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Ever noticed that the more ice cream you eat, the more you become addicted? This is because studies have shown that ice cream can be “addictive”.

Researchers concluded that cravings for the dessert were similar to those experienced by drug addicts.

They found that the brain was left wanting more while eating ice cream in the same way as a person who regularly uses cocaine.

As a result of their research, scientists divided ice cream addiction into two parts.

  1. An addiction to the frozen treat — all of its general flavor attributes, including creaminess and sweetness.
  2. An addiction to a particular brand.

The No. 1 driver of ice cream cravings is its sweetness, explained Gail Civille, founder and president of Sensory Spectrum, a consulting firm that helps companies learn how sensory cues drive consumer perceptions of products. Ice cream should not be “cloyingly sweet — so you can eat more of it,” Civille said.

The amount of fat is important, too. To even be called “ice cream,” a product must contain at least 10% milk fat, also called butterfat. Premium ice cream tends to max out around 18% milk fat, which can come from milk, cream or butter.

Aside from sugar, fat and melt, companies may use differing amounts and types of ingredients to affect the different flavor characteristics. For example, a manufacturer might use egg yolk in an ice cream recipe, which may contribute a yellowish color and custardy or “eggy” flavor to ice cream.

Photo credit: Seth Black

Irresistible ice creams are also made with high-quality ingredients. For example, making ice cream with good milk (the source of milk fat and milk solids) is a very important. The milk should have a ‘very light sweet taste’ — clean dairy notes without any extraneous off-taste or off-flavors.

Clearly, a lot of work goes into making ice cream very addictive.

“It seems to be twofold — if you eat these sugary, high-fat foods regularly, you build up a kind of tolerance and you need more and more to get the same hit,” Janis Jibrin, a registered dietician says.

“Some people might also have a genetic predisposition to food addiction, and then we live in an environment where it’s so easy to access these types of food.

“We are inundated with foods that don’t come from nature,” she adds. “If you look at the kind of foods people are addicted to, they’re very high in fat, salts and sugar; no one’s addicted to broccoli or apples.”

Jibrin strongly believes that there’s an evolutionary reason for the biology behind this — back in the caveman days, it was adaptive to enjoy eating something high in fat and have it trigger the pleasure center of your brain. Cavemen, alas, could not head out in the middle of the night to satisfy their Cold Stone and French fry cravings. Fat was hard to come by, unlike the convenient world of today.

Other scientists believe that the ultimate appeal of ice cream is the flavor. The flavor is determined by six major characteristics.

Appearance, or visual appeal of a flavor, which sets you up for what you are about to taste.

Aroma, as one’s mouth warms the ice cream, melts the ice and releases volatile components of any given flavor.

Acidity, or tartness, that can positively influence a fruit flavor or negatively influence a non-acid flavor such as vanilla or chocolate.

Taste, as in is the ice cream sweet, salty or savory, or some combination of these?

Texture, as in is the ice cream smooth and creamy, coarse, icy or gritty?

Temperature, as hard-pack ice cream should be pliable to allow scooping and ready for consumption, between zero and 5 degrees Fahrenheit. Paying careful attention to temperature during delivery is key, because if ice cream melts and refreezes during distribution and storage, this can damage the air cell structure and create large ice crystals, which can negatively affect the texture of ice cream and hence, consumer satisfaction.

Addictions to this fattening dessert should be avoided if one wants to be able to eat healthy and lose weight without problems. The truth is… complete abstinence is the only thing that reliably works against addiction.

Although the “everything in moderation” message may work for some people, this advice is a complete disaster for food addicts. When it comes to addiction, moderation fails. Every time.

This is the simple (but not easy) solution to addiction. Avoiding the addictive substance at all times.

But if you must eat desserts especially addictive ones like ice cream, healthy substitutes can be found on the website:

Need healthier diet options or diet tips, feel free to contact H’n’H on these lines: +2348089726031, +2348026034354, send an email to [email protected].


Better yet, why not pop into the shop at: Plot 72, 1st Avenue by Bonny B corner shops, Gwarinpa, Abuja.


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