For healthy people, normal consumption of cream as part of a balanced diet is not a problem. Excess can, however, be harmful. It is worth pointing out that cholesterol is essentially manufactured by the organism, that it is necessary for life and that the levels in the blood are linked to a number of factors: genetics, gender, age, lack of physical activity, obesity, etc.
Cream is obtained after milk has been skimmed. Some of this cream is reintroduced back into the milk to produce semi-skimmed milk. The other part of the cream is used to produce the “cream” we find in the grocery store or supermarket. An average of 7 litres of milk is needed to obtain 1 kg of 30% fat cream.
Cream contains vitamin A. It is worth noting that the lower in fat the cream is, the fewer vitamins it will contain.
This vitamin has the following properties:
- Vitamin A (or retinol) plays a role in:
- Immunity (ability to fight illness)
- Skin health
Cream does not contain much calcium: a 30 g portion of cream provides less than 30 mg of calcium.
Its calorific value is 240 Kcal per 100 g. Cream is the fat with the highest water content and contains fewer calories than butter or oil for the same quantity.
The fat content of cream varies depending on whether it is whole or low-fat. The nature of the fatty acids is the same as butter with 2/3 saturated fats.
Focus: Fatty acids in dairy products
Saturated fats are mainly found in milk fat. We now know that, depending on their nature, not all saturated fats have the same effect on health. The family of fatty acids is large and we are learning more and more about the roles each one plays. Depending on their biochemical structure, they can be divided into two families:
- Short-chain and medium-chain fatty acids
They are mainly found in milk fat and are quickly used by the liver, so are not stored in large quantities. They do not increase cholesterol levels and some even lower them. One of them protects against colorectal cancer.
- Long-chain fatty acids
Some of them, in particular palmitic acid, are likely to increase cardiovascular risk if they are consumed excessively. Others have a neutral effect on cholesterol levels and a positive effect on protein metabolism and omega-3 fatty acids.
Furthermore, dairy products also provide polyunsaturated fats in balanced proportions (omega-6 and omega-3) and monounsaturated fats with a positive health image.
Lactose intolerance is caused by a deficiency of an enzyme, lactase, which digests lactose, the sugar found in milk. Some people, if they consume a certain amount of lactose, experience digestive problems, which is known as lactose intolerance. Cream contains very little lactose and is generally tolerated.
A food allergy is caused by a disruption of the immune reaction. It occurs following consumption of proteins found in foods such as milk. Milk protein allergy is not the same thing as milk sugar (lactose) intolerance. Cow’s milk protein allergy occurs in young children, but most grow out of it, which is why it is rare in adults. If a milk protein allergy is diagnosed, no dairy products should be consumed, and that includes cream as it contains traces of proteins.
There is no risk in consuming pasteurised cream during pregnancy.
A little teaspoon of cream can be added to purées from the age of 7 or 8 months. Cream enhances the flavour of foods and contributes to the process of learning about taste. It can then be consumed throughout life (in reasonable quantities…).
In addition, until the age of 2 or 3, children need to eat plenty of fats to aid development of their brains and nervous system, so no low-fat products…
Yes, by balancing it with other fats (butter, oils, etc.) to avoid daily excess.
No food “makes you fat” if it is eaten in reasonable quantities as part of a balanced and varied diet.