Frank's Ice Cream Diabetic Vanilla

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Frank's Ice Cream Diabetic Vanilla

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Review of "Frank's Ice Cream Diabetic Vanilla"

published 15/01/2009 | suehome
Member since : 11/06/2008
Reviews : 54
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Good
Pro Competitively priced
Cons Please ponder The Dilemma
very helpful
Smell
Product Quality

"At last a diabetic ice cream which tastes good.."

Diabetes is a condition which knowingly affects over 2.5 million people here in the UK, and probably at least half a million who don't yet know. The condition is caused when the amount of glucose circulating in the bloodstream becomes too high through either a lack of insulin production or what is produced not working effectively. Since glucose is produced within the body from starchy or carbohydrate rich foods it therefore follows that diabetic people have to be careful about their dietary intake of such foods. The product I am reviewing is declared to have been designed to a recipe more suitable for people with diabetes. It goes without saying that consumption should be as part a normal healthy diet.

With a diabetic in the family, our approach has been to try to follow a normal healthy diet, but indulge in the occasional naughty treat. Low sugar/calorie puddings have been the normal order of the day. Imagine my delight when I spotted an award winning "consumer taste approved" diabetic vanilla ice cream carton lurking in the freezers in my local Asda.

The Product

The one litre carton has an attractive image of golden creamy melt in the mouth ice cream and retails for £1.88 at Asda. This compares favourably with store's own brand 'Good For You' vanilla Ice cream and costs much less than other premium brands. A good start then since these specialist products tend to command a higher price; so well done Asda.

There is really nothing remarkable in the packaging, it's just your standard ice cream box with the usual removable tab on one corner. On opening the ice cream does look like the picture on the box, pale not golden yellow, has a faint whiff of vanilla and appears to be rich and creamy. The texture on scooping it out is probably closest to a typical soft scoop product, thankfully it's not rock hard or crystalline. Visually you would probably not be able to tell that this was any different to mainstream ice cream.

I cannot profess to be an ice cream connoisseur, but initial taste and impression in my mouth is simply creamy vanilla ice cream. Its not overly sweet, and the vanilla is not overpowering, and I would probably be hard pressed to distinguish it from an own brand standard ice cream. Better still there is no unpleasant or lingering after taste. Please don't expect a luxury treat based on the award winning claims on the packaging but equally it's not claiming to be anything more than standard vanilla, but it certainly tastes far better than any of the non-dairy vanilla desserts that we have tried.

In the UK to be called ice cream a product must contain a minimum of 5% fat and a minimum of 2.5% milk protein. This product actually contains skimmed milk powder, vegetable fat, fructose, maltodextrin, dextrose, emulsifiers, flavourings and natural colours. Nutritional information as follows:

Nutrients per 100g

Energy 163kCal
Energy 683kJ
Protein 3.4g
Carbohydrate 17.9g
Fat 7.7g

The Dilemma

I understand that it's the use of primarily the sugar fructose rather than other sugars which makes this recipe more suitable for people with diabetes. This approach has been developed since fructose is sweeter than conventional sugar (sucrose0 or glucose in its pure form, ergo you need to put less in to achieve the same sense of sweetness. Also the metabolism of fructose is different. Sucrose is digested quickly in the stomach passing rapidly through to the blood stream as glucose and fructose molecules. However fructose on its own has to reach the intestine before absorption therefore uptake into the bloodstream is slower. Also the metabolism of fructose is via the liver, not requiring use of insulin. Therefore fructose which is commonly found naturally in fruit has traditionally been considered a better source of sweetener for diabetic people. Indeed like the rest of the population diabetics are recommended to ingest the healthy 5 a day fruit and vegetable portions.

However excessive fructose ingestion (particularly fructose corn syrup) has been shown to contribute to diarrhoea and obesity, since the metabolism of this sugar by the liver results in fat production and cholesterol. Given that people with diabetes have a a pre-disposition to high blood pressure and heart problems there is a shift in some quarters to suggest that fructose is probably not the best alternative for diabetics. Indeed some authors even suggest that sucrose within a healthy diet is the best nutrition for a diabetic.

Whilst I am not saying that the fructose concentrations within this tasty ice cream are a major concern within a normal healthy diet, I guess I am just questioning whether as a mild diabetic my brother would be better served with a smaller portion of traditional ice cream?

Interestingly on visiting the Diabetes UK website I discovered the following text in a position statement

http://www.diabetes.org.uk/en/About_us/Our_Views/Position_stat ements/Joint-statement-on-diabetic-foods-from-the-Food-Standards-Agency-and -Diabetes-UK/

"Diabetes UK and the Food Standards Agency are calling for an end to the use of terms such as 'diabetic' or 'suitable for diabetics' on food labels.
Some people might see 'diabetic' labelling as a stamp of approval, and think that the food is beneficial or even essential for people with diabetes. Also, 'diabetic' foods tend to cost more than conventional products, and sugar-free and reduced-sugar versions, so marketing products as 'diabetic' can lead people with diabetes to spend more than they need to.
'Diabetic' labelling tends to be used on sweets, biscuits and similar foods. The main concern is that labelling these types of foods as 'diabetic' undermines important messages about healthy eating. If people do eat foods and drinks containing added sugars they should do so sparingly, as part of a healthy balanced diet. This advice applies to everyone, not just people with diabetes.
Since healthy eating advice is essentially the same for people with diabetes as it is for other people, the idea of special 'diabetic' foods is out of date."

It seems then that despite my glee at discovering at last a tasty ice cream product suitable for diabetics, that I could actually buy the standard Frank's product and just use much less within a healthy balanced diet………….only Asda don't stock any other variants.

Thanks for reading

Posted on Dooyoo and Ciao under the same author

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Comments on this review

  • danielleg1989 published 12/11/2009
    Brilliant review this will be very helpful to those who have diabetes. I know that if i had it and I seen something with a label that made it look to be recommended to people with it. I would certainly be more inclined to buy it! I can see why they are calling for an end to the allowance of it being written if it could fool or confuse people x
  • hillhead published 25/08/2009
    This is a very good price for Diabetic ice-cream. My daughters little friend is diabetic and stays at the weekends. I will look out for this Thanks for the info also : )
  • Veytrivey published 28/01/2009
    Great review, well written. Thanks
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Product Information : Frank's Ice Cream Diabetic Vanilla

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Listed on Ciao since: 13/01/2009