Is Cool Whip Keto? How to Make Keto-friendly (and Vegan) Whipped Cream?

More than fifty years ago, in 1966, a company called Birds Eye (part of the Kraft Heinz Company nowadays) launched the product destined to be the most popular whipped topping in the U.S. 

It comes in many varieties (light, fat-free, sugar-free) and flavors (from chocolate to strawberry). And since it’s as common as cranberry sauce during Christmas and it’s hard to imagine our lives without it, the question “Is Cool Whip keto?” has to be answered. And it’s not as straightforward as you might think in the first place. 

Are you interested in a particular question about Cool Whip and keto? Then use the table of contents below to jump to the most relevant section. And you can always go back by clicking on the arrow in the right bottom corner of the page. Also, please note that some of the links in this article may be affiliate links. For more details, check the Disclosure section at the bottom of the page. 

How many carbs are in Cool Whip? 

While Cool Whip might not be as carby, I thought there are some other issues with this product too. 3 tablespoons (45 ml) of classic Whip contain 35 calories, 3g of fat (2.5g of saturated fats and 0.1 of trans fats), and 3g of carbs (2g are from sugar). 

Even though I personally would prefer to see zero instead of three, Cool Whip carbs content is not the thing that bothers me the most. Especially as a person following the clean and healthy version of keto. 

The list of ingredients looks pretty horrifying. Apart from water and xanthan gum that I am OK with, the product includes sodium caseinate (from milk) and 22% hydrogenated oils. Plus polysorbate 60, some artificial flavors, sorbitan monostearate, etc.  

Each of the ingredients calls for a separate article. Still, you are here for another reason, so I’ll be brief with additional facts. Sorbitan monostearate, while marketed as safe, still has proved to affect kidneys’ health.

Hydrogenated oils turn into trans fat and don’t do any good for our hearts’ health. Polysorbate 60 is known to influence fertility and generally is toxic

My personal rule of thumb while evaluating new product composition is: “don’t eat anything you don’t know about.” And, frankly, Cool Whip and its ingredients don’t pass the familiarity test. 

Sugar-free Cool Whip nutrition

“Is the sugar-free version of Cool Whip any better for keto,” – you may be wondering. 

Surprisingly, there is a higher amount of carbs in sugar-free Cool Whip. 

In 2 tablespoons serving of sugar-free Cool Whip, there are 25 calories, 1g of fat (saturated fat), and 3g of carbs. (So it’s 3g VS 2g in regular one if you compare the same serving size).

How can that happen? Well, it’s all about the ingredients again. While there might be no sugar in sugar-free Whip, there’s Corn Syrup. And it’s practically as bad in terms of its influence on glucose and insulin levels as your old table sugar.

It also has Aspartame, probably the most notorious artificial sweetener from all. And all our other friends: hydrogenated oils, artificial flavors, Polysorbate 60 – are in place too. 

Is Cool Whip bad for you? 

Cool Whip is definitely not healthy for you, whether you are following the keto diet or not. 

Trans Fats, artificial flavors, high-fructose corn syrup, and other modified chemical ingredients won’t do you any good as I’ve elaborated earlier. 

There was an interesting experiment by wellness-advocate Jonathan Fields, who left a pair of scoops of Cool Whip and Whipped cream for 12 days to see how those will be holding up. I am not surprised that Cool Whip remained practically unchanged.

Do you want something like that in your body? I don’t think so. It’s almost the same as if you were eating plastic bags. 

Keto replacement for Cool Whip

If you want a store-bought version of a similar product, you might want to go for Truwhip. It has pretty much the same carbs count (which can be tolerated on keto), but the ingredients are way better.

And they have a plant-based version too (and I’ll explain why it’s important to keep you in ketosis in a bit).  

Is heavy whipping cream good for the keto diet?

It’s only logical to turn to homemade alternatives for cool whip if you are striving to be healthy (on keto or not). However, there are some things to keep in mind. 

The fat in heavy whipping cream is mainly saturated fat. And it’s believed to contribute to the various heart diseases. It’s also high in calories (around 400 calories per 1/2 cup). So it can be super easy to eat way more than you need for losing/maintaining your desired weight. 

Traditional whipping cream is made of dairy produce. But more than 65% of people may be lactose intolerant and thus need to avoid heavy whipping cream, along with other dairy products. 

And most importantly, dairy contains a particular type of protein that can lead to unwanted insulin spikes. When this happens, you may get kicked out of ketosis.

It scores extremely low on the glycemic index (15 to 30), but very on the insulin index.

E.g., Skim-fat milk has an insulin index of 60 ± 13, and it’s the same as Cheerios. 

High dairy intake is a significant predictor of insulin resistance, some studies show.

And in keto, it’s all about keeping the insulin low. That’s why we avoid sugars. But clearly not only carbs are responsible for insulin spikes, some proteins are guilty of it too. That’s why it’s important to follow the cleanest keto possible.

Otherwise, you’ll deprive yourself of carbs. Still, you won’t get the desired results with your keto journey as unknowingly, you’ll be indulging with eating seemingly “keto-safe” products. And those will drive your insulin levels up. 

That’s why my best suggestion would be to opt-in for a homemade plant-based whipping cream version if you are on keto. 

Keto-friendly whipped cream

Thanks for the graphics:

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