Gelato vs Ice Cream: Which is healthier?

Based on the Health Star Rating comparisons Elato Ice Cream has the highest number of stars,

The answer is surprising. 

To be as impartial as possible, I had a food technologist, Arife Beardsmoore, do the analysis. She used the Australian Federal Governments Health Star Rating system. This system measures kilojoules per 100g, sugars, salts, saturated fats, fibre and protein and comes up with a score from 0.5 to 5. See . At this website, it states that "the more stars, the healthier the choice".

To make the comparison, Arife used nutritional information about vanilla gelato from an Australian scoop shop that publishes its nutritional information on the internet and compared it with Elato Triple Vanilla ice cream and a leading premium vanilla ice cream. I was a bit nervous before the results arrived. Here they are:

Company Energy (kJ/100g) Saturated fat (g/100g) Total sugars (g/100g) Sodium (mg/100g) Fibre (g/100g) Health Star Rating
Elato Triple Vanilla 872 8.0 16.6 58 2.9 3.0
Vanilla Gelato  700 4.1 23.9 84 0.0 2.5
A Leading Premium Vanilla  990 9.2 19.5 45 0.0 2.0


The table shows that the gelato has the least calories and least saturated fat. However, it has the most sugar. It gets 2.5 stars because of the high sugar levels. Elato in comparison, has the least sugar of the three (40% less than the gelato) with more saturated fat but has the most protein and is the only ice cream with fibre. This gives it a 3 star rating. The leading premium vanilla scores only 2 stars because of its higher fat and higher sugar levels than Elato plus it has no fibre.

Based on the Health Star Rating comparisons in the table, Elato has the highest number of stars, followed by the gelato from a scoop shop and then the leading premium vanilla comes in third.

Given the current health focus on eating less sugar, it’s worth understanding how much sugar is in the frozen treats you love. I will leave it up to you to decide if this makes Elato healthier than gelato.

Let me know which treat you think is healthier and if you would like to know the the names of the other brands referred to above.

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1 comment

  • Thank you for letting us know that despite the high sugar levels, gelato has the least calories and the least saturated fat compared to vanilla and ice cream. It’s my nephew’s birthday next week, and I was thinking of bringing a mobile gelato cart when I attend his party. I’ll keep this in mind while I look for food services that offer mobile gelato carts for rent.

    Elina Brooks

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