Custard and ice cream are creamy sweet treats that contain a number of nutrients but are also high in fat and sugar. If a serving of custard or ice cream is your idea of a tasty dessert, you may want to learn more about how they compare nutritionally. The primary difference between ice cream and custard is the higher content of egg yolks used to create the rich texture of custard, and this difference alters the taste and nutrition of the dessert.
Calories and Fat
Most desserts are high in calories and fat, which makes it important to plan ahead if you would like to enjoy a sweet treat. If you regularly eat dessert, you may be consuming more fat and calories than is healthy, which can lead to weight gain. Heart disease and Type 2 diabetes are conditions linked to high fat intake. A 1/2-cup serving of egg custard contains 147 calories, 6.46 grams of fat and 3.05 grams saturated fat. The same amount of flan-type custard has 222 calories, 6.17 grams of fat and 2.75 grams of saturated fat. A 1/2-cup serving of chocolate ice cream has 143 calories, 7.26 grams of fat and 4.48 grams of saturated fat. Vanilla ice cream contains 137 calories, 7.26 grams of fat and 4.48 grams of saturated fat.
The amount of sugar in your dessert is a health concern. Added sugars increase the calorie count of food without providing any nutrients. If you eat lots of sugary foods, you may develop dental decay or gain an unhealthy amount of weight. A 1/2-cup serving of egg custard contains 15.51 grams of sugar, and the same portion of flan-type custard has 35.42 grams of added sugar. A 1/2-cup serving of chocolate ice cream contains 16.74 grams of sugar. A 1/2-cup serving of vanilla ice cream is your lowest sugar option but still has 14.01 grams of sugar.
Custard and ice cream do supply you with a good amount of calcium, a mineral that does much more than benefit your teeth and bones. Calcium is essential for your muscles, nerves and hormone systems as well. A 1/2-cup serving of egg custard contains 151 milligrams of calcium. The same serving of flan-type custard has 127 milligrams of calcium. Ice cream does not contain as much per serving; chocolate ice cream has 72 milligrams of calcium per 1/2-cup serving, and the same amount of vanilla ice cream contains 84 milligrams.
You can add healthy toppings to your ice cream, or even to your custard. Try fresh fruit or sprinkle a teaspoon of chocolate chips over your treat to help satisfy your craving.