Is Parmesan Keto-Friendly?

If you’re on the keto diet, you may be wondering if Parmesan is keto-friendly. The answer is yes – Parmesan is a great choice for those on the keto diet.

It’s low in carbs and high in fat, making it the perfect choice for those looking for a delicious and nutritious cheese to add to their keto meal plan.

In fact, a study has incorporated Parmesan into a low-carbohydrate ketogenic diet for semi-professional soccer players. It resulted in weight loss without compromising muscle mass, performance, or energy levels.

Parmesan is also a great source of protein – providing about 14 grams per ounce.

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Nutrition-wise, parmesan is undoubtedly a healthy cheese but also has some downsides you need to know. A single serving of 2 tablespoons (1-ounce) of grated parmesan cheese provides 119 calories, 8 grams fat (12% Daily Value), and 3.5 grams of carbohydrates.

The real parmesan aka. Parmigiano Reggiano usually has a much longer aging duration – a minimum of 12 months. The 24 months Parmigiano Reggiano has 0 carbs.

The longer the aging, the lower the carbohydrates. It’s due to the lactic acid bacteria present in the parmesan breaking down the lactose carbs.

Read this article (bottom) for the best brands with lower lactose.

Despite no gluten ingredients in parmesan, some grated parmesan brands may use corn starch and cellulose. Therefore, resulted in much higher carbohydrates.

So if you are doing the keto diet, my recommendation is to choose aged parmesan over the fresh one. And the block parmesan over the grated one.

Parmesan is filling the void in your keto

It’s very common that when you start a keto diet, you might feel like you’re missing out on some of your favorite foods and nutrients. But Parmesan can help to fill that void.

Those that practice the keto diet are likely to miss out on micronutrients, including folate, calcium, thiamin, potassium, and magnesium (1).

The good news is Parmesan is a great source of these essential nutrients.

For example, as per USDA, just two tablespoons of grated Parmesan provide 25% of the Daily Value for calcium and 18% of the Daily Value for phosphorus. It also provides a significant amount of magnesium and potassium. Also, a low levels of folate and thiamin.

And because it’s so high in fat, it will help to keep you feeling full and satisfied between the keto intervals. So, Parmesan is a great option.

However, it’s important to note that Parmesan is high in sodium, with a single serving containing over 400 milligrams. If you’re watching your salt intake, you may want to limit your intake or choose a lower-sodium variety such as the Belgioioso Parmesan.


  1. 131 Method – Nutrients Lacking in Keto
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