Plain Greek yogurt and cottage cheese are healthy, high-protein foods.
While they contain some carbs, they can still be included in a ketogenic lifestyle.
5 ounces (150 grams) of plain Greek yogurt provides 5 grams of carbs and 11 grams of protein. That amount of cottage cheese provides 5 grams of carbs and 18 grams of protein (43, 44).
Both yogurt and cottage cheese have been shown to help decrease appetite and promote feelings of fullness (45Trusted Source, 46Trusted Source).
Either one makes a tasty snack on its own.
However, both can also be combined with chopped nuts, cinnamon and optional sugar-free sweetener for a quick and easy keto treat.
One of the perks of a keto diet, followers say, is the “unlimited” cheese you can eat.
The ketogenic diet, or the keto diet for short, is a very-high-fat (70 to upwards of 80 percent), moderate-protein, and very-low-carb diet. The main goal: to change your body’s biochemistry. “Following a ketogenic diet changes your fuel source from one that primarily burns carbohydrates to one that burns fat,” says Olivia Wagner, RDN, an integrative dietitian-nutritionist at WholeHealth Chicago. In metabolic terms, this process is called ketosis.
Cheese is basically the perfect keto food: high-fat, moderate-protein, and low-carb. “Cheese can add flavor, variety, and new textures into your meals,” says Wagner. The best varieties for the keto diet are high-quality, grass-fed, and full-fat, she says. (Also: Cheese isn’t actually “unlimited” in a keto diet. It still contains calories and carbs.)
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But if you find that your results are plateauing while on keto, you may want to take it easy on the cheese, says April Murray, RD, founder of Orange County Nutrition Coaching in Costa Mesa, California. “Sometimes people lose weight much quicker and feel better when they take out dairy,” she says. If you find you tolerate it okay, there’s no reason to omit it, but if you’re struggling with GI (gastrointestinal) side effects or water retention, it’s time to rethink the role of dairy in your diet.
If you’re doing cheese on keto, you should also know that not all cheeses are equal. Here, the cheeses to eat, limit, and skip altogether:
The 5 Best Types of Cheese to Eat on the Keto Diet
This is a keto favorite, mainly because the only thing it adds is fat. One tablespoon (51 calories) has 0.8 g of carbs, less than 1 g of protein, but 5 grams of fat. That means it’s a great addition to a meal or snack when you need more fat. Wagner likes the Nancy’s brand, which makes a probiotic-rich cream cheese that’s cultured with live active bacteria (like yogurt).
Grated Parmesan is perfect for adding a hit of salty, nutty flavor to foods. One tablespoon of grated parm (26 calories) packs 0.9 g of carbs, 1.8 g of protein, and 1.7 g of fat. Pro tip: Make this cheese your best friend when it comes to salads. “A lot of keto dieters eat Caesar salads [sans croutons], and Parmesan cheese plays a big role in enjoying them,” says Lauren Weiss, PhD, a keto nutritionist in La Jolla, California. And that’s important when you’re following a diet where it’s easy to fall short on vegetables.
If you must have cheese and you’re on the go, these dehydrated pieces of cheese in a bite-sized shape are an acceptable solution. “Clients miss chips and crackers. You can dip these cheese bites in guacamole for a high-fat snack,” says Dr. Weiss. Best of all, you don’t have to worry about refrigeration to get your cheese fix. One brand, Moon Cheese, has a Gouda variety that has 0 carbs, 5 g of fat, and 5 g of protein for 70 calories per serving, which is six or seven pieces. Another, Whisps, offers Asiago and pepper jack with 1 g of carbs, 11 g of fat, and 12 g of protein per 150-calorie serving, which is about 23 crisps.