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Is Cream Cheese Keto?

Is Cream Cheese Keto?

December 22, 2023 4 min read

Is Cream Cheese Keto?

Cream cheese is a versatile spread that can be used to add flavor to a variety of dishes. Whether it’s added to toast bread or used as a dip for veggies, it’s a great way to get more texture and make every meal burst with buttery goodness.

With cream cheese being a household favorite, beginners of the ketogenic diet often wonder if it’s something they have to give up or can easily incorporate into their keto diet. Here, we look to nutritionists and experts to answer whether or not cream cheese is keto-friendly and give you all the information on the best types of cream cheese, their nutritional information, carb content, and more.

Is Cream Cheese Keto Friendly?

Here’s the good news — cream cheese, just like pork rinds, is very keto-friendly. In fact, nutritionists and keto advocates consider it one of the best keto foods thanks to its high fat and low carb content. It fits seamlessly into the  keto diet macros, requiring your daily calories to be 70% fat, 25% protein, and 5% carbohydrates. 

Because cream cheese is suitable for the keto diet regime, it becomes a versatile solution to add flavor and texture to your meals. Keto dieters add it to their keto bread, use it as a dip for veggie sticks, or incorporate it as an ingredient in their custom keto recipes.  

What are the Best Types of Cream Cheese?

While cream cheese, in whole form, is keto-friendly, some varieties may not be suitable for the keto diet. Keto practitioners often opt for plain, high-fat, and whipped cream cheese and avoid flavored or sweetened cream cheese products that contain sugar and additives. 

Proponents say the best type of cream cheese to consume on the keto diet is grass-fed cream cheese or organic cream cheese. Unprocessed and without additives, these varieties will keep your carb consumption low and facilitate ketosis. 

If you’re looking for cream cheeses that you can add to your keto diet without compromising your daily macros, nutritionists swear by the following brands: 

  • Philadelphia Cream Cheese (Plain, Full-Fat) 
  • Di Stefano Premium Mascarpone Cheese 
  • Trader Joe’s Mascarpone 
  • Organic Valley 
  • Green Valley Creamery
  • Nancy’s

How Many Carbs in Cream Cheese?

Keto dieters love adding cream cheese to their meals because it’s a good source of fat and a meager amount of protein. While it does contain carbs, the amount is insignificant when consumption is monitored. 

According to the  USDA, 100 grams of cream cheese contains 34.4 grams of fat, 6.15 grams of protein, and 350 calories. As for its carb content, the same serving size has only 5.52 grams of carbohydrates. If you convert this to the regular serving size of 1 tablespoon (14.5 grams), that’s only 0.8 grams of carbs!  

Different types of cream cheeses will also have different carb contents. 100 grams of full-fat and plain cream cheese, for example, only has 3 grams of carbohydrates. While the same amount of light cream cheese has 4 grams of carbs. 


Here’s the nutritional information of different cream cheese types with a 100-gram serving at a glance. 

Cream Cheese

Calories

Fat

Protein

Carbohydrates

Plain

350 kcal

34.4 g

6.15 g

5.52 g

Full-Fat

341 kcal

34.4 g

6.4 g

3 g

Light

158 kcal

13 g

7 g

4 g

Whipped

225 kcal

18 g

4.5 g

9 g

Cream Cheese Nutrition Facts

Aside from helping you meet your daily keto macros, cream cheese also yields added health benefits. This is owing to its vitamin and mineral content. 100 grams of plain cream cheese contains the following essential micronutrients:

  • Calcium: 97 mg
  • Iron: 0.11 mg
  • Magnesium: 9 mg
  • Phosphorus: 107 mg 
  • Potassium: 132 mg 
  • Zinc: 0.5 mg 
  • Copper: 0.018 mg
  • Manganese: 0.011 mg 
  • Selenium: 8.6 µg
  • Thiamin: 0.023 mg
  • Riboflavin: 0.23 mg
  • Niacin: 0.091 mg 
  • Pantothenic Acid: 0.517 mg
  • Vitamin B-6: 0.056 mg 
  • Vitamin B-12: 0.22 µg
  • Vitamin A: 308 µg
  • Beta Carotene: 59 µg
  • Vitamin E: 0.86 mg
  • Vitamin K: 2.1 µg

Cream cheese is a good source of vitamin A, antioxidants, and probiotics, which research links to immune system support and reduced information. Compared to other cheese varieties, cream cheese is low in lactose, making it suitable for those with a lactose intolerance. 

Conclusion

Cream cheese, with its high fat and low carb content, is a great addition to your ketogenic diet. Nutritionists support cream cheese as a food item that helps you stay on top of your daily macros while also supplying your body with micronutrients to facilitate overall health and wellness. 

The best part about it is its versatility — there are plenty of ways you can incorporate it into your keto meals to add more flavor and texture. 

Love cheese in general? Here is a complete keto cheese list for you to explore and add even more amazing types of cheese to your keto diet.

We also have an article about the best keto meats, where you will find all the best keto meat options. Belive it or not, one of the healthiest options are pork rinds.

Is Cream Cheese Keto: Frequently Asked Questions


Is Philadelphia cream cheese keto-friendly?

Philadelphia is one of the best brands of keto-friendly cream cheese. A 2-tablespoon serving of Philadelphia cream cheese contains 102 calories, 10 grams of fat, 1.8 grams of protein, and only 1.6 grams of carbohydrates. It’s recommended to opt for plain or full-fat Philadelphia cream cheese for the keto diet. 


How much cream cheese can I have on the keto diet?

While cream cheese is suitable for the keto diet, practitioners warn against going overboard. Of course, consuming cream cheese in large amounts can easily skew your daily macros. Limit consumption of cream cheese to the regular serving size of 2 tablespoons. But this will ultimately depend on your daily carb limit. 


Does cream cheese break ketosis?

Cream cheese does not break ketosis. It is high in fat and low in carbs, which fits the principle of the ketogenic diet regime. When carb intake is limited, the body will be forced to use up stored fat to create energy, bringing the body into a state of ketosis conducive to weight loss.