Is ricotta cheese keto friendly? Unlike most other dairy products, the answer to this one is a bit complicated. In a nutshell, ricotta cheese is a tad higher in net carbs than most other cheeses but can be a keto-friendly product, as long as you’re careful with the amount you consume.
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What Is Ricotta Cheese?
Ricotta is an Italian soft cheese. Ricotta is made of whey – a byproduct that’s left after milk has been used to make cheese.
It’s somewhat similar to cottage cheese in texture, though is usually less crumbly and lighter in taste.
As ricotta is a byproduct of cheesemaking, it can be made from a wide variety of milk whey.
Large-scale producers most commonly use cow milk, but sheep, goat, and Italian water buffalo milk whey are also widely used to make ricotta.
Nutritional Value Of Ricotta Cheese
Here’s the problem – the nutritional value of ricotta cheese varies between
1) the types of milk whey that was used;
2) the producers.
If you check the internet the carb, fat, and calorie per 100g whole-milk ricotta* will fluctuate, with basically no two counters giving the same information.
The best we can do is provide realistic approximates:
- Carbs: 4.1-7.3 grams
- Protein: 10.5-12 grams
- Fat: 10.4-12.3 grams
- Fiber: 0 grams
- Sugar: 0.3-3.5 grams
- Calories: ~150-175
*Yes, there’s skim-milk ricotta as well, but it’s even less desirable on the keto diet due to lower fat content.
Ricotta Cheese Net Carbs
To put it very simply, at worst the amount of net carbs per 100g whole-milk ricotta cheese is around 7.3g. At best it could be as low as 4.1g net carbs per 100g cheese.
To calculate net carbs in a product, we need to deduct the amount of fiber from the overall amount of carbs. There’s no fiber in ricotta cheese, which makes calculating net carbs an easy affair.
Is Ricotta Cheese Keto Friendly?
Here’s the complicated answer: it can be as long as you’re consuming it in moderate amounts and keeping track of your macros.
If you’re buying the mass-produced ricotta as most people do, then you should be fine. Per standard serving (i.e. around 50-60g) even the more carb-heavy kind of ricotta cheese contains only around 2g of net carbs.
This means, you can freely add a couple of servings per day to your diet without worrying about it too much.
Always check the label on the tub you’re buying to have a solid grasp on what numbers, exactly, you’re working with.
Are There Ricotta Varieties That Aren’t Keto?
There’s a sweetened Ricotta cheese variety, referred to as Crema di Ricotta, typically used as or in a dessert. It is not keto approved, standing at 61g net carbs per 100g cheese.
Please do not buy this by accident!
Check out our article on cheeses on keto, which will give you a definitive list of what cheeses you can eat on keto, and which to avoid
Summary: Is Ricotta Cheese Keto Friendly?
In summary, yes, ricotta cheese is keto friendly! Just be careful not to go crazy with it as it is one of the higher in carb cheeses, otherwise, enjoy!