Our Health Benefits
It’s easy to be confused by the ever-changing views about what we should and should not eat, fuelled by a constant stream of new studies about this or that. The headlines contradict themselves and steer us in different directions, and we are left wondering 'what is the truth? The age-old adage "don't believe everything you read" comes to mind.
The human body is incredibly complex and varied and we are all different. What might be good for some can be detrimental to others, and the astronomical number of complex interactions that make us what we are is nearly unfathomable. As a result, you can search the Internet and find articles that back up any opinion.
At Perfect World we don’t want to tell you what you should or should not eat, nor are we here to espouse opinions (as opposed to facts) about nutrition and health. Most everything bought on a supermarket shelf can be enjoyed in moderation. However, we know that when it comes to treats moderation can be a bit difficult, and over-indulgence is not without its consequences.
With this in mind, we set out to make something that is just as delicious as the guilty pleasure, but without the guilt. In other words you can enjoy it on a regular basis (as part of a healthy and balanced diet) whilst giving yourself a good dose of vitamins, minerals and other nutritional goodies. And what’s more, you won’t be filling yourself full of sugar!
For nutrition details by flavour and their associated health benefits, please look at our Line Up page.
“Choosing a healthy balanced diet is one of the most important things you can do to invest in your health but unfortunately in the UK, surveys like the National Diet and Nutrition Survey (NDNS), reveal that many of us are still eating way too much saturated fat and sugar, while our diet is short in fibre and key vitamins and minerals. The good news is that eating healthily doesn’t have to mean missing out on the foods you enjoy; choosing a better-for-you alternative is sometimes all it takes. Ice cream has always been a naughty-but-nice treat … until now. Opt for brands such as Perfect World Ice Cream, which contains no added sugar, dairy, gluten or soy. It has less saturated fat and fewer calories than most other brands, is a vegan option and also high in fibre and 12 vitamins and minerals – who knew healthy could taste so good!” Fiona Hunter, BSc (Hons) Nutrition.
Unhealthy indulgences, like normal ice cream, chocolate bars, crisps and sugary drinks, tend to be a big source of what are increasingly being referred to in the media as ‘empty calories’, meaning calories that don’t give you any nutritional benefit. It makes sense that these should be eaten only in small amounts. The idea of ‘empty calories’ is more advanced in the US than in the UK; there the recommended limit for empty calories is 160-260kcal per day (dependent on your age and sex) and that is all the calories from added sugars and solid fats you are supposed to eat in an entire day! Perfect World Ice Cream gets most of its calories from nuts and coconut, with lots of lovely nutritious goodness intact. That means these calories can fit into your normal daily calorie allowance. We have no added sugars and our fats are mostly the unsaturated type - and we know that replacing saturated fats with unsaturated fats in the diet contributes to the maintenance of normal blood cholesterol levels. Perfect World Ice Cream is also fortified with 12 vitamins and minerals such that a full tub will give you 100% of your daily requirements of them.
No animal products
From 2018 all our ice creams are completely vegan. Prior to this we used free range egg, a traditional ingredient in ice cream, but many of our customers requested that we remove it. So after a period of intense product development we did just that.
Natural Sweeteners, not sugar
Stevia sweetener has appeared relatively recently in Western countries, but it has been in use for a very very long time. It is not related to sugar as it has no carbs and no calories! Due to its extreme potency it is usually added to other sources of sweetness, and we use it in combination with polyols, which are another class of sweeteners. Stevia and polyols come from natural origins and they are now gaining in popularity due to their low calorie, low or no carb, low GI nature, and their similarity in taste to sugar.
You may not have heard of polyols, but you probably already eat them every day. Polyols are also called ‘sugar alcohols,’ (no, not that kind of alcohol…) They are related to sugar but not fully absorbed by the body, so they are partially or totally (depending on the type) deducted from the total carbohydrate content before calculating the energy contribution – this is why they are sometimes referred to as ‘unavailable carbohydrates.’ In the end this means that they contribute far fewer calories, have a lower GI and can be eaten on low carb diets such as Atkins.
It’s a bit confusing, but even though polyols are not absorbed they are still listed under carbs in the nutrition tables. In some countries, such as the USA, they are not included in the total count.
There are many different polyols that occur naturally, and we use two of them in combinations. The specific names of ours are xylitol and erythritol. They are actually naturally occurring compounds which you find in plums, raspberries, cauliflower and many other fruit and veg. One of them, xylitol, is even produced by your body (5-15g per day).
Xylitol tastes and looks like sugar but it has 1/3 of the calories and a very low GI of 7. There has been extensive research done over the past 100 years on its functional benefits which includes benefits for your teeth.
Erythritol is a polyol with no calories at all! It is a bit less sweet than sugar and we use it in combination with the xylitol to keep the calories down. Erythritol is made by fermenting sugar, but because it is metabolised differently by the human body it has no GI and so like the other polyols it’s good for people who want to reduce their sugar intake, and for those who want to consume fewer empty calories.
Nuts, not dairy
We use nuts to replace the dairy in Perfect World Ice Cream. To get that wonderfully creamy texture and mouth feel of ice cream you need fats, but we still wanted our ice cream to be a healthy alternative; so nuts gave us healthier unsaturated fats as well as vitamins, essential minerals and fatty acids, and many other bioactive substances such as phenolic antioxidants and phytosterols.
Because we use nuts, most of our flavours are either 'high in unsaturated fats' or 'high in mono-unsaturated fats’. Replacing saturated fats with unsaturated fats in the diet has been shown to contribute to the maintenance of normal blood cholesterol levels. High cholesterol is a risk factor in the development of coronary heart disease.
Coconut is not actually a nut. It's a seed and there has been a lot of debate about its health properties. We use a bit of coconut for its creaminess, which comes from its saturated fats. We don't use too much, because we don't want Perfect World to taste of coconut, we want it to taste like ice cream! We get our nutritional benefits from other ingredients, and will leave the scientific community to legitimise (or not) the array of health claims being made about coconut. Coconut is delicious and it's natural, but we believe it should be eaten in moderation, so that’s how we use it.
Vitamins & Minerals
Almonds and cashews and even the chocolate give our ice creams a good amount and variety of vitamins and minerals; but we decided to go a step further. By fortifying the ice cream with 12 vitamins and minerals we now give you 100% of your daily requirement of these in each tub. They are vitamins (D, E, B1 thiamin, B2 riboflavin, B3 niacin, B5 pantothetic acid, B7 biotin, B12), minerals (chromium, manganese, copper, zinc).
High in Fibre
Our ice cream is ‘high in fibre’ according to EU guidelines, and according to the British Nutrition foundation: ‘In the UK most people do not eat enough fibre'.
We use soluble gluco fibre which is a technical name for liquid corn fibre, and this comes on top of our other natural sources of fibre (like nuts). Soluble gluco fibre is 2x more tolerable to the human body than other dietary fibres such as inulin, which is commonly used in ice cream.
Everyone knows that a good healthy well balanced diet includes a lot of dietary fibre. But you may not have known that you can increase your intake of dietary fibre by eating Perfect World Ice Cream!