Home  /  All  /  Nutrition

Carbs in Cheeses: Which Ones to Avoid on Keto!

Written by
FACT CHECKED
  Published on February 24th, 2022
  Reading time: 3 minutes
  Last modified March 17th, 2022
American cheese is low in carbs per slice

Have you ever looked at the ingredients on the back of a bag of shredded cheese? What about processed cheese slices? You might expect the only ingredient to be cheese, but in reality, these products have additives that alter the nutrition content and add hidden carbs! You are going to want to avoid these four types of cheese on the keto diet!

 

Shredded Cheese Nutrition Information

In order to keep shredded cheese from caking together, starches are added. Commonly added starches include potato starch and cellulose. These are basically pure carbohydrates, so they aren’t exactly keto-friendly.

Additionally, natamycin, a common anti-fungal, is also added to cheeses (specifically shredded cheese) to prevent mold. 

Instead, try shredding cheese yourself at home for the perfect keto alternative! A block of cheese does not contain any additives and can be shredded by cutting a cheese grater or food processor. 

 

Sliced Cheese Nutrition Information

While most cheese slices are simply slices of cheese, you will want to watch out for a few things. First off, avoid American singles (or slices). These individually wrapped cheese slices can barely even be classified as cheese! Instead, they are considered a “cheese product”. These cheese slices contain modified food starch, whey concentrate, calcium phosphate, potassium citrate, sodium phosphate, and sorbic acid. 

Instead, stick to cheeses with only one ingredient–the cheese! These cheeses will have <1g net carb in one serving. Heavily processed cheese, like American singles, has two to three grams of carbs in just one slice and should be avoided on a keto diet.

 

Melting Cheese & Cheese Dip

Velveeta and other similar block cheeses are the “I can’t believe it’s not butter” of cheeses. They are advertised as a healthier alternative, but they are actually significantly worse for you! These cheeses, similar to butter alternatives, add vegetable oil or canola oil to add the claim that they contain less fat than regular cheese. This type of cheese should definitely be avoided on a keto diet. 

Velveeta has some carbs

These are all of the ingredients in Velveeta Block Melting Cheese:

SKIM MILK, MILK, CANOLA OIL, MILK PROTEIN CONCENTRATE, SODIUM PHOSPHATE, CONTAINS LESS THAN 2% OF MODIFIED FOOD STARCH, WHEY PROTEIN CONCENTRATE, MALTODEXTRIN, WHEY, SALT, CALCIUM PHOSPHATE, LACTIC ACID, SORBIC ACID AS A PRESERVATIVE, MILKFAT, SODIUM ALGINATE, SODIUM CITRATE, ENZYMES, APOCAROTENAL AND ANNATTO (COLOR), CHEESE CULTURE, VITAMIN A PALMITATE.

Don’t be fooled by claims like “50% fewer calories” and “less fat than cheddar cheese”. Processed, block melting cheeses are certainly not healthier than regular cheese (even if they do have fewer calories). Canola oil is a highly inflammatory oil that can lead to a plethora of health issues. Food starch and matodextrin add hidden carbs to the cheese as well!  [1]  [2]

Just one serving of Velveeta cheese contains three grams of carbs! 

Cans of cheese dip are essentially the same thing, in melted form. These dips contain added inflammatory oils and fillers that add unnecessary carbohydrates! 

 

Spray Cheese

It should come as no surprise that cheese in a can has hidden carbs and is definitely not on the list of healthy cheeses! Similar to melting cheese & cheese dip, spray cheese also contains soybean oil, another highly inflammatory oil. One serving of this cheese has two grams of carbohydrates.

 

So, What Type of Cheese Can You Have on Keto?

Stick to unprocessed cheeses that don’t come in a can! For a full list of keto-friendly cheeses and how many carbs they contain, check out our article: Carbs In Cheese.

References

1.

Patterson, E., Wall, R., Fitzgerald, G. F., Ross, R. P., & Stanton, C. (2012). Health implications of high dietary omega-6 polyunsaturated Fatty acids. Journal of nutrition and metabolism, 2012, 539426. https://doi.org/10.1155/2012/539426

2.

Esmaillzadeh A, Azadbakht L. Home use of vegetable oils, markers of systemic inflammation, and endothelial dysfunction among women. Am J Clin Nutr. 2008 Oct;88(4):913-21. doi: 10.1093/ajcn/88.4.913. PMID: 18842776.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Never miss out on exclusive content and limited deals.

As a Member, you get instant access to personalized meal plans, exclusive videos & articles, discounts, a 1 on 1 Coaching Session, and so much more. As a member, you join our mission of empowering 1,000,000 people to positively change their lives throughout the world. Get started today.

Monthly

A Great Deal
$ 19
99 /month
  • 7-Day Free Trial
  • Cancel Anytime

Annual

3 Months Free
$ 179
/year
  • 3 Months Free
  • Cancel Anytime

Lifetime

Membership for Life
$ 349
  • Lifetime Access
  • Limited Availability