Is cheese a carb?

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Is Cottage Cheese Keto? Here’s What You Need to Know

Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned veteran to the ketogenic lifestyle, finding healthy low-carb, high-fat foods is most likely a top priority.

One food many ketogenic dieters commonly ask about is cottage cheese.

Some experts believe it’s a great source of healthy fats that can boost your body’s fat-burning abilities. Whereas other keto-ers avoid it like the plague.

If you’ve been wondering whether or not cottage cheese is keto-approved, then this article is for you.

What is Cottage Cheese?

Cottage cheese is a low-calorie cheese with a mild flavor and it’s increasingly growing in popularity due to its healthy micro and macronutrient content.

It’s a soft, white and creamy fresh cheese that does not undergo a ripening or aging process to develop the flavor. Cottage cheese is made from the curds of pasteurized cow’s milk and it’s available as creamed, whipped, lactose-free, or sodium-free.

How is Cottage Cheese Made?

Making cottage cheese is a very simple process and you can even do it in the comfort of your own home!

The process starts with curdling milk which is done by adding an acidic substance such as lime to warm milk. This separates the casein from whey. Once curds are solid, they’re cut into pieces and cooked until moisture is released.

Ingredients can then be added for additional flavor such as herbs, cream, and spices.

Is Cottage Cheese Keto?

Yes—as long as it doesn’t contain unnecessary sugars and carbohydrates, cottage cheese is a great source of healthy fats—and, with only 3.5 grams of carbs per 100 grams, it makes for a perfect low-carb, high-fat food for your ketogenic lifestyle.

In addition, cottage cheese is chock full of vitamins and nutrients like calcium, phosphorus, selenium, riboflavin, zinc, potassium, B12 and B6. Some of these essential vitamins and minerals are flushed out when you cut carbs out of your diet.

Cottage cheese is a great way to avoid the dreaded “keto flu” that beginners fall prey to due to its nutrient density!

Cottage Cheese Nutrition Facts

Cottage cheese (creamed)

  • ½ cup (105 g)
  • 103 calories
  • 12g protein
  • 4.5g fat
  • 5g net carbs

Cottage cheese (2% fat)

  • ½ cup (113 g)
  • 92 calories
  • 12g protein
  • 2.5g fat
  • 5g net carbs

Benefits of Cottage Cheese on Keto

There are various health benefits of cottage cheese that extend beyond its healthy fat content. For instance:

Cottage Cheese is Great for Gut Health

Cottage cheese is a great source of probiotics. This helps your gut microbiome health which studies have shown plays an important role in almost every function in your body.

Incorporating cottage cheese into your diet will revitalize your body from the inside, allowing your skin, eye and brain health to operate smoothly. Plus, a healthier gut also allows you to absorb fats more efficiently so ketone production improves.

Cottage Cheese Keeps You Full and Alert

Adding cottage cheese into your meals will increase satiety due in part to its protein content. This works to reduce your hunger hormone (ghrelin), allowing you to stay full for longer periods of time.

In addition to its satiety effects, cottage cheese can help you stay mentally alert from its healthy fats. Our brain is made up of 60% fats so when you consume more fats from healthy sources like cottage cheese, you’re giving it the essential fuel it needs to thrive.

These fats will also put you in a fat-burning mode, also known as ketosis. By replacing your carbohydrate-filled breakfast with cottage cheese, you’ll experience sustained energy without the sudden crash that usually comes in the afternoon.

Cottage Cheese Helps You Build Muscle

Cottage cheese is very popular in the health and fitness industry due to its high protein content. Diets that include high-protein foods help build muscle alongside an effective exercise regimen.

It contains a decent amount of casein which is a slow-releasing milk protein source. This promotes prolonged absorption of the amino acid leucine, which studies have shown, helps increase your body’s muscle-building abilities.

Cottage Cheese Recipes

Whether you’re looking for a healthy breakfast or something tasty for dinner, cottage cheese is a great staple for people living a low-carb, high-fat ketogenic lifestyle. Here are a few of our favorite cottage cheese recipes:

  • Low-Carb Baked Mini Frittatas with Broccoli and Three Cheeses – An easy and delicious breakfast muffin recipe you’ll want to try. Not only is it loaded with healthy fats, but it’s also packed with essential vitamins and minerals making it a great way to start your day!
  • Keto Cottage Cheese Pancakes – These cottage cheese pancakes are fluffy, creamy and low-carb! Now you can satisfy your cravings for pancakes and stay in ketosis at the same time! Sprinkle some zero calorie syrup and you have yourself a tasty treat for breakfast or as an afternoon snack
  • Keto Cottage Cheese Beef and Sour Cream Bake – Your search for the perfect comfort food ends here. This delicious casserole is packed with healthy fats, takes minimal time to prep and tastes so good you’ll want to keep coming back for more!
  • Low Carb Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream – Looking for something sweet as a snack or dessert? Look no further. This ice cream recipe from Ruled.me is cottage cheese dominant and also calls for protein powder, providing your body with the right fuel source to keep you energized.
  • Keto Broccoli Cottage Cheese Balls – A great ketogenic-friendly snack you can bring with you on the go. These cheese balls have a slight crisp and it’s perfect to munch on wherever travel takes you.

Be Careful When Buying Cottage Cheese From the Store

Not all cottage cheese have the same macronutrient ratios.

If you’re considering adding cottage cheese into your ketogenic diet, make sure to check the nutrition label for any hidden ingredients that may result in excess carbohydrate intake.

Be Mindful If You Are Lactose or Dairy Intolerant

Although cottage cheese contains a seemingly perfect macronutrient ratio for the ketogenic diet, milky foods for people who are lactose intolerant will cause digestive issues and it will be difficult for your body to digest the nutrients from cottage cheese properly.

In fact, the inability to digest milk products is more common than you think.

Studies show that approximately 65% of the human population has a reduced ability to digest lactose after infancy.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy cottage cheese!

There are several lactose-free cottage cheese products available in select stores. Not all grocery stores have them so if you’re a cottage cheese lover, you may have to visit a health food store to find lactose-free options.

A Great Ketogenic Snack or Breakfast When You Choose the Right Kind

If you’re looking for tasty low carb foods to supplement your ketogenic lifestyle, cottage cheese deserves a spot in your grocery list!

Not only does it provide your body with the perfect dose of healthy fats, but it’s also a great source of probiotics to support gut health.

As long as you can tolerate dairy and you carefully choose brands with little to no carbohydrate content – cottage cheese is a great ketogenic food source to support you on your fat-burning journey!

Is Cottage Cheese a Keto-Friendly Food?

Sea Wave/

Being on a ketogenic diet means you essentially learn the nutritional profile of every food to keep your body in ketosis. One of the biggest wild cards: dairy. Milk and yogurt often have a surprising amount of carbs, but cottage cheese is a hot topic of keto debate.

As a refresher, the ketogenic diet is high in fat (roughly 75 percent of your calories), low in carbs (just 5 percent), and moderate in protein (20 percent), as to keep your body in the fat-burning, ketone-producing stage of ketosis. (Related: The Keto Meal Plan for Beginners)

Cottage cheese is a staple in the low-carb Atkins Diet. But full-fat cottage cheese doesn’t *precisely* fit the keto mold: It’s high in protein, moderate in fat, and low in carbs.

But cottage cheese won’t knock you out of ketosis. And the nutrition profile—one cup has 25 grams of protein and 10 grams of fat—is more than enough to keep you in a ketone-producing state, says nutritionist Vanessa Rissetto, R.D.

What’s more, it’s an overall healthy food choice. “Cottage cheese is good for the gut, it’s filling and it provides protein and fat to keep you full,” she explains. “One cup also has 187 mg of calcium, which is important for women and bone health.” (Related: The Benefits of Milk Outweigh the Potential Downsides of Dairy)

Plus, it’s a great vehicle to add to other foods to boost their fat content, says New York-based nutritionist Amy Shapiro, R.D. “You can stir in nut butter, blend cottage cheese into smoothies, use it to make ‘pancakes,’ stir in coconut milk or oil—the higher-fat combinations are abundant,” she says.

Historically low-fat cottage cheese has been popular, but both nutritionists recommend reaching for the full-fat variety. “The flavor tastes better and a little goes a long way,” Shapiro adds. She likes the Good Culture brand since it has probiotics in it. (Related: Skim Milk Officially Sucks for More Reasons Than One)

If you’re eating it plain or with a low-cal topping, use about 3/4 cup, but if you’re adding it to a meal like Shapiro suggested earlier, she says to reduce the portion to half a cup.

And if cottage cheese just isn’t your thing, you can use coconut oil, coconut cream, or full-fat Greek yogurt in pretty much all the same ways to get a creamy texture and healthy dose of fat, Shapiro adds.

Maybe you remember that some years back, cottage cheese was a staple in everyone’s low-fat diet. If you could get past the texture, you probably purchased a 6 pack and forced yourself to swallow it down mid-day because you thought it was the secret to making those love handles disappear. I’m not saying you were wrong—but you weren’t completely right.

Fast forward to the debunk of low-fat diets and here we are embracing high (healthy) fat foods. With all the science backing the ketogenic diet, we’re finding that whole fat foods are not only necessary but also your best bud when it comes to burning fat and staying healthy.

I’m excited to say that whole fat cottage cheese is a YES for keto. I’m also happy to let you know that eating 4 plain tablespoons of it to reap the benefits is so yesterday. We’re going to get keto creative—for breakfast, lunch, dinner, desserts AND snacks.

COTTAGE CHEESE BENEFITS

About to be more attractive than that cute little cottage you saw in Magnolia Table

With only 3.54 grams of carbs per 100 grams, you’re getting a solid low-carb, high protein/high fat option, perfect for your keto lifestyle. Cottage cheese is stocked with vitamins and nutrients too—calcium, phosphorous, selenium, riboflavin, potassium, zinc, B12 and B6! Because cottage cheese is overflowing with all this good stuff, the health benefits are plentiful. There’s a reason it’s in our Ultimate Keto Diet Guide Guide.

Good for your gut, you can feel it in your bones

Cottage cheese is a great source for probiotics meaning if you include it in your diet, your microbiome will flourish! In addition to a healthy gut you’ll get a good amount of calcium and phosphorous that will keep your bones strong.

One cup of cottage cheese provides you with 30% of your recommended daily value of phosphorous. Phosphorus helps detoxify, balances pH, and cultivates strong bones (1). Since phosphorus also helps repair tissue, cottage cheese is an awesome post workout choice.

Keeps ‘em full, keeps ‘em focused

Nope. This is not a Frosted Mini Wheats commercial. Though, fabulous marketing on their part. I’m not sponsored by cottage cheese so know that this is not a marketing scheme, this is truth. Including cottage cheese in your meals will keep you full AND focused so you can skip the hangry brain fog. Here’s why:

Keeping you full. Cottage cheese has a killer amount of protein (28 grams per cup to be exact) that works to reduce ghrelin (the hunger hormone) helping you feel and stay full. When we feel full, we eat less, and when we eat less, we lose weight. Bonus! While we’re satiated after our cottage cheese, the protein will also help build muscle.

Keeping you focused on the other hand, has a little more to do with cottage cheeses’ fats. Eating good fats in the morning is crucial for lasting brain power. Before we go into the benefits of healthy fats let’s demystify the low-fat diet. Remember when fat and dairy consumption was obesity’s best friend and the cause of your loved one’s heart attacks?

Well, if you’ve been on the keto train for a while or just recently got your ticket punched then you know that this is a bunch of mumbo jumbo. In 2013, the European Journal of Nutrition study results showed the risk of obesity was not associated with high-fat dairy consumption (2). And a study done in 2018 by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that cardiovascular disease and stroke mortality was not caused by increased circulation of dairy fatty acids in the body (2). Now we know that cottage cheese is not the cause of your body looking like cottage cheese or your heart turning into it.

In fact, healthy fats found in cottage cheese help kick your morning into high gear. Healthy fats turbocharge your focus and energy keeping you on your game all day. And since this isn’t for Frosted Mini Wheats let’s add another benefit- Keeps ‘em trim.

Keeping you trim. The fats found in cottage cheese will set your body to fat burning mode. A high fat diet will help put your body into ketosis meaning that your body will use fat for energy instead of glycogen and carbs (1). A ketogenic diet has been indicated to make a positive difference in weight loss and cardiovascular health among other diseases including epilepsy (3).

Since cottage cheese is so obviously a keto staple, here are 10 amazing recipes you can make with your new found love.

10 AMAZING KETO COTTAGE CHEESE RECIPES

When you wake up tomorrow and immediately think, “What’s for breakfast? Will a busy day with my kids break my healthy eating? And don’t even get me started about making dinner.” Don’t worry! Cottage cheese will have you covered.

You can always get your daily dose of cottage cheese by simply adding a couple berries and nuts or even just by sprinkling pink salt and pepper on the top. But that’s not as fun or as creative as these recipes. Let’s not be like our old lame low-fat diet selves. Get some whole fat cottage cheese and let’s get creative keto style.

Here are some of my favorite keto recipes that use cottage cheese:

Breakfast: Keto Cottage Cheese Egg Muffins

What’s more breakfast-y than eggs? Don’t say cereal. These cottage cheese egg muffins are easy. It’s that fancy breakfast that you didn’t even have to try hard to make fancy. Make a quick bulk batch and take them on the go through the week. The best part is that you can mix it up and make minor adjustments to cater to every family members taste buds.

Breakfast: Creamy Mint Matcha Shake with Cottage Cheese

If you’re one of those people who can’t seem to put anything too hearty down early in the morning but is still interested in getting fat burning energy, then look no further. This creamy mint matcha shake is the drinkable breakfast you’ve been searching for. Matcha is insane- for tons of reasons – you can read about the many benefits here. And if you like mint and you like creamy—get out your blender.

Lunch: Keto Tuna Salad Dip

This tuna salad dip is keto approved and more. With this tuna dip you’ll get healthy fish fats and cottage cheese fats. If you’re not a tuna salad person how about egg salad? Pair your lunch with a nice herbal tea and it’s like keto tea time. Your classic little mini sandwiches turned keto all thanks to cottage cheese. Pinky’s up.

Lunch: Cucumber Tomato Cottage Cheese Salad

Who doesn’t love pesto? Add some pesto to your jack of all trades cottage cheese and you have a flavorful – drool worthy dish. Crack an egg on top and voila! A keto friendly lunch. So light but flavorful, you might get obsessed.

Dinner: Keto Mac and Cheese

Cauliflower is kind of taking over the world, don’t you think? For good reasons too. Like cottage cheese, cauliflower can take over any taste. Try this keto approved cauliflower mac & cheese to please everyone in your family. It will become your new guilty pleasure.

Dinner: Keto Cottage Cheese Beef and Sour Cream Bake

If you’re looking for comfort food this recipe has it all.. Beefy, cheesy, casserole-y it’s everything for satisfying those comfort food cravings without out knocking you out of ketosis. Inspired by the Pioneer Woman, this keto approved recipe hits all the right notes, takes minimal time to prep and calls for simple ingredients – including…you guessed it: cottage cheese. This is one that even picky kids will devour.

Dessert: Keto Cottage Cheesecake

Holy cottage cheesecake. These little cheesecakes are guaranteed to satisfy your post dinner sweet tooth- without taking you out of ketosis. These little keto cakes are packed with good fats from nuts and cottage cheese. But don’t just make these for dessert, they’re perfect for breakfast and snacks too!

Dessert: Keto Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream

Who doesn’t love the creamy combination of chocolate and peanut butter? In the Jones house we go nutzo for anything chocolate and anything peanut butter. Now you can enjoy this delicious combination and stay in ketosis. That’s a huge win! Again, cottage cheese is the star of the show here and protein powder and splenda add a chocolaty flavor and sweeten. Pro tip: Choose a keto protein powder for enhanced benefits.

Snacks: Keto Cottage Cheese Chips

If you love the crunch and saltiness of chips just as much as the next person than these cottage cheese chips are a must try. Easy, cheesy, beautiful- keto.

Snacks: Keto Broccoli Cottage Cheese Balls

Keto Broccoli Cottage Cheese Balls. Yum. Imagine healthy snacking on these. Gooey and savory, this low-carb, gluten free and vegetarian option is sure to melt in your mouth and fire up your digestion.

If it’s not obvious already, cottage cheese will be your new keto sidekick. Forget about your friend who said she was going to do it with you– cottage cheese will be there to help out. With tons of recipe varieties you’ll be hooked. Go shopping with our Ultimate Keto Shopping List and try some of the recipes above and let me know in the comment which your favorites were!

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Can You Eat Cheese on the Keto Diet?

The ketogenic diet — or keto — is the weight loss trend everyone’s talking about (again). Though there are plenty of good foods that are allowed on the diet — and many healthy foods that aren’t — it’s sometimes difficult to figure out what’s really going to help you lose weight and what probably won’t.

Take cheese, for example. Everyone pretty much says it’s low-carb and that you can eat as much of it as you want. Are they right?

Is everyone’s favorite wish-it-were-a food group (be honest) actually keto-friendly? Are some cheeses better than others? Here’s how dairy and the keto diet might work together to help you get the results you’re hoping for — and what that might look like on your own personal menu.

Does dairy make you lose weight?

Cheese | fotek/Getty Images

It’s often thought that dairy is “fattening” and therefore it should be off-limits. However, dairy can be part of a healthy diet if your body can tolerate it. In fact, a reasonable amount might actually help you lose weight and/or maintain a healthy weight.

Some research suggests dairy products can serve as a beneficial part of weight maintenance. Researchers are careful to point out, however, that eating MORE dairy doesn’t necessarily mean its possible health benefits will multiply. In fact, it could have the opposite effect.

You pretty much have to treat cheese, yogurt, and other dairy products like you should any food on any weight loss diet: more is not necessarily better.

Dairy can be a part of your diet if you are trying to lose weight. You just have to make sure you are choosing the products that are good for you, and avoid falling into the “it has dairy in it so it must be good for me” trap. Yes, ice cream has dairy in it. No, that doesn’t make it healthy. Sorry!

Is cheese okay to eat on keto?

The good news is, cheese is totally fine to eat on the keto diet. Unlike most breads, for example, it’s an ideal ratio of carbs and protein — an excellent low-carb addition to many meals and snacks that’s much better for you than, in many instances, a bowl of white pasta.

However, it’s important to be cautious when you learn something is good for you. Extremes, when it comes to food and dieting, almost never end well. Cheese is fine. Cheese for every meal probably isn’t.

What I don’t see enough of people talking about when discussing keto is calories. If you’re doing keto to lose weight, it’s very possible to get caught up in all the rules about carbs and fat and learning how to check your ketones and forget that weight loss still requires some kind of calorie deficit.

In other words, cheese still has calories, and too much cheese (too many calories) — in most cases — isn’t going to help you lose weight regardless of whether or not you’re in ketosis.

I’m not saying you have to count calories. But paying attention to the quality of your calories (the foods you are eating) can make a huge difference in your weight loss efforts. Cheese is not bad — as long as you’re balancing out your cheese consumption with plenty of other foods.

How to eat dairy on the keto diet

Mac and cheese | IgorDutina/iStock/Getty Images

What you obviously want to avoid are the high-fat dairy products that are also high in added sugars — or the ones that just aren’t worth the calories in the long-term.

Make sure you’re careful about consuming:

  • Ice cream and other dairy-based desserts
  • American “cheese” (check the sodium content!)
  • Milk and milk-based products such as half-and-half

If you’re going to have yogurt, try to consume small amounts of plain Greek yogurt, which has more protein than regular yogurt and typically less sugar than flavored varieties. Mozarella and cheddar cheeses are among the best cheese varieties for people following keto.

But most importantly, always keep in mind that even though cheese is low-carb, that doesn’t mean you can or should eat massive quantities of it (more than you normally would) or swap every grain-based product for something made with cheese.

On the keto diet, fat is your friend. But make sure you’re getting your daily fat from a balance of quality proteins, not just cheese. Cheese is not a food group. We all wish it were. It’s not.

Pimento Cream Cheese Fat Bombs are nutty, cheesy, and addictive! These little cheesy balls come together in under 45 minutes and make a terrific low-carb snack!

My newest snacking obsession is these little balls of homemade pimento cheese. They hit all the right notes… they’re creamy, a little salty, definitely cheesy, and they have a bit of crunch. Pretty much everything I love in a low-carb snack (especially if you are following a ketogenic diet)!

The best part is that I generally have all the ingredients on hand – cheese, mayonnaise, a little jar of pimentos and pecans. Now, in case you are wondering…

What is Pimento Cheese?

  • It’s a staple of southern cuisine and is made from cheese, mayonnaise, and pimentos (roasted red peppers).
  • Smooth or chunky, you can slather it on crackers, vegetables or use it as a sandwich filling.
  • Oh, and It is NOT that stuff that comes in a jar!

So now on to the good stuff….

How to make Pimento Cream Cheese Fat Bombs

Step 1: Grate the cheddar cheese! I know it’s tempting to use the pre-grated cheese but… don’t. The pre-grated cheese is a little drier and doesn’t give that dreamy, creamy texture!

Step 2: After grating the cheddar cheese, add everything (except the pecans) to a small food processor and blend OR just stir everything together in a bowl.

Step 3: Chill in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes to firm everything up!

TIP: if you go the stirring by hand route, your mixture will be chunkier but works just fine!!

Step 4: Scoop a tablespoon of the cheese mixture and roll it between your palms into a ball. Place the chopped pecans on a small plate and roll the cheese ball in the pecans to coat. Put the coated cheese ball into an airtight container. Repeat until you have all the cheese balls rolled.

Step 5: Enjoy!

NOTE: I like to remove the pimento cream cheese fat bombs from the refrigerator about 10 minutes before eating so I can really taste all the amazing flavors in the homemade pimento cheese!

More healthy keto fat bomb recipes

I don’t follow a ketogenic diet myself but I love adding healthy keto recipes to my meal plans. Here are two of my favorites:

  • Chocolate Keto Fat Bombs
  • Peanut Butter Fat Bombs

You can also check out my roundup of the best keto fat bomb recipes!

When you’ve tried these pimento cream cheese fat bombs, please don’t forget to let me know how you liked them and rate the recipe in the comments below!

Recipe Card 4.67 from 6 votes

Pimento Cream Cheese Fat Bombs

Pimento Cream Cheese Fat Bombs are nutty, cheesy and addictive! These little cheesy balls come together in under 45 minutes and make a terrific snack or party appetizer! Course:Appetizer, Snack Cuisine:American Keyword:homemade pimento cheese, ketogenic Prep Time:15 minutes Chilling time:30 minutes Total Time:45 minutes Author:Christel Oerum Servings:8

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup cream cheese (softened)
  • 1 cup extra sharp cheddar cheese (grated)
  • 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese (grated)
  • 1 ½ tbsp. mayonnaise
  • 3 ½ tbsp. chopped pimentos (drained)
  • ¼ tsp. onion powder
  • 1/8 tsp. black pepper (ground)
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. cider vinegar
  • ½ tsp. hot sauce
  • 1 cup toasted pecans (chopped)

Instructions

  • Grate the extra sharp and sharp cheddar cheese and add to a small food processor or a large mixing bowl.
  • Blot the pimentos dry and add to the bowl.
  • NOTE: if using a food processor, I generally add all but 1 tablespoon of pimentos and stir those in after I’ve processed the cheese mixture. Totally optional but that’s how I do it!
  • Add the cream cheese, mayonnaise, onion powder, pepper, salt, cider vinegar, and hot sauce.
  • If using a food processor, process until a smooth mixture forms. Alternatively, stir the mixture by hand until thoroughly mixed.
  • Refrigerate for about 30 minutes to allow the mixture to firm up.
  • Spread the chopped pecans on a small plate.
  • Scoop a tablespoon of the mixture and roll between your palms into a ball.
  • Roll each ball in the pecans and place in a lidded container if not serving immediately.
  • Repeat the scooping and rolling until all the cheese mixture has been rolled into balls.
  • Serve or cover and refrigerate.
  • Balls can be made up to 5 days in advance.

Nutrition Info Per Serving

Nutrition Facts Pimento Cream Cheese Fat Bombs Amount Per Serving Calories 247 Calories from Fat 200 % Daily Value* Fat 22.2g34% Saturated Fat 4.8g24% Trans Fat 0g Polyunsaturated Fat 4.2g Monounsaturated Fat 6.7g Cholesterol 31.4mg10% Sodium 233.2mg10% Potassium 75.8mg2% Carbohydrates 3.5g1% Fiber 1.4g6% Sugar 0.9g1% Protein 9.7g19% Vitamin A 500IU10% Vitamin C 6.4mg8% Calcium 292mg29% Iron 0.5mg3% Net carbs 2.1g * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet. Did you make this recipe?!

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This Pimento Cheese Dip is the perfect low carb appetizer to share with friends and family, or enjoy on your own. Cheesy, flavorful, slightly spicy, and naturally keto!

‘Tis the season for low carb dips and keto appetizers

If you’ve never had pimento cheese, let me be the first to welcome you to the creamy, savory, cheesy, flavor-packed deliciousness that is the southern cousin of pub cheese. Cream cheese, shredded cheddar AND sharp cheddar, mayo, pimento peppers, Dijon, sweet paprika, cayenne, garlic, and onion powder — pimento cheese dip is the ultimate keto dip.

You can serve it hot or cold, as a dip, a spread, or even sandwiched between two slices of toasted low carb bread. Pimento cheese is delicious, any time of year, and it comes together so quickly for an easy crowd pleaser.

Low carb cheese and crackers?!

What’s a deliciously cheesy keto dip without low carb crackers? And not just any crackers, either. I’ve got 2 gluten free cracker recipes for you that take this dip to the next level. Choose from Rosemary and Thyme Keto Crackers or Parmesan Chive and Garlic Keto Crackers.

Want more options? While these flavor combinations are absolutely delicious, you could also try using these keto cracker recipes as a base for a custom cracker creation. Double or triple the recipe and try dipping the different flavor combos below as a compliment to this pimento cheese dip recipe:

  • Sea salt and black pepper
  • Ginger and turmeric
  • Chili lime and cumin
  • Pepper and Parmesan
  • Garlic and rosemary

What else goes great with keto cheese dip and crackers? A keto charcuterie board!

The best part of pimento cheese is that it works with so many different dippers. I could see this pimento cheese dip recipe as the center of an epic keto charcuterie board. Low carb crackers, pimento cheese dip, nuts, berries, olives, pickled veggies, prosciutto, salami … the possibilities are endless.

If you want more low carb charcuterie board inspiration, check out this post: How to Build an Epic Keto Charcuterie Board. Charcuterie is the perfect holiday party appetizer, or any day of the week meal. It’s like adult Lunchables … remember those?

And if this post has you feeling extra snacky, I’ve got a list of 50 Low Carb and Gluten Free Snack Ideas that you can add to the board. Dill pickles, crispy bacon, pork rinds, antipasto kebabs, sunflower seeds — can you ever really have too many keto snack options?

In addition to this pimento cheese dip recipe, check out some of my other favorite low carb party food recipes:

  • Keto Sausage Balls
  • Cream Cheese Stuffed Everything Bagel Bites
  • Keto Thai Shrimp Cakes
  • Fathead Pepperoni Waffle Pizza Dippers
  • Keto Asian Chicken Meatballs
  • Buffalo Chicken Wedge Salad
  • Keto Popcorn Chicken
  • Reuben Stuffed Mushrooms
  • Keto Chicken Parmesan Dip
  • Buffalo Chicken Jalapeno Poppers
  • Keto Buffalo Chicken Tenders

Pimento Cheese Dip

  • Author: Kyndra Holley
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x

Scale 1x2x3x

  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise (I like to make my own)
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, more to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 cup chopped pimento peppers
  • 3 fresh chives, chopped (extra for garnish)
  1. Place softened cream cheese in a bowl and beat it well until smooth.
  2. Add the mayonnaise and Dijon mustard, stirring to combine.
  3. Next, add the shredded cheeses and seasonings to the bowl, stirring so that everything is evenly distributed throughout the dip.
  4. Lastly, gently fold in the pimentos and chives.
  5. Serve with crackers, fresh vegetable sticks, or any of the low carb snack options listed above.

Notes

net carbs per serving: 2.4g

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 serving
  • Calories: 258 calories
  • Fat: 24.9g
  • Carbohydrates: 3.1g
  • Fiber: 0.7g
  • Protein: 8g

Keywords: Low carb dip, Keto appetizers, Low carb cheese and crackers, Gluten free crackers and cheese, Low carb party food

17 Low Carb Cheese (High Fat/Protein!)

Let’s talk low carb cheese, ya’ll! You know that I am a sleuth when it comes to finding delicious low carb foods for you…

While cheese isn’t commonly thought of when searching for low carb snacks, it should be! Because it’s a fantastic option when looking for high protein low carb foods.

There are SO many different types that there’s something for everyone. It’s also rich in protein and calcium and OH SO tasty! The best part? Almost all cheeses are considered high fat low carb foods, making them keto friendly.

I’ve taken the guesswork out to make snacking your main priority! Here we go…

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Best Options Macronutrients How to Eat Them Recipes

Best 10 Low Carb Cheese Options

It’s hard to narrow down the list of the top low carb cheese options because they’re all so danggg good! So let’s take a look at the varieties that have under 1 gram of carb per 1 ounce serving…

Here are the 10 best low carb cheese options:

  1. Cheddar cheese
  2. Brie cheese
  3. Parmesan cheese
  4. Gruyere cheese
  5. Manchego cheese
  6. Burrata cheese
  7. Provolone cheese
  8. Goat cheese
  9. Muenster cheese
  10. Mozzarella cheese

What Are the Carbs in Cheese?

Surprisingly, there really aren’t a lot of carbs in cheese, which is great news for us low carb eaters! Check out the carb counts below of some of my favorite low carb cheese options. Get to munching!

See below from the USDA Food Composition Databases for the carb counts in 1 ounce of cheese (the size and shape of about 4 small die):

  1. ZERO grams of carbs in gruyere cheese
  2. ZERO grams of carbs in manchego cheese
  3. ZERO grams of carbs in burrata cheese
  4. 0.3 grams of carbs in provolone cheese
  5. 0.5 grams of carbs in brie cheese
  6. 0.6 grams of carbs in cheddar cheese
  7. 0.9 grams of carbs in parmesan cheese (hard, not shredded)
  8. 0.12 grams of carbs in goat cheese
  9. 0.32 grams of carbs in muenster cheese
  10. 0.68 grams of carbs in mozzarella cheese
  11. 1 gram of carbs in gorgonzola (crumbled)
  12. 1 gram of carbs in romano cheese
  13. 1 gram of carbs in swiss cheese
  14. 1 gram of carbs in gouda cheese
  15. 1 gram of carbs in feta cheese
  16. 1.5 grams of carbs in cream cheese
  17. 3 grams of carbs in ricotta cheese

If you don’t see your favorite cheese on the above list, leave me a comment below and I’ll be sure to add it in.

Please note that different brands and types (low fat, reduced fat, whole milk, etc,) will yield varying nutritional carbohydrate counts — read the label on specific products to get an extract breakdown.

Cheese To Watch Out For

The exception to these cheeses are specialty cheeses, which often use ingredients such as wine, fruit, or chocolate—this will ultimately change the carb count.

Also, look out for Gjetost Cheese — it’s a Norwegian cheese that’s best described as a caramel tasting, butter-y fudge like cheese. Needless to say, this stuff contains 12.1 grams of carbs per ounce!

Why Are There Less Carbs In Cheese Than Milk

There are fewer carbs in cheese than in milk due to lactose, milk’s naturally occurring sugar, which translates into a carbohydrate. Most lactose is removed during the cheese making process, when it’s broken down into glucose, then lactic acid.

Unfortunately, there’s no such thing as a low carb milk. However, there are plenty of milk alternatives, lower in carbs/calories, that’re made from: almonds, coconut, cashews, flax, etc. Be sure to check the labels and get unsweetened when available.

How To Eat Cheese On A Low Carb Meal Plan

Here are some tips on eating cheese when you are living the low carb lifestyle!

How Can I Eat Cheese For Dessert?

A fantastic way to eat healthier for dessert is by pairing low carb fruits with cheese.

Personally, berries, cheese and crackers (with low carb flour) are my go-to snack. They also travel well, so I can grab them and go!

You can also make a low carb cheesecake (don’t forget about your sugar alternative options such as erythritol!) or fatbombs combining cream cheese and your favorite crust/fruit.

How Can I Eat Cheese For Lunch?

A personal snacking combination of mine is low carb jerky with low carb cheese. They’re both great sources of protein and satiate my mid-day hunger pains! Hanger no more!

They also make for great snacks on the go — bring a few cheese sticks and a bag of jerky on your next hike and you’ll be one happy adventurer.

How Do I Turn Cheese Into A More Substantial Snack?

I’m a professional snacker and there’s nothing I love more than a handful of low carb nuts, but that simply isn’t enough to tide me over till the next meal…

So I like to throw together my own little high protein low carb snacks box (watch out Starbucks) with some low carb cheese, hard boiled eggs, nuts and low carb peanut butter on celery — De-lish (and wayyy less expensive)!

Cheese Recipes

Still hankering for some cheese? Think beyond cheese sticks and slices my friends…

Cheese isn’t just a flavor booster in your low carb beans for chili! It’s the taco shell, the sauce, the dessert, the chips, the whatever you want it to be! Check out these other cheesy recipes to get inspired:

  • Low Carb Cheesecake
  • Low Carb Cheese Sauce
  • Low Carb Broccoli Cheese Soup
  • Low Carb Cheeseburger Casserole
  • Low Carb Pumpkin Cheesecake

Conclusion

I hope you learned a little something and are now a cheese whiz! Hah! I love to read your comments! Write them below!

Carbohydrates In Cheese (per 1oz)

Cheese comes in many forms from cream cheese, soft cheese, cured and hard cheeses, their carbohydrate content varies.

Delicious Low Carb Cheese Recipes

We use cheese extensively throughout our low carb recipes.

The carbs in cheese make it a versatile ingredient.

The cheese we use will depend on the type of low carb dish we’re cooking.

  1. Easy Low Carb Cheese Chips
  2. Ketogenic Three Cheese Pie
  3. LCHF Ham and Cheese Omelette
  4. Easy Low Carb Cheese and Bacon Cauliflower Casserole
  5. Low Carb Vanilla Cheesecake Fat Bombs

How Many Carbs in Cream?

Full cream has .4 gram carbs per tablespoon and is a great alternative (when used by the tablespoon) to milk for people on a ketogenic or other low carb diets.

The carbs in cream compared to fat and protein is very low.

Use one tablespoon in a cup of coffee or tea as a low-carb, high-fat option.

Be aware that while heavy cream is low carb, the high-fat makes one full cup a whopping 820 calories.

Carbohydrates In Cream (per tablespoon)

Try and avoid low-fat versions and keep your portions small when consuming cream.

  • Heavy Cream = 0.4g carbs, 5.6g fat, 0.3g protein
  • Half and Half = 0.6g, 1.7g fat, 0.4g protein
  • Sour Cream = 0.5g carbs, 2.5g fat, 0.4g protein

Keto Cream Recipes

Full fat cream makes up a good part of many of our keto recipes.

Cream being low in carbs and high in fat makes it an ideal food thickener and gives a richer, smoother flavor.

  1. Low Carb Cherry Cream Cookie Bars
  2. Low Carb Raspberry & Chocolate Cream Pie
  3. Raspberry Cream Fat Bombs
  4. Keto Ice Cream Recipe – Low Carb Chocolate
  5. Low Carb Key Lime Pie

How Many Carbs In Butter?

Butter has almost no carbohydrates

Butter is a staple for people on low-carb, high-fat diets such as the Keto Diet and Atkins Diet.

The amount of carbohydrate in butter is negligible. You’d probably burn that carb taking the butter out of the fridge.

Butter has virtually no carbs, almost no protein and is nearly entirely made of fat.

Carbohydrates In Butter (per tablespoon)

Keeping butter on hand is key to a successful ketogenic diet. Almost pure fat and full of flavor, butter is the swiss army knife of LCHF eating. The carbs in butter are very low.

  • Salted & Unsalted Butter = 0.1g carbs, 11.5g fat, 0.1g protein
  • Clarified Butter (Ghee) = 0 carbs, 12.5g fat, 0g protein

Butter can be used in various ways in low carb recipes.

We make a lot of low carb butter recipes.

We make a variety of flavored compound butter recipes to add to our meat dishes.

Lemon and Chive Compound Butter Great with chicken and fish.

Classic Garlic Flavored Compound Butter great on most low carb meat dishes

Chili Flavored Compound Butter for those who like it a bit bitey!

Pesto Flavored Compound Butter for steaks and lamb dishes.

How Many Carbs In Yoghurt

Full-fat natural yogurt has 9g of carbohydrates per cup.

Personally, I avoid yogurt on a ketogenic diet. The carbs in yogurt throw me out of ketosis, I’m quite sensitive to sudden carbohydrate intake.

But the number of carbs in yogurt may fit in with your low carb diet if ketosis isn’t what you’re aiming for.

The best low carbohydrate option for LCHF diets is full-fat Greek yogurt.

Carbohydrates in Yogurt ( 1 cup)

There you have it. From the list above you can work out which dairy products fit in with your diets macros.

Carbs in dairy vary by product as seen by the carbohydrate difference between milk, cheese, and butter.

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Dirk, there are meds that will lower your insulin levels.
However, I’m leaving a fairly long comment – from one patient to another! – to encourage you to really ‘do your homework’ and explore ALL your options before you agree to take meds.

Your insulin can be measured several ways, and maybe DietDoctor.com will develop a specific post to address that question, because a lot of us need to understand how — and how accurately! — insulin can be measured.

I’m not in the medical field, but I’ve paid a small fortune for diabetes-related meds since 2010. They all have side effects, some of which are scary. I’ve nearly blacked out (multiple times), and the nausea, etc, and abdominal cramping were horrendous. I’m reasonably certain that Metformin *will not* reverse the underlying biological process that is moving you toward diabetes. It will treat the symptom of high insulin, but over time you will need larger doses of Metformin, because the underlying eating behaviors that feed the disease process aren’t reversed by taking meds.

In my own case, in 2015, after being unable to tolerate one more unpleasant side effect from yet one more new drug, I switched to from Doctor A, who wrote prescriptions — to Doctor B, who focuses on lifestyle, better nutrition, and helped me get off the diabetes-related meds. For me to get off those meds felt like a miracle, but it is entirely possible to do it.
I feel 10x better than I did on the meds.

I’d **strongly** encourage you to take advantage of all DietDoctor.com videos to educate yourself about alternatives to going on meds.

Several of the videos might be particularly helpful for you:
(1) Dr. Fung’s explanations about how to drop your insulin levels via Intermittent Fasting
(2) Dr. Naiman’s explanation about hyperinsulinimia
(If you are on meds, then fasting might not be safe, and Dr. Fung is quite explicit about the need for close supervision if you are in that category.)

In my own case, if I’d found DietDoctor.com back in 2010, I would have realized there are excellent, healthy alternatives to meds, and I’d have switched doctors much sooner. (That also would have saved me years of miserable, scary side effects, as well as a small fortune that I’d have preferred to spend on more veggies, butter, and cheeses.) Now, I come to this site every day for additional knowledge and inspiration.

Best of luck to you!
From my perspective, you are asking some great questions!

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