Dr. Andrea Middleton - Is It Bad For You? Approved by Dr. Andrea Middleton

Is Sherbet Bad For You?

Also Known As: sherbert



Short answer

If you just have sherbet once in a while to satisfy a sweet tooth, it isn't bad for you. However, eating too much of it too frequently can lead to some health problems.



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Long answer

As far as food designed to please one's sweet tooth go, sherbet is one of the least unhealthy things you can have. This doesn't mean, however, that it is healthy. The primary ingredients that go into making a sherbet are fruit puree, sugar, and water. Other ingredients found in sherbet depending on the brand are corn syrup, yellow 6, citric acid, carob bean gum, karaya gum, methyl cellulose, and pectin. Among these ingredients, yellow 6 and methyl cellulose may cause concern as they have been linked to cancer. However, it should be noted that they are present in amounts most likely too small to have any adverse effect unless you were to consume sherbet constantly over a long period of time (and if you did this, your most likely worry would come from the sugars present in the food). 

As far as calories are concerned, there are a lot less present in sherbet than ice cream, which has almost twice as many. However, unlike ice cream, most of the calories in sherbet come from sugars. Sherbet has no fat and no cholesterol, but it also lacks in important things such as dietary fiber and sodium, of which it only has a negligible amount. People who are lactose intolerant may also want to stay away from sherbet, as some brands add milk products in the ingredients. 

For people looking to cut on fat and who want to enjoy something sweet, sherbet isn't very bad for your health if enjoyed in moderation. Overconsumption can lead to problems, such as weight gain and an increased risk for diabetes due to the sugar content.

Possible short-term side effects

  • constipation (if eaten as a primary food source)

Possible long-term side effects

  • diabetes
  • weight gain
  • cancer

Ingredients to be aware of

  • excessive amounts of sugar
  • yellow 6
  • methyl cellulose
  • corn syrup


  • zero fat
  • zero cholesterol
  • low calories

Our Wellness Pick (what is this?)

Gelato Libre Criollo Chocolate

  • Vegan gelato base
  • No milk or eggs
  • Rich chocolate flavor
  • Convenient 1-liter pack
Learn More!

Thank you for your feedback!

Written by Jeff Volling
Published on: 01-02-2016
Last updated: 12-15-2023

Thank you for your feedback!

Written by Jeff Volling
Published on: 01-02-2016
Last updated: 12-15-2023

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