Heavy Cream Vrs Half and Half?

(Vic) #1

I had seen many times that Half and half has 4 times the carbs of Heavy cream
But it does not seem like it when I look at the container

They both show 1 carb per serving

Only Heavy cream only has 1 Tbsp for 50 cals
And Half and half has 2 Tbsp as a serving for 40 cals

By looking at the container seems like Half and half is less carbs

So what am I missing?

(Joey) #2

I don’t think you’re really missing much here.

Unless you’re using either product in a form that contains additives (read ingredient label closely), the carb difference at such minimal quantities is, well… minimal. Especially in the context of avoiding dietary carbs.

Having said that, when serving sizes get down to such minimal quantities (e.g., 1 tbs) the carbs reported on nutritional labels get rounded and can wind up at “<1” or “0” even though there are trace amounts in that tablespoon.

Of course when you begin to talk about 1/4 cup or more (e.g., in home-made ice cream or whipped cream servings) then these trace amounts of carbs start to add up. You can no longer multiple by “0” or “<1” for a meaningful result because you were starting without sufficient significant digits.

Having said this, we use “heavy whipping cream” in our home. Milk products that are low-fat or skim tend to have higher carb contents than full fat products, so I’ve assumed that 1/2 and 1/2 includes more higher carb milk in the mix … but perhaps I’ve been mistaken in this thinking? :man_shrugging:

(Vic) #3

So strange, I am getting back into things after a couple years off

I have had heavy cream since I started because it has been said there is a big dif in carbs

But my wife said to me Half and half is about half the carbs and half the cals per Tablespoon

Then I looked it up online google searched and site after site would actually say Half and halve literally has 4 times the carbs than heavy cream

this confused me greatly as I looked at the containers but yet there it was one site after another

I don’t use it all that often on a rare occasion for a tea or coffee if I am going to be out and about for some time

Mostly I do black coffee and some butter, just once in a while I want the cream

and then on occasion for a recipe My wife drinks it more then me, Otherwise it probably would never make it to the end of it before it went bad

(Bob M) #4

It reminds me of comparing 85% chocolate versus 72 or so percent chocolate. Unless you’re eating a lot of chocolate, there’s not a lot of carb difference between the two.

(Joey) #5

Hmmm, when I do rarely munch chocolate it’s 100% cacao baking chocolate. Perhaps I should loosen up.

I typically put a spoonful of unsweetened cacao powder in my black coffee which makes for a wonderful dark mocha. Never bothered to worry about the minimal carbs since I don’t eat anything until just after noon time anyhow. :thinking:


We don’t have either item here but we have proper labels so I can just look at them :slight_smile:
I would think half and half is carbier, it’s milk and cream, right? And milk is carbier than cream…
But unless one uses very much, the carb content is small either way.
(I don’t even count animal carbs as they don’t seem to matter to me but it’s me. I drink as much milk as I consider right based on other things, not carbs.)

Chocolate is quite low-carb except the sugar. I dislike sugar and the excessive sweetness alike (it doesn’t help that I dislike chocolate with a high cocoa content, I tried many but it never was nice to go over 70%). I make my own, it’s barely any work and I change the recipe according to the actual taste of the target person (my SO prefers a sweeter one with much more cocoa and way less coffee than I do and my preferred sweetness is subject to change).

I do similar things sometimes :slight_smile: Mom always put cocoa into coffee things and coffee into chocolate things and I often do the same. They are good together. I like chocolate with a significant amount of coffee :yum:

(Bacon is a many-splendoured thing) #7

According to data supplied by the U.S. Department of Agriculature:

  • Heavy cream is calculated to contain 3.8 g of carbohydrate in 100 g of heavy cream.

  • Half and half is calculated to contain 4.3 g of carbohydrate/100 g, 4.13 g of which was measured to be lactose.

  • Low-fat half and half is is analysed to contain 3.33 g/100, all “sugar” (*i.e.,no indication of whether it’s sucrose, galactose, or lactose).

  • Fat-free half and half contains 9 g of carbohydrate/100g, 5 g of which is sugar (again, no analysis of which sugar).

(Bob M) #8

Those last two…make no sense. Half and half is half milk, half cream. Fat free half and half is…what? Skim milk, really.

(Bacon is a many-splendoured thing) #9

An excuse for charging more? :grin:

(Laurie) #10

You won’t get accurate numbers for tablespoons; the amounts are so small that they round the numbers up or down.

If you have just one or two cups of coffee per day, with a small shot of cream, it won’t make much difference. But for someone like me, who has 4 or more hot drinks per day, with triple shots of cream in each, it adds up quickly.

Try looking it up online. But instead of tablespoons, find out how much per cup. According to my search, a cup of whipping cream contains 6.6 grams of carbs, while a cup of half-and-half contains 10.4. Not that huge of a difference I guess.

(Joey) #11

Low fat and fat-free means that a given volume must contain something else.

If it’s not fat, wouldn’t it make sense that it might be something, like, say carbs?

(Bob M) #12

That’s the whole travesty of the low-fat diet: you remove fat, you have to replace it with something, and that’s usually not protein.


You have a point! Fat-free cream? My mind can’t do anything with this…

Half and half should be between the fattiness of milk and cream. It can’t be NOT fatty. The cream can be low-fat but it’s still 8% fat (I never saw lower-fat cream here and it wouldn’t make sense. if we go below, that’s milk fattiness level, not cream).

(Vic) #14

it is a big difrence

But how do they get that when they both show 1 carb er serving but heavy cream is only 1 Tbsp verse half and halve is per 2

as far as I understand if it is above .6 it will be listed as 1 and if it is below .6 it will be listed as 0

but how can there be only 6.6 in HWC at the lowest of .6 per tbsp. should come to 9.5

(KM) #15

If you want to make sense of it you have to consider the fat grams. Heavy whipping cream can be as low as 130 calories per 2 tablespoons, up to 160 or more. The English version of cream, real cream, is even fattier as it’s not even a liquid anymore. Half and half is similar, with " low-fat " half and half being more milk less cream than regular half and half (or some weird creamer stuff with no fat in it at all that still tastes fatty), which is also not necessarily literally half cream and half milk, it’s just some blend.

The more fat is in your tablespoon of cow juice, the less lactose it has and therefore the fewer carbs. Overall I don’t think it makes a lot of difference - except maybe for people like me who want 1/3 cup of cream in their gigantic mug of coffee. :cow2:

(Bob M) #16

Is that some coffee you are having with your cream? :wink:

Yeah, for someone like me, who uses a small amount of cream per day in 1 cup of coffee, whether I used cream or half and half is probably meaningless. I just have a resistance to buying half and half, instead of cream.


As it’s been said, minimal difference, I usually either do half n half to save some cals (many coffees, it adds up) or for a little bit more creamy-ness (word?) I just go with Light Cream.

(Joey) #18

Also might be helpful while making translations across units to remember that grams (units of mass) are not the same as spoonfuls (units of volume).

One teaspoon of fat weighs more than one teaspoon of skim milk reflecting higher density. :balance_scale:


Same for me but it’s many cups of coffee for me. And whipping cream vs milk :slight_smile:
A few days ago I managed to drink 15ml milk in several cups and I use more milk than cream, usually :smiley: I can’t stop finding my minuscule amounts funny :smiley: I have this with many liquids (not the ones I use for hydration). I don’t even track booze as it’s always negligible.
(But I have egg for my coffees too, it helps with minimizing drinking dairy. And sometimes I am fine with black coffee.)

So I just use whatever is more convenient or I have at hand. Joy wise… I prefer cream but it has UHT flavor… Still good :smiley: If I cared about carbs, I probably would choose cream over milk but it’s not the case and I can drink very little milk if I put my mind on it.

And @SomeGuy has a point. But what actually matters is the portion we use. Cream is more rich so I need less of it. Maybe it’s not true for everyone though. And cream is less carby too so it’s doubly preferable. Nicer as well. To me, at least. I always preferred fattier things, it’s only to some extent but dairy can’t go overboard (at least I never met such a thing… ghee doesn’t count, I dislike it due to the lack of flavor), meat can.



to OP, pick one and if you do ok on it and it suits you then go for it on this one.