Like most people, I thoroughly enjoy a scoop of ice cream on a hot summer day. (Or any other day of the year, who am I kidding?) So I was deeply saddened when my doctor and my dermatologist told me I should start avoiding dairy for my overall health. How would I survive without my beloved ice cream?
Interestingly enough, it seems that everyone is lactose intolerant all of a sudden and that dairy is now a common enemy. The solution? Dairy and lactose-free ice cream.
Lucky for us dairy or lactose avoiders, there has been a sudden surge in “alternative” ice creams, like the Ben and Jerry’s vegan flavors made with almond milk. Don’t get me wrong, I’m totally into the wide variety of delish vegan and lactose-free ice cream options, but the question still remains: why the sudden hype surrounding these kinds of ice cream?
The Truth is Out
Truth be told, dairy was never meant for humans to consume. In a recent article, New York Times Bestselling author Dr. Mark Hyman explains that dairy is really only meant for the consumption of calves. Yes, as in baby cows. In fact, Dr. Hyman suggests that 75% of the world’s population is lactose intolerant. Let that sink in. The increased awareness of dairy’s questionable place in the food pyramid is definitely a reason for the hype surrounding alternative ice creams.
Whether you’re lactose intolerant or not, you have to admit that you feel healthier when you choose a frozen dessert that’s advertised as “lactose-free, gluten-free, etc.” Some alternative ice cream brands like Arctic Zero flaunt the low number of calories on their packaging, and it works. While not fully dairy-free, lactose-free Arctic Zero pints typically have less that 300 calories total, which is probably less than what you end up eating when it’s just you and a pint of Häagen Dazs on a lonely Friday night. (We’ve all been there.)
It’s Surprisingly Good
You heard me right: people have actually figured out a way to make non-dairy ice cream taste delicious. Of course, some are better than others. Chocolate-based almond milk ice creams tend to get a little icy, and coconut milk flavors definitely have a hint of coconut, but there’s an alternative ice cream out there for everyone. My personal favorites are Ben and Jerry’s P.B. and Cookies flavor (seriously, you won’t even know it’s not “real” ice cream) and Tofutti’s line of “cuties,” which are soy-based ice cream sandwiches that will change your life. Just trust me.
#SpoonTip: Go for the mint flavored Tofutti Cuties. You’re welcome.
Whether you’re lactose intolerant or not, there are plenty of reasons to go out and indulge in a dairy or lactose-free dessert that will probably save you a stomachache.