Half and half is an acceptable lower-fat substitute for heavy cream in most recipes, according to Taste of Home magazine. It lends a similar flavor and texture to food with fewer calories than heavy cream.
A cup of heavy cream has 800 calories and 88 grams of fat. A cup of half and half, a commercial mixture of light cream and whole milk, only has 320 calories and 24 grams of fat. Replacing heavy cream with half and half lowers both the calories and the fat in a dish by more than 50 percent. However, it does not work well for making whipped cream, and it makes a thinner sauce than heavy cream when used as a thickener.