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The Nutrition of Cream

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Cream is a yellowish substance that is created when milk is heated. When milk is heated, a layer of high content butter rises to the surface. This layer is called cream. Creams that have higher fat content have a richer texture and more flavorful taste, and they do not curdle easily when they are used in cooking. The quantity of butter fat in cream determines how easily it can be whipped. The nutritional value of cream varies from one type of cream to another.

Basic Nutrition of Cream

242 grams of cream contains about 315 calories, out of which 250 calories come from fat content. The total fat content in cream is 27.8 grams, and this accounts for 43 percent of the recommended daily value. About 17.3 grams of the fat content is saturated fat, which is equal to 87 percent daily value. There are also 8 grams of monounsaturated fat and 1 gram of polyunsaturated fat in cream. Cream also has 99 milligrams of sodium which is 4 percent daily value, 4 grams of carbohydrates (3 percent daily value) and 7.2 grams of protein. The amount of cholesterol that is present is 90 milligrams, which is equal to 30 percent daily value, and sugar content is 0.4 gram. Cream also provides vitamins A and C, which amount to 13 percent and 1 percent respectively, as well as 1 percent daily value of iron. The calcium content in cream represents 25 percent of the recommended daily intake.

Different Types of Creams

There are several varieties of cream that are used for making different types of food. Some of the more popular ones are half and half, whipped cream, heavy cream and light cream. Creams are named according to the way they are used and the amount of fat they contain.

Half-and-Half Cream

Between 10.5 percent and 18 percent of half-and-half cream is butter fat. This type of cream is mainly used in the United States for preparing coffee. It is considered a lighter form of cream simply because it has lower fat content than most of the other types of cream. In the US, it is usually made by mixing equal portions of milk and cream. Half-and-half cream is commonly used as an ingredient in low-fat food.

Light Cream

Light cream is a derivative of half-and-half cream, but it has higher fat content. The percentage of fat in light cream is 2 percent to 8 percent more than half-and-half cream. Light cream is sometimes referred to as table cream, and it can be easily whipped if its fat content is increased.

Whipping Cream

Whipping cream has a butter fat percentage of 30 percent, and it is often used as fillings and toppings of desserts, ice creams and milk shakes. Since it has an adequate amount of butter fat, it is easy to whip, and it does not become bulky like heavy cream.

Heavy Cream

The percentage of fat in heavy cream is between 36 and 38 percent. This type of cream is much thicker than whipping cream. It occupies double the volume and whips denser.

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