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Is Feta Cheese Keto-Friendly?

Feta Cheese on a kitchen counter

Is Feta Cheese Keto-Friendly? The answer is yes, but with a caveat.

Feta Cheese, a tangy and savory staple of Mediterranean cuisine, can indeed be included in a ketogenic diet, but moderation is key.


  • Is Feta Cheese keto-friendly? Yes, but only in moderation due to its carb content.
  • Feta Cheese can be enjoyed on a keto diet, but careful portion control is crucial to avoid disrupting ketosis.
  • Consuming too much Feta Cheese can lead to potential challenges such as excessive sodium intake and even risk of keto flu.

Is Feta Cheese Keto-Friendly?

Feta Cheese, a beloved staple in many cuisines, does indeed fit into the framework of the ketogenic lifestyle—however, only when consumed in moderation. This is predominantly due to the carbohydrate content of Feta Cheese, which stands at 5.58g per 100g.

Diving into a deeper analysis, the decision to label Feta Cheese as "keto-friendly" stems from the understanding of the ketogenic diet, which primarily involves lowering carbohydrate intake. The 5.58g of carbs found in 100g of Feta Cheese means that, while it can be incorporated into a keto diet, it must be done so carefully to avoid an overload of carbohydrates. This is especially important considering that the typical serving size of Feta Cheese is 100g, which is where it hits that 5.58g mark.

Can You Have Feta Cheese on a Strict Keto Diet?

Indeed, Feta Cheese can be included in a strict ketogenic diet, though careful portion management is crucial. A stringent ketogenic diet typically limits carbohydrate intake to under 20g per day. With Feta Cheese containing 5.58g of carbs per 100g serving, it's evident that it can take up a significant portion of this daily carb allotment.

People practicing a strict keto diet can consume Feta Cheese, but they must do so with an intentional mindfulness of their overall daily carb intake. A slice here and a crumble there could quickly add up and possibly disrupt the state of ketosis. However, it's worth noting that some individuals follow a less strict, low-carb diet where they limit their daily carb intake to 30-50g. For such individuals, incorporating Feta Cheese into their meal plan can be done with slightly more flexibility.

Carbs In Feta Cheese

Feta Cheese contains 5.58g of net carbs per 100g serving. Net carbs are the total carbohydrates minus fiber and sugar alcohols, which is the figure most relevant to those following a ketogenic diet.

Feta Cheese Nutrition Facts

Feta cheese, a popular ingredient in Mediterranean cuisine, is densely packed with a variety of nutrients. A 100g serving of feta cheese contains a substantial amount of both macro and micronutrients vital for our body.

From a macronutrient perspective, feta cheese is a rich source of protein, providing about 19.71g per 100g. Protein is essential in our diet as it aids in repairing body tissues and boosting our immune system. Additionally, it contains around 19.08g of total fats, which provide a good source of energy. Among these fats, 11.17g are saturated fats, and 4.18g are monounsaturated fats. These fats, when consumed in moderation, can help maintain a healthy balance of cholesterol levels. Feta cheese also offers 5.58g of carbohydrates, which is another important source of energy.

In terms of micronutrients, feta cheese is a rich source of calcium, having 371.1mg per 100g serving. Calcium is crucial for maintaining bone health and enabling our blood to clot. It also contains 327.6mg of phosphorus, which, like calcium, contributes to the health of our bones and teeth.

Furthermore, feta cheese provides 1034.0mg of sodium, which plays a key role in regulating body fluid balance. However, it's essential to note that a high intake of sodium can lead to health issues such as high blood pressure.

Another notable nutrient found in feta cheese is potassium, with 105.3mg in a 100g serving. Potassium aids in maintaining a healthy blood pressure level and supports cardiovascular health. The presence of magnesium (17.69mg) also helps regulate diverse biochemical reactions in the body, including protein synthesis and muscle and nerve function.

From a vitamin perspective, feta cheese includes several types of Vitamin B, such as B-6 (0.04mg), Thiamin (0.06mg), Riboflavin (0.44mg), and Niacin (0.26mg). These vitamins play various roles, including energy production, DNA repair, and maintaining skin health.

Feta cheese also contains a significant amount of Retinol (146.9ug), a form of Vitamin A beneficial for maintaining healthy vision and immune function. In addition, this cheese is a source of multiple trace elements, including zinc, iron, copper, and manganese, which are involved in various bodily functions.

Lastly, feta cheese contains 57.52mg of cholesterol and 3.09g of nitrogen. While cholesterol is vital for making hormones and Vitamin D, nitrogen is an essential component of amino acids, the building blocks of proteins.

Nutrient NameAmount and Unit per 100g
Carbohydrate, by difference5.58g
Total fats19.08g
Sodium, Na1034.0mg
Potassium, K105.3mg
Magnesium, Mg17.69mg
Calcium, Ca371.1mg
Vitamin B-60.04mg
Copper, Cu0.03mg
Iodine, I48.44ug
Iron, Fe0.07mg
Phosphorus, P327.6mg
Zinc, Zn2.35mg
Manganese, Mn0.02mg
Fatty acids, total saturated11.17g
Fatty acids, total monounsaturated4.18g
Nutritional data is sourced from the US Department of Agriculture's FoodData Central system. Please see Cast Iron Keto's editorial and research standards for more information.

Health Implications of Feta Cheese on a Keto Diet

While Feta Cheese can be part of a ketogenic diet, it presents certain challenges. As mentioned, the carb content, at 5.58g per 100g, could pose a hurdle for keto dieters if not managed carefully. Consuming significant quantities of Feta Cheese could potentially disrupt ketosis, the metabolic state that the keto diet seeks to maintain.

Feta Cheese also contains a considerable amount of sodium, with 1034.0mg per 100g. While sodium is an essential nutrient, particularly for those on a keto diet as it helps to counteract the effects of the "keto flu," excessive intake could lead to problems like hypertension in certain individuals.

On the flip side, Feta Cheese offers a range of health benefits. It's a good source of protein, with 19.71g per 100g, which can contribute to satiety, muscle repair, and growth. It also provides a decent amount of calcium, vital for bone health, and B vitamins, which are essential for energy production and cognitive function.

Incorporating Feta Cheese Into Your Keto Meal Plan

  1. Balanced Pairing: Pair Feta Cheese with other keto-friendly foods. It pairs well with leafy greens in a salad, adds a tangy bite to a Greek-inspired chicken dish, or can be crumbled over a serving of scrambled eggs. The key is to ensure that the rest of the meal is low in carbohydrates to balance out the carb content of the Feta Cheese.
  2. Portion Control: Be mindful of portions when incorporating Feta Cheese into meals. Since it contains 5.58g of carbs per 100g, it can be easy to go over the daily carb limit if not careful. Using a digital food scale can help measure accurate servings.
  3. Keto Recipe Ideas: Feta Cheese can be used creatively in a variety of keto recipes. For instance, consider a spinach and feta stuffed chicken breast or a Mediterranean-style salad with olives and Feta Cheese. Alternatively, Feta can be melted into a keto-friendly cauliflower gratin for a comforting side dish.

Keto-Compatible Alternatives for Feta Cheese

  1. Cheddar Cheese: Cheddar is a keto-friendly alternative to Feta Cheese. It's equally versatile and can be used in a variety of recipes. With only 1.3g of carbs per 100g, it's a lower-carb option than Feta.
  2. Parmesan Cheese: Parmesan is another great substitute for Feta Cheese. It has a robust flavor and is low in carbs, with just 3.22g per 100g. It's perfect for adding a punch of flavor to salads, soups, and keto-friendly pasta dishes.
  3. Mozzarella Cheese: Mozzarella, especially in its full-fat form, is a good choice for keto dieters. It has a mild flavor and contains only 2.2g of carbs per 100g. It's ideal for keto-friendly pizza, casseroles, and salads.

Concluding Thoughts on Feta Cheese and Keto

Feta Cheese, while flavorful and versatile, does present some challenges for those strictly adhering to the ketogenic diet. Its carb content, standing at 5.58g per 100g, can rapidly add up if portions are not carefully monitored. Maintaining ketosis, the primary goal of the ketogenic diet, can become difficult with excessive Feta Cheese consumption.

It's crucial to bear in mind that while Feta Cheese can be enjoyed on a ketogenic diet, it should be done so sparingly and with a keen eye on overall daily carb intake. Pairing Feta with low-carb foods, experimenting with keto-friendly recipes, and utilizing carb-tracking tools can help manage its inclusion in the diet.

One innovative approach could be to gradually reduce the amount of Feta Cheese used in recipes, replacing it with lower-carb cheese alternatives like Cheddar or Mozzarella. This strategy allows for a transition period, slowly adjusting taste preference and diet plan without sudden drastic changes.

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Cast Iron Keto's Editorial and Research Standards

Certain rare or exotic food items may not have nutritional profiles in the FoodData Central database. If an exact match is not found in the FoodData Central database, then, the Cast Iron Keto team utilizes a three-prong approach to provide readers with the closest relevant nutritional data, where possible.

First, in the event that nutritional profiles for a rare or exotic food item is not available in the FoodData Central database, we investigate alternative names for that particular food item and use that data, when possible. Second, in cases where no alternate names exist, Cast Iron Keto will use nutritional data for a close relative or similar food item. Finally, if no close relatives or similar items exist, we refrain from publishing nutrient data tables.

When making dietary or health decisions based on FoodData Central's data, we suggest readers consult with a nutritionist or other health experts, particularly if the food in question has a significant role in your diet or if you are using the food item to treat any health disorder(s).

Furthermore, it is important to note that even if a close relative or similar item is used to approximate the nutritional data, different food items can have varying levels of nutrients due to factors such as soil quality, farming practices, and regional differences.


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Frequently Asked Questions

Feta Cheese contains approximately 5.58g of carbs per 100g serving.

While it's not strictly prohibited, due to its carb content, consuming Feta Cheese daily can make it harder to stay within your carb limit on a keto diet.