In general, most cheeses are keto-friendly foods with higher fat content and lower carbohydrate content. Some cheeses are a better choice for keto than others and certain cheeses have been heavily processed with various fillers added, some of the fat removed, and the sugar (lactose) content increased. You’ll want to avoid heavily processed, low-fat cheeses on your ketogenic diet.
Let’s discuss the nutrients in cheese and the best ways to incorporate some cheesiness into your keto diet! You can also read our detailed article on dairy for more helpful information.
Nutrients in Cheese
Different cheeses contain varying amounts of vitamins, fats, protein, and carbohydrates. Let’s look at some of the most common cheeses to get an idea about the macronutrients of cheese.
- 1oz American cheese – 8.9g total fat, 6g protein, and 0g carbs
- 1oz Cheddar cheese – 9.4g total fat, 7g protein, and 0g carbs
- 1oz Mozzarella cheese – 4.5g total fat, 7g protein, and 1g carbs
- 1oz Swiss cheese – 7.9g total fat, 8g protein, and 2g carbs
Lactose is the sugar present in milk and cheese. Aged cheeses like swiss usually contain little to no lactose, making them a better choice for keto .
The digestibility of cheeses largely depends on cheese manufacturing, intestinal conditions, and other factors. Aged or mature cheeses also exhibit the highest digestibility of fats and proteins. Studies show the fatty acids from goat’s cheese and other aged cheeses are also the most digestible when the pancreas isn’t functioning properly .
Best Cheese Choices on Keto
Some of the top keto-friendly cheeses include cream cheese, gruyere, brie, Feta, and goat’s cheese.
When it comes to cheeses on keto, it’s best to:
- Highly processed cheeses
- Low-fat cheeses with added fillers
- Choose full-fat or higher-fat, lower-carb options
- Select aged or matured cheeses, such as swiss
With cheeses that have a slightly higher carb count, such as cottage cheese, you can probably consume it in smaller amounts as part of your ketogenic diet. Be wary of packaged shredded cheeses since many of these have fillers and anti-caking agents that add to the carb count. If you’re in doubt, it’s best to shred your own keto-compliant cheese.
Best Ways to Incorporate Cheese into Your Keto Diet!
You have a multitude of options when it comes to including tasty cheeses into your ketogenic nutrition plan. You could add some shredded cheese to a salad, soup, or keto pie, or try keto cauli mac-n-cheese!
Choose from some of our most popular keto-compliant cheesy recipes:
- Tuna Melt
- Cauliflower Pizza
- Bacon and Cheese Egg Bites
- Philly Cheesesteak Omelette
- Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars
Check our cheesy keto-friendly pizza recipes!
What Are Your Favorite Ways to Include Cheese on Your Keto Diet?
Do you prefer shredded, stringy, or melted? How do you take your cheese on keto?
1)Dairy Council of California. Nutrients in Cheese. https://www.healthyeating.org/Milk-Dairy/Nutrients-in-Milk-Cheese-Yogurt/Nutrients-in-Cheese
2)Asensio-Grau, A., Peinado, I., Heredia, A., & Andrés, A. (2019). In vitro study of cheese digestion: effect of type of cheese and intestinal conditions on macronutrients digestibility. LWT Food Science and Technology, 113, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.lwt.2019.108278
Steph Green is a writer, researcher, and singer/songwriter with a passion for all things wellness. In 2016, after four years of struggling with her own health problems and painful autoimmune disease, Steph developed a life-changing and extensive knowledge of keto, nutrition, and natural medicine. She continues on her healing journey and enjoys helping others along the way.