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Thread: heavy cream vs. milk page

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    Brent*'s Avatar
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    heavy cream vs. milk

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    I'm still a little confused on these two. So both are dairy, but milk has lactose and casein, while heavy cream doesn't? So lactose intolerant people can pretty much handle heavy cream? I might have to start getting starbucks lattes with heavy cream (when I do get them on a rare occassion). I always thought they were pretty simliar aside from the fat content but apparently some people can handle all the heavy cream they want but can't handle milk.

    Also, I heard that milk causes mucus to form in your body and is bad for allergy sufferers. Is this the same case for heavy cream?

    Thanks guys for your wisdom!

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    Bron's Avatar
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    I'm not sure about the lactose thing (I found the other day I got the cramps from eating greek yoghurt and it's supposed to be low lactose), but with the reaction (it's called cows' milk protein intolerance - 3 of mine had it) it is different for everyone. Some can handle butter, some can handle ghee, some can handle other dairy milks. Mine couldn't handle anything (but they were also allergic to it).

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    I can have the heavy cream (called pure cream here) with no bad effects but milk gives me bloating and indigestion and makes my hayfever act up again - it is nonexistent while I keep off milk and grains
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    It depends on how intolerant you are. Some people report not being able to do heavy cream at all, these people can't eat butter either.
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    Also some people can handle raw milk but not pasteurized.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brent* View Post
    I'm still a little confused on these two. So both are dairy, but milk has lactose and casein, while heavy cream doesn't?
    Who told you this? Heavy cream is obtained by skimming it off the high butterfat layer from the top of settled, unhomogenized milk; as you are not changing the chemical structure, it stands to reason that they'll both contain the same enzymes.

    Quote Originally Posted by Brent* View Post
    So lactose intolerant people can pretty much handle heavy cream?
    No. The fat content is different, yes, but not necessarily the lactose content which is what people have problems with.

    Quote Originally Posted by Brent* View Post
    I might have to start getting starbucks lattes with heavy cream (when I do get them on a rare occassion).
    This is called a breve - typically this is done with half and half - and was invented in Seattle by the third-wave coffee movement.

    Quote Originally Posted by Brent* View Post
    I always thought they were pretty simliar aside from the fat content but apparently some people can handle all the heavy cream they want but can't handle milk.
    Your original assumption was correct. I'm not sure who these people are.

    Quote Originally Posted by Brent* View Post
    Also, I heard that milk causes mucus to form in your body and is bad for allergy sufferers.
    What kind of allergies? But yes. I know I feel it in my throat after I drink milk.

    Quote Originally Posted by Brent* View Post
    Is this the same case for heavy cream?
    Yes.

    Quote Originally Posted by Brent* View Post
    Thanks guys for your wisdom!
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Satch12879 View Post
    Who told you this? Heavy cream is obtained by skimming it off the high butterfat layer from the top of settled, unhomogenized milk; as you are not changing the chemical structure, it stands to reason that they'll both contain the same enzymes.


    No. The fat content is different, yes, but not necessarily the lactose content which is what people have problems with.

    ...
    That doesn't stand to reason at all. Lactose is not an enzyme, and casein is a structural protein as far as I'm aware. Heavy cream and butter are pretty much exclusively fat, thus both contain virtually zero protein (casein is a protein) and carbohydrate (lactose is a sugar), compared to milk. The nutrition labels show you that.

    Lactose and casein contents vary widely between different dairy products.

    Those who are intolerant to cow's casein often find they can tolerate goats and sheeps dairy as they contain a different type of casein. There's evidence that goats have been milked by humans for much longer than cows have, thus explaining the higher tolerance to goat's casein.
    Last edited by paleo-bunny; 01-23-2012 at 08:28 AM. Reason: typo
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    Brent - there's a third factor with dairy. If you're intolerant to yeast, mold or histamine then you'll find that hard cheeses are much more mucous-forming than soft fresher cheeses.
    F 5 ft 3. HW: 196 lbs. Primal SW (May 2011): 182 lbs (42% BF)... W June '12: 160 lbs (29% BF) (UK size 12, US size 8). GW: ~24% BF - have ditched the scales til I fit into a pair of UK size 10 bootcut jeans. Currently aligning towards 'The Perfect Health Diet' having swapped some fat for potatoes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brent* View Post
    I'm still a little confused on these two. So both are dairy, but milk has lactose and casein, while heavy cream doesn't? So lactose intolerant people can pretty much handle heavy cream?
    Sort of...depending on sensitivity. Heavy cream still has lactose and casein. It is just in far less quantities than in milk. For example, I used to drink milk every day and never had an issue with it. However, now that I have stopped drinking milk, when I have a glass, I will get awful, mutant gas. If I started drinking it every day again, my body will start producing lactase again and I'd be able to handle it after around a month or so, but I avoid it because it seems to trigger my allergies and produce some acne. Heavy cream has no effect on me because the lactose is too little and I'm not all that sensitive (and not casein sensitive at all), but very sensitive people are still effective, especially those sensitive to casein.

    FWIW, butter still contains lactose and casein - and actually generates a pretty significant insulin spike - but nearly everyone can handle butter. You'd have to be REALLY sensitive.

    Quote Originally Posted by Brent* View Post
    Also, I heard that milk causes mucus to form in your body and is bad for allergy sufferers. Is this the same case for heavy cream?
    Sure. If you're very sensitive. Cream is going to contain roughly 10% of the sugars and proteins in milk, so the possibility is there. You just have to be ten times more sensitive to be affected by cream. It's going to vary from person to person. Take note that heavy cream is very inflammatory - as is all dairy. Coconut milk is a much better alternative if you like the taste - but let's be serious, it's hard to beat heavy cream, I could drink it by the quart. Weigh your choices - if you don't seem sensitive and you love heavy cream, you'll probably be fine consuming it as the quantity in your coffee is so little. If you like coconut milk as much more more, that's a superior choice. I like heavy cream too much to give it up completely and don't seem to have issues, and I make my own ice cream so I won't be giving it up anytime soon.
    Last edited by ChocoTaco369; 01-23-2012 at 09:12 AM.
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  10. #10
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    All milk products that are HIGHER in fat are LOWER in lactose... but that does not mean that they have no lactose and will not cause a reaction.

    Yes is is possible to have a lactose response from heavy cream.
    I know this because I am lactose intolerant... and although I can use heavy cream sparingly I have to be very careful about how much I consume or I'll get sick. Anything more than a spoon of whipped cream on top of coffee and I will feel it for the next 24 hours. I almost always take a Lactaid enzyme pill when I consume it in any larger amount just to be safe... and since my body doesn't like it I don't consume it often.

    It is also possible to have a reaction to butter... if that is the case simply make your butter into Ghee... once all the milk solids are removed no lactose remains and it is safe.

    Anyone who has had a lactose reaction to Greek yogurt should make sure they were eating the full fat, NEVER the 0% or 2% that seems to be taking over in our fat phobic markets. Also I think that since the Greek yogurt is becoming more popular watching labels for things added like "powdered milk" which would increase the lactose is increasingly necessary.
    Also, if the full fat Greek gives lactose issues find some Skyr type icelandic yogurt which is made by removing much of the lactose containing whey to thicken it before the yogurt culture is added... the brand available is usually Siggi's. Always full fat as far as I know, but check the label to be sure. It is even lower lactose than Greek and an excellent option IMO. I really love skyr.

    Remember that you can assess the "lactose" in a yogurt to some degree by looking at the "sugars" amount on the label of a tub of PLAIN unflavored yogurt. The lower the sugars the better... and those were the sugars present BEFORE the culture went to work. So if it's a good tangy yogurt there will be less than indicated on the label, and what is in there should be well worked over by the cultures to make it more digestible.
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