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Weight Loss Made Practical » Dieting » Is Feta Cheese Keto-Friendly? (& Substitutes)

Is Feta Cheese Keto-Friendly? (& Substitutes)

Cheese is known as a keto-friendly food category but there are exceptions. Find out whether feta cheese is low in carbs or not.

Something to note first is that the European guidelines for what is and is not feta cheese are relatively strict.

In other parts of the world, the nutrients in “feta cheese” tend to vary more so it can be worth double-checking the nutrition label.

That aside, 100 grams of the example feta cheese used in this article contains around 4.1 grams of net carbs per 100 grams.

Whether you will stay in ketosis will also depend on details like the other foods you eat. However, feta cheese is relatively keto-friendly.

At the same time, some people will want to exercise portion control anyway due to reasons like lactose intolerance, calorie intake, protein intake, and sodium intake.

When is a food keto-friendly

Going over the fundamentals of the ketogenic diet can be helpful for understanding why feta cheese is not always keto.

Following a ketogenic diet comes down to eating in a way where your body uses fat as its main source of energy (1). To get to this point, you need to limit your intake of carbohydrates.

Exactly how many carbohydrates you can eat before getting kicked out of ketosis depends on your body and lifestyle habits.

For example, people with bigger bodies tend to be able to eat more carbohydrates on a ketogenic diet. Additionally, having an active lifestyle tends to help with this too.

That being said, there are some rough general keto guidelines to help you understand what it takes to stay in ketosis.

You typically want to get about 55%-60% of your calories from fat, 30%-35% from protein, and 5%-10% from carbohydrates.

That means you will likely have to keep your carbohydrate intake under around 20 to 50 grams a day.

While this is not relevant for feta cheese specifically, something important to note is that these amounts of carbohydrates typically don’t include fiber.

Your body processes this category of carbohydrates in a different way that tends to be more keto-friendly.

Carbs in feta cheese

So to figure out whether feta cheese is keto-friendly for you and in what amounts, you want to find out how many grams of carbohydrates it contains.

One example of 100 grams of feta cheese contains the following amounts of carbs (2):

  • Total carbs: 4.1 grams
  • Of which fiber: 0 grams
  • Net carbs: 4.1 grams

In theory, it is possible that these 4.1 grams of carbohydrates in 100 grams of feta cheese are enough to kick you out of ketosis in combination with the other foods in your diet.

That being said, compared to most other foods, the number of carbs in feta cheese is relatively low.

One ounce of feta cheese is about 28 grams and contains the following amounts of carbs:

  • Total carbs: 1.2 grams
  • Of which fiber: 0 grams
  • Net carbs: 1.2 grams

As you can expect, a smaller amount of feta cheese is even easier to implement into a ketogenic diet.

Other nutrients in feta cheese

It can be easy to fall into the trap of only focusing on the amounts of carbohydrates you eat while following a ketogenic diet.

In reality, other nutrients like fat, protein, vitamins, and minerals still matter for staying in ketosis and having good general health.

100 grams of one example feta cheese contains the following nutrients (2):

  • Calories: 264
  • Protein: 14.2 grams
  • Carbs: 4.1 grams
  • Part of the carbs that is fiber: 0 grams
  • Fat: 21.3 grams
  • Riboflavin: 50% of the DV (Daily Value)
  • Calcium: 49% of the DV
  • Sodium: 46% of the DV
  • Phosphorus: 34% of the DV
  • Vitamin B12: 28% of the DV

And other vitamins and minerals in smaller amounts.

One thing to note is that when it comes to vitamins and minerals, more is not always better. In the case of feta cheese, you want to keep its sodium contents in mind.

Consuming too much sodium may have negative side effects. If you already get a lot of sodium from your current diet, adding feta cheese on top of that might not be a smart idea.

That aside, feta cheese is not only relatively low-carb. It also contains a variety of valuable nutrients in nice amounts.

This makes feta cheese a good food option for a ketogenic diet.

How much feta cheese can you eat on keto?

Something to keep in mind is that just because it is a good food option does not mean everyone should eat unlimited amounts of feta cheese while following a ketogenic diet.

First of all, some people are intolerant to certain nutrients in cheese. These individuals may need to stay away from feta cheese entirely.

Besides that, as mentioned, feta cheese contains decent amounts of sodium. It is typically considered to be smart to not overdo it with this nutrient.

Lastly, the amount of energy (calories) in food is still relevant on a ketogenic diet.

Feta cheese actually has a nice spot on the list of the best cheeses for weight loss. However, even with that in mind, it is possible to eat so much feta cheese that you gain weight.

In short, it’s not advised to eat unlimited amounts of feta cheese on keto.

You can use the nutritional values of feta cheese to estimate how much you can eat for your fitness goals.

How to avoid eating too much feta cheese

By now you understand that it may be needed to control your feta cheese intake to at least some extent.

Just munching on an entire block of feta cheese in combination with your favorite ingredients will not help with this goal.

Following some of the following tips can make it easier to avoid eating too much feta cheese on a ketogenic diet:

  • Find out in advance how much feta cheese would align with your tastes and health goals
  • Put this amount aside
  • Avoid mindlessly eating big portions of feta cheese during other activities like watching a movie
  • Consider not buying feta cheese if you really can’t resist it.

It is not as easy to overeat feta cheese as certain other foods because it is relatively filling. That being said, the tips above can still be useful.

Other cheese options on keto

As mentioned, cheese is a relatively good food category when it comes to staying in ketosis. There are even a variety of other types that are better than feta cheese in this area.

You may like some of the following cheeses just as much and/or like how much more low-carb they are than feta. The amounts of grams are the net carb values per 100 grams (3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8):

  • 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
  • Cheddar cheese: 1.3 grams of net carbs
  • Fontina cheese: 1.5 grams of net carbs

Even though it is still relatively low in net carbs, feta is actually relatively low on the list of low-carb cheeses. If you don’t particularly like its taste, you can consider the other options too.

What is your goal with keto?

From the keto fundamentals above it becomes clear that even small amounts of feta cheese could theoretically kick you out of ketosis due to the other foods in your diet.

Whether or not this is a problem depends on your reasons for following this diet.

There are people who really need/want to stay in ketosis 24/7. If this applies to you, you want to be very careful about your feta cheese and carbohydrate intake.

On the flip side, many people also implement the ketogenic diet to lose weight. In that case, feta cheese can be decent for weight loss even if it kicks you out of ketosis.

Do keep in mind that there are food options that are more helpful for losing weight too.

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Matt Claes

Matt Claes founded Weight Loss Made Practical to help people get in shape and stay there after losing 37 pounds and learning the best of the best about weight loss, health, and longevity for over 4 years. Over these years he has become an expert in nutrition, exercise, and other physical health aspects.

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