Gelato vs Ice Cream

By | February 3, 2020

With a full summer, many of us turn to our favorite frozen food for dessert. But while picking between Gelato vs Ice Cream, you may be wondering which one is the healthiest. If you are curious, we give you an explanation of these two delicious foods.


Gelato is the Italian word for ice cream. Gelato is made with milk, cream, various sugars, and ingredients such as fresh fruit and nut purees. It is simply the Italian word for ice cream, derived from the Latin word “gelātus” (meaning frozen). But, gelato is actually different from the traditional recipe of ice cream because it is lighter, having a lower butterfat content than traditional ice cream. To put some percentages on it, gelato typically contains 4-8% fat, versus the 14-16% found in ice cream. Gelato also contains less air than most ice cream and is therefore more dense and rich in flavour. Scoop for scoop, you get more gelato than you would ice cream.

Take a look: Frozen Yogurt vs Ice Cream.

Ice Cream

Ice cream is a frozen dairy dessert made of milk, cream, sugar, and (typically) egg yolks. Traditionally, French-style ice cream contained egg yolks and was richer than American-style ice cream, which didn’t initially contain eggs. However, American ice cream has now evolved to also include the yolks. The ingredients in ice cream are first cooked together into a rich custard. After the custard base is cooled, it’s churned at a fairly high speed to incorporate air and increase its volume (cheaper ice creams tends to have more air whipped into them). Ice cream is served at a fairly cold temperature that makes scoops hold together, and the finished product is smooth, light-textured, and creamy.

GelatoIce Cream
- Gelato has less fat than ice cream- Ice cream is normally heavy on the cream and has a fat content of at least 10 percent
- Gelato has a more intense flavour than ice cream- Ice cream are first cooked together into a rich custard
- Gelato is churned at a much slower pace- Ice creams are churned faster and harder than gelato


Compared to ice cream, gelato has less fat in the base and less air churned into it during the freezing process. Gelato has more dense and milky texture that’s less creamy than ice cream. But it’s all ice cream, just how soft serve is just warmer. When you really have to choose, none of these frozen desserts can be classified as healthy. Ice cream is the clear nutritional loser. Gelato is quite comparable. Though gelato has more fat and calories, most people will find a much smaller portion size satisfying.

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