When following a keto diet, cheese can be an everyday food, but some choices are better than others. One of the great highlights of going keto is the abundance of great fats you can eat. I would be lying to you if I said I did not eat cheese almost daily. It is a staple in our family, and we all fight for the last piece of old cheddar regularly.
As you are aware, a ketogenic diet changes your fuel source from one that primarily burns carbohydrates (carbs) to one that burns fat; this is known as a state of ketosis.
Cheese is basically the perfect keto food: high-fat, moderate-protein, and low carb. Cheese can add flavor and variety to your meals. Remember though, cheese is not “unlimited” as it does still contain calories and carbs. The best for a keto diet is high-quality, grass-fed and full-fat vs a light or reduced-fat version.
Some of the top cheeses to eat on a keto diet and the ones to limit are:
Goat Cheese: There are very few grams of Carbs in goat cheese and it contains less lactose. This means that goat cheese is easier to digest for most people, especially if they are sensitive to traditional cows’ milk. Goat cheese has great texture and is fantastic when added to soup, salads, charcuterie – or just on its own.
Stinky Cheese AKA Blue Cheese! Very low in carbohydrates and has a rich strong flavor that compliments and jazzes up any meal.
Cream Cheese: A great way to add fat to your meals and hit your macros without going overdoing protein and carbohydrates. Cream cheese is both low carb and low protein; so long as you choose the full-fat version. Paired with smoked salmon or in a cauliflower casserole, it is a great addition to any dish.
Cheese Crisps: Cheese on the go – with the crunch of a chip and none of the carbs. Dehydrated cheese makes the perfect snack while you are out and about or a great addition to a salad; perfect for someone following a low carb or keto diet.
Romano Cheese: Romano hard cheese has a salty, nutty flavor and goes well paired with vegetables like asparagus and brussels sprouts or shaved on top of a Caesar salad (minus the croutons – unless they’re Shrewd Food Protein Croutons!)
Cottage Cheese: A low-fat cheese option that is high in protein and carbs. Keep this one in moderation, like paired with some sliced tomato and smoked salmon or on its own with Himalayan salt and pepper.
American Cheese Singles or Spray Cheese: These cheeses are often highly processed and not the best quality of cheese. With so many better options I would keep this one as a one off.
Pre-Shredded cheese: These cheeses often have added starches and artificial preservatives to keep them from sticking together. Buy a block of cheese and shred it yourself; your taste buds will thank you!
Ricotta Cheese: A great texture and flavor, however, high in net carbs and moderate fat content.
Swiss Cheese: A slightly more carb-heavy cheese. You can keep this one in the mix, just make sure to moderate it as an oz can run you 1.5g of carbs.
As you can see, there are so many wonderful cheeses that are low carb and high fat. I encourage you to explore new varieties and styles and learn how to incorporate this wonderful fat source into your keto lifestyle.
Yours in Health and Fitness,
Leah Berti Sterling
Leah Berti Sterling is a wife, mother, and an IFBB Figure Pro and Founder of Team Mzfits Online Fitness and Nutrition Coaching. She’s passionate about helping others reach their own personal goals while having fun with a combination of healthy eating and fitness!