Cheese is a staple on the ketogenic diet. Although milk, the source for cheese production, is relatively high in carbs, the fermentation process significantly reduces the amount of carbohydrates in the milk.
Obviously, if you are lactose intolerant or sensitive to dairy, you should avoid consuming cheese on keto. Additionally, it should be noted that cheeses are relatively high in fat, meaning they are high in calories - consume measured/moderate amounts. In addition, cheeses are packed with healthy fats and protein, and are rich in vitamin A, B12, zinc, sodium, and calcium. Cheeses are also rich in MCTs (medium-chain triglycerides), which are especially beneficial on a ketogenic diet.
Most cheeses fit in perfectly with the ketogenic diet’s macro nutrient ratios. But, how many carbs are in different cheeses? And which ones are the most keto-friendly cheeses?
Cheeses with Lowest Carb Content
Foods containing less than 1 gram of carbohydrates per serving are considered to be very low in carbs. Fresh cheeses contain a significant portion of the carbohydrates in milk, and are less fitting for ketogenic diet.
During the aging process, the bacteria found in the milk ferment the carbohydrates. Typically, longer aged cheeses and the cheeses that are high in protein contain less carbohydrate.
The cheeses with the lowest amount of carbs (from least to most) include:
Based on the carbs per ounce of various cheeses, you should reach for brie, blue cheese, Gouda, and Munster when choosing a keto-friendly cheese. Swiss, Manchego, goat, feta, and cream cheese are higher in carbs; however, they only have around 1-2g of total carbs per serving so they should be able to fit into your keto diet.
Grams of carbs per ounce serving found in the cheeses which Comfort Keto recipes typically use:
Brie cheese: 0.1 gram
Blue cheese: 0.5 gram
Cheddar cheese: 0.5 gram
Parmesan cheese: 0.9 gram
Mozarella: 1.0 gram
Cheeses with Relatively Higher Carb Content
First things first: Avoid all cheese spreads due to the high carb content and undesirable additives.
Cream cheese, cottage cheese and ricotta cheese contain less than 3 grams of protein per ounce (less than half of what is found in most aged cheeses) and contain about 1 gram of carbohydrate per ounce. Yet, the consumption amount of these cheeses must be carefully monitored. For example, 1 cup of cottage cheese contains 14 grams of protein, and 10 grams of carbohydrates.
Cheeses with Highest Protein Content
Typically, the cheeses with low moisture content contain more protein.
Parmesan cheese has the highest protein content of all all cheeses, with 10 grams of protein per ounce.
Most other cheeses such as cheddar, Brie, Gouda, blue cheese or mozzarella contain 6 to 7 grams of protein per ounce.
Comfort Keto Recipes Typically Use High-Protein Low-Carb Cheeses
Cheese is a good food to add to your diet to increase your protein intake without affecting your carb intake.
For example, Chef J9 melts a slice or two of cheddar cheese over our casseroles, Mexican dishes and quiches.
Chef J9 serves her salads with a blue cheese dressing and occasionally with grated cheese.
Chef J9 adds grated Parmesan cheese to her mashed cauliflower for a tasty high-protein low-carb substitute for mashed potatoes.
Chef J9 also sprinkles Parmesan cheese over steamed broccoli, or add mozzarella cheese to her omelets.