Is orange sherbet high in calories?

Orange sherbet is a popular frozen dessert that many people enjoy as a cool, sweet treat on a hot summer day. But if you’re watching your calorie intake, you may be wondering just how many calories are actually in orange sherbet. In this article, we’ll take a close look at the calorie and nutrition information for orange sherbet to help you determine if it’s a lower-calorie dessert option or one that should be enjoyed in moderation.

Quick Answer

Orange sherbet is moderately high in calories compared to some other frozen dessert options. A 1/2 cup serving of orange sherbet contains about 150 calories. While lower in calories and fat than ice cream, orange sherbet is higher in calories than sorbet or Italian ice due to added milk and sweeteners.

Calorie Content of Orange Sherbet

The calorie content in orange sherbet can vary between brands, but on average, a 1/2 cup serving contains around 150 calories. Here’s how the calorie count of orange sherbet compares to other frozen desserts:

  • Orange sherbet: 150 calories per 1/2 cup
  • Vanilla ice cream: 137 calories per 1/2 cup
  • Sorbet: 80 calories per 1/2 cup
  • Italian ice: 70 calories per 1/2 cup

As you can see, orange sherbet lands right in the middle—more calories than sorbet or Italian ice, but less than premium ice cream. The additional calories in orange sherbet come from milk and added sugars that give it a creamier, sweeter taste than fruit-based options like sorbet.

Nutrition Facts for Orange Sherbet

Looking at the nutrition label of orange sherbet can provide more details on its calories and nutrients in a serving. Here are the nutrition facts for a popular brand of orange sherbet, per 1/2 cup serving:

Nutrition Facts 1/2 cup orange sherbet
Calories 140
Total Fat 2g
Saturated Fat 1.5g
Trans Fat 0g
Cholesterol 15mg
Sodium 65mg
Total Carbohydrates 28g
Sugars 24g
Protein 2g

As you can see, a 1/2 cup of orange sherbet contains 140 calories, with 2g of fat, 24g of sugar, and 28g of carbohydrates. Looking at the nutrition information helps explain where those calories come from—primarily the added sugars that give orange sherbet its sweet flavor.

Ingredients in Orange Sherbet

To understand why orange sherbet contains more calories than fruit-based frozen desserts, it helps to look at the typical ingredients:

  • Milk and cream – Orange sherbet contains both milk and cream, which contributes to its creamy texture, fat content, and calories. Milk-based frozen desserts like sherbet and ice cream have more calories than nondairy options.
  • Sugar – Granulated white sugar or other sweeteners are used to sweeten orange sherbet. The added sugars contribute significant calories and carbohydrates.
  • Orange juice concentrate – For orange flavor, sherbet contains orange juice concentrate, which also adds natural sugars.
  • Emulsifiers and stabilizers – Small amounts of emulsifiers and stabilizers are added to improve texture.
  • Natural and artificial flavors – Flavorings enhance the orange taste.

In contrast, lower-calorie frozen desserts like sorbet contain fruit juice or puree for flavor instead of dairy ingredients like milk and cream. The lack of added dairy and sugars accounts for sorbet’s lower calorie count compared to sherbet.

Calories in Different Sherbet Flavors

Orange sherbet isn’t the only flavor available—you can also find rainbow, raspberry, lime, and other fruity sherbet options. The calorie count can also vary slightly between sherbet flavors:

  • Orange: 140 calories per 1/2 cup
  • Raspberry: 150 calories per 1/2 cup
  • Rainbow: 160 calories per 1/2 cup
  • Lime: 130 calories per 1/2 cup

The minor differences in calories between sherbet flavors depends on the types and amounts of fruit juice concentrates used in each variety. But in general, all sherbet flavors have a similar calorie density since they are made with the same basic ingredients of milk, cream, and sugar.

Comparing Orange Sherbet to Other Desserts

To determine if orange sherbet is truly a lower-calorie dessert choice, it helps to compare its calories to other popular sweets. Here’s how it stacks up against some other dessert options per serving:

Dessert Item Calories
Orange sherbet (1/2 cup) 140
Vanilla ice cream (1/2 cup) 137
Chocolate chip cookie (1 medium) 130
Brownie (1.5 ounce) 185
Apple pie (1 slice) 296
Cheesecake (1 slice) 303

As the comparisons show, orange sherbet is moderately low in calories for a frozen dessert. It contains fewer calories than many baked dessert items like brownies, pie, and cake. However, it’s very similar in calories to a chocolate chip cookie or small slice of cheesecake.

Lower-Calorie Orange Sherbet Options

If you’re really watching your calorie intake, opt for a child-size serving or mini orange sherbet treat, which can clock in at under 100 calories. You can also make some simple tweaks to reduce the calories in orange sherbet:

  • Order a sherbet slushie or orange sherbet float made with diet soda or seltzer water.
  • Choose low-fat or nonfat frozen yogurt instead of regular sherbet.
  • Mix in some fresh orange slices for a lower-calorie sherbet parfait.
  • Skip cone dipping and enjoy sherbet in a bowl instead.
  • Share a regular-size serving with a friend.

Health Impact of Orange Sherbet

Along with calorie content, it’s important to consider how orange sherbet may impact your health:

Sugar Content

One of the main downsides of orange sherbet is its high sugar content, with around 24g of added sugars per serving. That surpasses the recommended daily limit of 6 teaspoons (24 grams) of added sugars for women and 9 teaspoons (36 grams) for men.

Lactose Intolerance

The milk and cream used in orange sherbet means it contains lactose. People with lactose intolerance may experience digestive issues like bloating, cramps, and diarrhea after eating it.

Artificial Ingredients

Many mass-produced sherbet brands contain artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives, which some people prefer to avoid.

Nutritional Value

While sherbet isn’t completely lacking in nutrients, its nutritional value is relatively low. A serving provides a small amount of calcium and vitamin C, but minimal other vitamins, minerals, or fiber.

Tips for Enjoying Orange Sherbet

Here are some tips to keep in mind if orange sherbet is your frozen dessert of choice:

  • Read nutrition labels and compare brands to find a product with less fat and sugar.
  • Stick to reasonable serving sizes around 1/2 cup, not multiple scoops.
  • Skip garnishes like sugary toppings and candies that add extra calories.
  • Savor it slowly so you feel satisfied with less.
  • Be mindful of how often you indulge, since frequent treats can lead to excess calories.
  • Pair sherbet with fresh orange slices or mixed berries for added nutrition.
  • Use sherbet as a topping instead of eating it by itself in a bowl.

Healthier Frozen Dessert Alternatives

If you’re looking for lower-calorie options, here are some healthier frozen desserts to consider instead of orange sherbet:

  • Sorbet – With around 80 calories per serving, sorbet provides the sweet, fruity flavor of sherbet with fewer calories.
  • Frozen yogurt – Depending on the brand, frozen yogurt can have 100-140 calories per serving.
  • Fruit and yogurt pops – Make your own pops by blending yogurt and orange slices.
  • Nice cream – Blend frozen bananas into a creamy, plant-based “ice cream.”
  • Protein smoothie bowls – Blend protein powder, yogurt, milk, and oranges or other fruit.

Explore your options and get creative with recipes to come up with healthier frozen treats that can satisfy your sweet tooth for fewer calories than orange sherbet!

The Bottom Line

Orange sherbet lands in the middle of the frozen dessert spectrum when it comes to calories and sugar. A 1/2 cup serving contains around 150 calories and 24g of sugar, coming from ingredients like milk, cream, and added sweeteners. While orange sherbet has fewer calories than many baked desserts, it has more than fruit-based options like sorbet or Italian ice. Pay attention to serving sizes and enjoy orange sherbet moderately as part of an overall balanced diet.

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