calculate how many calories a particular gelato has. We simply need to count the approximate calories of the various ingredients.
This value depends on the percentage of sugars (saccharose but also lactose and fructose), fats (milk, cream, vegetable fats), and proteins (milk, eggs, nuts).
Here is a rough estimate:
- 1 g of sugar = 4 calories
- 1 g of fat = 9 calories
- 1 g of protein = 4 calories
So fruit gelati therefore have less calories than cream ones, which as well as sugars also contain fats. And within the fruit category, as they contain no milk or eggs sorbets have less calories than gelati, as long as they have not been over-sweetened.
To give a practical example, a 100 g chocolate cone has around 240 calories, a vanilla one has 190 calories, and a fruit one 130 calories (105 for sorbets). So there is no harm if your gelato is a light meal on the beach, or a snack on a normal eating day, but it’s a different matter if you’ve been eating rich pasta dishes or plenty of fried foods.
And in the end, it is all a question of balance, whether we’re talking about food or about anything else in life.