Food

Can You Eat Cheese in a Keto Diet? Is Cheese Keto?

Can You Eat Cheese in a Keto Diet? Is Cheese Keto?

Many people think cheese will make them put on weight and the truth is it can if you overeat or eat it with a traditional high carb western diet. So is cheese keto? If that’s what you’re wondering you’ll be delighted to know that cheese is keto friendly, but some cheeses are more suitable than others. We’re going to discuss everything you need to know about eating cheese on a keto diet.


SEE ALSO: Keto diet plan for beginners


What Is Cheese?

Cheese is a dairy product made out of milk, and it’s produced in many flavors, and textures. Cheese is usually made using cow, goat, buffalo, or sheep milk. Most cheeses are made from pasteurized milk which removes harmful bacteria.

After pasteurization, starter cultures are added to the milk to ferment and convert into lactic acid. The type of cultures being combined depends on the kind of cheese, for instance, a different starter culture is used for cheddar and brie.

The next step in cheese making is to add an acidic agent like rennet to curd the milk and separate milk solids from whey liquid. After that, they may go through more draining processes depending on the type of cheese being made.

Then they may be flavored using herbs, spices, or wood smoke for instance and also go through different variations of aging. The harder the cheese, the longer its shelf life, and protective rinds further increase the shelf life of some cheeses.


Is Cheese Allowed on Keto?

Yes, cheese is keto friendly because most cheeses are low carb. This is one of the reasons why a lot of cheese lovers have committed to the ketogenic diet instead of other diet types.

There are no hard rules on how much cheese you can consume per day; however, it’s important to remember that cheese is calorie dense and can quickly add up when combined with other meals. For instance, a slice of cheddar has 113 calories.

Some people love cheese so much that they will eat it like there’s no tomorrow. If you’re one of them, you’ve to be careful to make sure you’re not overeating and going above your daily calories, especially if you’re trying to lose weight.

If you can find a way to fit it in your calories, you might be able to enjoy a generous amount of cheese every day on the keto diet.


Types of Cheese: Which Is Best for Keto?

Soft cheeses

Soft cheeses are soft because they’ve been ripened for a short time. Some examples of soft cheeses are feta, brie, and camembert.


camembert-french-soft-cheese-on-wooden-cutting-board-with-knife

Soft cheese macros:

Feta (100 g)

Calories:

264

Fat:

21 g

Protein:

14 g

Carbs:

4.1 g

Brie (100 g)

Calories:

334

Fat:

28 g

Protein:

21 g

Carbs:

0.5 g

Camembert (100 g)

Calories:

299

Fat:

24 g

Protein:

20 g

Carbs:

0.5 g


Hard cheeses

These cheeses are ripened for longer periods ranging from months to years. Some examples include cheddar, gouda, parmesan, and romano.


parmesan-cheese-on-cutting-board-with-basil-and-knife-on-wooden-background

Hard cheese macros:

Cheddar (100 g)

Calories:

402

Fat:

33 g

Protein:

25 g

Carbs:

1.3 g

Gouda (100g)

Calories:

356

Fat:

27 g

Protein:

25 g

Carbs:

2.2 g

Parmesan (100g)

Calories:

431

Fat:

29 g

Protein:

38 g

Carbs:

4.1 g

Romano (100 g)

Calories:

387

Fat:

27 g

Protein:

32 g

Carbs:

3.6 g


The winner

All cheeses are great for keto diet, but we’d have to go with hard cheeses like cheddar because they’re not only low carb but also tend to have more calcium than soft cheeses.

Another plus is that hard cheeses have the lowest trace of lactose which means they’re easier to digest and are more suitable for people with a sensitive stomach. 


Benefits of Cheese on Keto

Bone health

Cheese is good for bone health because it’s a rich source of calcium. In a 2002 study, found that consuming milk calcium in the form of cheese increases bone strength, and bone mineral density [1].


Dental health

Since cheese is rich in calcium and vitamin D, it’s also been found to be good for dental health. A 2018 study measured the plaque pH of 10 healthy adults before and after the consumption of white cheese and other foods [2]. They found out that white cheese can prevent tooth decay because it doesn’t have a pH value below the critical value.

In a 2012 study, 30 children were assigned to have either processed cheese or cottage cheese after a chocolate challenge [3]. Results revealed that consuming cheese after chocolate increased salivary pH.


Omega 3

Cheese is a good source of omega three fatty acids, which means the consumption of cheese can have a protective effect on cardiovascular health [4].


Satiety

cheese can make you feel fuller for longer, which means you might not overload when you consume your next meal.


How to Eat Cheese on Keto

Figure out daily cheese calories

Although cheese is low carb, it’s also high in calories. So you need to work out exactly how much cheese you can eat per day when combined with the overall calories from your other meals.

If you’re trying to lose weight, chances are you’re on a low-calorie diet (<1400/d) and let’s say you’re eating two meals per day, one meal with 600 calories and another meal with 450 calories.

You can see how two meals can easily make up for most of your daily calories. Now add a few slices of cheese on top of that, and you’ll be done with your calories for the day.

If you know you’ll overeat cheese; you need to figure out a way to include cheese in your diet without going above your daily calories.


woman-cutting-with-knife-a-piece-of-cheese-preparing-to-eat

Go for hard cheeses

As stated earlier, hard cheeses like cheddar are the best for keto because they’re easier to digest and more suitable for people with a sensitive stomach. Hard cheeses also have more calcium than soft cheeses.


Meal prep

Including a certain amount of cheese in your keto meal prepping is one way to ensure you won’t overeat. Whether the cheese is one of the ingredients in your meal or a side snack, meal prepping can help balance your calories.


Eat fiber

Too much cheese can sometimes cause constipation so balance it with some fiber from keto veggies such as cauliflower, broccoli, asparagus, artichokes, and zucchini. Make sure you’re drinking plenty of water too.


Takeaways

Don’t hold back from enjoying cheese on your keto diet because it’s absolutely keto friendly. Almost all types of cheeses are low carb, so feel free to eat your favorite cheeses.

If you ask us for the best cheese to eat on keto, we recommend hard cheeses like cheddar because it’s not only low carb but also a rich source of calcium than other soft cheeses. Hard cheeses are also easier to digest and best for people with a sensitive stomach.

However, do remember that cheeses are also calorie dense, which means you can easily overeat and go above your calories if you’re not careful.

Meal prepping can help to make sure you get to enjoy your cheeses without going above your recommended calories, especially if you’re trying to lose weight.

References

  1. Kato K et al. Milk calcium taken with cheese increases bone mineral density and bone strength in growing rats. 2002 November - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12506970
  2. Gul P, Akgul N, Seven N. Anticariogenic potential of white cheese, xylitol chewing gum, and black tea. 2018 April - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6004802/
  3. Tayab T et al. Effect of Chewing Paneer and Cheese on Salivary Acidogenicity: A Comparative Study. 2012 January - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4093638/
  4. Hauswirth CB, Scheeder MR, Beer JH. High omega-3 fatty acid content in alpine cheese: the basis for an alpine paradox. 2004 January - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14676141

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