Most people are unaware that cheese has the following health benefits:
- The beneficial bacteria found in cheese improve gut health, metabolism and digestion.
- The saturated fatty acids in cheese (including myristic and palmitic acids) increase the levels of HDL, low-density LDL, and total cholesterol.
- The saturated fatty acids in cheese (including lauric acid) inhibit bacteria and viruses.
- The oleic acid in cheese prevents coronary heart disease and stabilizes cell membranes.
- The alpha-linolenic acid in cheese is an omega-3 fatty acid that reduces inflammation.
- The magnesium in cheese lowers blood pressure.
- The zinc in cheese improves immune function and gene expression.
- The selenium present in cheese reduces the risk of cancer, allergy symptoms and the risk of heart disease.
The best types of cheese for keto
Here are some of the best cheeses to add to your keto diet or to use in keto recipes (given a 28-gram serving):
- Blue cheese: 100 calories, 6g of protein, 8g of fat and 1g of carbohydrates.
- Brie: 95 calories, 5.9g of protein, 7.8g of fat and 0.1g of carbohydrates.
- cheddar: 115 calories, 6.5g of protein, 9.4g of fat and 0.9g of carbohydrates.
- Colby: 109 calories, 6.8g of protein, 8.8g of fat and 0.5g of carbohydrates.
- cream cheese: 102 calories, 1.8g of protein, 10g of fat and 1.6g of carbohydrates
- feta: 75 calories, 4 g of protein, 6 g of fat and 1.2 g of carbohydrates.
- Gouda: 101 calories, 7.1g of protein, 7.8g of fat and 0.6g of carbohydrates
- Havarty : 104 calories, 6.5g of protein, 8.3g of fat and 0.8g of carbohydrates
- Jarlsberg: 111 calories, 7.6g of protein, 8.8g of fat and 0.4g of carbohydrates.
- Monterey Jack: 106 calories, 6.9g of protein, 8.6g of fat and 0.2g of carbohydrates.
- Munster: 104 calories, 6.6 g of protein, 8.5 g of fat and 0.3 g of carbohydrates
- Paneer ( 122g ): 365 calories, 22g of protein, 29g of fat and 3.6g of carbohydrates.
- Parmesan: 111 calories, 10g of protein, 7.3g of fat and 0.9g of carbohydrates.
- Provolone: 100 calories, 7.3g of protein, 7.5g of fat and 0.6g of carbohydrates.
- Swiss Cheese (108g): 424 calories, 29g of protein, 33g of fat and 1.6g of carbohydrates.
- Whole Mozzarella: 85 calories, 6.3g of protein, 6.3g of fat and 0.6g of carbohydrates.
Overall, the best cheeses for your keto diet are high in fat, moderate to high in protein, low in carbohydrates, and healthy probiotic bacteria.
Which cheeses should you avoid?
Avoid gourmet cheeses, spreads and cheese imitations because they are homogenized and pasteurized.
They are produced in large batches in factories and usually contain unhealthy ingredients such as artificial flavors, colors, preservatives, and even sugar.
Here are some examples of bad cheeses:
- Packaged cheese cuts.
- Packaged grated cheese.
- Soy cheese, cheese products and other vegan cheese substitutes.
- Low-fat cheese.
- Melted cheese curd.
Cheese slices and pre-shredded cheese contain artificial preservatives and starch to prevent sticking. It is best to slice or grind the cheese yourself.
While almond milk, coconut milk, and other non-dairy products are generally keto-friendly, most vegan cheeses are not. This is because they are most often made from soy, which is not a healthy choice for the keto diet.
Typically, cheese substitutes also contain less fat and more carbohydrates than real cheese. 28 g of cheese substitute contains 70 calories, 3.2 grams of protein, 7 grams of carbohydrates and 3.7 grams of fat.
Low-fat cheese is carefully processed (bad) and is usually made from skimmed (bad) milk. Stick to fatty cheeses only.
Finally, some cheeses have less fat or more carbohydrates than other cheeses. Make sure you keep an eye on your macros if you eat ricotta or ricotta