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In modern dairy production, the cream is separated by centrifugal force. The butterfat content in half-and-half is 10.5 to 18%; in light (coffee) cream, 18% to 30%; in medium cream, 25 to about 30%; in light whipping cream, 30 to 36%; and in whipping cream, 36% or more.
Various types of sour cream are produced by culturing cream or milk with lactic-acid bacteria. Rennet or nonfat milk solids may be added to provide body. A variety of sour-cream products are available, but true sour cream must by definition contain at least 18% milk fat by weight. Sour half-and-half, low-fat sour cream, and light sour cream are all made with half-and-half. Fat-free sour cream is made from cultured skim milk. A cholesterol-free sour cream alternative is made with skim milk and vegetable oil.
A single tablespoon of whipped cream is relatively low in saturated fat; the trick is whether any of us can actually limit ourselves to just one tablespoonful. Here are some potential strategies for reducing the intake of saturated fats:
Make whipped cream from part-skim milk or low-fat cream. Chill the milk or cream thoroughly, and use a cold bowl and beaters; serve the whipped cream within an hour. Experiment to find a naturally low-fat product that can be used as a whipped topping.
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The information presented in the Food Guide is for informational purposes only and was created by a team of US–registered dietitians and food experts. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements, making dietary changes, or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires June 2015.