Heavy Cream Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits

Heavy Cream

Getty Images / villagemoon

When you think of heavy cream, your mind probably goes first to whipped cream, though as an ingredient, it can do much more. Heavy cream can create those soft peaks because it contains at least 36 percent milkfat (by comparison, whole milk has about 3.25 percent milkfat).

Heavy cream does have some nutrients, as it's a dairy product, including protein, vitamins A and D, and minerals like calcium and phosphorus. However, you would need to consume a lot of it to gain any substantial nutritional benefit, which is prohibitive because of the caloric load.

Instead, think of heavy cream as a strategic ingredient that can make nutritious recipes and foods even more delicious. Add a splash to soups or dressings, whisk a tablespoon into eggs for an extra-fluffy scramble, stir some into your coffee or tea, or whip in a spoonful to enrich your mashed sweet potatoes. Of course, enjoy a spoonful whipped on top of berries for a luscious, no-sugar-added dessert.

Heavy Cream Nutrition Facts

The following nutrition information is provided by the USDA for 1 cup (238g) of fluid heavy cream.


  • Calories: 809
  • Fat: 85.9g
  • Sodium: 64.3mg
  • Carbohydrates: 6.76g
  • Fiber: 0g
  • Sugars: 6.95g
  • Protein: 6.76g

Carbs

Heavy cream, like most dairy products, is relatively low in carbohydrates, though it does have some, thanks to the naturally occurring sugar, lactose. Given that you're most likely not going to have a large serving of cream in one sitting, 2 tablespoons (the equivalent of 1/4 cup whipped) provides just under a gram (0.9g) of carbs.

Fats

Heavy cream is rich in fat, with nearly 11 grams (10.8g) in 2 tablespoons. It's mostly saturated fat (6.9g), with some monounsaturated (2.7g) and a small amount of polyunsaturated (0.5g).

Protein

Like other dairy products, heavy cream contains protein, but it's not a good choice as a source of protein as compared to other dairy products, such as yogurt, which has more protein for the same amount of calories. Two tablespoons of heavy cream contain just under a gram (0.9g) of protein.

Vitamins and Minerals

Heavy cream does contain micronutrients that can boost health, such as vitamins A and D, and minerals such as calcium, potassium, and phosphorus, But you would have to consume a lot to get significant amounts of any of these nutrients. Vitamins A and D are fat soluble, and there is significant fat in heavy cream, so your body is more likely to absorb them.

Calories

One cup of heavy cream contains upwards of 800 calories, however, it's unlikely that a person would consume this volume in one sitting. One tablespoon, a more likely portion, contains approximately 51 calories.

Health Benefits

Heavy cream offers some health benefits from protein and fat as well as micronutrients, but its greater benefit is in making other healthy foods more palatable and satiating. For example, a bowl of tomato soup is delicious and nutritious, but add a spoonful of heavy cream to it, and it becomes much more indulgent-tasting and filling. Plus, the vitamins A, E, and K in the soup are more bioavailable in the presence of the fat in heavy cream.

Allergies

Anyone with a dairy allergy should not consume heavy cream. Allergic reactions to dairy may include vomiting or other digestive problems, wheezing or hives, and may be mild or severe.

People with lactose intolerance also should avoid heavy cream. Lactose intolerance isn't an allergy, but rather an inability to digest lactose, the sugar in milk and other dairy products. People with lactose intolerance don't have the lactase enzyme, or enough of it, to break down the lactose, and may suffer from bloating, gas, and diarrhea.

Storage and Food Safety

Heavy cream will keep in the refrigerator for about a week after it's been opened, if stored properly. Keep heavy cream and other dairy products on a lower shelf toward the back of the fridge to keep it as cold as possible. Don't store heavy cream or other dairy in the refrigerator door, where the temperature fluctuates the most.

You can tell if your heavy cream has gone bad if it has a sour smell, or if it's become very lumpy.

Recipes

Was this page helpful?
Article Sources
Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. USDA FoodData Central. Cream, fluid, heavy whipping. Published April 1, 2019.

  2. USDA FoodData Central. Cream, fluid, heavy whipping. Published April 1, 2019

  3. Health NRC (US) C on D and. Fat-Soluble Vitamins. National Academies Press (US); 1989.