Is provolone good for diet? And, Keto diet?
Did you know that there are only 7 primary types of cheese that are sub-divided into several thousand varieties of cheese?
Yes, as crazy as it may sounds, France alone has more than 400 types of cheeses. See I handpicked the 100+ types most popular cheese (with calories!) in this article.
It is also surprising that each variety of cheese has unique properties in terms of taste profile, texture, calorie content, nutritional value and health benefits.
A lot of people have this misconception that cheese is an absolute no-no if you are on a certain diet or if you are looking to shed weight, which is not true.
Cheese is perhaps the only food that can be tailored to any dietary regimen if you pick the right type and quantity of cheese.
Can you eat Provolone cheese on ketogenic diet?
Of course! But why?
The foundation of ketogenic diet is based on
- High fat intake (about 70-80% of total daily caloric intake)
- Very low carbohydrate intake
- Moderate protein intake
The key principle of ketogenic diet is to modify your body’s biochemistry and metabolism to ketosis i.e. switching your cells from using carbohydrates as the energy source to using fats as the primary fuel. Read more.
Cheese lovers often finds it tricky to decide which cheese varieties are keto-friendly and how much should they consume if they are looking to lose or maintain a certain weight.
Provolone cheese like most varieties of cheese is high in fats, moderate in proteins and low in carbohydrates, which makes it ideal for ketogenic diet.
Since the carb content of provolone cheese is extremely low (0.5g per 1 serving or 1 oz. pf provolone), it can be fit into both standard ketogenic diet as well as low carb-ketogenic diet.
- Standard Ketogenic diet: Total daily carbohydrate intake must not exceed 0-30 grams of carbohydrates or over 10grams per serving
- Low carb-ketogenic diet: Total daily carbohydrate intake must not exceed 0-50 grams of carbohydrates or over 15grams per serving
Most people today use ketogenic diet just to lose or maintain weight, but it also has a number of other health benefits;
For example, according to a new study that was conducted on 64,000 subjects, the ketogenic diet can help type 2 diabetics in maintaining steady sugar levels; thereby reducing the risk of diabetic complications (2).
Some notable brands I found providing high fat Ketogenic provolone cheese that are ideal if you are on ketogenic diet are:
- Applegate Farms
- Lucerne 2%
- Sargento (Found this one on Amazon)
- Cache Valley
- Board’s Head
Can you eat provolone cheese if you are looking to lose weight?
People usually avoid cheese and dairy products when they are following a diet to promote weight loss, as it is a popular myth that dairy products are fattening and leads to weight gain.
But research indicates that this is not true!
If your body can digest dairy products, foods like cheese can help you lose or maintain your weight in moderate doses.
However, you should keep in mind that the golden principal of weight loss is calorie deficit (1,2). Make sure you are not consuming a lot of calories from cheese and other foods.
If you are on a low-calorie or low-cholesterol diet; use following tips to enjoy the divine deliciousness of provolone cheese without sacrificing your diet and weight goals:
- Swap high fat/ high calorie cheeses with provolone cheese in your recipe and you will be surprised how great your food tastes.
- Choose low fat option over the full-fat option. Make sure to confirm the fat content from the packaging label.
- Choose smaller portion or serving size. For example, if you are used to putting 2 slices of provolone in your hoagie, try with 1 slice.
- Use precise measurement or serving size (such as spoon or cup) instead of vague sprinkling with hand that is hard to measure
Some lighter provolone brands are:
- Giant Reduced Fat Provolone
Although the reduced fat provolone is not on Amazon, guess what, I found this one diet cheesecake for ya! ha
What is the nutritional value of 1 slice of provolone cheese?
1 slice of provolone cheese is almost equivalent to 28 grams or 1oz. of provolone cheese and yields about 98 calories (or about 5% of the daily value).
1 slice of provolone yields following nutrients (3):
- Fat content = 7.5 gram (or about 10% of your recommended daily intake). It is noteworthy that about 4.8 grams of this fat is saturated fat (or about 24% of the recommended daily intake).
- Cholesterol = 19 mg (about 6% of the recommended daily intake)
- Total carbohydrates = 0.6 grams (0% of the daily intake)
- Protein = 7.2 grams (14% of the recommended daily intake)
Also contain healthy micronutrients such as:
- Vitamin D = 0.14 mcg (1% of the recommended daily intake) to help with bone remodeling and other vital functions
- Calcium = 211.68 mcg (16% of the recommended daily intake) that helps with hormonal secretion and muscle function
- Potassium = 39 mcg (1% of the recommended daily intake)
- Iron = 0.15 mcg (1% of the recommended daily intake)
- Vitamin A IU 299.9IU (less than 1% of recommended daily intake)
The Fat Content of Provolone Cheese
According to National Cancer Institute, cheese is the top dietary source of saturated fats in America, but it does not mean every cheese contain bad fats.
Certain cheese varieties are lower in cholesterol and saturated fats compared to their counterparts. This includes provolone, cottage cheese, mozzarella and Colby cheese.
It is important to know which cheeses are low in saturated fats and cholesterol so you can choose the best option and appropriate servings in accordance with your health goals.
1 oz. or 1 serving of provolone cheese is made up of:
Total Fat = 7.5g (11% of daily value)
- Saturated Fat = 4.8g (24% of daily value)
- Monounsaturated Fat= 2.1g
- Polyunsaturated Fat= 0.2g
- Total Omega-3 fatty acids= 77.0mg
- Total Omega-6 fatty acids= 138mg
The percentage of saturated fats and cholesterol is highest in following varieties of cheese and therefore if you are on a diet or have a certain health condition that warrants limited intake of saturated fats; avoid following varieties of cheese:
- American processed cheese
Good news is, if you are looking too shed some weight, there are tons of low fat (or light) provolone cheese options that can help you stay fit. It is noteworthy that if you are opting for low fat or skimmed provolone cheese options,
the fat and cholesterol content can be reduced by up to 50%. You can find them locally, or online via the link above.
You would be surprised how good can reduced fat provolone cheese may taste. All well-known cheese brands like Sargento offers a reduced fat options for provolone lovers with lower calories and lower fat content:
- Calories per serving = 50.0 calories
- Calories from Fat = 30 calories
Total Fat yield per single serving of low-fat provolone cheese is 3.5g (that is equivalent to 4% of daily value). This includes:
- Saturated Fat = 2.0 g (supplies about 11.0% of your recommended daily value)
- Trans Fat = 0.0 g
- Cholesterol = 10.0 mg (or 3.0% of your recommended daily value)
Provolone is a healthy cheese option with simple ingredients and great taste profile (some people say it smells rancid!). Whether you are pregnant, or on a special diet (such as low carbohydrate diet, ketogenic diet or gluten-free diet); provolone can supply you healthy calories without compromising your dietary regimen.
- Guth, E. (2018). Counting calories as an approach to achieve weight control. Jama, 319(3), 225-226.
- Beall, C. (2019). Fat For Life: The Development of a Low-Carbohydrate High-fat Dietary Toolkit for Type 2 Diabetes in Rural Southeast Kansas.