Cheese on a Ketogenic Diet: Your Guide to Keto-Friendly Options and Hidden Carbohydrates


The ketogenic diet has gained popularity for its potential to help individuals achieve weight loss, improved energy levels, and enhanced mental clarity. A key component of this low-carb, high-fat diet is cheese, which can be a delicious and versatile source of healthy fats and protein. While many cheeses are keto-friendly, it’s essential to be mindful of hidden carbohydrates in certain varieties. In this article, we’ll explore the world of cheese on a ketogenic diet, providing insight into which cheeses are ideal for keto and which ones to approach with caution.

Keto-Friendly Cheeses

1. Cheddar: Cheddar cheese is a staple in many keto households. It’s rich in both flavour and fat, making it an excellent choice for snacks, salads, and keto-friendly casseroles. Cheddar cheese contains minimal carbohydrates, making it a perfect option for staying within your daily carb limit.

2. Cream Cheese: Cream cheese is low in carbs and high in fat, making it a versatile ingredient for both savoury and sweet keto dishes. It’s a primary ingredient in keto fat bombs and a creamy addition to your morning coffee.

3. Mozzarella: Mozzarella cheese, whether in its traditional or fresh form, is low in carbs and perfect for making keto-friendly pizzas and cheesy casseroles. Its mild flavour complements various dishes.

4. Parmesan: Parmesan cheese is one of the lowest-carb cheese options available. Its robust, salty flavour enhances a wide range of keto meals. Sprinkle it on salads, soups, and vegetable dishes.

5. Brie: Brie cheese is creamy, rich, and lower in carbohydrates compared to many other soft cheeses. It’s an excellent choice for cheese platters or pairing with keto-friendly fruits like berries.

6. Gouda: Gouda cheese is another keto-friendly option. It’s known for its nutty and slightly sweet flavour and can be enjoyed on its own or added to various keto recipes.

Hidden Carbohydrates in Cheese

While most cheeses are keto-friendly, some varieties contain hidden carbohydrates that can add up if you’re not cautious. Here are some cheese options to be aware of:

1. Cottage Cheese: Cottage cheese may seem keto-friendly due to its high protein content, but it can be relatively high in carbs. opt for full-fat versions and consume it in moderation.

2. Ricotta Cheese: Like cottage cheese, ricotta cheese contains more carbs than you might expect. If you use it in recipes, be mindful of portion sizes.

3. Processed Cheese Products: Cheese slices, spreads, and sauces can contain hidden carbs in the form of thickeners and additives. Always check labels for carb content and opt for whole, natural cheeses when possible.

4. Flavoured Cheeses: Some flavoured cheeses, such as those with added fruits, honey, or other sweeteners, can have a surprising amount of carbs. Stick to plain versions or check labels carefully.

5. Soft, Fresh Cheeses: While soft cheeses like goat cheese and feta are generally lower in carbs, they can still contain a moderate amount. Pay attention to portion sizes when enjoying these options.


Cheese can be a delightful and satiating addition to a ketogenic diet, thanks to its high fat and protein content. The majority of cheeses are keto-friendly and can enhance your meals in various ways. However, it’s essential to be mindful of hidden carbohydrates in specific cheese varieties. Always read labels and be cautious with cheese products that may contain added sugars or fillers. By making informed choices, you can continue to enjoy the creamy goodness of cheese while staying in ketosis and reaping the benefits of a ketogenic diet.

YouTube Video Top Cheeses to Eat on Keto (and avoid). Thomas DeLauer

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