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“Light” whipped cream isn’t that light

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whip it good, not lightWhipped cream is one of the more waistline-unfriendly foods you can eat. It’s high in fat, can be high in sugar (and thus, high in calories) if over-generously sweetened and it is really hard to limit yourself to a two tablespoon serving size when slices of apple pie, ice cream sundaes and molten chocolate cakes call out for more than just one mouthful – and if you’re served dessert in a restaurant, they often come with enough whipped cream for many mouths. One way to have your whipped cream and eat it too is to avoid whipping large amounts of your own and go for the convenience of bottled whipped cream, where you can not only easily limit portion size but can opt for lower-fat versions. Maybe they’re not quite as good as using really fresh, high-quality cream, but by and large, they’re certainly not bad.

Still, it is important to read the actual nutritional information and not just shop based on claims being “light” on the label. I happen have a bottle each of “light” (from Rockview Farms) and “extra creamy” (Reddi Whip) in my fridge. For reference, they tasted about the same, however both bottles contained the same amount of fat (1.5g) per two tablespoon serving and the “light” had 20 calories to the “extra creamy’s” 15 calories!

A misleading term such as “light” is a good reminder that it is not an FDA-defined amount, unlike “low fat” or “reduced fat” and that it is important to double check labels if you want to know what you’re eating.

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  • miriam
    June 5, 2007

    To clarify, by FDA regulations, “light” on a label indicates that the product contains 50% of the calories or fat as compared to the original product. However, the designation does not make the food a healthy choice or a low-fat or low-calorie food item.

  • JEP
    June 6, 2007

    I prefer to eat a moderate amount of the “real deal”—-forget the light with lots of artifical ingredients

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