Cheese is a staple on the keto diet since it’s low in carbs, high in fat, and has a moderate amount of protein. Not just that, but cheese is also versatile. This is especially true with cheddar cheese, which goes well with any food. The question is, how much cheese can you eat on keto?
In this article, we’ll give you all the information you need about cheese on keto — how much is allowed in a day, whether it contributes to weight gain, and what to eat and avoid when you’re on a low-carb lifestyle.
Can You Have Cheese on Keto?
Cheese is great to have on the keto diet. Adding cheese to your grocery list, whether that’s cheddar, gouda, pepper jack, or parmesan, will help meet your daily nutritional requirements while keeping carbs low. As a rule of thumb, natural cheeses or whole blocks of cheese are better for you than processed ones.
How Much Cheese Can You Eat on Keto?
If you’re able to tolerate dairy on keto and love cheese, you can have 1-3 ounces of cheese in a day. Keto-friendly cheeses have similar amounts of carbs, fat, and protein per ounce. For example, cheddar cheese has less than 1g carbs, 9g fat, and 7g protein while gouda cheese has less than 1g carbs, 8g fat, and 7g protein per serving.
That means it’s okay to have up to three servings of gouda or cheddar and still say within your daily keto carb limit of 20-50 grams[*]. With regard to fat and protein, this will depend on your personal needs. Use a keto calculator to figure out your daily fat and protein macros.
Will Eating Too Much Cheese on Keto Affect Weight Loss?
Any food on keto supports weight loss but it may also do the opposite if you consume more calories than you need. Dairy-based foods, such as cheese, can make you gain weight by overeating them because they’re energy-dense.
For example, a 1 oz serving of cheddar cheese already contains 115 calories. Although it’s very low in carbs, a person can consume large amounts at once because cheese tastes so good.
Moderation is key. So, if you’re having cheese as part of a weight loss strategy like keto, make sure you know your daily calorie limit along with your protein and fat macronutrient needs. As mentioned earlier, 1-3 ounces should fit well into a keto diet plan. Eat cheese as a snack, quick post-workout fuel, add it to your salads, or use it as a topping for steak!
Best Cheese to Eat on Keto
When you’re on a keto diet, the best types of cheese are cheddar, pepper jack, gouda, blue cheese, cream cheese, and parmesan cheese. Here are the macros for each cheese:
- Cheddar (1 oz): Calories 115 | Carbs less than 1g | Fat 9g | Protein 7g
- Pepper jack (1 oz): Calories 106 | Carbs less than 1g | Fat 9g | Protein 7g
- Gouda (1 oz): Calories 101 | Carbs less than 1g | Fat 8g | Protein 7g
- Blue cheese (1 oz): Calories 100 | Carbs less than 1g | Fat 8g | Protein 6g
- Cream cheese (1 oz): Calories 99 | Carbs 2g | Fat 8g | Protein 7g
- Parmesan (1 oz): Calories 122 | Carbs 1g | Fat 8g | Protein 11g
Additionally, we recommend choosing grass-fed dairy. Study shows that grass-fed dairy products have higher levels of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) and omega-3 fatty acids[*]. CLA and omega-3 are types of fat with cardiovascular benefits.
Cheese to Avoid on Keto
Pre-shredded and processed cheeses contain extra ingredients, such as food dyes, whey powder, starches, emulsifiers, and other artificial stuffs that extend their shelf life. Steer clear of the following cheeses:
- Spray-can cheese (1 oz): Calories 83 | Carbs 3g | Fat 6g | Protein 6g
- Pre-sliced cheese “singles” (1 slice): Calories 60 | Carbs 2g | Fat 4g | Protein 3g
- Vegan cheese (1 oz): Calories 70 | Carbs 7g | Fat 4g | Protein 3g
Like spray-can and pre-sliced cheeses, many vegan cheese options contain highly processed ingredients. Canola oil, for example. Vegan cheese is made with nuts and seeds, which are keto-friendly, but it should be consumed minimally or avoided if it also contains large amounts of artificial preservatives.
The Bottom Line
Cheese is delicious and supports a healthy keto diet. To maintain ketosis and weight loss, limit yourself to 1-3 ounces of cheese per day. It’s fantastic as a snack or ingredient in any recipe! Also, be sure to check out Käze cheese snacks. Made from 100% real cheese, our snacks are available in a 1 oz (individual) or 6 oz (for sharing) pack. We have cheddar, pepper jack, gouda, and other keto-approved flavors you and your kids will love.