Lactose in Heavy Cream and Other Creams – Know How Much In It!

 by Dr. Steve Hruby, D.C.
Reviewed by Dr. Steve Hruby, D.C.

SuperHumans are the toughest, fittest, healthiest and happiest human beings on this planet. My mission is to help you realize your superhuman potential and learn how to live a long, happy and healthy life.

  Fact Checked
 by Rhealyn Tropia, RMT
Reviewed by Rhealyn Tropia, RMT

I’m a content organizer, fact-checker and super mom who ensures content is medically-reviewed, highly accurate, and engaging. My passion is organizing information and ensuring the facts are presented in a manner that is interesting and easy to understand.

lactose in heavy cream

Cream is a popular ingredient in many drinks, dishes, and desserts. It adds richness to soups, drinks, and casseroles.

But everything is not rosy for lactose intolerant individuals. The body produces lactase enzyme, which helps digest milk sugar lactase. However, not everyone produces lactase enzymes.

If you’re lactose intolerant, you can have digestive issues when taking too much heavy cream. Lactose in heavy cream can be an issue for such individuals. So, how much lactose do we have in heavy creams? Is there more lactose in cream than in milk?

Keep reading below as we discuss lactose in heavy creams, other creams, their lactose content, and the alternatives.

Heavy Cream Nutrition

Heavy cream is a high-lactose food. A tablespoon of heavy cream contains very low lactose averaging 0.5 grams. It’s also referred to as whipping cream. Heavy cream is a fat-enriched product made by skimming off the top layer from milk.

It boasts fat-dissolving nutrients. It’s also rich in vitamins. Below is the heavy cream nutrition.

  • 400 calories
  • 43 grams fats
  • 3 grams carbs
  • 3 grams proteins
  • Vitamin A (35%0, B (10%), E (7%), and K(3%)
  • Calcium 7%, Phosphorus 7%, and choline 4%

Lactose In Heavy Cream

Heavy cream is pretty rich in fats. A tablespoon of heavy cream contains 0.43 grams of lactose. Ideally, it’s safe for most people to use heavy cream in their diet without any issues.

The cream is generally 10% to 40% fat. However, this number varies greatly depending on the type of cream. Overall, heavy cream in small amounts is tolerable.

High amounts in lactose-intolerant individuals can lead to digestive issues. You’ve probably heard of lactose intolerance vs celiac disease comparisons. Both are reactions to food substances, with celiac being an autoimmune disease while lactose intolerance is strictly digestive.

Alternatives to Heavy Cream

So, what is the alternative to heavy cream dairy free? Most of the cream substitutes in the market feature whipped toppings. The ideal heavy cream substitute depends on your recipes.

milk butter and flour on a wooden table with pan

According to the FDA, heavy cream should have a minimum of 36% fat content. This is the highest percentage of dairy products. But there are alternatives if you want a heavy cream substitute.

Some of the top substitutes include:

  • Coconut cream: Coconut cream is a heavy vegan cream. It’s usually higher in fat than coconut milk. You can make it by chilling coconut milk overnight and scooping the top cream in the morning.
  • Milk + butter: Regular milk and butter is another great alternative to make heavy cream. Make the cream by whisking ⅔ cup of milk and a ⅓ cup of butter.
  • Half-and-half + butter: This is another mixture with high-fat content. It’s the substitute for whipping heavy cream. The mixture is made of half whole milk and half cream. It has a fat content of 10.5% to 18%. Adding butter greatly boosts the fat content of the mixture.
  • Milk and cornstarch: This combination is a great choice for adding to sauce and stew. This is a low-fat and low-calorie mixture. Cornstarch will thicken your dishes without affecting your food flavor. The cream works best for cooking but can also be used for whipping and baking.
  • Greek yogurt + milk: Greek yogurt is a great stand-in for heavy cream and adds protein. Yogurt on its own is very thick. Consider adding equal parts of Greek yogurt and whole milk.
  • Alt milk + oil: Alt milk and oil are a dairy-free substitute and a great choice for vegans. Mix ⅔ cup of alt milk and ⅓ cup of whole milk.
  • Heavy cream powder: Heavy cream powder is dehydrated sweet cream powder made from sweet cream solids.

If you’re searching for alternatives because of lactose, then you must consider options without lactose. Does yogurt have lactose?

Yes, alternatives like yogurt have lactose, but not in the same quantity as those in heavy cream. Lactose is found in all milk products, like cheese, butter, and yogurt.

Other Creams and Their Lactose Content

Apart from heavy cream, there are other creams out there to try. Most people with lactose intolerance choose these alternative creams. While the other creams contain lactose, the content is low.

Let’s see these other creams and their lacrosse content.

Clotted Cream

Clotted cream is a thick cream made by heating cow milk. The milk is heated using steam or a cloth bath and left to cool in a shallow pan. Clotted cream has a high-fat content of about 55%.

Whole skimmed cow milk contains 9 grams to 14 grams of lactose. The milk is described as having a nutty cooked milk taste. It has a rich sweet flavor and a grainy texture.

Whipping Cream

Whipped cream is another excellent choice for heavy cream and is more readily available in stores. The specific amount of lactose in whipped cream is very little, varying from 0.4 grams to 0.6 grams.

cupcake with cream frosting

It compares to lactose in mozzarella, which is pretty low. So this answers your question. Does whipped cream have dairy? Yes, whipped cream is not dairy free. The cream is made from cow’s milk and is unsafe for people with milk allergies.

Whipped cream exists in different ranges, from coconut-based toppings to plant-based toppings. Common whipped creams include SoyaToo, CocoWhip, and Nature’s Charm Cocoa whippings.

You can make whipped toppings from a can of coconut cream.

Light Cream

Light cream is a type of cream with less than 18% fat. However, some light creams can have fat ranging from 18% to 30%. Light cream is sometimes referred to as coffee cream or table cream.

Light milk has very little lactose ranging from 0.4 grams to 0.6 grams. The cream is not whippable since it has very little fat content. It also breaks easily when subjected to heat.

Sour Cream

Sour cream also stands out as a great alternative for low-lactose cream. It does exist in different brands like Natural and Daisy Pure, which are made from heavy creams.

You can also create a sour cream by adding some lemon juice to water, apple cider vinegar, and soaked cashew nuts. You can also make sour cream by adding lemon juice to coconut cream.

The lactose content in sour cream ranges from 0.4 grams to 0.6 grams which is the same as whipped and light cream.

Ice Cream

You can also use ice cream as an alternative to heavy cream. Ice cream is made from milk or cream, which is then sweetened with either sugar or any sweetener.

Other great sweetener alternatives include vanilla, spice, and cocoa. You can also use strawberries and peaches. Ice cream contains 2 to 6 grams of lactose.

Cream Cheeses

Cream cheeses are great alternatives for dairy products. There are varieties of lactose-free cream cheeses in the market. However, these cheeses are not 100% lactose-free. Most contain less than 0.01 lactose.

strawberries and cream in a clear glass

The cheese is made from real milk and cream. Some manufacturers add lactase enzymes. You can use this cream cheese in different recipes that require cream cheese, like pasta and cheesecake.

Coffee Creamers

Coffee creamers are also great alternatives to dairy products. They are readily available and in different ranges. The creamers are also available in different flavors.

Common flavors include almond-based coffee creamers. We also have complete dairy-free coffee creamers like Ripple half & half. We also have a range of coffee creamers from Silk with soy and almond flavors.

As you can see, there are different alternatives to heavy lactose. So can lactose-free milk give you gas? Unlike regular milk, lactose-free milk is safe and will not cause gas. The body can easily process it without fluid or gas.

Lactose in Heavy Cream FAQS

Is There More Lactose in Milk or Cream?

Yes, milk contains the highest amount of lactose than cream. Whole milk contains about 13 grams of lactose which is pretty high compared to cream.

Why Does Heavy Whipping Cream Upset My Stomach?

Heavy whippings cream upsets your stomach because you don’t have enough lactase enzyme to digest lactose. Most people with lactose intolerance can experience stomach upsets when

What Dairy Has the Least Lactose?

The dairy product with the least lactose is hard-aged cheese. These types of cheese include parmesan, cheddar, block cheese, and Swiss cheese.


Heavy cream is generally heavy fat. Any dairy product in the US with over 36% milk fat is considered heavy cream. Heavy cream is a popular choice ingredient for most dishes, desserts, and drinks. 

However, it’s always important to know the lactose content in the creams for lactose-intolerant individuals. While omitting the cream can make your food dairy-free, the cream does add body and richness to dishes, soups, and casseroles.

But heavy cream is pretty safe for most individuals when taken in low amounts. For persons with digestive issues, taking digestive cleaning supplements is highly recommended.

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