Is Swiss Cheese Keto-Friendly? (& Substitutes)

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Cheese is often good for ketogenic diets but there are exceptions. Find out whether swiss cheese is keto-friendly and what other options you have.

The first thing to note is that “swiss cheese” can vary widely in terms of nutrition content depending on where you live. This article will focus on one example of swiss cheese (1).

This example of swiss cheese contains around 1.4 grams of net carbs (total carbohydrates minus fiber).

Since this is very low-carb, it is fair to say that swiss cheese will be keto-friendly for most people and situations.

At the same time, you still want to keep in mind that sometimes small amounts of carbs can kick you out of ketosis.

Additionally, you may want to keep your portions of swiss cheese small anyway for reasons like lactose intolerance, calorie intake, and protein intake.

Carbs in swiss cheese

Because ketogenic diets are very low-carb diets, you definitely want to know how many carbs there are in swiss cheese.

100 grams of swiss cheese contain the following amounts of carbs (1):

  • Total carbs: 1.4 grams
  • Of which fiber: 0 grams
  • Net carbs: 1.4 grams

In theory, even the tiny number of carbs in swiss cheese can be enough to kick you out of ketosis in combination with a diet that is already high in carbs.

That being said, because this amount is so low, you can say that swiss cheese will generally be keto-friendly.

One slice of swiss cheese is about 28 grams (1 ounce) and contains the following amounts of carbs:

  • Total carbs: 0.4 grams
  • Of which fiber: 0 grams
  • Net carbs: 0.4 grams

As you can expect, smaller portions of swiss cheese will also contain fewer carbohydrates. You should definitely be able to fit an ounce of swiss cheese into your ketogenic diet.

Other nutrients in swiss cheese

It is true that the number of carbohydrates in food like swiss cheese is important in ketogenic diets.

At the same time, you want to keep in mind that other nutrients like fats, proteins, vitamins, and minerals still influence whether you will stay in ketosis and how good swiss cheese will be for other health areas.

100 grams of swiss cheese contain the following nutrients (1):

  • Calories: 393
  • Protein: 27 grams
  • Carbs: 1.4 grams
  • Part of the carbs that is fiber: 0 grams
  • Fat: 31 grams
  • Calcium: 89% of the DV (Daily Value)
  • Phosphorus: 57% of the DV
  • Vitamin B12: 51% of the DV
  • Selenium: 43% of the DV
  • Zinc: 29% of the DV

And other vitamins and minerals in smaller amounts.

Swiss cheese is not just low in net carbohydrates. They can also provide you with a variety of important nutrients.

If you don’t have any lactose intolerance issues, swiss cheese has the potential to make your ketogenic diet healthier.

One thing you do want to keep in mind is that swiss cheese is relatively high in calories. For health goals like controlling your weight, you may need to keep your portions small anyway.

Why swiss cheese is not always keto-friendly

Quickly going over the ketogenic diet fundamentals can help you understand why low-carb foods like swiss cheese are not always keto-friendly and how to avoid overdoing it.

Ketogenic diets are ways of eating where you keep your carbohydrate consumption low enough to get into ketosis. Ketosis is a state where your body mainly uses fat as fuel (2).

Just how low your carb intake has to be to get into ketosis depends on details like your weight, muscle mass, workout habits, and more.

This ketogenic diet fact makes things more confusing but there are still some general recommendations. These are not perfect but do give you some idea of how much swiss cheese and how many carbs you can eat.

A typical guideline is getting 55%-60% of your macronutrients from fat, 30%-35% from protein, and 5%-10% from carbohydrates if you want to stay in ketosis.

If you use these ratios on your daily calorie intake, you will likely conclude that you can eat somewhere around 20 grams to 50 grams of carbs a day (not including fiber).

How much swiss cheese can you eat on keto?

First of all, you need to know that some people are intolerant to cheese. These individuals may want to avoid or limit swiss cheese even though it is low in carbs.

That aside, with the general guidelines above and how many carbs the rest of your diet contains, you can roughly estimate how much swiss cheese you can eat on keto.

As an example, you may conclude that you can eat 25 grams of net carbs a day and that the rest of your diet contains 23.6 grams of net carbs.

In that case, you could theoretically eat an extra 100 grams of swiss cheese while staying in ketosis.

That being said, keep in mind that the number of calories in food is still relevant. Even if you follow a keto diet.

Swiss cheese is actually less optimal than many other types of cheese for weight loss.

This means that you likely don’t want to eat unlimited amounts of swiss cheese on keto even if it would not kick you out of ketosis.

How to avoid eating too much swiss cheese on keto

While there are exceptions, swiss cheese will typically not kick you out of ketosis. At the same time, you may still need to limit your portions for other reasons.

Just munching on an entire block and hoping that you don’t eat too much will typically not be a successful strategy for this.

Some of the following tips can help you keep your portions of swiss cheese small enough:

  • Figure out in advance how many grams of swiss cheese would align with your health goals
  • Weigh out this amount of cheese or figure out how many slices it is
  • Don’t eat unlimited amounts of swiss cheese while doing other things
  • Consider buying smaller amounts of swiss cheese if you really crave it too much

If you notice you are not making progress toward health goals like losing weight, you may need to eat less swiss cheese.

Other cheese options on keto

Swiss cheese sounds and is very low in carbs but it is not unique in this. There are a few types of cheese that can be even more helpful for ketogenic diets.

You may prefer these other cheese options over swiss cheese in terms of taste, nutrients, and texture. Additionally, just adding more variety to the foods you eat can make your ketogenic diet more enjoyable.

The numbers next to the types of cheese below are the amounts of net carbohydrates 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

As you can see, while most types are keto-friendly, some cheeses are lower in carbs than others.

These allow you to include just a few more carbohydrates in the rest of your ketogenic diet.

Why do you follow a ketogenic diet?

Swiss cheese will typically not kick you out of ketosis but there are situations where this could happen. Whether and how much of a problem this is depends on why you follow a ketogenic diet.

There are people who need/want to stay in strict ketosis 24/7. If you are in a situation like that, swiss cheese can still be a good food choice but you want to be careful about your carb intake.

On the other hand, while there are better food options too, swiss cheese can still be decent for weight loss and health even if it would kick you out of ketosis.

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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.