Ketogenic diets often combine well with cheese but not always. Find out whether cheddar cheese is keto-friendly and what alternatives you have.
Something to note first is that cheddar cheeses can vary a lot in carbs and in turn, how keto-friendly they are. Especially outside of Europe.
That being said, one example of cheddar cheese contains around 2.4 grams of carbohydrates per 100 grams.
This amount of carbohydrates will almost never kick you out of ketosis so it is fair to say that cheddar cheese is very keto-friendly for most people.
In theory, even tiny amounts of carbs could kick you out of ketosis in combination with a high-carb diet.
However, a bigger concern for cheddar cheese is its high calorie content.
If you follow a ketogenic diet for weight loss, you likely want to control your portions of cheddar cheese anyway.
Additionally, there are other low-carb cheeses too. You may prefer these in terms of taste, texture, nutrients, and/or calories over cheddar.
How many carbs are there in cheddar cheese?
To see just how keto-friendly cheddar cheese is and in what amounts, going over its carb content is helpful.
100 grams of cheddar cheese contains the following amounts of carbs (1):
- Total carbs: 2.4 grams
- Of which fiber: 0 grams
- Net carbs: 2.4 grams
2.4 grams of net carbs in 100 grams of cheddar cheese does not only sound low. It will also almost never be the thing that kicks you out of ketosis.
In turn, you can definitely say that cheddar cheese is typically keto-friendly.
One slice of cheddar cheese is about 21 grams and contains the following amounts of carbs:
- Total carbs: 0.5 grams
- Of which fiber: 0 grams
- Net carbs: 0.5 grams
By consuming smaller amounts of cheddar cheese you are also eating fewer carbohydrates. In turn, you have to worry even less about getting kicked out of ketosis while eating this food.
Other nutrition information cheddar cheese
Even if a food like cheddar cheese is keto-friendly, there can be other reasons to keep your portion sizes small.
Nutrients like fats, proteins, vitamins, and minerals still influence your health and how good cheddar cheese is for goals like losing weight.
100 grams of cheddar cheese contain the following nutrients (1):
- Calories: 409
- Protein: 23.3 grams
- Carbs: 2.4 grams
- Part of the carbs that is fiber: 0 grams
- Fat: 34 grams
- Calcium: 71% of the DV (Daily Value)
- Phosphorus: 46% of the DV
- Sodium: 27% of the DV
- Riboflavin: 26% of the DV
- Zinc: 24% of the DV
And other vitamins and minerals in smaller amounts.
Cheddar cheese is not only low in carbs but also high in protein, vitamins, and minerals. This can make it a good addition to a healthy ketogenic diet.
At the same time, you need to pay attention to the number of calories in cheddar cheese. This can still make you gain weight even if you follow a keto diet.
Why cheddar cheese is not always keto-friendly
There are still some cases where the tiny number of carbs in cheddar cheese is enough to kick you out of ketosis. Quickly going over the keto basics can help you avoid this.
How low your carb intake needs to be to achieve this depends on many details. Some of these include your weight, muscle mass, genes, workout habits, etc.
To make things somewhat simpler, there are still general keto recommendations. These are not perfect but do help you get an idea of how many grams of cheddar cheese you can eat on keto.
One of these recommendations is getting 55%-60% of your macronutrients from fat, 30%-35% from protein, and 5%-10% from carbohydrates.
For many people, this will mean that they can eat around 20 to 50 grams of carbs a day (not including fiber).
In turn, you can look up how many carbs the rest of your keto diet contains to figure out how much cheddar and other foods you can still eat.
Different ways to eat cheddar cheese on keto
While regular cheddar cheese on its own is considered to be keto-friendly, you can also add this food to a variety of dishes and recipes. This can change the number of carbs you eat a lot.
The first example is cheddar popcorn. This is basically regular popcorn with some cheddar cheese over it. Unfortunately, corn, and in turn cheddar popcorn, are not very keto-friendly.
Next, there are a variety of cheddar cheese straw recipes. These are basically cheese, butter, flour, spices, and salt prepared in the oven.
Flour which is relatively high in carbs plays a big role in this dish. This makes cheddar cheese straws not very keto-friendly.
Lastly, there is cheddar cheese sauce.
With this dish, it depends on what ingredients the recipe includes. Some of them include flour but you can also find keto-friendly cheddar cheese sauce.
Cheddar cheese alternatives on keto
Another useful thing to know is that cheddar is not the only low-carb cheese you can consider for your ketogenic diet.
There are a variety of alternatives that are even more keto-friendly.
- Gruyere: 0.4 grams of net carbs
- Brie: 0.5 grams of net carbs
- Camembert: 0.5 grams of net carbs
- Muenster: 1.1 grams of net carbs
If you like the taste, texture, and calories of these alternatives more than cheddar you could consider them for your ketogenic diet too.
Why do you want to stay in ketosis?
Cheddar will likely not kick you out of ketosis but that does not always mean you can just eat unlimited amounts and still achieve your health goals.
For example, ketogenic diets are popular for losing weight.
Cheddar cheese is not ideal for weight loss due to its high calorie count, even on keto. If losing weight is your goal, you want to keep an eye on your portion sizes anyway.
On the other hand, if you don’t have any challenges controlling your calorie intake, you can likely eat a good amount of cheddar cheese.
If you absolutely need to stay in ketosis you likely still want to be mindful of the other foods you eat to make sure you don’t overdo it with carbs.
However, again, you should be able to eat nice amounts of cheddar cheese without issues.