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Is Parmesan Cheese Keto-Friendly?

Parmesan Cheese on a kitchen counter

Ever wondered if Parmesan Cheese is keto-friendly? Good news - it is! Throughout this article, we're going to delve into the nitty-gritty of Parmesan Cheese's carb content, nutritional value, and how it fits into a ketogenic diet.

You'll discover not only the health implications of this delicious cheese but also creative ways to incorporate it into your keto meal plan.

We'll even explore some keto-compatible alternatives for those who fancy a bit of variety.

Get ready for a full breakdown on Parmesan Cheese – let's get started!


  • Yes, Parmesan Cheese is keto-friendly due to its low carb content.
  • Parmesan Cheese is packed with nutrients such as protein, calcium, and essential vitamins, making it a valuable addition to a keto diet.
  • It does come with high sodium content, so portion control and balance with other foods can be important.

Is Parmesan Cheese Keto-Friendly?

Yes, Parmesan cheese is keto-friendly. With a carb count of 3.22g per 100g, it fits well within the daily limitations of the ketogenic diet, which typically allows for 20 to 50 grams of carbohydrates per day.

The reason why Parmesan cheese is considered keto-friendly goes beyond just its carb count. The high fat content (25.0g per 100g) and moderate protein (35.75g per 100g) align with the ketogenic diet's macronutrient ratios, which emphasize high fat, moderate protein, and low carbohydrate intake.

Can You Have Parmesan Cheese on a Strict Keto Diet?

Yes, you can have Parmesan cheese on a strict keto diet. With its carb content of 3.22g per 100g, Parmesan cheese falls within the carbohydrate limit of a strict keto diet, which typically involves consuming less than 20g of carbs per day.

It's worth noting that some people follow a less rigid approach to the keto diet, aiming for a daily carb limit of between 30-50g. Parmesan cheese comfortably fits within this range as well.

Carbs In Parmesan Cheese

Parmesan cheese contains 3.22g of net carbs per 100g. This makes it a low-carb food choice suitable for inclusion in a keto diet.

Net carbs, for those unfamiliar, is a measure of the total carbohydrates in a food item that your body can digest and use for energy, excluding fiber and some sugar alcohols. This is crucial to consider in a keto diet, which aims to limit carb intake to promote a state of ketosis.

Parmesan Cheese Nutrition Facts

A 100g serving of Parmesan Cheese provides a robust nutritional profile. First, the macronutrients: it has 35g of protein, adding a significant source of this vital nutrient to any meal. Its fat content stands at 27g, of which 17g is saturated. Parmesan also contains 4g of carbohydrates.

Turning to micronutrients, Parmesan is rich in Calcium with 1114mg, vital for bone health. It supplies 336mg of Phosphorus, an essential nutrient for energy production, and 76mg of Magnesium, important for nerve and muscle function. Parmesan also boasts of 16mg of Iron and 1.2mg of Zinc, both crucial for the immune system.

Notably, Parmesan features a high content of Vitamin B12, with 1.7μg, which plays a key role in brain function. It also offers Vitamin A (265 IU), supportive of vision, and Vitamin K (24.0μg), which aids in blood clotting.

Nutrient NameAmount and Unit per 100g
Carbohydrate, by difference 3.22g
Total fats 25.0g
Protein 35.75g
Sodium, Na 1175.0mg
Potassium, K 92.0mg
Magnesium, Mg 44.0mg
Calcium, Ca 1184.0mg
Vitamin A 207.0ug
Vitamin B-6 0.09mg
Vitamin B-12 1.2ug
Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) 0.5ug
Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol) 0.22mg
Vitamin K1 1.7ug
Copper, Cu 0.03mg
Iron, Fe 0.82mg
Phosphorus, P 694.0mg
Selenium, Se 22.5ug
Zinc, Zn 2.75mg
Cholesterol 68.0mg
Beta-carotene 66.0ug
Manganese, Mn 0.02mg
Thiamin 0.04mg
Riboflavin 0.33mg
Niacin 0.27mg
Pantothenic acid 0.45mg
Folate, total 7.0ug
Choline, total 15.4mg
Retinol 201.0ug
Calories 392.0kcal
Water 30.0g
Tryptophan 0.48g
Threonine 1.32g
Isoleucine 1.89g
Leucine 3.45g
Lysine 3.31g
Methionine 0.96g
Cystine 0.24g
Phenylalanine 1.92g
Tyrosine 2.0g
Valine 2.45g
Arginine 1.32g
Histidine 1.38g
Alanine 1.05g
Aspartic acid 2.24g
Glutamic acid 8.21g
Glycine 0.62g
Proline 4.18g
Serine 2.07g
Fatty acids, total saturated 14.85g
Fatty acids, total monounsaturated 7.52g
Fatty acids, total polyunsaturated 0.57g
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 Parmesan Cheese on a Keto Diet

Parmesan cheese is not only low in carbs but also a rich source of several essential nutrients. It boasts high levels of protein and calcium, contributing to muscle development and bone health respectively. Additionally, Parmesan provides a good amount of vitamin A, which supports vision and immune function, and it also offers a range of B-vitamins, including B6 and B12, which are vital for energy production and brain health.

Incorporating Parmesan Cheese into Your Keto Meal Plan

  1. Sprinkle on the Flavor: Parmesan cheese packs a potent flavor punch, so a little goes a long way. Sprinkle it over low-carb vegetables or mix it into a salad for a quick and easy keto-friendly enhancement.
  2. Innovative Keto Recipes: Parmesan cheese can be creatively used in various keto recipes. For instance, it can be baked into crispy Parmesan chips, used as a flavorful topping for roasted vegetables, or mixed into cauliflower rice for a tasty, low-carb risotto substitute.
  3. Portion Control: Despite being keto-friendly, Parmesan cheese is high in calories and sodium, so portion control is key. Use it sparingly and remember to count the carbs as part of your daily total.

Keto-Compatible Alternatives for Parmesan Cheese

  1. Cheddar Cheese: Cheddar is a popular and versatile cheese that's also keto-compatible. It can be used in place of Parmesan in recipes like keto-friendly casseroles or omelets. Nutritionally, cheddar has slightly less protein and more fat than Parmesan, with a comparable carb content.
  2. Feta Cheese: This tangy cheese can be a refreshing alternative to Parmesan, especially in salads or Mediterranean-inspired keto dishes. Feta is lower in calories and fat than Parmesan, but it's also higher in carbs, so it should be used sparingly.
  3. Mozzarella Cheese: Known for its stretchy texture when melted, Mozzarella is perfect for keto pizza or lasagna. It contains a similar amount of carbs to Parmesan, but is higher in moisture and lower in both fat and protein.

Concluding Thoughts on Parmesan Cheese and Keto

Parmesan cheese, with its low carb content, fits well into a strict keto diet. Its rich nutritional profile, providing important vitamins and minerals, adds to its appeal. However, it's worth noting its high sodium content and the need for portion control.

In terms of its use, Parmesan cheese's strong flavor and versatility make it a valuable asset in a keto meal plan. Whether it's sprinkled over vegetables, baked into chips, or mixed into cauliflower risotto, it can enhance your meals while keeping you within your daily carb limit.

Beyond Parmesan, consider exploring other keto-friendly cheese alternatives like cheddar, feta, mozzarella, and blue cheese. Each offers a unique flavor and nutritional profile, expanding your food choices within the keto diet.

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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.


The information on this website is only intended to be general summary information for public use, designed for educational purposes only and is not engaged in rendering medical advice or professional services. This information does not replace written law or regulations, nor does it replace professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have questions about a medical condition or are seeking to evaluate the health merits of certain food items for the treatment of any medical condition, you should seek the advice of a doctor or other qualified health professionals.

The views expressed at, or through, Cast Iron Keto are for informational purposes only. Cast Iron Keto cannot guarantee the validity of the information found here. While we use reasonable efforts to include accurate and up-to-date information, we make no warranties as to the accuracy of the content and assume no liability or responsibility for any errors or omissions in the content. All liability with respect to actions taken or not taken based on the contents of this website are hereby expressly disclaimed. The content on this posting is provided "as is;" no representations are made that the content is error-free.

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, it is. The low carb content in Parmesan Cheese makes it suitable for a ketogenic diet.

Apart from its bold flavor, Parmesan Cheese is high in protein and calcium, and it provides essential vitamins which can complement a balanced diet.