Is Cool Whip Gluten Free? Info and Recipes

  • Cool Whip is a modern and gluten-free alternative to traditional whipped cream.
  • Unlike whipped cream, Cool Whip is sweeter due to its high concentration of fructose corn syrup and artificial flavors.
  • Cool Whip has a longer shelf-life due to the presence of hydrogenated oil as a key ingredient.
  • You should consume Cool Whip in moderation and limited quantities.

Today, everyone longs for a healthy lifestyle. One of the primary components of a healthy lifestyle is healthy food. While there are different aspects of what “healthy food” looks like, one basic thing most of you might ignore is whether your food is gluten-free or not.  Gluten is a protein found in grains like wheat, rye, or barley. Thus, food items that consist of these gluten-rich ingredients are unhealthy to consume. Is Cool Whip gluten-free? If you’re looking for an answer to this, here’s everything you should know in this regard.

What is Cool Whip and Is it Gluten Free?

Is Cool Whip Gluten Free
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To understand Cool Whip in a better way, think about whipped cream. Cool Whip is just a reproduction of the latter. It’s manufactured by Kraft Heinz, its owner under the company name “Kraft.” 

Cool Whip is also known as whipping topping as it is mostly used in North America as a popular dessert topping since it’s slightly sweet in taste. However, iCool Whip also uses several other bakery items like pies, cakes, bread, puddings, etc. 

People go for the whipping topping over the former whipped cream to maintain its texture and state. In addition, you don’t need to whip it before use. Instead, you have to store it in the freezer, defrost it in the refrigerator, and it’s ready to use. 

That’s the reason why its shelf-life is higher than your usual whipped cream. But, unfortunately, this also makes it cost around 50% higher per ounce than normal cream. 

Still, modern-day fitness-centric people prefer Cool Whip for other reasons you’ll come to know later in the article.

Is Cool Whip Gluten Free?

While some food items have a marking of “gluten-free” or “contains gluten,” others don’t have either of these. Cool Whip falls in the latter category. Thus, the only way to know whether Cool Whip is gluten-free or not is by looking at its ingredients.

The standard Cool Whip contains the following ingredients:

  • Water
  • Hydrogenated vegetable oil (for example, coconut and palm kernel oil)
  • High fructose corn syrup
  • Corn syrup
  • Skim milk (not until 2018)
  • Light cream
  • Less than 2% of sodium caseinate
  • Some artificial flavors
  • Xanthan and guar gums
  • Polysorbate 60
  • Sorbitan monostearate
  • Beta carotene (for color)
  • Milk

As you know, none of the above ingredients contains gluten; this shows that Cool Whip is gluten-free. 

However, with several other varieties of Cool Whip available in the market that may contain any gluten-rich product, you should always check their ingredients.  Although in the majority of the cases, it’s always gluten-free.

How is gluten harmful to your health?

With people giving up gluten and switching to a gluten-free diet, you might wonder in what ways gluten is harmful. Although it is harmful to your body in several ways, below are the most common ones.

  • Gluten problems are not restricted to people with celiac disease

You might have heard or read somewhere that people who have celiac disease should stay away from wheat and other wheat-based products. This is because of its high gluten content. 

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Even a slight gluten consumption in any form poses a serious threat to the individual intolerant to wheat (or gluten). This, however, isn’t completely true. 

Today, people who aren’t suffering from celiac disease also show gluten sensitivity. This is called non-gluten celiac sensitivity. Thus, it no longer matters whether you have celiac or not; it’s better to remove gluten from your diet. 

  • Gluten leads to gut inflammation

Another common side effect of gluten is gut inflammation. The proteins stored in wheat, like gluten, are gut irritants. That is, they slit through the gut lining and lead to inflammation around it. 

This is more important because gut inflammation due to gluten is common in both people with and without celiac disease. 

Thus, you can suffer from gut inflammation no matter if you have sensitivity to gluten or not. 

  • Gut inflammation due to gluten leads to intestinal permeability

Your gut acts as a border control that directs digested food and its nutrients into your bloodstream. However, since you also intake several unknown viruses, bacteria, or molecules of dust daily, it’s your gut that prevents these from entering the bloodstream. 

However, the gut no longer acts as the border control and leaks everything into the bloodstream due to inflammation. Thus, it is also called a “leaky gut.” 

All the above leads to intestinal permeability that is the main reason for various autoimmune diseases. 

  • Gluten doesn’t contain any nutrient

It’s another or probably the main reason why people are giving up gluten. Since it doesn’t contain any nutrients and is a major cause of issues inside the body, there is no benefit of being on a gluten-rich diet. 

So, in these ways, gluten is harmful to your body.

Cool Whip v/s Whipped Cream

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Here comes the most important topic – Cool Whip v/s whipped cream. Be it Cool Whip or whipped cream; the cream is the key ingredient in both and the base of both. 

The cream is so versatile that it is commonly used in several dishes, from cakes to puddings and from an accompaniment to the star ingredient. 

With both Cool Whip and whipped cream highly accessible to everyone in the market, people often get confused between the two. However, there are many reasons behind the same. 

For example, both have identical textures and colors, with cream being the common ingredient. Still, there are a wide number of differences between these two. Knowing them is the only way to determine which one to pick from the grocery store.

So, let’s see which is better – Cool Whip or whipped cream...

  • Ingredients

You can’t differentiate between the two without knowing their ingredients. The main ingredient of whipped cream is heavy whipping cream. Its milk fat percentage is around 36%; however, anything with a milk fat percentage of 30% is also good for whipped cream. 

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Note that the higher the milk fat percentage, the better the whipped cream will hold up its texture and shape. 

On the other hand, Cool Whip is a mixture of high fructose corn syrup, vegetable oil, skim milk, and light cream. The vegetable oil is mainly put into Cool Whip for stability and longer shelf life out of these ingredients. 

Another thing to note here is that Cool Whip is slightly sweeter due to the addition of corn syrup. However, it adds a unique taste to your desserts. 

  • Texture

The texture is another noticeable difference you can make out between the two. While whipped cream is light, airy, and fluffy in texture, Cool Whip is heavy and a sort of solid whipped cream as it’s stored in a freezer. 

To understand the texture of Cool Whip in a better way, it’s somewhat like that between sour cream and cream cheese. 

Also, whipped cream is denser due to the high air, while whipping topping hardly has any air inside it. 

  • Flavors

You can add several flavors to both whipped cream and Cool Whip to enhance their plain taste. To do so with whipped cream, always use the confectioner’s sugar as it easily dissolves into the cream.

Note that some varieties of whipped cream already contain confectioner’s sugar and thus are sweeter. 

On the other hand, Cool Whip’s sweetness is mainly due to natural and artificial flavorings. These include sodium caseinate, xanthan & guar gums, and Polysorbate 60.

Thus, you can say that whipped cream contains nearly natural sugar and Cool Whip contains artificial sugar.

  • Sweetness

Another parameter that separates whipped cream from Cool Whip is the level of sweetness in both. 

While the original whipped cream is sugar-free and its other varieties also contain less sugar, it isn’t true with Cool Whip.

Cool Whip is very sweet due to its high fructose corn syrup concentration. Unfortunately, this also makes it slightly unhealthy in comparison to whipped cream. 

Still, it’s this high sweetness that completely enhances the taste of your desserts or meals. 

  • Price

When both share nearly similar texture and taste, the price difference has the final say. So, let’s see which of the two – whipped cream or Cool Whip, is cheaper. Whipped cream is much cheaper than Cool Whip due to the heavy use of artificial flavors in the latter. 

So, these are the major differences between whipped cream & Cool Whip. There is no clear winner between the two as both are good at their places. 

Is Cool Whip healthy or not?

Is Cool Whip Gluten Free

Is Cool Whip healthy or not is another common question people usually feel before buying or trying it. As a short answer, Cool Whip is good for consumption but only in moderation.

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This is because of its contents like high fructose corn syrup and hydrogenated fat. Since both these are highly unhealthy, you’d not consume Cool Whip like you’d consume its healthier alternative whipped cream.

Thus, always consume Cool Whip in moderation to keep yourself safe from side effects like high cholesterol, obesity, and even cancer. 

Some cool recipes from Cool Whip

Is Cool Whip Gluten Free

Like whipped cream, you can use Cool Whip in tons of dishes, mainly desserts with minimum ingredients. Some of the easiest and quickest Cool Whip recipes are:

#1 Food for Gods or the Ambrosia salad

If you are into fitness and can’t consume desserts now and then, try the quick ambrosia salad and satisfy your sweet cravings. It contains fruit chunks (pineapple, apple, mango, etc.), marshmallows, shredded coconut, and Cool Whip. 

The ingredients might sound strange, but the combination tastes so good. You can further enhance the taste through dry fruits and some hot chocolate on the top.

#2 Peanut butter salad

After seeing the final result, you may not believe it is a salad in any sense, but that’s how it’s called. Peanut butter salad contains raw peanut butter, cream cheese, Cool Whip, milk, and chocolate chips (brown or white). 

Since all the above ingredients are mostly sweet, you can change the quantity of milk to balance the sweetness. 

To garnish the peanut butter salad, use cute Reese’s peanut butter cups. 

#3 Cool Whip Cookies

Can you imagine an amazing dessert using only three ingredients? If not, these Cool Whip cookies are for you. 

To make these delicious cookies, you need just cookie dough, Cool Whip, and an egg. Then, prepare a thick batter combining all three ingredients, and bake.

You can serve these cookies with a Cool Whip dip or cream cheese.

#4 Cool Whip Parfaits

Parfait is a popular dessert served chilled and is a good thing to have in summers. Though the traditional parfait recipe uses whipped cream boiled with eggs, sugar, and syrup, you can also use Cool Whip instead of cream. 

To prepare amazing shots of parfait, you’d need to blend Cool Whip with eggs and vanilla essence to convert solid Cool Whip into a puree. 

Now, layer this puree with sliced/diced fruits of your choice like strawberries, apples, pineapples, blueberries, and so on. Garnish with mint leaves and chocolate chips. Serve chilled. 

Conclusion

Cool Whip is an amazing pick to enhance the texture & taste of your desserts. It adds a solid & sweet character to every dish, from cakes to puddings & from cookies to pies. 

Additionally, being gluten-free, you need not worry about the side effects of gluten discussed above. If you’re wondering what all can be prepared using the whipping topping, we’ve also provided a few quick & tasty Cool Whip recipes. 

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About the Author: Johnny

I am the senior editor and writer of Gluten Free Heroes, before that, I wrote for various well established online magazines about food and health. I love working out, traveling and eating healthy.