Tuesday, March 05, 2013

By: Janae Morris

It's a fact; we are eight full weeks into the New Year. And for those of us who made New Year's resolutions, these challenging weeks have more than likely included an ongoing fight with our inner selves to follow through on the goals we set back on January 1st - the top three being losing weight, spending more time with family and friends, and quitting smoking.1 However, as we are now into our third month of ignoring impossible cravings, completing inescapable deadlines, and denying the tempting desire to possibly quit altogether, you may need to know there is reinforcement. Fortunately, gelato (which can be found almost everywhere) is a simple indulgence that is appeasing, satiating and can assist with keeping various types of New Year's resolutions on track, aforementioned included.


Losing Weight:

You might find it reassuring to know that a 4oz serving of gelato is 220 calories and 9 grams of fat.2 More interesting still is that this calorie count is based on the rich, creamy tiramisu flavor of gelato, and opting for the fruity varieties, generally known as sorbetto-gelato made with water instead of milk-will decrease calorie and fat count while still offering mouthwatering flavor.

soft-serve-with-berries(1).jpgSoft serve frozen yogurt and Greek frozen yogurt are other delicious alternatives to gelato. For example, a small 4oz serving of vanilla-flavored soft serve frozen yogurt yields 4 grams of fat and 118 calories.3

Toppings for gelato and soft serve are abundant, but remember not to overdo your garnishes, as this can drown out the taste of your base dessert. Utilize trimmings like fresh fruit, nuts or chocolate shavings as fillers and flavor enhancers. Many gelaterias carry more exotic sauces like passion fruit with edible seeds; peanut butter with crunchy cereal pieces, or bold coffee flavored chocolate sauce with nuts to offer you a more unique flavor experience. The options are endless. Have your gelato expert recommend a scrumptious pairing and stave your sweet tooth without sabotaging your workout or healthy diet.

Spending More Time with Family and Friends:

In Italy, gelaterias dot almost every street corner. Circles of friends, groups of families and couples of all ages make gelato a social bonding experience that encourages a trip to their favorite gelateria. At these treasured establishments, gelato lovers can share flavors, stories and time. If your resolution is to spend more time with family and friends, find your local gelateria to enjoy gelato in the traditional Italian way with the ones yopanini-choice.jpgu cherish, as this can be a pleasant way to sustain your New Year's resolution.

Because almost any flavor can be transformed into a delicious pan of gelato, including tiramisu, brownies, pannacotta, or even mascarpone cheese, being able to sample a variety of flavor options on each trip is an added bonus! Trying innovative gelato options together is also fun and adventurous.

Gelato flavor-hopping aside, spending time with family and friends is also beneficial to overall health. Having a network of supportive relationships offers a sense of belonging, an increased sense of self-worth and secures a feeling of security.4 In some cases, time with family and friends also assists in decreasing loneliness, slashing stress levels, influencing healthy eating habits and also acts as an aid in quitting smoking.5


Quitting Smoking:

Many people say they don't want to stop smoking due to fear of weight gain; however, gelato in moderation can help bypass this hurdle. Compared to the 10 to 12 percent butterfat content of traditional American ice cream, gelato has only 5 to 8 percent. And because only a minimal amount of air is incorporated naturally into gelato because of the churning process, the final product is denser and warmer on the palate, which creates an intense, robust flavor profile.6 On the contrary, the colder temperatures of ice cream can freeze the taste buds making it harder to taste the flavor, which can thereby increase your desire to eat more.

white-mint.jpgGum chewing is a popular aid for those trying to quit their smoking habit. Currently, there are several varieties of gum specifically developed for this reason, and a plethora of gum brands and flavors that are utilized as a substitute for a cigarette. If you're looking for an alternative to gum, consider mint-flavored gelato. Reports like Top 10 Foods for Stress Relief published by foodnetwork.com, an online culinary resource, conclude that chocolate and crunchy foods help to alleviate stress.7 Consider swirling chocolate sauce with cereal crunches into your mint gelato, as this might be the combination you need at times when a strong urge for nicotine attacks.

Whatever your resolution, an article posted by www.glamour.com, an online publication of Glamour Magazine, suggests that you set realistic goals; surround yourself with people that will inspire you to stay the course, and remember all the beneficial reasons why you made your specific resolution in the first place.8 With that being said, keep in mind that willpower does not mean deprivation.

Gelato is certainly not the cure to all the world's problems, but it's surely an aid to consider as you strive to meet your New Year's goals. Here's to staying resolute!


1Sparacino, A. (2013). New Year, Healthier You
Retrieved February 2013

2Edwards, M. (2009). Gelato - How Many Calories?
That's Fit; get healthy, be strong, live well
Retrieved February 2013

3 Calories in Frozen Yogurt (2013).
FatsecretTM All Things Food and Diet
Retrieved February 2013

4Chan, A. (2012). Health Benefits of Friends and Family: 8 Reasons Why It's Healthy To Spend Time With Loved Ones
Retrieved February 2013

5The Mayo Clinic Staff. (2012). Stress Management; Social Support: Tap this tool to beat stress
Retrieved February 2013

6World of Ice Cream: Ice Cream vs. Gelato
Gelato = less fat + no air added = rich creamier taste
Retrieved February 2013

7Angelo, D. (2010).
Top 10 Foods for Stress Releif
Retrieved February 2013

8Petronis, L. (2013). It's Not Too Late! How to Reboot Your 2013 Resolutions
Retrieved February 2013