Is Cream Cheese Keto Friendly We Asked The Expert
- 6 minute read
Cream cheese is a versatile ingredient that many could not imagine living without.
It can be made sweet or savory and adds a creamy texture to recipes.
But many dairy products are not great choices while on the keto diet because they are too high in carbs.
Can cream cheese have a place in the keto diet? Lets take a closer look.
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Cottage Cheese Is Great For Gut Health
Cottage cheese is a great source of probiotics. This helps your gut microbiome health which studies have shown plays an important role in almost every function in your body.
Incorporating cottage cheese into your diet will revitalize your body from the inside, allowing your skin, eye and brain health to operate smoothly. Plus, a healthier gut also allows you to absorb fats more efficiently so ketone production improves.
Starchy Vegetables And High
Starchy vegetables contain more digestible carbohydrates than fiber and should be limited on the ketogenic diet. These include corn, potatoes, sweet potatoes and beets. Limit high-sugar fruits too, which spike your blood sugar more quickly than berries and have more carbohydrates .
Carb counts for high-sugar fruits:
- Banana : 24 g net carbs
- Raisins : 21 g net carbs, 22 g total carbs)
- Dates : 32 g net carbs
- Mango : 22 g net carbs
- Pear : 21 g net carbs
Carb counts for starchy vegetables:
- Corn : 32 g net carbs
- Potato : 33 g net carbs
- Sweet potato : 20 g net carbs
- Beets : 14 g net carbs
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Can You Do Keto Without Dairy
Absolutely, Pride says. You can totally be dairy-free and do keto. You just need to know which swaps are smart swapslike unsweetened almond milk for regular ole dairy milk and plant-based yogurts for usual dairy yogurt. That being said, however, you still want to be sure youre looking for unsweetened or no sugar added options to make sure the products fit your needs, Pride explains.
Equally as important? Making up for any lost nutrients that you mightve previously been getting by your yogurt, dairy, and cheese consumptions. For calcium, Pride says to consider sardines, tofu, kale, and fortified almond milk and for potassium, avocados, spinach, salmon, and edamame. And lets not forget about ketos big player: fats. To keep up with those sans-dairy products, go for nuts, avocados, seeds, and plant-based oils.
Now, not to be repetitive or anything, but just to make sure its clear: You dont need to ditch dairy entirely if you want to do keto. In fact, there are plenty of dairy options that will fit in with your 50-grams-of-carbs-a-day lifestyle, Jalali says.
All foods are basically allowed on the ketogenic diet, it is a matter of the portion, she says, adding that that means you might have more wiggle room with certain dairy products, like butter and heavy cream, but not so much with others, like milk or ice cream.
Best Dairy Foods On A Keto Diet
Cream must be included in the list of best dairy on a keto diet and can be used to create wonderful sauces. It is also great on berries as a treat. All dairy products on a keto diet should be full of fat. As discussed earlier, lower-fat options usually contain sugar.
Single, Double cream, and whipped cream can all be used to put on top of berries or to make sauces. One trick that I have learned is to use single or double cream with water to simulate milk. Because of the natural sugar content in milk, add some erythritol or stevia to mimic the slightly sweet taste that milk adds to a sauce. I have found this particularly useful when making a cheese sauce for cauliflower cheese!
Cream can also be used in Coffee and to make desserts.
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Is Cottage Cheese Keto
A ketogenic, or keto, diet is a very low carb, high fat eating pattern. It forces your body to use fat instead of glucose for fuel.
The ketogenic diet was originally used as a way to reduce seizure activity in people with epilepsy .
However, research suggests that it may also offer other health benefits, such as weight loss, reduced insulin resistance, cholesterol, and blood sugar levels, and even improvements in neurological diseases like Alzheimers .
Meal planning on this diet can be challenging, as you must choose foods that are healthy, provide variety, and fit into your daily intake goals for fat, protein, and carbs.
Many dairy foods are off-limits because theyre too high in carbs. Therefore, you may wonder about cottage cheese.
This article reviews whether cottage cheese is a keto-friendly dairy option and how you may include it in your diet.
Plain Greek Yogurt And Cottage Cheese
Plain Greek yogurt and cottage cheese are healthy, high protein foods.
While they contain some carbs, they can still be included in a ketogenic lifestyle in moderation.
A half cup of plain Greek yogurt provides 4 grams of carbs and 9 grams of protein. That amount of cottage cheese provides 5 grams of carbs and 11 grams of protein (
As a pure fat source, olive oil contains no carbs. Its an ideal base for salad dressings and healthy mayonnaise.
Because it isnt as stable as saturated fats at high temperatures, its best to use olive oil for low-heat cooking or add it to foods after theyve been cooked.
Extra-virgin olive oil is high in heart-healthy monounsaturated fats and antioxidants. Its ideal for salad dressings, mayonnaise, and adding to cooked foods.
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How Much Cheese Can I Eat On Keto
You can certainly eat keto friendly cheese but its not a carb-free food. Youll need to pay close attention to serving sizes, since the small amount of carbs in cheese can add up fast.
The way you buy low carb cheese can also determine its nutritional value. Pre-shredded cheeses, for example, sometimes contain added starches to prevent sticking that will add more carbs to each serving. For the best keto diet cheese experience, buy whole blocks and slice or shred them yourself.
All cheese can be keto. However, keep fat content in mind when you look for low carb cheese. Low fat, nonfat, and full fat cheeses are all considered low carb, but lower fat varieties will generally yield higher carb counts.
Takeaway: Choose full-fat cheeses whenever possible, and steer clear of any with added starch or sweeteners.
Best Dairy Foods On A Keto Diet: Which Ones Can You Eat
Being aware of the best dairy foods on a Keto diet is important when embarking on this lifestyle. Being able to eat dairy on a Ketogenic diet is a real treat. Most standard diets demonize fats in any form! It is important, however, to discriminate between good dairy and bad dairy. It is essential to stick with higher fat dairy products and avoid the skimmed milk and low-fat versions.
High-fat dairy products are allowed on the Keto diet. These include high-fat cheeses and creams of any kind . However, some people avoid cheese as there is a school of thought that says it is not keto. There are varying schools of thought on eating dairy on a Keto diet. You have to see how you get along with it, but most people happily include it.
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Complete Keto Diet Food List: What You Can And Cannot Eat If You’re On A Ketogenic Diet
Make eating keto a lot easier with this comprehensive keto diet food listplus learn if it’s the right diet for you.
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.
Too Much Dairy May Cause Weight
Cheese, cream, and whole-milk yogurt are very tasty. Unfortunately, the flip side of being so delicious is that they can be very easy to over consume.
Yes, these foods are generally a good fit for a low-carb or keto lifestyle. But eating too much of them may potentially cause a weight-loss stall whether from too many calories, too many carbs, or a combination of both.
Some low-carb clinicians advise their patients to consume these foods in moderation. For example, in his No sugar, no starch diet Dr. Eric Westman recommends limiting cream of all types to less than 2 tablespoons per day and cheese of all types to less than 4 ounces per day. These are still pretty generous amounts.
For some people, further limiting dairy, or even cutting it out altogether, may be helpful if weight loss slows down or stalls.
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What To Do About Dairy Sensitivities
Dairy sensitivity can range from uncomfortable or embarrassing to life-threatening , so you should speak to a trusted physician if you suspect you may have these issues.
If you do have a dairy sensitivity, you may want to ditch dairy altogether. Dairy isnt required on the keto diet, and if it doesnt work for you, you can say goodbye.
But if youre just starting keto and suspect you mighthave a dairy sensitivity, theres some good news: keto can reduce lactose intolerance symptoms in some people.
It turns out the issue sometimes has more to do with overall carbs and not dairy or lactose in particular.
While there arent yet any studies to confirm this, anecdotal evidence suggests that by improving insulin sensitivity and reducing inflammation, some keto dieters can reverse lactose intolerance or whatever sensitivity was mistakenly believed to be lactose intolerance that was actually caused by poor overall diet.
Cravings And Sugar Addiction
Most of the cravings that we get are caused by sugar. Sugar, at the end of the day, is an industry thats run on addiction. There have been numerous studies showing that sugar stimulates the reward centers of the brain.
When we constantly consume sugar, we release dopamine in our brain creating an addiction and an increased tolerance. Over time you will have to eat larger and larger amounts of sugar to continue the dopamine secretion. Once our body is dependent on a chemical reaction in the brain, we can find that were craving things even when were not hungry.
When trying to shift from a high carb diet to a ketogenic diet, cravings can definitely get strong. Its always best to try to clean house before you start so that you dont have food around you that can lead to cravings. We recommend that when switching to keto, you restrict using sweeteners completely for the first 30 days. It normally leads to breaking sugar addiction and ultimately not having cravings.
Besides sugar, sometimes our bodies crave food because of lack of nutrients. The craving usually goes away if you fulfill your nutrient intake in a different way. Below youll see a few ways to get rid of pesky cravings that hit.
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Avoid Whipped Cream Cheese
Since the keto diet is all about getting in fat, you get less fat per serving with the whipped version instead of the regular block.
For example, the whipped version of the Philadelphia Cream Cheese contains 4 grams of fat in a single serving, while the block cream cheese contains 7 grams per serving .
Look for the rectangular blocks of cream cheese rather than the plastic containers.
So Can You Have Dairy On The Keto Diet
Yes, with caveats. It’s a little complicated like, you know, everything in life these days.
Some dairy products are actually great sources of protein, fat, potassium, and calcium, and make a lot of sense for keto. But the keto diet’s actually a bit more restrictive when it comes to other dairy foodsand that’s due mostly to one thing: Dairy equals sugar, which equals carbs. Let’s break down some pros and cons of eating dairy on keto.
Pros of eating dairy on the keto diet:
- The fat content is solid. Regardless of whether you’re doing keto or not, dairy contains fat, which takes longer to digest and helps us stay full for longer, Beckerman explains.
- It can help you snack less. Because most dairy products are able to adequately supply the body with valuable protein, fat, and calories, you may be less likely to go scavenging for food in between meals, Beckerman says.
- You’ll get calcium, phosphorus, and vitamin D. Dairy supplies all three of these nutrients, which are needed not only for maintaining healthy bones, but also are integral to balancing mood and regulating hormones, Beckman explains.
Cons of eating dairy on the keto diet:
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A Great Ketogenic Snack Or Breakfast When You Choose The Right Kind
If you’re looking for tasty low carb foods to supplement your ketogenic lifestyle, cottage cheese deserves a spot in your grocery list!
Not only does it provide your body with the perfect dose of healthy fats, but it’s also a great source of probiotics to support gut health.
As long as you can tolerate dairy and you carefully choose brands with little to no carbohydrate content cottage cheese is a great ketogenic food source to support you on your fat-burning journey!
About the author
What Is The Keto Diet
Keto is a high fat, low carb diet. When your body is in a state of ketosis it burns fat for fuel instead of carbs. The total amount of suggested net carbs can vary from person to person, but generally people can reach ketosis when they have had 40-20 net carbs.
It can be difficult to find grab and go or meal prep-style foods that fit this diet because so many of those go-to options are full of carbs. These ham and cheese homemade egg bites are tasty eaten warm or cold. One batch makes over 20 bites and they contain 1.5 net carbs each! They make a great low carb breakfast, or a good lunch paired with a garden salad or other low-carb side.
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The Cottage Cheese Story
Its rumored that cottage cheese has been around for thousands of years, dating back to Egyptian times.
The first documentation of cottage cheese, however, was in 1831 where it received its official name. The cheese was made in cottages and country homes, using leftover milk product from butter making.
Cottage cheese is a fresh, mild cheese with a slightly acidic flavor that can have either large or small curds. Its made by adding an acid to pasteurized milk, which causes the milk solids to separate from the whey.
Typically, the acids used are either vinegar or a bacterial culture that produces lactic acid.
After the curd is formed, its allowed to drain any remaining whey, and finally is pressed to remove the remaining moisture.
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While one serving of skim-milk cottage cheese contains:
- Calories: 90
- Protein: 11 grams
- Carbohydrate: 6 grams
As you can see, the skim milk version contains two times the amount of net carbs, with more than half the fat.
The full-fat version, however, is loaded with protein and fat, ideal for keeping your blood sugar in range.
Eating Too Much Dairy
So, if youâre eating cheese all day as a âketo-friendly snackâ for its fat content, youâre also getting a hefty dose of protein and carbs along with that fat. Most people can tolerate dairy just fine on a ketogenic diet, but moderation is the key. Stick to no more than 1-2 ounces of cheese or cream per meal.
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Dairy Consumption Has Been Linked To Good Health
For the past several decades, weve been advised to limit our intake of butter, cream, and cheese because they contain a lot of saturated fat, which was thought to increase heart disease risk.
Yet according to most of the research to date, this recommendation appears to have been largely unwarranted.16
In fact, high-fat fermented dairy products like cheese and yogurt seem to have neutral effects on heart health and may possibly even decrease heart disease risk.17
Full-fat dairy products also provide conjugated linoleic acid, a naturally occurring trans fat that early research suggests can improve cardiovascular risk markers.18 However, more studies are needed to confirm this positive association.
Finally, a 2017 systematic review of 52 clinical trials concluded that consuming dairy products may help lower inflammatory markers in people with metabolic diseases, such as diabetes and obesity.19 A similar 2020 review found that dairy products had neutral to beneficial effects on inflammatory markers in healthy people and those with metabolic disease.20
Keep These Things In Mind If You Are Consuming Dairy Products:
- Some dairy products are loaded with carbohydrates while others are filled with the protein and fat which are important for ketosis
- Consuming dairy can also be difficult for some people to digest. It may lead to some health problems like stomach upset, bloating, sinus, acne and even joint pain if your body does not digest it properly
- Also, when you chose pasteurized milk instead of raw milk, you miss out on the good bacteria that can help you properly digest dairy easily
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