The 12 Kinds Of Cheese You Can Eat On Keto


Cheese has always been one of my favorite foods. I put it on anything that makes sense. It makes vegetables like broccoli taste better, and it’s hard to imagine a burger without melty cheese on top of it. When I started this way of eating, I had the same question many of you may have. Can I eat cheese on keto?

Yes, you can eat cheese on keto. Many varieties of cheese are low in carbohydrates, making them the perfect option for a ketogenic diet.

With that said, all cheese is not created equal. Continue reading to learn about the best types of cheese to eat on keto, as well as the varieties you’re going to want to stay away from.

Can I Eat Cheese On Keto?

When I was first researching keto as a possible way to lose weight, one of the things that caught my eye was people saying that you could have unlimited cheese as part of this way of eating. Other than chicken wings, cheese may be one of my favorite foods, so hearing this made my ears perk up.

Obviously, the word unlimited needs to be taken with a grain of salt. If you eat endless amounts of anything, you’re sure to see your weight increasing soon after. As much as I love cheese, I can’t see myself sitting there stuffing myself with it for hours. After a few pieces, I’m going to grow tired of it.

In moderation, cheese might be the perfect food for a ketogenic diet. It’s low in carbohydrates, has a moderate amount of protein, and is high in healthy fats. It can take foods that are boring and add some flash in the form of new flavors and textures. When choosing your favorite cheeses, ensure you’re picking out high-quality options that are full-fat and, if possible, grass-fed.

It’s important to note that cheese isn’t for everyone following keto, even if you love it. Some people find that they stop losing weight when eating too much cheese. Many people find that weight comes off faster when eliminating dairy from their diet, but if you aren’t having problems, there isn’t really a reason not to have some cheese if you enjoy it.

The Benefits of Eating Cheese On Keto

Cheese is an excellent source of calcium and protein. On top of that, it is loaded with nutrients like phosphorus, zinc, riboflavin, and vitamins A and B-12. If you eat cheese that has been sourced from grass-fed animals, you’ll also be getting some vitamin K-2, along with essential omega-3 fatty acids.

Since cheese is full of so many good for you ingredients, it only makes sense that you’ll get benefit from eating it. Some of the best benefits of eating cheese include:

Osteoporosis Prevention

Do you remember when you were a kid, and your mom would tell you to make sure to drink all of your milk because it would help make our bones big and strong? It turns out she wasn’t just making it up.

According to the NIH Osteoporosis and Related Bone Diseases National Resource Center, our bones don’t reach their full density until we are around 30 years old. Once that happens, the aging process takes over, thinning them over time. It only makes sense that the stronger the bone density is when they’re done growing, the harder it will be for aging to have a negative effect on your bones.

If you’re over 30 like me, you probably wish you’d listened to your mom and just drank the milk. If your bone mass isn’t adequate for your body’s size, it can lead to osteoporosis, which is described by the National Osteoporosis Foundation as a disease where the bones become porous and fragile.

Over 10 million people in the United States alone have been diagnosed with osteoporosis. Close to 2 million people annually report fractures due to osteoporosis, most commonly in the hips and wrists. The National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements explains osteoporosis occurs due to not consuming enough calcium or the body not absorbing enough of it, leading to your bones breaking down over time.

The best way to avoid osteoporosis is by making sure you’re consuming plenty of vitamin D, protein, and calcium. Eating cheese that has been fortified with vitamin D is an ideal way to get the vitamins and minerals you need.

Healthy Teeth

Calcium is vital to forming tooth enamel, so eating cheese can lead to healthy teeth thanks to the food being such an excellent calcium source.

A study published by the Academy of General Dentistry shows a link between consuming cheese and increasing dental plaque’s pH level. When the level increases, your teeth are better protected from cavities.

Colon Cancer Prevention

This benefit may come as a surprise to you, but eating cheese can help prevent your body from developing colon cancers. According to a study from the National Center for Biotechnology Information, cheese contains a substance known as butyrate, which helps nourish the cells of your colon. Over time, the butyrate reduces inflammation, reducing your risk of developing cancer.

Hypertension Reversal

Several varieties of cheese, specifically those that are low in sodium, help prevent elevated blood pressure, says the British Medical Association. Another article published by the Journal of Hypertension states that the vitamin B found in cheese helps lower high blood pressure.

Lower Risk of Heart Disease

Did you know that heart disease is the number one reason for mortality among adults? Imagine being more likely to prevent it just by eating some cheese.

Consuming cheese doesn’t guarantee you won’t develop heart disease, but studies published in the European Journal of Nutrition showed promising results that participants who consumed cheese daily were 14 percent less likely to develop heart disease versus those who didn’t eat cheese.

Other Potential Benefits of Eating Cheese

  • The magnesium in cheese helps build and maintain muscle mass while ensuring your immune system functions as good as possible.
  • According to Medical Daily, the selenium found in certain cheeses, such as cheddar, aid in the prevention of thyroid cancer. It also works as an antioxidant, protecting your cells from free radicals that may damage your skin and immune system.
  • Calcium found in cheese can help prevent calcium deficiency in women who are lactating.

Potential Side Effects of Eating Cheese on Keto

It wouldn’t be fair to talk about the benefits of eating cheese without pointing out that there may be some side effects, especially if you eat too much. The most common side effects that come from eating cheese include:

  • Gastrointestinal Problems – If you’re lactose-intolerant, you’re going to want to stay away from cheese. Not having the ability to break down the sugar can lead to diarrhea, constipation, bloating, or gas.
  • Inflammatory Reaction – If you are allergic to milk proteins, cheese can cause inflammatory reactions throughout your body. It may cause acne, sinus congestion, or rashes.
  • Headaches – Cheese contains tyramine, which, when eaten in excess, can lead to headaches, including migraines, to those who are sensitive.
  • Weight Gain – Most cheese is high in healthy fats, but like anything else, eating too much of it can lead to weight gain.

What Are The Best Kinds Of Cheese To Eat On Keto?

I know you’re here because you want to know all about the kinds of cheese you can eat on keto. I couldn’t pass up being able to tell you the additional benefits, but now it’s time to get to what you came for!

Goat Cheese

A one-ounce serving of goat cheese contains:

  • 0.2 grams of carbohydrates
  • 7 grams of fat
  • 6 grams of protein
  • 90 calories

Goat cheese contains virtually no carbs, so it’s simple to fit it into your diet plan as it won’t mess with your macros. If you are sensitive to lactose, but not lactose intolerant, you’ll find that cheese made from milk that is different from that which comes from a cow is easier on your stomach.

Halloumi Cheese

A one-ounce serving of halloumi cheese contains:

  • 0.1 grams of carbohydrates
  • 9 grams of fat
  • 7 grams of protein
  • 25% of the daily value of calcium
  • 15% of the daily value of sodium
  • 110 calories

Halloumi cheese is one of my favorite cheeses. It’s what I like to call keto’s best-kept secret. You may have heard of this variety being referred to as grilling cheese. The reason is, you can fry it in a pan, and it comes out tasting just like the grilled cheese you know and love.

It works because it’s a harder cheese than something mozzarella, and it doesn’t melt in the same way. Since it doesn’t melt, you can fry it up, as I mentioned above. You can also use it along with meat and veggies on skewers for grilling, put into a salad, or eat it by itself with a little olive oil.

Paneer Cheese

A two-ounce serving of paneer cheese contains:

  • 1 gram of carbohydrates
  • 7 grams of fat
  • 6 grams of protein
  • 90 calories

Paneer cheese is an Indian cheese that most people use for cooking and not for snacking. If you like Indian food, this cheese is great for making a keto-friendly curry or a delicious Tandoori chicken dish.

Blue Cheese

A one-ounce serving of blue cheese contains:

  • 1 gram of carbohydrates
  • 8 grams of fat
  • 6 grams of protein
  • 33% of the daily value of calcium
  • 16% of the daily value of sodium

Personally, I’m not a fan of blue cheese, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a great choice for the keto diet. Stinky cheese is loaded with flavor, and a little bit goes a long way.

Feta Cheese

A one-ounce serving of feta cheese contains:

  • 1.1 grams of carbohydrates
  • 6 grams of fat
  • 4 grams of protein
  • 14% of the daily value of riboflavin
  • 14% of the daily value of calcium
  • 13% of the daily value of sodium
  • 9% of the daily value of phosphorus
  • 74 calories

Feta is another cheese made from goat’s milk, making it an excellent choice for lactose-sensitive individuals. You can use it to make a delicious Greek salad, or a Mediterranean inspired burger.

Gruyere Cheese

A one-ounce serving of gruyere cheese contains:

  • 0.1 gram of carbohydrates
  • 9.1 grams of fat
  • 8.3 grams of protein
  • 116 calories

Gruyere is a form of Swiss cheese that is as close as it comes to being calorie-free. It pairs great with scrambled eggs, a delicious omelet, or melted on a burger.

Cream Cheese

A one-ounce serving of cream cheese contains:

  • 2 grams of carbohydrates
  • 10 grams of fat
  • 2 grams of protein
  • 10% of the daily value of vitamin A
  • 5% of the daily value of riboflavin
  • 99 calories

Are you surprised to see cream cheese on this list? When I started keto, I was stunned to find that I could not only have cream cheese, but that it would become such a staple in my diet.

Cream cheese is a great way to get your healthy fat for your macros, and there are so many things you can do with it. You can spread it on a low-carb tortilla, top it with your favorite keto sweetener and cinnamon, roll it up, and fry it for a delicious cinnamon roll alternative. It can also be used in a variety of chicken dishes for a creamy sauce.

Brie Cheese

A one-ounce serving of brie cheese contains:

  • 0.1 gram of carbohydrates
  • 9 grams of fat
  • 4 grams of protein
  • 20% of the daily value of vitamin B12
  • 6% of the daily value of vitamin A
  • 5% of the daily value of sodium
  • 100 calories

If you’re looking for a cheese that’s both melty and high in healthy fats, brie may be the one for you. It tastes good on just about anything you put it on. My favorite is to eat it with slices of hard salami or summer sausage. You can also wrap little pieces in bacon and throw it on the grill.

Romano Cheese

A one-ounce serving of Romano cheese contains:

  • 1 gram of carbohydrates
  • 8 grams of fat
  • 9 grams of protein
  • 110 calories

If you are a fan of parmesan cheese, you’re going to love me for this recommendation. Romano is a hard cheese that is very similar to parmesan but has fewer carbs, which should make it your go-to choice if you’re trying to decide between the two.

As a hard cheese that you grate, it works exactly the same as parmesan. Add it over your favorite veggie noodles, top some chicken and broccoli with it, or add some to your next salad for a little added zing.

Mozzarella Cheese

A one-ounce serving of mozzarella cheese contains:

  • 1 gram of carbohydrates
  • 6 grams of fat
  • 6 grams of protein
  • 14% of the daily value of calcium
  • 7% of the daily value of sodium
  • 85 calories

In addition to being low in carbs, mozzarella is also lower in calories than most other varieties of cheese. You can use shredded mozzarella to make delicious keto pizzas or use sliced mozzarella to create a delicious Caprese salad.

Swiss Cheese

Cheese with holes, isolated on white background. Delicious Swiss or Emmental.

A one-ounce serving of Swiss cheese contains:

  • 1 gram of carbohydrates
  • 9 grams of fat
  • 8 grams of protein
  • 25% of the daily value of calcium
  • 2% of the daily value of sodium

Swiss cheese is low in sodium, making it an excellent choice for those with high blood pressure. There’s a lot of things you can do with Swiss cheese. It’s great on a burger or rolled up with your favorite deli meats. It’s even great with eggs!

Cheddar Cheese

Organic Sharp Cheddar Cheese on a Cutting Board

A one-ounce serving of cheddar cheese contains:

  • 1 gram of carbohydrates
  • 9 grams of fat
  • 7 grams of protein
  • 20% of the daily value of calcium
  • 8% of the daily value of sodium
  • 115 calories

Cheddar cheese is by far my favorite of all the cheeses! It’s rich in vitamin K, which is great for preventing calcium deposits that could inhibit your blood flow, according to a study from the International Society on Thrombosis and Haemostasis.

I love to melt cheddar over my broccoli or use it as a burger topping. My favorite way to eat it, however, is by itself. It’s hard to be a good piece of sharp cheddar.

What Are The Worst Kinds Of Cheese To Eat On Keto?

Now that you know what kinds of cheeses you should be eating on keto, I want to touch on the cheese options you should probably avoid as well.

American Cheese

One slice of American cheese contains:

  • 2 grams of carbohydrates
  • 4.5 grams of fat
  • 4 grams of protein
  • 60 calories

I want to start by saying I know this is going to be a controversial selection. I also want to make it known before I get into this section that I eat American cheese on a fairly regular basis. I do what is known as dirty keto or lazy keto, which is what I’m sure many of you who are reading this do as well.

This selection is being written for those who are doing strict, by the book keto. If that’s you, you’re going to want to stay away from American cheese because it’s processed, and you want to stick with real food versions of cheese found above. Even though I eat this cheese, I limit the amount and opt for cheeses higher on the list whenever possible.

Cottage Cheese

A 1/2 cup serving of cottage cheese contains:

  • 5 grams of carbohydrates
  • 5 grams of fat
  • 12 grams of protein
  • 85 calories

Cottage cheese is a decent choice if you really need to get your protein in for the day, but it is relatively low in fat, and the carb content is high. If you are aiming for 20 net carbs per day, a single serving of cottage cheese will account for one-quarter of your carbohydrates for the day.

Ricotta Cheese

A 1/2 cup serving of ricotta cheese contains:

  • 5 grams of carbohydrates
  • 13 grams of fat
  • 14 grams of protein
  • 192 calories

Ricotta cheese is a lot like cottage cheese. It can be okay now and then, but it’s not something you want to make a habit out of eating. It is higher in healthy fats than cottage cheese, but it still contains 1/4 of your daily carb allowance.

Conclusion

There are a lot of cheese options available to you on a ketogenic diet. The best advice I can give you is to try different varieties to find out which ones you enjoy. You never know when you might find a new favorite.

Related Questions

Can I eat gluten-free pasta on keto? You can’t eat gluten-free pasta on keto, since keto means low-carb. Most gluten-free pasta is not allowed because gluten-free isn’t necessarily carb-free. However, someone who is following keto is safe to eat certain gluten-free pasta alternatives.

If I have ice cream, will it kick my body out of ketosis? The carbohydrates from the sugar in standard ice cream will kick your body out of ketosis. Instead, look for keto-friendly ice creams or other frozen alternatives.

Can I put sugar in my coffee while on the keto diet? You can’t use sugar to sweeten your coffee while following a ketogenic diet. Instead, you’ll want to look at other options to sweeten your coffee.

Can I have coconut oil while on the keto diet? Yes, coconut oil is perfect for keto because it’s low in carbohydrates and has multiple health benefits.

What fruit can I eat on the keto diet? The best fruit options for keto include avocados, lemon, blackberries, watermelon, tomatoes, strawberries, cantaloupe, and raspberries.

Derek Masters

Derek Masters is an Amazon best-selling author. After much research, he began keto at 381 pounds in the middle of 2019. Losing 60 pounds and counting, he wants to share what he's learned with others who wish to learn about the ketogenic lifestyle

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