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Does Heavy Cream Have Lactose?

author image Janet Renee, MS, RD
Janet Renee is a clinical dietitian with a special interest in weight management, sports dietetics, medical nutrition therapy and diet trends. She earned her Master of Science in nutrition from the University of Chicago and has contributed to health and wellness magazines, including Prevention, Self, Shape and Cooking Light.
Does Heavy Cream Have Lactose?
A young woman drinking a beverage with cream on top. Photo Credit: DAJ/amana images/Getty Images

Normally, the body produces the enzyme lactase, which is required for digesting the milk sugar lactose. Some people produce little to no lactase, resulting in lactose intolerance. If this is your situation, you can experience digestive discomfort when eating lactose-containing foods, including heavy cream. Heavy cream is made by skimming the fatty cream from the milk and is commonly used as an ingredient in baked recipes. You may have problems digesting heavy cream if you suffer from lactose intolerance.

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Lactose Content of Heavy Cream

Those with lactase deficiency have varying degrees of intolerance. While some can tolerate a small amount of lactose, others are unable to have any without ill effects. Heavy cream is categorized as a high-lactose food, according to Cleveland Clinic. One-half cup of heavy cream contains between 5 and 8 grams of lactose. You may want to use a heavy cream substitute such as cashew cream if you have lactose intolerance. It's made from raw cashews. Alternatively, you can purchase a lactase supplement. Taking it prior to eating helps you digest lactose.

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