There’s a big question mark over cheese when it comes to a keto diet. Is this dairy product keto-friendly or not?
Well, there’s no simple answer to that, since there isn’t only one type of cheese in the world. If you enjoy a slice of cheese every now and then, you shouldn’t stop eating it.
However, you need to know which cheese is good for you. So, let’s see what makes cheese keto-friendly.
Why is Cheese Good?
A high-quality cheese made from fully grass-fed milk contains various essential micronutrients, including calcium, phosphorus, zinc, vitamins A, B12, K2, protein, omega-3 fatty acid, and others. Most of these nutrients are essential for our well-being.
Some of the benefits of eating cheese are:
- Good for muscle strength (protein)
- Good for your teeth and bone structure (calcium and zinc)
- Reduces blood pressure (magnesium)
- Fights inflammation (omega-3 fatty acid)
- Reduces depression and boosts energy.
- Regulates the digestive tract
Of course, not all cheese contains these properties. Plenty of manufacturers add carbs and other components for various reasons (for example, to prevent clumping). That’s why you should check the label for carbs before you purchase it.
Cheese – Good or Bad for Keto?
Cheese is completely keto-friendly. In fact, it’s one of the cornerstones of the keto diet. However, there are various types of cheese on the market, so you shouldn’t take any cheese for granted.
Consider these factors when choosing your cheese:
- Grass-fed – grass-fed cows produce the best milk. If cows are fed with grains or refined food their milk will lack nutrients like Vitamin K2 or omega-3 fatty acid.
- Non-pasteurized – Cheese made with raw instead of heated milk doesn’t kill friendly bacteria, fats, proteins, etc.
- Non-homogenized – Mass-produced milk goes through the homogenization process which loses a bunch of proteins and fat. Always look for a cheese made locally and traditionally.
- Organic – Organic cheese and raw cheese are the best that you can find on the market. When an animal is kept and treated in humane conditions it will produce much better milk.
Some of the best keto cheese include Gouda, Feta, Cheddar, Parmesan, Swiss cheese, whole mozzarella, and plenty of others. Check the label for low carbs, medium to high fat and protein content, and probiotic properties.
Disadvantages of Cheese
Some people lack the necessary enzymes to digest dairy products. They’re lactose-intolerant (milk sugar) or casein-intolerant (milk protein). If you’re in this group, you should avoid dairy products altogether.
Furthermore, mass-produced cheese such as refined cheese and cheese substitutes (products with additives and added aroma that taste like cheese, but aren’t) are extremely unhealthy.
In addition, you should avoid low-fat cheese and pre-sliced cheese. Also, vegan cheese isn’t keto- friendly, since it’s made out of soy.
Just Be Reasonable
High-quality cheese (as well as any other dairy product) will increase your energy level and immune system. Furthermore, cheese won’t prevent you from losing weight at all. If you notice that you aren’t losing weight – don’t blame the cheese.
As long as you keep your diet reasonable, and balance calories from cheese with those from other foods, you’ll be just fine.