Why Is Velveeta Bad For Keto? Finding the Best Cheese for Ketogenic Diet

5 Reasons Why Velveeta Is Not Keto-Friendly

1. It is high-carb and contains sugar.

A ¼-inch slice of Velveeta includes 2 grams of sugar and 3 grams of carbs. It is too much for one little slice. It is quite tasty, so you will probably eat more than one, and it will be an overdose of sugar during a keto diet. While you have a very limited amount of carbs, you should better use it on green vegetables and berries.

2. Velveeta is not actually real cheese.

It is made of whey protein concentrate, milk protein concentrate, milk fat, and different preservatives. Not the best choice for natural nutrition, don’t you think so?

Even the label was changed from “cheese spread” to “cheese product.”

3. It has an unrealistic shelf life.

 Natural cheddar contains only three ingredients and can last only 2 to 4 months when the unopened pack is refrigerated. 

Velveeta can last up to 6 months without refrigeration and includes 17 ingredients. It contains many artificial preservatives and additives. 

4. It has minimal nutritional value.

There is a small amount of calcium and protein in Velveeta. 

However, cheddar is made of high-quality milk, so it contains numerous nutrients and high-quality protein. Cheddar cheese is also rich in vitamins, such as A, D, K2, and B12, minerals such as zinc, calcium, phosphorus, etc. 

5. It has more lactose than real milk.

Lactose is natural milk sugar, found in Velveeta in great amounts, as it is made from milk by-products. People with lactose intolerance may be sensitive to Velveeta, but they can eat cheddar, as it has only traces of lactose. 

Cheddar is made from real milk, and lactose is demolished during its production.

Alternative Keto-Friendly Cheddar Cheese Brands to Velveeta

So you can discover cheddar cheese as an obvious option during a keto diet. Try to choose only natural cheddar cheese, as it also can be made with the addition of artificial components. 

We picked the best brands of cheddar cheese for you. They are a great alternative to Velveeta on a keto diet, as they are non-GMO, organic, grass-fed, and do not contain any synthetic hormones.

The Best Value: Organic Valley Mild Cheddar Cheese

  • It is organic
  • It contains no carbs and sugar
  • It is non-GMO and has no synthetic hormones
  • The price is very low for organic cheddar

The Best Grass-Fed: Kerrygold Grass-Fed Aged Cheddar

  • It is organic
  • It contains no carbs and sugar
  • It is non-GMO and has no synthetic hormones
  • It is made from grass-fed Irish cow milk

The Best Sharp Cheddar: Tillamook Extra-Sharp Cheddar Cheese

  • It is organic
  • It contains no carbs and sugar
  • It is non-GMO and has no synthetic hormones
  • The taste is really fantastic

How to Make Keto Bacon Cauliflower “Mac” ‘n cheese

Ingredients for four servings:

  • 2 cups (200 g) cheddar 
  • 4 strips bacon 
  • ⅓ cup (80 mL) heavy cream
  • 4 oz (115 g) cream cheese
  • 1 large head cauliflower
  • 2 tsp kosher salt, divided
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • fresh parsley, finely chopped for garnish
  • 4 cups water (960 mL)


  • Fry the bacon on medium-high heat until crisp.
  • Remove it from the pot and dry it with a paper sheet to remove fat. Dice the bacon and place aside.
  • Mince the cauliflower into little bits.
  • Boil the water into a medium pot. Add one teaspoon of salt and the minced cauliflower. Cover it and simmer for 4 minutes.
  • Remove the water and place aside the cauliflower. Put the cream cheese, heavy cream, cayenne, salt, and paprika in the same pot. Stir well and simmer for 4 minutes until soft and thick.
  • Add the cauliflower and cheddar and mix until the cheese becomes melted.
  • Combine the diced bacon.
  • Serve in a jar and decorate with greens.

Best Keto-Friendly Cheddar Cheese Recipes

Here are other tasty keto diet recipes with cheddar that you will definitely love. 

  • Bacon Cheddar Keto Breakfast Casserole
  • Cheddar Bacon Explosion
  • Low-Carb Grilled Cheese
  • Mexican Pizza on a Cheddar Cheese Crust
  • On-The-Go Breakfast Muffins
  • Roasted Jalapeno Poppers
  • Keto Breakfast Burrito

Velveeta and Cheddar Cheese FAQs

Is Velveeta keto approved?

Velveeta cannot be considered keto-friendly as it includes too many carbs and sugar. It also includes some artificial preservatives for longer shelf life and has almost no nutritional value. 

Organic cheddar contains no sugar and carbs, but a lot of nutrients and vitamins, so it is the best choice for a keto diet. 

Is Velveeta real cheese?

Velveeta contains a lot of preservatives, whey, and milk protein concentrates and milk fat, even though it is used to be made from natural milk earlier. It was forced by the FDA to change the label to “cheese product,” so it cannot be called the real cheese at all. 

Cheddar cheese contains only milk, salt, and enzymes, it is a great natural choice for a keto diet.

Is Velveeta bad for you?

A great number of artificial components make Velveeta bad for your health. 

Is Velveeta gluten-free?

Velveeta does not include wheat, oats, grain, or rye in the components list, so it is gluten-free.

Can you freeze Velveeta cheese?

When you freeze Velveeta, it can become mushy or grainy, as the water crystals may appear during freezing. It causes artificial components breakdown, and water can appear on its surface. Freezing can also be the cause of an unpleasant smell.

Is Velveeta vegan?

Velveeta cannot be considered vegan as it includes different milk products.

Is Velveeta the same as American cheese?

Even though Velveeta has almost the same taste as American cheese, is differs in texture and ingredients.

Does Velveeta go bad?

Thanks to tons of preservatives, Velveeta lasts up to 8 weeks in a refrigerated state and up to 6 months unopened without refrigeration. 

Does Velveeta have dairy?

Velveeta includes different milk products, so yes, it can be considered as dairy. 

Does Velveeta have lactose?

Velveeta has more lactose than milk and real cheese. For instance, cheddar has only traces of lactose in its ingredients list. People who are intolerant to lactose can consume cheddar but avoid Velveeta. 

Is cheddar cheese keto-friendly?

Instead of asking is Velveeta keto-friendly, consider choosing natural cheddar cheese, which is high in healthy fats, but does not include carbs and sugar, so it is keto-friendly. It is also high in minerals, vitamins, and omega-3 fatty acids. Make sure that the cheddar you buy is natural (Organic Valley, Kerrygold, and Tillamook), avoid processed cheeses like American cheese or Velveeta.

Is cheddar cheese gluten-free?

Cheddar cheese is completely gluten-free as it contains only three components – salt, pasteurized milk, and enzymes. 

Is cheddar cheese lactose-free?

Cheddar cheese contains traces of lactose because enzymes applied during the production of the cheese have already consumed all the lactose from the milk. People who are lactose-intolerant can consume cheddar without any metabolism problems.

Is cheddar cheese vegetarian?

Cheddar does not have any animal meat, so it is vegetarian. It is made from milk, salt, and enzymes.

Does cheddar cheese go bad?

Unopened cheddar can remain fresh between 2 and 4 months in a fridge, and up to 8 months in a freezer. Once opened, it can remain fresh for 3-4 weeks as long as it is refrigerated.

Can cheddar cheese be frozen?

Freezing most cheeses often breaks their texture, and cheese becomes mushy when thawed. However, firmer cheeses like Swiss, cheddar, and Gouda manage to withstand freezing with minimal harm for flavor and texture.

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