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Being from Wisconsin, I love cheese. And that is great, because cheese can be a really great addition to the keto diet. It is a healthy source of calcium and other nutrients. And it is great for making all different sorts of dishes and recipes. But cheese for keto is only healthy if you choose the right kind. So how can you be sure you are choosing the best cheese on ketogenic diet?
In this article, I will help you learn what to look for on the label to make sure you are getting the healthiest cheese possible while doing keto.
I will cover:
- The best types of cheese for keto.
- The health benefits of organic, grass-fed cheese.
- Good keto cheeses to choose from.
- How much cheese is okay to eat on keto.
- Some of my favorite recipes for cheese lovers.
- Key takeaways.
Let's start by answering the question, "What kind of cheese should I be eating on keto?"
The best cheese on the ketogenic diet: what to look for
Cheese is great keto-friendly food, as long as you choose the right kind.
Cheese can be loaded with sugar, added ingredients, and chemicals. Or it can be a healthy, high-fat option that has tremendous health benefits. So it can either be great for staying in ketosis and helping you with weight loss, or it can be a detriment. It's all up to the kind you choose to buy and eat.
When you head to the grocery store, there are many different options lining the shelves. With so many different brands, types, flavors, and preparation methods, how do you know what is best to choose when doing keto? What should you look for on the label to make sure you are choosing the healthiest, most keto-friendly options?
You might think that "natural" on the label is good enough. But here is the thing: when you see that word on a label, it essentially means nothing. There's more to it than that when it comes to deciding on a healthy cheese.
Here is what you really want to look for when choosing cheese on keto:
When doing the keto diet, I always recommend choosing high-quality foods that are grown in healthy environments. One thing I advise to do as part of Health KetoTM is to always opt for organic foods. And cheese is no exception. Organic means that the cows were raised without pesticides, GMOs, antibiotics, etc. That means that the dairy produced by them is free of these chemicals as well.
2. 100% Grass-fed
One step better than just organic is grass-fed. And even better than that? 100% grass-fed. That means the animals were pasture-raised and ate real grass, rather than artificial grains with all sorts of unhealthy ingredients.
3. Not processed
Cheese that is highly processed – like Velveeta – is highly unhealthy. It contains added ingredients and essentially isn't cheese at all, but rather a processed mess of chemicals. You want to choose the kinds of cheese that are as minimally processed as possible, like cheddar, Swiss, and other aged cheeses.
4. 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.
Health benefits of grass-fed, organic cheese
Grass-fed dairy is a really healthy option. When you choose this kind of dairy and this kind of cheese, you are choosing a food that actually has the maximum amount of certain nutrients.
Grass-fed cheese is a healthy source of things like:
- Fat-soluble vitamins. It has a lot of the fat-soluble vitamins including vitamins A, D, E, and K2. These are all really important for your health in many different ways.
- Omega fatty acids like DHA, EPA, ALA, and CLA. These fatty acids are the good kinds of healthy fats that have lots of health benefits. They are good for your brain, nervous system, hormones, and more.
- Calcium. I usually don't recommend calcium supplements, but I like using cheese as a healthy source of calcium. The calcium found in dairy is very bioavailable, meaning that your body has an easy time absorbing and using it.
- Protein. Cheese is a healthy source of protein while doing the keto diet.
- B vitamins. Cheese is loaded with B vitamins, specifically B12. Deficiencies in B12 can lead to fatigue, memory problems, anemia, and many other health problems. It is important to get enough, and cheese is a great source.
Cheese isn't just tasty food. It's also loaded with nutrition and is a healthy source of things like omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, and vitamins. And it's a great addition to a low-carb, high-fat keto diet.
Good keto cheeses to add into your keto diet
When it comes to choosing your cheese, you want to find brands that say organic and grass-fed. And full fat is a good choice as well.
For keto, we also want to make sure we choose cheeses that are low carb and low in sugar. That is important for staying in ketosis and thus seeing benefits like weight loss.
Some cheeses to eat on your low-carb keto diet include:
- Aged, hard cheeses
- Pepper jack
- Parmesan cheese
- Cream cheese
You'll want to avoid cheeses like cottage cheese that are high in sugar and those that are highly processed.
How much cheese can I eat on keto?
Cheese is a keto-friendly food. But as with most things, it is best in moderation.
I recommend eating about 3-4 ounces per meal on the keto diet.
Some people can get constipated when they eat too much cheese, so don't overdo it.
You will also want to avoid cheese if you have any allergies or intolerances to dairy. For example, if you have a casein allergy (an allergy to the protein in milk) or lactose intolerance, stay away from dairy. If you are lactose intolerant, aged cheeses like cheddar and Swiss might not be a problem for you.
Keto diet recipes for cheese lovers
Here are some of my favorite low-carb recipes to make with cheese on keto:
- Bacon and Cheese Fat Bomb
- Cheese and Onion Omelet
- Jalapeno Bacon Cream Cheese Keto Fat Bombs
- Cauliflower "Mac" and Cheese with Sausage
- Pepperoni Cheese Fat Bombs
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.
Cheese on keto: key takeaways
Cheese can be the perfect addition to your low-carb keto diet and a really healthy choice. Just be sure that you read labels and are careful when buying, to make sure that you get the healthiest cheese possible.
For the best keto cheese, choose brands that offer:
- 100% Grass-fed
- Not processed
- Whole milk rather than low-fat
Organic, grass-fed cheese can provide your body with all sorts of health benefits. It can provide you with:
- Fat-soluble vitamins like A, D, E, and K2.
- Healthy fatty acids
- B vitamins
When it comes to specific types, opt for cheeses like cream cheese, cheddar, Swiss, and mozzarella. Stay away from high-sugar cheeses and processed cheese.
Do you love cheese as well? What are your favorite brands and types of keto-approved cheeses? Share your thoughts down below in the comments.