Let's start by clearing up a common misconception: fat is definitely not unhealthy. What is unhealthy is too much fat, with 'too much' strongly dependent on the type of fat involved. Saturated, unsaturated, Omega-3, 6 or 9, it all has its repercussions. We need fat in our diet, otherwise we will get sick, but too much fat is not good.
Whipping cream must contain at least 30 percent fat, otherwise it is not stiff enough to whip. 35 percent is more common in housholds and 40 percent milk fat is more widely use by professional chefs.
When comes to dairy whipping cream, if you whip too little, the cream will become soft and the pastry will lost its shape and sink crookedly. The whipped cream rosettes will collapse. However, if you whip too long, you will get butter formation which you can counteract the stage by adding more whipping cream again to save it. When whipped too far, nothing helps anymore. You can then just throw everything away.
Imitation whipping cream normally contains vegetable fat, milk proteins, sweeteners, water and emulsifiers and stabilisers. Emulsifiers are used in combination with stabilisers to improve the foam stiffness with good piping definition.
By using imitation whipped cream we obtain various advantages. The whole is lighter and the color remains white. The sides are less likely to dry out. It is not as subject to heat and can be processed at a higher level ambient temperature. Various types of imitation whipped cream are available commercially. Often even sugared, so that as a baker you only have to whip and process.
If you are looking for a long lasting and stable whipped cream, immitation whipping cream will be the best choice.