Dr. Al Danenberg ● Nutritional Periodontist
April 10, 2022
If you’re not lactose intolerant, you need to give this a try.
Heavy whipping cream is not only healthy, but also tasty. I talked about animal fat in a previous blog. And cream is a perfect way to increase fat in your diet – especially if you are following my Better Belly Blueprint way of eating.
The Best Heavy Whipping Cream
First of all, there is a difference between heavy whipping cream (also known as heavy cream) and light whipping cream (also known as light cream or just whipping cream). Heavy whipping cream has at least 36 percent fat content, and whipping cream has at least 30 percent fat.
Also, heavy whipping cream tastes better, has a richer texture, and doesn’t curdle as easily when used in cooking compared to regular whipping cream.
The best quality heavy whipping cream is not pasteurized and comes from A2, grass-fed cattle grazing on pasture with no added chemicals. The next best comes from these cattle, but the cream is only lightly pasteurized (also known as vat pasteurized).
The milk-producing pastured cows may consume certain mineral and energy supplements at low levels. During the non-grazing season, the cattle also can consume all forage-based feeds, which may include dried or fermented alfalfa, clovers, and grass.
The purpose of pasteurizing milk is to kill harmful microorganisms. At one extreme, ultra-pasteurization kills offending microorganisms but also destroys many important elements in the milk. It is a process in which milk and other dairy products are heated to 190°F for a brief time—just three seconds—and then quickly cooled back down.
At the other extreme, low temperature vat pasteurization is a process where milk in small batches is heated to a lower temperature for a longer time (145°F for 30 minutes) and then rapidly cooled.
Low temperature vat pasteurization will kill unwanted bacteria but will preserve the healthy omega-3 fatty acids, essential minerals, and fat-soluble vitamins A, D3, and K2. However, even low temperatures will break down some of the beneficial enzymes, but enzymes are in relatively small amounts in heavy whipping cream.
A1 vs A2 Dairy
The difference between A1 and A2 milk is the structure of the casein protein. This protein exists in two forms: A1 beta casein or A2 beta casein. Research has found that A1 milk isn’t as good for health as A2 milk.
A1 milk contributes to intolerance of dairy products and to mucus production. It is difficult to digest and can create damage in the gut and to the immune system. The structural difference between these two types of casein is only one amino acid. Specifically, the 67th amino acid in the structure of A1 beta casein protein is histidine, whereas the 67th amino acid in the structure of A2 beta casein protein proline. People drinking A2 milk don’t seem to have the damaging effects caused by A1 milk. ,
Although there are extremely small amounts of casein in heavy cream, there is some that might cause gut and immune system problems.
In past blogs, I’ve explained the importance that our diet provides omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids in the ratio equal to, or less than, 3:1. Research has shown that consuming organic, grass-fed dairy provides this ideal ratio by lowering the levels of omega-6, while increasing the levels of omega-3.
If the cattle are grain-fed, this important ratio rises to include larger amounts of omega-6 fatty acids and less omega-3 fatty acid. Higher ratios of omega-6 to omega-3 increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, obesity, diabetes, and many other chronic diseases.
In addition, grass-fed dairy provides conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), which has been shown to help reduce the risk of cancer, obesity, and heart disease. CLA also may improve immune function. However, grain-fed cattle produce significantly less CLA.
Other Nutrients in Heavy Whipping Cream
HERE is a detailed analysis of the composition of heavy whipping cream from the USDA. And below, I listed some of the nutrients in one-half cup of liquid cream (4 ounces):
- Calories: 408
- Protein: 3 grams
- Fat: 43 grams
- Carbs: 3 grams
- Vitamin A: 55% of the Daily Value (DV)
- Vitamin D: 10% of the DV
- Vitamin E: 7% of the DV
- Calcium: 6% of the DV
- Phosphorus: 6% of the DV
- Choline: 4% of the DV
- Vitamin K: 3% of the DV
Grass-fed cattle produce several important nutrients, which are included in the heavy cream …
- Carotenoids in grass are converted into retinol Vitamin A, which improves vision, strengthens bones, and helps our immune systems.
- These cattle also convert vitamin K1 from fast-growing green grass into Vitamin K2, form MK4.
- The cows in southern states in the US produce large amounts of Vitamin D3 from sunlight.
Cows in commercial dairies located in the northern states can’t access green grasses year-round, so they may be low in Vitamin A and K2, and winter sunlight is not strong enough to provide adequate vitamin D.
I am not able to consistently purchase raw heavy whipping cream. But I can get the next best thing – cream from lightly pasteurized, A2, grass-fed, pastured cattle from Alabama.
My source is Working Cows Dairy. There may be other options available, yet this is readily available from my Whole Foods Market in Charleston, SC. The cattle raised by Working Cows Dairy Farm in Alabama produce A2 milk.
And when it comes to the question, “Aren’t dairy products inflammatory?”, I have the answer …
“When you consume dairy products from grass-fed, A2 cattle, which have healthy levels of omega-3 fatty acids and CLA as well as healthy casein, their heavy cream has potent anti-inflammatory effects.,,. In other words, consuming grass-fed A2 dairy is not inflammatory!”
Check out my recipe for Perfect Heavy Whipped Cream!
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