Can You Eat Cheese on Keto?

Can You Eat Cheese on Keto?

If you find yourself struggling with your weight and are looking for a viable way of getting back on track and shifting those pounds, there are any number of diets you can choose that will help you to do precisely that.

Some diets prove to be nothing but fads that offer very little in terms of weight loss or health benefits, whereas others prove to be very effective. The keto diet is most certainly the latter.

Years ago, when keto first became popular, people were quick to write it off as they believed it was nothing but a fad diet and they couldn’t understand how you could eat fats as your primary source of energy, and lose weight in the process. Well, it turns out that that is precisely what you can do with keto, and a whole lot more besides.

By keeping carb intakes low, protein intakes moderate, and prioritizing fats as your primary macronutrient, you can indeed reap the many health and weight loss benefits associated with keto.

In terms of what you can eat, keto cheese is very popular, though when it comes to the carbs in cheese, it’s easy to see why some people find it so confusing.

Here’s a detailed guide on keto cheese.

 

What is cheese?

If you’ve never eaten cheese before, where the heck have you been living for all of these years? Cheese is a creamy, crumbly, dairy, heaven-like ingredient that can make virtually any dish taste a million times better. It’s also an ingredient which contains a heap of fat and calories, and is commonly associated with unhealthy fast foods.

Now, cheese is difficult to describe because there are so many different types of cheese out there to choose from. There are soft cheeses, hard cheeses, strong cheeses, mild cheeses, crumbly cheeses, and a whole lot more besides.

Generally speaking, the most common type of cheese you find is made from milk, typically dairy milk from cows.

There’s a long and extensive process when it comes to making cheese, but long story short, keto cheese, and all other cheeses pretty-much, are made by taking milk and separating the liquid whey from the solid cheese curds. (1) (2)


How is it made?

Over the centuries, mankind has achieved some amazing feats. We’ve discovered fire, we’ve invented the wheel, we’ve sent men into space, we’ve landed on the moon, and a whole lot more besides.

Most people, however, would agree that these achievements pale in comparison to discovering how to turn milk into cheese.

Typically, milk is made up of around 87% water. The main objective of making cheese is to remove this water and to increase the acidity of the milk, causing it to split, curdle, and separate. Now, this may sound disgusting to some of you, but don’t worry, it gets much better.

To begin with, enzymes and bacteria known as starter cultures and rennet are added to the milk, as it is gently heated. These bacterium form lactic acid which alter the naturally occurring sugars in the milk (lactose) and convert them into lactic acid instead, causing the milk to curdle and split.

The rennet enzymes are then added to link up the proteins in the milk to cause it to thicken and coagulate and form solids known as curds. As you know, there are countless different types of cheese, which are made by adjusting the amount of rennet added, altering the amount of starter cultures added, and changing the duration of time it takes for the cheese to set and mature.

Next, the curds are separated from the whey (which is often used to make protein supplements) and are cut up into small pieces, salted, and pressed into moulds to create a thicker texture and remove the last remnants of any liquids.


What are the different types of cheese?

Don’t worry, we’ll look at keto cheese shortly and will answer questions such as is cream cheese keto, but first we’re going to look at some of the different types of cheese.

Now, we aren’t going to list each one individually because that would take all day. What we will do, is look at a few of the different types of cheese before looking at info such as carbs in cheese and plenty more besides. (3)

 

Soft cheese

No prizes for guessing the texture of this first cheese.

Soft cheese contains a lot more moisture than most other cheese, and is made much quicker and has a very, very short aging duration.

Soft cheese has a smooth, creamy, gooey texture and is very mild in terms of taste and aroma. As a result of that, soft cheese can be used to make desserts, as well as savoury dishes too.

Some examples of soft cheese include:

  • Ricotta
  • Cream cheese
  • Burrata
  • Feta

Soft cheese is sometimes known as cream cheese, so for those asking is cream cheese keto, the answer is yes as soft cheese is virtually free of carbs, so you needn’t worry about the carbs in cheese.

 

Semi-soft

Semi-soft cheese contain less water than soft cheeses, coming in at roughly 36% – 45% water content, depending on the variety.

As the name implies, they’re slightly harder than soft cheeses, though cannot be classed as hard or firm cheeses.

Typically examples of semi-soft cheeses include:

  • Mozzarella
  • Pico
  • Gruyere
  • Fontina

These cheeses have more of a milky flavour than soft cheeses, though they’re still very mild.

 

Semi-firm

Next up we have semi-firm cheese, which contain less moisture than semi-soft cheeses and are aged for a considerably longer duration of time.

They have a stronger flavour and as they’re firmer, they can be sliced and grated with relative ease, without losing their structure.

Popular semi-firm cheeses include:

  • Gouda
  • Provolone
  • Monterey Jack
  • Havarti
 

Firm

Now you’re getting to the big boys cheese, because firm cheese is probably the cheese that tastes the most, well, cheesy.

Firm cheeses are far more compact and they are aged for a much longer duration of time, and they contain far less moisture than the other cheeses we’ve looked at thus far.

Without a doubt, the king of the firm cheeses is cheddar, though other popular examples include:

  • Edam
  • Red Leicester
  • Comte
  • Jarlsberg
 

Hard

Hard cheese is virtually free of moisture and are aged for an extremely long period of time, while also being pressed firmly as well.

Because of their texture, hard cheeses crumble easily and can easily be grated over a number of dishes to really enhance and lift them to the next level.

Though hard cheese can be used with many different cuisines, hard cheese is synonymous with Italian cuisine.

Examples include:

  • Parmesan
  • Pecorino
 

Blue (bleu)

Blue, or Bleu if you want to get fancy, cheese is polarizing as people either love it or hate it.

Blue cheese is unique because it can vary in texture from soft and creamy, to firm and crumbly, and everything in between.

It is known as blue cheese because it has prominent blue veins darting throughout it, which is actually an edible, and delicious, mould made by adding a unique fungi during the production stage.

Blue cheese has a strong and pungent taste and aroma, that some describe affectionately as ‘stinky’.

The most popular and most well known type of blue cheese is stilton. Other examples include:

  • Roquefort
  • Gorgonzola
  • Bleu de Gex
 

Can you eat cheese on keto?

So, we now know a heck of a lot more about cheese, so now it’s time for the million-dollar question. Can you eat cheese on keto? Well, that’s what we’re going to be looking at now.

If you want a short answer to this question, that answer is ‘yes’.

There are very few carbs in cheese, and as keto is a low carb diet which permits moderate levels of protein and large amounts of fats, cheese appears to be the ultimate keto-friendly food.

Furthermore, as some types of cheese contain healthy bacteria they are also considered beneficial for your health and well-being while following a ketogenic diet.


How much cheese can you eat on keto?

Apparently, one of the main reasons why so many people enjoy the keto diet is because of the fact that, apparently, you can enjoy unlimited amounts of cheese and still lose weight.

This would be awesome if it was true, but experts have found that it is possible to consume too many calories on keto, even if they do primarily come from fats and proteins. Furthermore, eating too much cheese would also pose health risks.

In terms of the carbs in cheese, cheese is low carb, but there are still carbohydrates present in cheeses, some more so than others, so they can add up if you aren’t careful.

Just be wary that all cheeses are different, even how you buy them. If for example, you buy pre-grated/shredded cheese, you may notice how the cheese is slightly “dusty” and crumbly and drier than if you grated the cheese yourself. 

This is because pre-shredded cheese is often coated with starch to stop it sticking and clumping together in the packet. This starch will obviously increase your carb intakes.

Because of this, it’s best to buy whole blocks or slices of cheese and cut or grate them yourself. Also, be sure to read the ingredients, as that way you can easily identify whether or not starch, sugar, or carbs have been added.

Another useful tip is to be wary of low-fat cheese. To begin with, buying low-fat cheese is a huge contradiction on keto anyways, as keto is high fat. The main reason why, though, is because of the fact that low fat cheeses, and products in general for that matter, often have higher carbohydrate contents. (4)

 

 

Is cream cheese keto?

Not only is cream cheese keto-friendly, it also happens to be a firm favourite for people following a ketogenic diet.

Cream cheese contains 0.8g of carbs per tablespoon, with 5g of fat and 1g of protein. In terms of macronutrient ratios, you don’t get much better than this.

The great thing about cream cheese on keto is the fact that it can be used in savoury dishes, as well as in sweet dessert dishes. Keto cheesecake for example, which is made using ground almonds and butter instead of biscuits for a base, relies on cream cheese to make this delicious keto-friendly dessert.


Which cheese is good for keto?

In terms of carbs in cheese, for those wondering which cheese is good for keto, they’re all pretty much suitable for keto, though some are more suitable than others.

Types of keto cheese to put into your shopping basket the next time you’re in town include:


Blue cheese

For those worried about quantities of cheese (remember how we mentioned that you can have too much of a good thing) blue cheese is ideal.

The reason why blue cheese is ideal is because of the fact that a little goes a long way.

Blue cheese is very strong tasting, so you can get away with using a small amount to really lift your keto meals.

As an example, you could make a keto soup using stilton and broccoli.


Cream cheese

We’ve already looked at whether cream cheese is keto, and as we know that it is, we can now talk about what makes it so great.

To begin with, in terms of the carbs in cheese, cream cheese is naturally low in carbs and is high in fat.

You can use it in savoury dishes, or sweet dishes if you so desire.


Goat’s cheese

Goat’s cheese is made from goat’s milk and is virtually free of carbs. One ounce of goat’s cheese will provide just 0.2g of carbs, along with 7g of fat and 6g of protein.

Because goat’s milk is already naturally lower in lactose, goat’s cheese had fewer carbs in it right off the bat.

Goat’s cheese goes very well with salads.


Parmesan

Parmesan cheese is ideal for adding nutty, slightly salty tastes to your dishes.

It is a little higher in carbs, though again, a little goes a long way as one tablespoon will provide just 0.9g of carbs, 1.7g of fat, and 1.8g of protein.

Parmesan can be grated and sprinkled over dishes, or you can use parmesan shavings in your dishes such as Caesar salads.


Final thoughts

So, is cream cheese keto, and can you eat cheese on keto? Well, as you can see, the answer is – yes.

Cheese is a staple in many a person’s keto diet and keto cheese dishes not only taste great, but also help you to meet your specific goals on the keto diet and lose weight in the process.

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