Complete Keto Diet Food List: What You Can And Cannot Eat If You’re On A Ketogenic Diet
The ketogenic diet is a high-fat, moderate-protein and very low-carbohydrate diet. Carbohydrates are the body’s preferred source of energy, but on a strict ketogenic diet, less than 5 percent of energy intake is from carbohydrates . The reduction of carbohydrates puts the body into a metabolic state called ketosis. Ketosis is when the body starts breaking down stored fat into molecules called ketone bodies to use for energy, in the absence of circulating blood sugar from food. Once the body reaches ketosis, most cells will use ketone bodies to generate energy until you start eating carbohydrates again.
Traditionally, the ketogenic diet was only used in clinical settings to reduce seizures in children with epilepsy. “Now there is a lot of interest in the diet’s effectiveness in helping with other neurological conditions, cancer, diabetes, PCOS , obesity, high cholesterol and cardiovascular disease,” says Emily Stone, M.S., R.D. People also eat keto to lose weight .
Even if you know that you need to eat a very low-carb, high-fat, moderate protein dietit can be confusing to know which foods to eat. Here’s our guide to foods you can eat, foods you should avoid and foods you can sometimes have when you’re following a ketogenic diet.
Best Cheeses For Keto
Two of the first questions most keto beginners ask is what can you eat on a keto diet? and can you eat dairy on keto?
While milk is too high in carbs to be keto-friendly, cheese is good enough on keto since it has a good balance of keto macros.
However, what you really want to know is which cheese is best.
Here are 9 types we believe tick all the right keto-friendly boxes: low-carb, high-fat, nutritious and healthy.
Which Cheeses Should You Avoid
While high-quality cheese is a healthy choice, highly processed cheese foods are not.
Avoid refined cheese foods, cheese spreads, and imitation cheeses because they are homogenized and pasteurized.
Theyre also made in large batches in factories and usually contain unhealthy ingredients like artificial flavoring, dyes, preservatives, and even sugar.
In the United States, the FDA requires that manufacturers label these fake foods as pasteurized process cheese, pasteurized process cheese food, or pasteurized process cheese spread. So avoid anything with those labels.
Here are other cheeses you dont want in your shopping cart:
- Pre-sliced cheese singles
- Soy cheese, cheese analog, and other vegan cheese substitutes
- Low-fat or reduced-fat cheese
Cheese singles and pre-shredded cheese contain artificial preservatives and added starches to keep them from sticking together. Its best to slice or shred cheese yourself.
While almond milk, coconut milk, and other non-dairy milks are usually keto-friendly, most vegan cheeses are not. Thats because theyre often made with soy, which isnot a healthy choice for a keto diet. Typically, cheese substitutes also contain less fat and more carbs than real cheese. One ounce of cheese analog has 70 calories, 3.2 grams of protein, 7 grams of carbs, and 3.7 grams of fat.
As mentioned, low-fat and reduced-fat cheese is highly processed and usually made with skim milk . Stick with full-fat cheeses only.
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Are All Cheeses Low In Carbs
Cheese is a dairy product made from curdled milk, usually cow’s milk, but goat’s and sheep’s milk are also frequently used in cheesemaking. There are roughly a dozen cheese varieties in the world, with thousands of subcategories, so you definitely won’t feel any shortage of options.
Cheese is more compact than milk, meaning it is dense in nutrients like fat and protein and low in water content.
But what about its carb content?
- Well, the amount of carbs varies from one cheese to the next. But generally speaking, fresh cheese is higher in carbs than hard, aged cheese.
- Cottage cheese, for example, has 3.5g carbs per 100g, while Edam cheese has only 1.4 g of carbs in the same serving size. But, as usual, there are many exceptions to this rule.
To play it safe with carbs in cheese, read the label, go for high-fat cheeses, and limit fresh cheeses since these tend to be low in fat. Also, try to avoid processed cheese like American or Gjetost.
If practical, go for grass-fed products as these are higher in vitamin A, omega-3s, conjugated linoleic acid , and antioxidants than conventional dairy products .
What Brand Of Cottage Cheese Is Keto Friendly
Cottage cheese is a raw dairy created by separating the two principal milk proteins, casein curds and liquid whey. According to Food Data Central, ½ cup Cottage Cheese has
- 5 g of fat
- 14 g of protein
- 5 g of carbohydrates
As you can see Cottage cheese are not a good option for keto. You cannot consume it regularly. There is a cheese you can consume weekly once or twice.
To save your precious time while shopping, weve compiled a list of the finest keto-friendly cottage cheese products:
Breakstones Cottage Cheese: Breakstones offers a wide range of cottage cheese products, including 0 fat and 4 per cent milk-fat cottage cheese variations.
Borden Cottage Cheese: Made from real Borden milk, this is a high-protein, flavorful option.
Vadilal Malai Cottage Cheese Vadilal offers fresh cottage cheese thats tightly sealed to ensure maximum freshness.
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Recommended Reading: Where To Buy Frozen Breaded Cheese Curds
More Keto Dips To Try
Okay, so you read this keto cheese sauce recipe, you made it, you loved it, and now you want to make something else.
Luckily, I have tons more low carb keto dip ideas for you to try!
Something similar to this, but with a little more pizzaz is my keto pizza dip .
Instead of melting the cheese in a pot, for this recipe, you broil everything together until the cheese gets super melty & stretchy, and the flavors of the pizza sauce and pepperoni melt into that ooey-gooey cheeseYou NEED to try it.
Another recipe, just like this one, is my low carb buffalo chicken wing dip. It also uses cheddar cheese but with the addition of blue cheese, cream cheese, and hot sauce. Its basically like a spicy triple cheese dip. Youll definitely want to get on that ASAP as well.
Finally, if youre in the mood for something creamy but not necessarily cheesy, youll want to try this savory keto spinach and artichoke dip. Just like the cheese sauce, this is one of my favorite recipes to pair with Quest Protein Chips.
Creamy and crunchy just work SO well together.
And thats it!
Feel free to check out the rest of my blog or my Youtube channel for more majorly delicious low carb recipes to accompany you on your keto journey.
Whole Milk Rather Than Low Fat
You may have heard that low-fat dairy is a good choice. However, full fat is really what you want to look for when doing keto. Cheese and dairy that is low in fat is usually much higher in sugar than the whole milk alternatives. And that makes it bad for eating on the ketogenic diet. The high sugar content will knock you out of ketosis and block weight loss.
To learn more about how to choose dairy products to eat while doing keto, check out this video. In it, I talk all about the problems with conventional dairy, as well as the best and worst dairy products to choose from.
Ultimately, the best-case scenario when it comes to cheese is organic, grass-fed, full-fat cheeses. Those will be best for you on the keto diet.
And if you add those kinds of cheeses to your ketogenic diet eating plan? Then you’ll be able to reap some great health benefits.
Also Check: How Many Carbs Are In Mac And Cheese
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 doesnt guarantee you wont 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 didnt eat cheese.
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In order to stay in ketosis watching how many grams of carbs you consume is essential. But theres more to the story than macronutrients alone.
High-fat keto-friendly meal plans can often include some suspicious food choices. Thats why its always important to look into your food choices, and determine if a product is, in fact, keto.
Cheese products run the gamut from high-fat and high-quality to high-carb and low quality . But what about cottage cheese, does it fit into a healthy keto diet?
Also Check: Can You Have Cottage Cheese On The Keto Diet
Dairy Provides Important Vitamins And Minerals
Cheese and yogurt are rich in several key nutrients, including vitamin A, vitamin K2, vitamins B6 and B12, and zinc.
Dairy products have a reputation for being an excellent source of calcium, although some types have more than others. Getting adequate calcium via dairy products has been shown to reduce the risk of bone fractures.13
Hard cheeses contain the most calcium, with Parmesan providing about 1,000 mg and Swiss and cheddar following closely behind with 720 to 790 mg per 100 grams, respectively.14
Yet all types of cheese and yogurt still provide decent amounts of this important mineral. So choose whichever dairy products you prefer to eat. You can also get calcium from non-dairy foods.15
Can You Eat Cheese On Keto Diet
Most cheeses are low in carbs and high in fat, which is good news when you’re on a keto diet. But there are also some cheeses you need to look out for.
Otherwise, it’s a big thumbs-up to cheese as far as keto is concerned. In fact, this dairy food is a major keto diet staple.
If you need help choosing the best cheeses to add to your keto meal plan, read this quick keto cheese guide covering the top keto diet cheeses.
Also Check: Can You Eat Cheese On Plant Based Diet
Can I Eat Cottage Cheese On Keto
You can have cottage cheese on keto, but you need to keep the portion pretty small. Cottage cheese has more carbs per serving than most other cheeses.If you look at the chart above, 100 grams packs in 3 grams of carbohydrates. A one-cup portion would give you 7 grams of carbs!Typical ketogenic diets limit carbohydrates to no more than 50 grams/day , so you can see how that would quickly account for a significant portion of your daily goal.If you must have it you can make it work in your keto diet, but watch your portion and always choose the full-fat kind.
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, youll 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 youll get benefit from eating it. Some of the best benefits of eating cheese include:
Read Also: Does American Cheese Have Lactose
Can You Eat Dairy On Keto
Yes! Many dairy products are low in carbs in addition to cheese that fits into the keto diet such as sour cream, heavy cream, and butter.
This gives you so many more options when it comes to creating keto-friendly recipes!
Choosing the full-fat dairy options is best for the keto diet.
Many dairy products offer reduced or fat-free options, but those usually end up replacing the fat with additional carbs making it less suitable for keto.
Look at the food labels closely to ensure you are choosing the best option for your keto diet.
Not all dairy is good for a keto diet, though.
Dairy products such as milk, yogurt, and ice cream all contain too many carbs by either the natural sugar found in dairy or added sugar for sweetness.
Avoid those products to keep your diet lower in carbs and on track to stay in ketosis.
However, some companies are making keto-friendly options for ice cream for those ice cream lovers out there.
There are many keto ice cream flavor options available, so give one a try!
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, youre sure to see your weight increasing soon after. As much as I love cheese, I cant see myself sitting there stuffing myself with it for hours. After a few pieces, Im going to grow tired of it.
In moderation, cheese might be the perfect food for a ketogenic diet. Its 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 youre picking out high-quality options that are full-fat and, if possible, grass-fed.
Its important to note that cheese isnt 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 arent having problems, there isnt really a reason not to have some cheese if you enjoy it.
Read Also: What Do You Season Mac And Cheese With
What Is A Keto Diet
Ketogenic diets are very satisfying and effective for people aiming to lose weight in a short time and those having medical conditions like uncontrolled epilepsy, polycystic ovary syndrome, and certain heart diseases. It is also used to manage type-2 diabetes. Ketogenic diets have been vastly recognized in comparison to other forms of diet. According to statistics, the keto diet was the most searched food-related topic on the internet in 2020.
The high fat, moderate protein, and low carb diet that is taken to obtain more calories from protein and fat rather than carbohydrates is called the keto diet. The kind of foods you can eat on a keto diet are butter, nuts, sour cream, cheese, yogurt, vegetable oils, fish oil, nut oils, nut butter, olive oil, and other essential unsaturated fats that induce the state of ketosis.
The major goal is to increase ketones in the blood instead of blood sugar. It should be noted that keto diets should be adapted for short-term goals focused to lose weight.
Keto Diet Recipes For Cheese Lovers
Here are some of my favorite low-carb recipes to make with cheese on keto:
These are fun and tasty keto recipes that are perfect for those of you that love cheese. Whether making a meal or in need of a keto snack, these are a great way to use that healthy cheese you now know how to choose.
Also Check: Is Good Culture Cottage Cheese Lactose Free
Cottage Cheese Sour Cream And Greek Yogurt
All three of the dairy products are grouped together because they have similar carb contentabout 11 grams of carbs per cup, per the USDA. So, these are doable, as long as you keep your carb content in check, says Lakatos .
There is, however, one hack that many keto dieters use: “A common keto hack for yogurt is to make keto yogurt by mixing one part tangy sour creamWallaby Organic European Cultured is my favewith one part heavy cream,” says Jalali. “This combination will have less carbs and higher in fat than traditional yogurt.”
Can Cheese Help You Lose Weight
Assuming you dont have any dairy sensitivities and purchase high-quality keto cheese, you can enjoy some cheese on your keto diet. But what about during weight loss? Some people advocate avoiding cheese on clean keto.
Clean keto sounds impressive, but theres nothing dirty about high-quality cheese. Cheese will not raise your blood sugar or kick you out of ketosis. If youarent losing weight on keto, dont blame cheese.
The fact is, tolose weight on keto you need to create a mild caloric deficit through diet andexercise. You will eat minimal amounts of carbs, adequate protein to maintain your lean body mass, and the rest of your calories will come from fat.
The only issue with eating cheese happens if you eat a lot of cheese along with too many calories from other foods.
If you eat too many calories, you cant remedy the problem with more exercise. But theres a simple solution: avoid snacking, stick to a fixed meal schedule, and make sure youre getting enough to eat at each meal.
Not sure how much youre eating? Track your calories for a few days in a meal tracking app like MyFitnessPal.
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Cheeses You Can Eat On A Keto Diet
If youre on keto, certain cheeses make for better choices find out which ones.
Ketogenic or keto diets may seem like a recent trend, but they actually arent new at all. In the Harvard Health Blog, Dr. Marcelo Campos wrote that doctors have been using the keto diet for almost 100 years! At its core, the keto diet centers on cutting carbs and adding more protein and fat to your diet which is actually all excellent news for cheese lovers.
Keto diets are based on limiting carbs and eating whole foods rich in protein and fat like meat, avocado, eggs, and unprocessed cheese . You might be surprised by how less hungry you feel on the keto diet versus similar options, like low-fat diets, because of the flexibility keto affords you. Following a keto diet often leads to weight loss, but it also provides other health benefits like lowering your risk for Type 2 Diabetes.
Adding cheese to dishes makes them so much more tasty, especially when adhering to a diet that limits sugars and other indulgent foods. Shavings of Parmesan or Romano tossed onto a Caesar salad seems decadent, but when its replacing croutons, its practical. Mixing some shredded cheddar into your scrambled eggs makes them richer and creamier. Crumbling some Asiago cheese with pecans and walnuts can become a new favorite snack.
But, not all cheeses are keto-friendly. Keep in mind that cheeses with higher amounts of lactose, a type of sugar, tend to be higher in carbs which is exactly what keto avoids.