Since keto is a high-fat low-carb diet, you can actually eat cheese on keto! Whilst most cheeses tick the high-fat low-carb requirement, you should still be careful as some cheeses are too high in fat content.
Here, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about cheese on keto - the health benefits of cheese, the best cheeses on keto, and the worst cheeses on keto. Taeya admits to being a cheese addict, which she suspects is the reason why keto has been so easy for her to follow. It's time to make your keto journey easier by enjoying cheese stress free!
Health Benefits of Cheese
You might be thinking that ‘health’ and ‘cheese’ are in the same sentence? That makes no sense and is too good to be true! Well, we love to break it to you - cheese has plenty of health benefits and provides well needed nutrients to our bodies.
Cheese is a good source of protein, which is responsible for many functions in the body. Not only does protein enable us to build muscle, it is needed for the production of enzymes, providing structure to our cells, and much more.
Low Lactose Options
Cheeses actually vary in lactose content. Cheddar, parmesan and Swiss are all lowest in lactose. Even cottage cheese and feta are low in lactose! So if you’re lactose intolerant and scared of going keto, don’t worry you can enjoy a satisfying amount of cheese without ruining your diet or digestion.
Best cheeses for the Keto Diet
Here’s a deep dive into some of the least processed high-fat, low-carb cheeses.
0.4g of net carbs per 100g serving
29.8g of fats per 100g serving
Goat cheese, or chevre, is made from goat’s milk and is creamy, with a tart flavour that is often described as earthy.
As one of the most keto-friendly options that is also low in lactose, this cheese is a suitable addition to many people’s diets. Enjoy your goat cheese in appetisers, casseroles, omelettes and salads!
2.2g of net carbs per 100g serving
27.4g of fats per 100g serving
Gouda is made from cow’s milk and is a some-what sweet, yellow and creamy cheese.
2.4g of net carbs per 100g serving
22.1g of fats per 100g serving
This type of cheese is well-known and you’ll be glad to know that it is good for keto diets. It is low in carbs and high in fats. It is minimally processed and free from non-keto-friendly ingredients, including sweeteners, refined oils and additives.
Sprinkle some on your keto pizza to forget that you’re even keto at all!
2.3g of net carbs per 100g serving
28.7g of fats per 100g serving
Blue cheese is very unique, in that it is made using cultures of a particular type of mold to create deep, rich flavours and a luscious, creamy texture.
Free from non-keto ingredients and low in net carbs, blue cheese is great for those on the keto diet. Add this cheese to salads, blend into dips or make it into a sauce to pair with keto noodles or steaks.
2.1g of net carbs per 100g serving
33.8g of fats per 100g serving
Cheddar is very popular and rightfully so! You can try everything from mild to mature cheddar without second-guessing if you exceeded your carb limit.
Use sandwiched between keto-friendly slices of bread, or even place dollops of cheddar on a baking sheet, pop in the oven and indulge in crispy cheese chips as a guilt-free snack!
1.79g of net carbs per 100g serving
35.7g of fats per 100g serving
Cream cheese is a popular cheese that is soft and mild in flavour.
Whilst Philadephia’s original may be keto-friendly, different brands of cream cheese vary in net carbs and fats, so we recommend either sticking to this specific one, or checking other brands’ nutritional information before you purchase them. You can also opt for organic cream cheese as it’s better for you and the planet.
Combine some cream cheese with your favourite keto sweetener and voila - you have your very own sugar-free cheesecake!
3.2g of net carbs per 100g serving
25g of fats per 100g serving
Grated parmesan is your best friend when it comes to adding a hint of salty, nutty notes to your dish.
Low in both carbs and fats, parmesan fits into the keto diet. Sprinkle parmesan cheese generously on your keto pizza, pasta or even salad!
Cheeses to Avoid
Unfortunately, not all cheeses are welcome on the keto diet. This is mostly cheeses that exceed our daily net carb intake or are highly processed.
When you’re on a high-fat, low-carb diet, low-fat cheese isn’t ideal! Your goal is to use fat as fuel on keto, so eating low-fat cheese defeats this purpose - instead it’s best to opt for full-fat cheese.
Processed cheese - American cheese & Squeezable
Canned, spray cheese, and American cheese are all no-gos for dieters. In terms of macros, a slice of American cheese can be 10% of your total carb goal for the day. We can’t forget the lower quality of these highly processed cheeses, with high calorie counts, salt content and the unnecessary additions of food colouring and emulsifiers.
Eating a lot of processed cheese has been linked to an increased risk of diseases, including cardiovascular disease.
With so many unprocessed cheeses that are both healthier and more keto-friendly, we say that processed cheese is something you should veer completely away from when dieting.
This is a fresh cheese that is produced when separating two milk proteins - casein curds and liquid whey.
Cottage cheese isn’t the enemy for keto-ers, but is near enough to make it to this list. Whilst high in protein, this cheese is quite high in carbs and not high enough in protein. That means you can have a very small amount, but that’s all before you step past your keto limits.
Low-fat or non-fat cottage cheese has even fewer fats and most likely has more carbs than whole milk cottage cheese. This is because many reduced fat cheeses contain gum-based thickeners and some even contain fruit, both contributing to a higher carb content. So, it’s best to stay away from low-fat cottage cheese when keto.
7.3g of net carbs per 100g serving
10.2g of fats per 100g serving
In small amounts, full-fat ricotta isn’t so bad on the keto diet. But because of its macros, having a large amount of ricotta is completely off the table. You’ll really have to watch your portions when opting for ricotta, or better yet, you can just completely rule out this cheese.
A diet that approves of cheese? Yes, it’s a rare sight but keto has your back. Just be sure to keep track of your macros, stick to the recommended cheeses and you’re good to go!
What’s your favourite cheese to opt for? Do you have any tricks up your sleeve for making a hearty cheese dish that’s keto-friendly? Comment down below and let’s get chatting.