Ice cream is an icon of American culture, with per-capita ice cream consumption in the U.S. at about 5 1/2 gallons in 2005. The calories in ice cream varies depending on ingredients and additives in each type of ice cream.
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Most French vanilla ice creams are enhanced with the thickness, color and flavor of eggs. This adds more fat and calories. The benefit of choosing soft-serve is that it contains less milk fat and more air than hard ice creams. A half-cup of French vanilla soft serve has 191 calories.
Half a cup of Dairy Queen soft serve ice cream without the cone contains 140 calories, according to the American Dairy Queen website. A child-size cone, weighing 99 g, has 140 calories, while the small cone, 147 g, has 270 calories.
Katharine Branham, writer for the Nutrition Guide on the Food Reference website, states that a small cone of soft serve ice cream at a local fast food restaurant was equal to 135 calories. Katharine advises checking out the nutrition guide at any restaurant before placing your order if calories are of concern. Food establishments often have detailed guides available or a manager can direct you to one.