Whole Milk vs Heavy Cream – Which Should You Go For?

Whole milk vs heavy Cream. Both products are an enigma. You’ve been to the grocery store and seen the aisle; the displayed rows of products include hundreds of whole milk and heavy cream brands.

The two dairy products are beneficial; if not, they won’t be in high demand. However, the question in people’s hearts is ‘which is healthier?’ Luckily, the answer to this question is not complicated at all. This article will review and determine the solution.

What is whole milk?

Whole milk is a dairy product from cows with a fat content of at least 3.25%. It is also called full-fat milk, full-cream milk, or vitamin D milk.

Producers do not remove fat from full-cream milk during processing. Whole milk also refers to milk in its purest form – pasteurization.

It has more nutrients than its low-fat counterpart and contains Vitamin A, D, E, and K, which are fat-soluble.

You can use vitamin D milk in the kitchen for various recipes- from baking and dessert recipes to saucy and creamy dishes like mac ‘n’ cheese.

What is heavy cream?

Heavy cream is like other dairy products. Farmers get it from cows’ milk. It is cream with no less than 36% fat and is also called heavy whipping cream. It is the fusion of milk and milk fat.

The fat contained is emulsified and thoroughly mixed into the milk so that it doesn’t become separated.

Manufacturers make this dairy product by adding specific proportions of milk fat to milk. It’s also a marked source of hydrogenated fat. The definition of heavy cream is subject to the labeling standards of the Food and Drug Administration.

SEE: Can You Drink Heavy Whipping Cream?

Are heavy cream and whole milk the same?

No, they are not the same. The two dairy products differ in taste, texture, and make. Whole milk contains 3.25% fat, while heavy cream contains about 36% to 40% milk fat.

Is heavy cream better than whole milk?

No, it’s not. Heavy cream contains a higher quantity of fat than milk. It also contains nutrients like vitamin A, calcium, and Riboflavin.

When fresh milk is left to sit, the fatty part rises. Producers make the homogenized cream by separating the layer filled with fat to become the most accurate form of heavy cream.

However, the fat in heavy cream is saturated and may also contain stabilizers and thickeners. Health practitioners have linked saturated fat in this dairy product to many health concerns in the past.

Whole milk, on the other hand, only has 3.5% fat, making it a better consumption option.

The health concerns shouldn’t make you avoid heavy cream. It’s just that for your health; you should consume it in more minor potions.

SEE: How You Can Make Milk From Heavy Cream

Whole milk vs heavy cream calories

Heavy cream is high in calories, whereas whole milk has 82% fewer calories than homogenized dairy. You have 340 calories per 100 grams taken into your body when you eat standardized cream, while whole cream milk gives 61 calories.

Regarding macronutrient ratios, heavy cream is lighter in protein, much more lightweight in carbs, and more affluent in fat than whole milk per calorie.

The carbs in both dairy creams contain 100% sugar. Specifically, heavy cream has 2.9g of sugar per 100 grams, while whole cream milk has 5.1g of sugar.

Also, as regards protein, whole milk takes the lead with 3.2g per 100 grams, while heavy cream has 2.8g.

Whole milk vs heavy cream fat content

Heavy cream is high in saturated fat, and whole milk has 92% less saturated fat than homogenized milk, with 28g of saturated fat per 100 grams. Compared to this, whole milk has 1.8g of saturated fat.

For trans fat, heavy cream has 1.2g per 100 grams, and whole milk doesn’t contain significant amounts. Its cholesterol level is 10.3 times less than heavy cream.

SEE: Here’s How To Make Whole Milk At Home

Whole milk vs heavy cream keto

If you’re familiar with the keto diet, you should know it focuses primarily on swapping your body’s primary and preferred energy source, from carbohydrates to fat. Keto can be tricky to maintain when it comes to dairy products.

Here’s the thing; whole milk is not an excellent option for the keto diet. It has 12 grams of carbs per cup, so taking this milk will defeat the purpose of keto. Heavy cream, however, is doable on the keto diet because of its high-fat content.

Can you use whole milk instead of heavy cream in ice cream?

Yes, you can. And it will have the same fantastic ice cream texture you love. All you have to do is follow this simple procedure:

  • Prepare your ice cream machine. Freeze the ice cream machine bowl for the recommended time.
  • In a small pan and on medium heat, pour the ground sugar and whole milk. Whisk frequently and bring the mixture to a gentle simmer.
  • Continue to simmer until the mixture becomes syrupy.
  • Add the combination into a bowl of evaporated milk and vanilla flavor, and whisk to combine.
  • Add the optional guar gum and whisk until it’s fully dissolved.
  • Pour into a bowl with the remaining whole milk and vanilla. Whisk thoroughly to combine well. Place in a refrigerator and chill until cold for an hour.
  • Pour the chilled mixture into the ice cream machine and process it according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Transfer the processed ice cream into a freezer-safe container, cover it tightly and freeze it until it reaches your desired consistency.
  • Enjoy your whole milk ice cream.

SEE: Enjoy Creamy Desserts on Jeni’s Ice Cream Menu

Can you use whole milk instead of heavy cream in alfredo pasta?

Yes, you can. Whole milk is the best substitute for heavy cream in alfredo sauce. It is thicker, so it’s a better replacement for heavy cream with some all-purpose flour for extra thickness.

You can use the same amount of milk as you would heavy cream.

Can whole milk be substituted for heavy cream in soup?

Yes, you can. If you’re making a creamy soup recipe and you have no cream, using milk is not a bad idea. Whole milk is a great substitute, and you can use it independently. If you want very thick soup, then you should add a little flour to the milk, and you’re good to go.

Can you use whole milk instead of heavy cream in coffee?

Yes, you can. Adding whole milk to coffee is already a natural step for most people. The most popular coffee drink in the United States of America is the latte which means milk in Italian. So yes, coffee and whole milk go together.


How much milk should you put in your coffee?

The quantity of milk you put in your coffee depends more on your preferred taste. You might want to serve with a tablespoon of milk to decide if the flavor suits you.

What does pasteurized milk mean?

Pasteurization is a process that involves heating milk to eliminate harmful bacteria. Milk that goes through pasteurization has no dangerous microorganisms.

What do UHT milk and cream mean?

If you see UHT dairy products in the grocery, the product has gone through ultra-heat treatment. It undergoes pasteurization at 275 degrees Fahrenheit (135 degrees Celsius) for a minimum of two seconds. It’s then put in sterile packaging and has a lasting shelf life.

What is the purpose of heavy cream in a recipe?

Heavy cream whips and holds its shape better, which is why you can use it for everything, from pastries to fillings.


Cream and milk are dairy products that are always on sale pasteurized in stores in the United States. Yet the two have notable differences, ranging from the fat, carbs, and protein content to their uses in cooking.

Regardless of the differences, you can use both as substitutes in meals. The dual nature of both products makes them very magical creations.

You can enjoy and use both as much as you like but watch the calorie intake if you are on a weight gain or weight loss journey.

Thanks for reading.

Get more guides on creams and how to use them here on Cheffist.