Wednesday, October 7, 2009


I love eating ice cream. For many years I didn't keep it in the freezer as having it handy and close by was too tempting. I would visit the ice cream container several times a week. Sometimes, the dish would be not be needed and my pilgrimages involved just a small spoon and the ice cream container. This was a true version of grazing. Besides when you are eating out of a container and standing up, the calories don't count.

I have finally decided on a way to live with ice cream in my house. I only have weekly visits. I picked Saturday night as my weekly date with ice cream. I also allow myself more than the serving size listed on the container. In this case, one of my favorite ice creams has 120 calories per half cup with 2.5 grams of fat. In fact, this is not real ice cream, it is yogurt ice cream. Along with the ice cream, there is the additional chocolate sauce. Friends of mine understand my obsession and buy me dark chocolate sauce when they visit the U.S. Sometimes they also bring back 'lite' sauce. A decent size bowl is used, several scoops of ice cream are lovingly placed in the bowl and then the chocolate sauce is drizzled over the ice cream. I also have a pair of eyes watching me eat my treat. My dog has discovered the pleasures of ice cream and he gets a tasting each week of ice cream in his bowl. I know he has good taste.

In September I was reading an article in Science Daily on how ice cream targets your brain before your hips. The article says it is your brain's fault for sabotaging your efforts to get back on track after you splurge on the extra scoop of ice cream. This study says that fat from certain foods we eat makes its way to the brain. Once there, these fat molecules cause the brain to send messages to the body's cells and warns them to ignore the appetite suppressing signals from leptin and insulin, which are hormones involved in weight regulation. Basically you overeat. The brain is involved as it normally incorporates some of the fat we eat into its cells. Now there are different types of fat including saturated and unsaturated fatty acids. In a nut shell, their research points to foods that are high in saturated fats such as ice cream causes you to eat more. This all points to the recommendation that we should limit our intake of saturated fat as it appears to make us eat more.

I will still continue eating my weekly ice cream and I now have a better appreciation on why my brain may be making me gain weight.

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