What Cheese Is Low Carb? 14 Best Low Carb Cheese

Best Low Carb Cheese

Searching for the best low carb cheese?

Cheese and a low carb diet seem to be a natural fit. It’s high in both saturated fat and protein to fuel ketosis and help to preserve your hard-earned muscle tissue. Most people also assume that it’s also low in carbohydrates. However, that is not always the case. 

In this article, we reveal the 14 best cheese for a low-carb diet. We’ll present the cheeses from the least to the highest carb count, with nutritional information per one-ounce serving.

How Cheese is Made

Cheese is simply milk that has gone through a process of fermentation. The process starts with the increasing of the temperature of the milk and the addition of starter culture to stimulate the fermentation process. A coagulant such as rennet is then added. Once fermentation has occurred, the curd is formed and molded and the whey is drained off. The cheese is then salted and aged.

Fermentation greatly reduces the lactose count of the cheese, which is why it has far fewer carbs than the milk from which it was derived. The longer the cheese is allowed to age, the more it will ferment and the fewer carbs it will contain. 

The lowest carb cheeses will also have the highest levels of protein. 

Cheese is made up of the following parts:

  • Water
  • Butterfat
  • Protein 
  • Lactose

To be considered low carb, a cheese should have less than 1 gram of carbohydrate per one-ounce serving. 

14 best low carb cheese for you to choose from

1. Brie

  • Calories: 17
  • Carbs: 0.1g
  • Protein: 6.1g
  • Fats: 8.0g

Brie is a high fat, high protein, and very low carb cheese that is number one for followers of such low carb diets as Keto and Atkins. This cheese comes from the Brie region of France, which is adjacent to Paris. It delivers a fresh, fruity taste with a creamy texture and bloomy rind.

2. Gruyere

  • Calories: 14
  • Carbs: 0.1
  • Protein: 8
  • Fats: 9

Gruyere is a Swiss cheese that is ideal for snacking, cheese plates, melting or grating. It has a slightly tacky, tan-colored rind and is sweet and nutty with meaty undertones. It is extremely keto-friendly and goes great with your breakfast omelet. 

3. Romano

  • Calories: 19g
  • Carbs: 0.2g
  • Protein: 1.6g
  • Fats: 1.3g

Romano, or Roman, cheese is derived from Italian sheep’s milk. It is served as an off-white colored wheel with a thick rind that is often coated. It delivers a tangy punch to spice up your low carb pasta or vegetable dishes. It is often combined with parmesan cheese but is a lower carb option. 

4. Cheddar

  • Calories: 17
  • Carbs: 0.2g
  • Protein: 7.2g
  • Fats: 6.3g

Cheddar cheese is among the most popular in the entire world. It comes from Cheddar in Somerset, England; however, it is now made all over the world. The process of cheddaring involves adding salt to the curds before they are kneaded, cubed, drained of whey and stacked. This is a non-melting cheese due to the acidity level which makes it tough to melt. The best way to melt cheddar is to cut it very finely. This is a great choice with eggs and bacon or to throw into a green salad. 

5. Blue

  • Calories: 13
  • Carbs: 0.3
  • Protein: 6.5
  • Fats: 6.3

Blue cheese is made when molds from the genus penicillium roqueforti are added. This is added at the beginning of the cheese-making process. Cheese wheels are needed to form tiny holes. This allows air to come in and react with enzymes and bacteria. This produces the blue veins which characterize this cheese. The whole process also eliminates a lot of lactose, so that it has a very low carb count. 

6. Gouda

  • Calories: 16
  • Carbs: 0.4
  • Protein: 5.7
  • Fats: 6.2

Gouda is a Dutch cheese that delivers a taste that combines caramel, butterscotch, butter, and bacon. The longer that Gouda is aged, the more of these flavors it will have. This cheese is best enjoyed with thin slices of tart, crunchy apples or as part of a sandwich. 

7. Tilsiter

  • Calories: 13.5
  • Carbs: 0.4
  • Protein: 4.6
  • Fats: 4.9

Tilister is a German cheese that originated in the town of Tilsit. The cheese is aged for up to 3 months and is smooth, mild and milky. It can have a pungent aroma, however. This is a traditional table cheese. 

8. Swiss

  • Calories: 15
  • Carbs: 0.4g
  • Protein: 6.1g
  • Fats: 5.4g

Swiss cheese, naturally, comes from Switzerland. It is one of the most popular cheeses on the planet. In America, it encompasses all alpine cheeses. They are all alike in that they are semi-hard and have a hard, buttery flavor. The holes that characterize Swiss cheese are good news for low carb lovers. That’s because they are caused by bacteria eating up the lactose content. 

9. Fontina

  • Calories: 14
  • Carbs: 0.4g
  • Protein: 5.6g
  • Fats: 5.8g

Fontina comes from the Aosta Valley near the Swiss/ Italian border. It is made from raw cow’s milk from native Valdestina cows and is aged for more than 90 days. This is a dense, supple cheese which presents as a nutty, slightly pungent taste. This cheese is perfect for melting, baking or snacking. 

10. Burrata

  • Calories: 15
  • Carbs: 0.6g
  • Protein: 5.1g
  • Fats: 6.2g

Burrata is a southern Italian cheese. It has only been in the US for about a decade but had become very popular. This cheese is a combination of mozzarella and cream that has a rich filling covered by a thick exterior. It goes great with fresh autumn fruits. 

11. Halloumi

  • Calories: 14
  • Carbs: 0.6g
  • Protein: 6.0g
  • Fats: 7.0g

Halloumi comes from Cypress and is sourced from either goat or sheep milk. It is usually served as a snack or dessert. This is a very popular grilling cheese. 

12. Manchego

  • Calories: 13
  • Carbs:0.7g
  • Protein: 3.2g
  • Fats: 4.5g

Manchego is a Spanish cheese which is very popular as a snack food. It comes from the raw or pasteurized milk of Manchego sheep. The more it is aged, the nuttier the flavor will be. It pairs well with ham and makes a great salad cheese. 

13. Paneer

  • Calories: 15
  • Carbs: 1.0g
  • Protein: 6.2g
  • Fats: 7.1g

Paneer is a popular Indian cheese that is commonly used in curries and added to fried vegetables. This is a firm, unsalted acid-set cheese that is popular in both sweet and savory dishes. You’ll see it on the menu in Indian restaurants as paneer tikka masala, Mattar paneer, and saag paneer. All of these are perfectly acceptable on a low carb diet. 

14. Cream

  • Calories: 19
  • Carbs: 1.4g
  • Protein: 0.2g
  • Fats: 2.8g

Cream cheese is a popular ingredient in many ketogenic and Atkins diet recipes because it provides a sweet taste for a very low carb count. Use it as the main ingredient in delicious keto-friendly cheesecake. 

Final Word

You now have a smorgasbord of fantastic low carb cheeses to choose from. We encourage you to experiment to mix and match in order to find your favorites. Just be careful not to overindulge as those calorie and carb counts can quickly add up!

Tina Alexandre
Tina Alexandre

Co-founder

Hi, I'm Tina, a mom, and wife who loves to write about nutrition and dieting. When I'm not writing, I also enjoy baking healthy pastries with my 7-year-old daughter.

1 Comment
  1. To my husbands delight we have incorporated several of the above cheeses into our Keto diet. Besides adding a very tasteful delight to many meals they quickly give that sense of being full as well.

    Ms. K

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