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Ben and Jerry's and Magnum can have as many calories as EIGHT doughnut

Tubs of Ben and Jerry’s and Magnum ice cream can contain as many calories as SEVEN Krispy Kreme doughnuts – so how bad is YOUR favourite flavour?

  • EXCLUSIVE: MailOnline compared nutritional content of nearly 100 ice creams available at UK supermarkets
  • Results showed that worst offender was Ben & Jerry’s Peanut Butter Cup, which contains 1,311 calories per tub
  • This is as many as six-and-a-half Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnuts, which have 200 calories each
  • Ben & Jerry’s Chunky Monkey was the most sugary option, with 126g per tub — equivalent to three Mars bars

With Britain set for another week of tropical weather, you could be forgiven for stocking up the freezer with ice cream.

But nutritional experts want to warn you about the ‘surprisingly large’ number of calories in the nation’s favourite tubs.

The worst-offering, Ben & Jerry’s Peanut Butter Cup, contains 1,311 calories — the equivalent of nearly seven Krispy Kreme glazed doughnuts (200).

Meanwhile, Ben & Jerry’s Chunky Monkey was the most sugary tub on the market (126g per tub) — the equivalent to ten-and-a-half doughnuts (12g).  

Nutritionists told MailOnline that despite it being very easy to eat an entire tub of ice cream it should be a ‘very occasional treat’ because of its potential effects on your waistline. 

• Eat at least 5 portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables every day. All fresh, frozen, dried and canned fruit and vegetables count

• Base meals on potatoes, bread, rice, pasta or other starchy carbohydrates, ideally wholegrain

• 30 grams of fibre a day: This is the same as eating all of the following: 5 portions of fruit and vegetables, 2 whole-wheat cereal biscuits, 2 thick slices of wholemeal bread and large baked potato with the skin on

• Have some dairy or dairy alternatives (such as soya drinks) choosing lower fat and lower sugar options

• Eat some beans, pulses, fish, eggs, meat and other proteins (including 2 portions of fish every week, one of which should be oily)

• Choose unsaturated oils and spreads and consuming in small amounts

• Drink 6-8 cups/glasses of water a day

• Adults should have less than 6g of salt and 20g of saturated fat for women or 30g for men a day

Source: NHS Eatwell Guide  

MailOnline gathered nutritional information on 92 tubs of ice cream available at UK supermarkets, including supermarket-own versions as well as Halo Top and Jude’s.

No figures for Häagen-Dazs were available to compare. 

Results showed that 17 of the 20 ice creams with the most calories are made by Ben & Jerry’s, while tubs from Magnum round up the worst end of the table. The findings were similar for sugar. 

After Ben & Jerry’s Peanut Butter Cup, its Chunky Monkey tub had the second-most calories (1,293), which is the equivalent to five Oreo McFlurrys (258).

Ben & Jerry’s Cookie Dough S’witch Up (1,153) and Oh My Banoffee Pie (1,063) were among the next-most calorific options, followed by Magnum Classic ice cream (1,109).

The NHS tells men to eat around 2,500 calories per day to maintain their body weight, while the average woman needs 2,000 calories daily. Consuming too many calories can lead to obesity, raising the risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, some cancers and having a stroke.

Eating a whole tub of one of these ice creams would account for up to 52 per cent of a man’s daily intake and 66 per cent of a woman’s recommended intake.

At the other end of the scale, Halo Top’s ice creams contain as little as 320 calories per tub. ASDA’s Birthday Cake (362 calories) and Oppo’s Double Salted Caramel Swirl (390 calories) were also among the least calorific.

MailOnline analysis also showed that Ben & Jerry’s Chocolate Fudge Brownie ice cream is among the most sugar-laden ice creams. It contains 112g per tub — as much as four-and-a-half bars of Dairy Milk chocolate, which contain 25g each, or 23 chocolate digestives (4.8g).

Ben & Jerry’s Caramel Chew Chew (107g), Phish Food Chocolate and Marshmallow (107g) and Oh My Banoffee Pie (98g) rounded out the top five sugar-laden options.

A sugar-heavy diet can lead to weight gain and tooth decay. The NHS recommends eating no more than 30g of added sugar per day.

Halo Top’s Sea Salt Caramel ice cream was among the least-sugary options (13.2g), followed by ASDA’s Birthday Cake ice cream (27.4g) and ASDA’s Caramel Popcorn flavour (29.3g). 

Professor Gunter Kuhnle, an expert in nutrition and food science at the University of Reading, told MailOnline that people should expect that ice cream is high in calories and sugar as it is eaten for enjoyment rather than health.

He said: ‘The sugar content is at the higher end of what can be found in many desserts. 

‘But there are also fruits with high sugar content (e.g. bananas with 18g per 100g). 

‘Of course, an issue is always that if a food can be easily eaten, it’s much easier to overeat — it’s much easier to eat an entire tub of ice cream than four bananas.’

Professor Kuhnle added: ‘The concern — as almost always in nutrition — is not so much an individual food but rather a dietary pattern. Enjoying an ice cream is fine — making it the main meal would be more of a problem.’

Dr Duane Mellor, a dietitian at Aston Medical School in Birmingham, told MailOnline that despite manufacturers adding a recommended portion size to tubs of ice cream in millilitres not many people measure this out of a tub ‘given the image portrayed in the movies of a person eating a whole tub in an evening’. 

This means people end up eating ‘significantly larger amounts of ice cream than suggested’ and that ice cream can end up contributing a ‘surprisingly large’ amount to a person’s sugar allowance — with some tubs containing up to 25 teaspoons, he added. 

Dr Carmen Piernas, a researcher and nutrition scientist at the University of Oxford, told MailOnline the products’ high calorie and sugar content is not surprising.

She said: ‘Ice cream is a frozen mixture of fat and sugars. Fat contributes the highest amount of calories per gram. 

‘And the combination of the two has been found to be addictive, so people need to understand that ice creams should be a very occasional treat.’

Dr Piernas called for manufacturers to label their tubs to highlight the nutrition per scoop so people understand what they are eating. ‘Otherwise we are all at risk of overeating this without any more guidance,’ she added. 

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  • Posted on June 21, 2022