Is Cottage Cheese Keto?

Is Cottage Cheese Keto?

November 04, 2023 5 min read

The keto diet is popular mainly because it’s less restrictive than other diet regimes. There is even a dirty keto version of the ketogenic diet which is less healthy but even less restrictive.

The ketogenic diet still allows you to consume your favorite meat dishes without worrying about disrupting the core purpose of the diet: consuming high fat, moderate protein, and low carbs. 

If you aren't sure which types of meat to consume on the keto diet, our article about the best keto meats will help you pick the best options. For a keto-friendly snack option, you can read our article about the best pork rind brands.

Now, let's get back to talking about cheese.

Another item in keto’s favor is that cheese isn’t off the table. In fact, it can be considered keto-friendly with its high fat and low carb content.

Diet experts even note cheese as a great way to add flavor, variety, and texture to your keto meals. Studies also show that a higher consumption of cheese is associated with a lower BMI — as long as it’s the right type of cheese enjoyed in moderation.

See, not all types of cheeses are the same. While there are certain varieties that fit well into your keto diet macros, others are so high in calories and saturated fat that you should avoid them to stay true to your keto diet regime. Is cottage cheese one of them? Let’s find out in this article.


Is Cottage Cheese Keto-Friendly?

Generally, cheese is a good source of fat, high-quality protein, and calcium, so experts say it’s a great candidate for the keto diet regime. However, different varieties of cheeses will have different carb and fat contents.

Cottage cheese, in particular, has 84 calories, 2.3 grams of fat, 11 grams of protein, and 4.31 grams of carbohydrates per 100-gram serving. As you probably already realized from its carb content, cottage cheese is not as keto-friendly as other varieties.

However, practitioners say you may still be able to consume it while adhering to a keto diet regime, as long as you do so in moderation.


Types of Cottage Cheese

In addition to consuming cottage cheese in moderation, keto diet practitioners point to the importance of being very particular about the variety you eat while on a keto diet. Let’s explore the different types of cottage cheese and identify which ones are keto-friendly.


Full Fat Cottage Cheese

Full-fat cottage cheese is a good source of healthy fats, with a fat percentage of 4%. People like it because it’s richer and creamier in texture, adding flavor and variety to their keto meals. It’s also high in protein, with 11.6 grams per ½-cup serving.

While full-fat cottage cheese has the highest fat percentage among other cottage cheese varieties, it doesn’t compete with other types of full-fat cheeses. Its 4% fat content is inconsequential if we consider the fat percentage of other cheeses, such as:

According to practitioners, these full-fat cheeses are much better fits for the keto diet regime with their high fat and low carb content. On average, full-fat cheese contains about 1 gram of carbs per serving, which is substantially less than the low-carb recommendation of 15 grams.


Low Fat Cottage Cheese

Low-fat cottage cheese, as implied by its name, has a lower fat content than the full-fat variety. Instead of being made from whole milk, this type is made with skimmed or reduced-fat milk, giving it a fat percentage of only 1-2%.

Despite them being low in fat, low-fat cottage cheeses may contain fruit and gum-based thickeners to give them a nice consistency and texture. These, according to nutrition experts, can potentially increase their carb content.

Aside from cottage cheese, there are other cheese varieties that can be classified as low-fat. They are:

Low-fat cheeses typically contain 3-5 grams of carbohydrates.


Fat Free Cottage Cheese

Another variation of cottage cheese in the market is fat-free cottage cheese, a loose, non-pressed cheese prepared with non-fat milk. As its name suggests, fat-free cottage cheese contains zero grams of fat.

According to practitioners, fat-free cottage cheese isn’t suitable for the keto diet because of the absence of fat and relatively higher carbohydrate content. It contains almost 7 grams of carbs, more than double the amount you’ll find in full-fat and low-fat cottage cheese.

Other types of popular cheeses can also be made in fat-free varieties, such as:

  • American Cheese
  • Cheddar Cheese
  • Swiss Cheese
  • Mozzarella Cheese
  • Ricotta Cheese

These fat-free versions contain 0 grams of fat and 2 to 7 grams of carbs per serving.


Which Cottage Cheese is Best for Keto?

Cottage cheese comes in many varieties, from full-fat to fat-free. The ketogenic diet is built on the principle of consuming more fat and protein and less carbs.

Proponents say that the best types of cottage cheese for keto are those that are plain and 4% full-fat. This variety is generally the highest in fat and lowest in carbs, fitting perfectly into the rules of the ketogenic diet regime.

To give you a better idea of how to add cottage cheese to your daily macros, here’s a nutritional breakdown of the different types of cottage cheeses:

Cottage Cheese





4% Full Fat


4 grams

11 grams

3 grams

2% Low Fat


2 grams

10 grams

5 grams

1% Low Fat


1 gram

12 grams

3 grams



0 grams

10 grams

7 grams


Conclusion: Is Cottage Cheese Keto?

While cheese is generally a good addition to a keto diet, practitioners point out that you have to be particular about the type of cheese you consume.

Different types of cheese have different caloric, fat, and carbohydrate content.

Cottage cheese, for example, can be high in fat and protein and low in carbs, depending on what variety you opt for.

Armed with the information we gathered from experts and provided you in this article, you should be able to make an informed decision about which type of cottage cheese best fits into your keto macros.


Cottage Cheese FAQs

Can I eat cottage cheese on keto?

According to nutritionists, cottage cheese is generally not as keto-friendly as other cheese varieties. Although it is high in protein, it doesn’t contain as much fat and may have a high carb content. However, proponents of the diet say you can still eat cottage cheese on keto as long as you opt for the full-fat variety and consume it in moderation.

How many net carbs are in 1 cup of cottage cheese?

A 1-cup serving of cottage cheese contains about 7.2 grams of net carbs, 5.1 grams of fat, 24.4 grams of protein, and 176 calories. These can differ depending on the type of cottage cheese, whether full-fat, low-fat, or non-fat. Full-fat cottage cheese contains the least carbs among all three varieties.

Is cottage cheese high in carbs and sugar?

Plain, full-fat cottage cheese has a modest amount of carbohydrates, with most not exceeding 5 grams. It also contains no added sugar, so experts say it’s a good candidate for those observing a low-carb and low-glucose diet. Low-fat and fat-free cottage cheese, on the other hand, may contain more carbs and sugar.

Is cottage cheese good for a no carb diet?

Cottage cheese contains an average of 3.6 grams of carbs per ½-cup serving. So, while it may be able to find a place in a low-carb diet, it’s not entirely free of carbohydrates. For those observing a strict, no-carb diet regime, practitioners say that cottage cheese is not a suitable option unless you go for the fat-free variety.