Keto diets have become increasingly popular in recent years as a way to lose weight and improve health. The ketogenic diet is very low in carbs, moderate in protein and high in fat. This forces the body to burn fats rather than carbs for fuel. One challenge of following a keto diet is finding suitable low-carb options when dining out. Cheesecake is traditionally high in carbs, but some restaurants offer lower carb alternatives. This article explores whether The Cheesecake Factory, a popular casual dining chain, offers keto-friendly cheesecake options.
What is Keto?
The ketogenic or “keto” diet is a very low-carb, high-fat diet. It typically limits carbs to 20-50 grams per day. This low carb intake helps achieve nutritional ketosis, a state where the body switches from burning carbs to burning fats for fuel. The keto diet originated as a medical intervention for epilepsy, but became popular for weight loss due to its ability to reduce appetite and promote fat burning. Potential benefits beyond weight loss include lower blood sugar and insulin levels, improvements in heart disease risk factors and reduced inflammation. However, the keto diet is controversial with potential downsides including nutrient deficiencies, digestive issues, impaired athletic performance and long-term safety concerns.
Keto Diet Guidelines
Here are typical keto diet guidelines:
- Carbs: Less than 50 grams per day, ideally 20-30 grams.
- Protein: Moderate amounts, typically around 0.8-1.2 grams per pound of body weight.
- Fat: As much as needed to feel satiated, around 70% of total calories.
- Foods to eat: Meat, fish, eggs, full-fat dairy, nuts, seeds, avocados, oils, low-carb veggies and berries.
- Foods to avoid: Grains, legumes, fruits, starchy veggies, sweets, processed foods.
When dining out on a keto diet, it’s important to choose low-carb options and ask for any high-carb ingredients or condiments to be left off. For example, a burger without the bun or fries, salad instead of baked potato, etc.
Can You Eat Cheesecake on Keto?
Traditional cheesecake is very high in carbs. An average slice can have 30-60 grams of net carbs, well over the daily limit on a keto diet. However, there are ways to make low-carb keto-friendly cheesecake at home by substituting ingredients like almond flour for graham crackers in the crust and using a sugar substitute in the filling.
Some bakeries and restaurants are also now offering lower carb cheesecake options made with alternate ingredients to cut the carbs and added sugar. The key things to look for in a keto cheesecake are:
- No flour or minimal almond/coconut flour in crust
- Sweetener like erythritol or stevia instead of sugar in filling
- Fresh fruit topping instead of caramel/chocolate
A slice of keto cheesecake will typically have around 5-15 grams of net carbs compared to 30-60 grams in regular cheesecake. While not as low carb as some keto desserts, it can potentially fit into daily macros in moderation.
Keto Options at The Cheesecake Factory
The Cheesecake Factory is a large chain restaurant known for its extensive cheesecake menu. They offer over 30 different cheesecake flavors. Unfortunately, The Cheesecake Factory does not have any specific keto-friendly or low-carb cheesecake options. Their cheesecakes are all made in the traditional high-carb manner.
However, there are still a few ways someone following a keto diet can enjoy cheesecake from The Cheesecake Factory:
- Order a slice and eat a small portion. Even a few bites can satisfy a cheesecake craving.
- Ask for a substitution. Some locations will substitute fresh strawberries or raspberries for the caramel drizzle on top, lowering the carb count slightly.
- Order a custom cheesecake. They allow custom orders for whole cheesecakes. You could provide your own low-carb crust and request modifications.
While not ideal, these options make it possible to work a small amount of cheesecake from The Cheesecake Factory into a keto diet if you really want to enjoy their famous version.
Low-Carb Dining Tips
Here are some tips for ordering low-carb meals at The Cheesecake Factory:
- Focus on protein entrees like burgers, grilled chicken or steak.
- Substitute vegetable sides for starchy sides like fries or potatoes.
- Request extra veggies, salad or avocado instead of bread/rolls.
- Ask for sauces and dressings on the side.
- Avoid breaded, fried appetizers and desserts besides cheesecake.
With customizations, it’s possible to enjoy keto-friendly meals at The Cheesecake Factory. Be mindful of hidden carbs in sauces, dressings and sides.
Other Keto Dessert Options
While The Cheesecake Factory doesn’t offer keto-friendly cheesecake, there are many other delicious low carb dessert choices for a keto diet, including:
- Chocolate mousse – made with heavy cream and cocoa powder
- Berry parfaits – layers of whipped cream and fresh berries
- Chia pudding – chia seeds blended with nut milk and zero-carb sweetener
- Avocado chocolate pudding – avocado blended with cocoa and sweetener
- Low-carb muffins – with almond flour and sweetener
- Whipped coconut cream – naturally sweetened with vanilla and cinnamon
There are also many keto-friendly cheesecake recipes online using almond flour crusts and low carb sweeteners that can satisfy a cheesecake craving without all the carbs.
Keto-Friendly Cheesecake Recipes
Here are some favorite keto cheesecake recipes:
Keto New York Cheesecake
This keto cheesecake has an almond flour crust and erythritol-sweetened filling. It’s rich and decadent tasting with only 5g net carbs per slice.
Keto Lemon Raspberry Cheesecake
A delicious combination of tangy lemon cheesecake paired with fresh raspberries on top. The nutty almond crust and lemon zest provide classic cheesecake flavor at only 7g net carbs.
Keto Pumpkin Cheesecake
Pumpkin pie flavors in a keto-friendly cheesecake. Liberally spiced with cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves for a delicious fall treat.
Keto Chocolate Cheesecake
For the chocolate lovers! This keto cheesecake has a chocolate almond crust and rich chocolate cream cheese filling sweetened with stevia. Top with fresh raspberries for a flavor and texture contrast.
Several bakeries now offer keto-friendly low-carb cheesecakes as well as other keto dessert options:
- The Keto Bakery – ships nationwide
- Kynd Keto Bakery – ships nationwide
- Keto Kreations Bakery – Bay Area, CA
- The Keto Cookie – New York, NY
Check to see if there are any keto-friendly bakeries in your area offering delicious low carb desserts.
In summary, The Cheesecake Factory does not currently offer any keto or low-carb cheesecake options on their menu. While cheesecake is high in carbs, those on the keto diet can either order a slice and eat a small portion, customize an order for the whole cake, or choose low-carb alternatives from keto-friendly bakeries and recipes. With some modifications and careful carbohydrate counting, it is possible for keto dieters to indulge in cheesecake from The Cheesecake Factory.