Suncoast residents crave it, but, do you know the scoop on ice cream?

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National Ice Cream Day is Sunday.

The third Sunday in July is set aside to celebrate the cool, creamy treat.

But as much as we love to scream for ice cream, it can put a deep-freeze on anyone’s diet.

You can enjoy your ice cream nearly guilt-free if you keep your portion size under control said Kristin Kirkpatrick, R.D. of Cleveland Clinic “So, a kiddie cup is actually an appropriate portion of ice cream." She explained, " A portion of ice cream is about a half of a baseball, which is very shocking to a lot of people, but that’s pretty much what you get in these small portions.“

If you’re going to go with a cone instead of a cup, Kirkpatrick says to get a cake cone. She said they’re only about 15 calories, which is much less than the calories sugar and waffle cones can have. Another tip: tone-down the toppings because you could end up doubling your fat and calories if you’re not careful.

“When you’re thinking of toppings the best choices are to go for are nuts that are full of monounsaturated fats, as well as fiber and also very filling. And then obviously, fruit“ She explained.

Adding strawberries or blueberries would jack-up the calorie count and they’ll also provide you with some cancer-fighting antioxidants.

And when given the choice between hard ice cream, soft-serve, or a shake… say “No Thanks” to the shake.

“They could get anywhere from 3-4 scoops of ice cream and then anywhere from a cup to 2 cups of milk- typically 1% to whole milk." She added, "So, shakes actually, are one of the most calorie-dense foods we can get.”

Kirkpatrick says if you decide to try sugar-free ice cream it still doesn’t give you free reign to eat as much as you want.

by the way… It was President Ronald Reagan in 1984 that declared July “National Ice Cream Month.”