Cheese have protein. As matter of fact, cheese is packed with high quality proteins. Your favorite cheddar alone has 25g/100g. The easy to make cheese ricotta and cottage have the lowest, 11g/100g each, according to USDA data.
The famous Parmesan cheese has the highest, 38 grams protein. A great value for money. In addition, it has 30g of fat and 415 calories per 100g.
On the contrary, derived cheese products may have very little to no protein at all.
Snack foods such as cheese curls have relatively low amounts. It might be bad because the preservative it contains might cause harm.
Why ask? Perhaps you’re on a keto diet being mindful of every food you eat. An award winning athlete who is in constant need of protein. Or a meal planner who diligently does your work.
Be careful though. Not all cheese are created equal. Some have more protein than others, while some of them have nothing at all.
Protein in Cheese per 100 grams, USDA data
Often, to balance our diet well, we need to know how much nutrients we can have in every food we eat. When we talk about cheese, we are curious about specific protein content. It’s usually written legibly in labels but sometimes not. Especially if we bought artisanal and homemade cheese, or get it from restaurants.
Here are the protein contents of common cheese, grams/100g, USDA data.
- Cheddar = 25
- American cheese = 18
- Blue cheese = 21
- Camembert cheese = 20
- Monterey Jack = 24
- Gruyere = 30
- Low sodium Mozzarella = 28
- Provolone = 26
- Whole milk ricotta = 11
- Creamed cottage cheese = 11
- Edam cheese = 25
- Feta cheese = 14
- Goat cheese = 22
- Gouda cheese = 25
- Parmesan cheese = 38
- Pimiento cheese = 22
- Queso blanco = 20
- Roquefort = 22
- Swiss cheese = 27
Cheese is a Concentrated Milk, in Other Words, Protein Concentrate
Cheese is produced from milk, which is a natural protein source. Milk has 3.3% total protein, 82% is casein and the remaining is whey.
The proteins are then curdled, water removed, and sometimes pressed to form hard blocks. This results in a concentrated milk or protein concentrate with significantly longer shelf life.
Is Cheese Protein or Fat?
Cheese is definitely a great protein source. In addition, it is also a good source of fat, calcium, and Vitamins A and B12. Also contains nutrients like zinc, phosphorus, and riboflavin.
Cheese made from milk of fully grass-fed cows has the highest nutrients and even contains omega-3 fatty acids. So, this explains why Parmesan cheese has a protein content of 38g/100g. Their cows are fed with local grass within a controlled environment.
What are the Benefits of Taking High Protein Foods, Like Cheese?
In essence, the human body is made up of water, fat and protein. Continues intake helps build new tissues and repair the existing. To elaborate further, protein is the main component of bones, muscles, cartilage, skin and blood. Even your fingernails and hair are made of protein.
Consuming proteins has some more benefits, like:
- Prevent weight loss
- Lower blood pressure
- Prevent too much weight gain by reducing hunger
- Increase muscle mass and strength.
- Maintain bone health
- Boost metabolism
Do Vegan Cheese Contain Protein?
Vegan cheese is not made of milk, but they do contain proteins. I recommend checking labels to make sure you’re getting what you’re looking for. It will also prevent you from ingesting potential allergens.
Vegan cheese is often made of the following:
- Seeds – sunflower and sesame
- Nuts – almond, pine nut, and cashew
- Others – soybeans, coconut oil, peanut, pear, rice and tapioca.
What are the Healthy Cheese Brands?
Don’t be fooled by manufacturers selling healthy cheese brands. Inspect labels to see the ingredient list. Doubt the product if you see more than 5 ingredients or see suspicious components like artificial flavoring, spice mix, and preservatives.
Alternatively, get a healthy cheese by making it on your own or get it from your favorite artisanal shop.
Are Cheese Spread and Cheese Sauce a Great Protein Source?
Cheese spread and cheese sauce can be a great protein source if each only contains 2-3 ingredients. Conversely, products containing more than 5 ingredients are doubtful. Think twice before you buy. Or, maybe you don’t need to think at all. Just don’t buy it and move on.
Are Cheese Powders Rich in Proteins?
Probably not. Cheese powders that are made by melting and spray drying, then combined with additives. To elaborate additives, it can be preservative, extender or flavor enhancer. You don’t know how much extender is added. You’re doomed if it’s just starch combined with artificial flavoring.
On the other hand, you can grate Parmesan cheese to make it resemble powder form. In this case, the cheese powder you’ve just made is rich in proteins.
Does Cheese Have Carbs?
Cheese is mainly consumed as a protein source, but they do have carbs. Here are the list of cheese and their corresponding protein content, grams/100g ,USDA data.
- Cheddar = 1.3
- American cheese = 3.7
- Blue cheese = 2.3
- Camembert cheese = 0.5
- Monterey Jack = 0.7
- Gruyere = 0.4
- Low sodium mozzarella = 3.1
- Provolone = 2.1
- Whole milk ricotta = 3
- Creamed cottage cheese = 3.4
- Edam cheese = 1.4
- Feta cheese = 4.1
- Goat cheese = 0.1
- Gouda cheese = 2.2
- Parmesan cheese = 4.1
- Pimiento cheese = 1.7
- Queso blanco = 2.5
- Roquefort = 2
- Swiss cheese = 5
Protein is the human body’s building blocks. The body uses it to build new tissues and to repair the damage to existing. In addition, it helps maintain body weight, regulate blood pressure and maintain bone health.
Cheese are great protein source. However, brands and types are not on equal footing. Some have greater protein content than others. If you’re an athlete who wants to get the most protein per gram, Parmesan cheese with 38g/100grams is your best bet. Otherwise, a regular ricotta cheese and cottage cheese may serve the same purpose.
Other cheese products such as cheese powder, cheese crackers and cheese spreads may contain very little to no cheese at all.
Look out for super cheap cheese brands. You should wonder how they could sell products at such low prices. Perhaps, they’re just concocting a plethora of ridiculously cheap ingredients. Your life would be better with more expensive but healthier products.