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Here's the Scoop on Ice Cream

July is National Ice Cream Month and the third Sunday in July is National Ice Cream Day.

Americans consume ice cream year-round, especially on a hot, summer day. The types of ice cream are super premium, premium, regular, reduced-fat, low-fat, nonfat, slow-churned, soft serve, gelato, frozen yogurt, nondairy frozen desserts, sherbet, and sorbet.

The fat content varies among the different types of ice creams. A serving of ice cream is a half-cup; however many consumers indulge in more.

A half-cup serving of super premium ice cream contains approximately 8 grams of fat, compared with premium, which contains 6 grams. A half-cup serving of regular ice cream contains approximately 7 grams of fat, reduced-fat contains 6 grams, low-fat contains 2.5 grams and nonfat contains less than 0.5 gram.

Slow-churned ice cream also contains less fat - approximately 3 grams per half-cup serving. Soft-serve ice cream contains 11 grams of fat, gelato contains 3 to 9 grams, frozen yogurt contains 3 to 5 grams, sherbet contains less than 1 gram and sorbet contains 0 grams.

Nondairy “ice cream” can be made with nondairy alternatives, such as coconut, almond and soymilk. Nondairy options tend to be higher in fat, ranging from 4 to 11 grams.

Scoop up your favorite ice cream and learn 10 fun facts about ice cream:

  1. America’s top five ice cream flavors are vanilla, chocolate, cookies n’ cream, mint chocolate chip and chocolate chip cookie dough.
  2. June and July are the busiest months for ice cream production.
  3. The ice cream industry in the U.S. contributes more than $39 billion to the national economy and creates more than 188,000 jobs in communities across the country.
  4. The average American consumes more than 23 pounds of ice cream per year.
  5. Three gallons of whole milk are needed to make 1 gallon of ice cream.
  6. Ice cream can cause “brain freeze” when it touches the roof of our mouth because the cold substance causes blood vessels running between the mouth and the brain to tense up and trap blood in the brain, which leads to extra pressure and mild pain.
  7. Eighty-seven percent of Americans have ice cream in their freezer at any given time.
  8. Finishing a single-scoop ice cream cone takes approximately 50 licks.
  9. The average cow produces enough milk during its lifetime to make 7,500 gallons of ice cream.
  10. Ice cream shops across the country serve unique flavors such as Sweet Corn, Honey Avocado, Olive Oil, Coconut Curry and Sweet Potato Maple Walnut.

Ice Milk in a Bag (RECIPE)


By: Rachel Kuhn, Dietetic Intern, NDSU Extension


More ice cream information:


Ice Cream Sales & Trends | International Dairy Foods Association. (n.d.). Retrieved April 25, 2019, from

National Ice Cream Day: Eight ice cream facts. (n.d.). Retrieved April 25, 2019, from

Sheehan, M., Meyers, J., and Bellomo, R.O. ( July 13, 2018). The craziest ice cream flavors in every state. Retrieved April 25, 2019, from Delish website:

15 Completely Useless Facts About Ice Cream. (n.d.). Retrieved April 25, 2019, from website:

Filed under: fca newsletter, ice cream

Sponsored in part by the Sanford Health Foundation.

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