How many carbs are in 1 4 cup shredded Cheddar Cheese?

Quick Answer

There are approximately 1 gram of net carbs in 1/4 cup of shredded cheddar cheese. Cheddar cheese contains trace amounts of carbohydrates from the milk used to produce it. A typical serving of shredded cheddar cheese (1/4 cup) contains about 1 gram of carbohydrate, almost all of which is fiber. This makes the net carbs in 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese around 1 gram.

Detailed Answer

Cheddar cheese, like most cheeses, contains a small amount of carbohydrates. The carb content comes primarily from the lactose (milk sugar) in the milk used to produce the cheese.

During the cheesemaking process, most of the lactose is drained off with the whey. However, a small amount remains in the curds, which are pressed into blocks of cheddar cheese.

Here is a typical nutrition profile for 1/4 cup of shredded cheddar cheese (28g):

Nutrient Amount
Calories 113
Fat 9g
Protein 7g
Carbohydrates 1g
Fiber 0g
Sugars 1g

As you can see, there is 1 gram of total carbohydrate in 1/4 cup of shredded cheddar cheese. Nearly all of this (about 0.9 grams) comes from lactose. The remaining 0.1 grams or less is milk fat and proteins.

There is minimal fiber in cheddar cheese, so the net carbs are also right around 1 gram per 1/4 cup serving.

The lactose (milk sugar) content is listed under “Sugars” on the nutrition label. Lactose is a disaccharide made up of glucose and galactose.

So in summary:

  • 1/4 cup of shredded cheddar cheese contains about 1 gram of carbohydrates.
  • This carbohydrate is made up almost entirely of milk sugar (lactose).
  • There is minimal fiber, so the net carbs are also around 1 gram.

While the amount of carbs in cheddar cheese is very low, it’s important to still count them if you are following a very low-carb or ketogenic diet. Even small amounts of carbs can add up over the course of a day.

Factors Affecting Carb Content

While most cheddar cheese has about 1 gram of carbs per 1/4 cup, the exact amount can vary slightly between brands. Here are some factors that can affect the carbohydrate content:

Type of Milk

The type of milk used to produce the cheese impacts how much residual lactose remains. Cheese made from goat’s milk generally contains less lactose than cheese made from cow’s milk. Sheep’s milk falls somewhere in between.

Age of Cheese

As cheddar cheese ages, more of the lactose is converted to lactic acid by bacteria. Very mature cheddar that has been aged over 2 years contains almost no lactose. Young, mild cheddar has slightly more carbs than aged sharp cheddar.

Manufacturing Process

The cheesemaking process can impact residual lactose levels. Cheese that is aged longer and drained well will have less lactose than cheese made with shorter aging and less drainage. Small batch artisanal cheddars may have slightly different carb content than mass-produced commercial cheeses.

Added Ingredients

Some flavored cheddar cheeses have extra ingredients like fruits, vegetables, nuts or seeds added. These mix-ins will increase the total carb count. Read labels carefully on flavored or gourmet cheddar cheeses.

Serving Size

Obviously, consuming a larger portion of cheese will increase the total carb intake. Be mindful of your serving sizes, especially if you are strict low-carb. Weighing portions on a food scale can help keep serving sizes consistent.

Tips for Counting Carbs from Cheese

Here are some tips for tracking net carbs from cheese:

– Check labels and count 1 gram of carb per 1 ounce (28g) of cheddar cheese. This applies to most plain, unflavored cheddar.

– Calculate fractions based on the 1 g per 1 ounce ratio. For example, 2 ounces would have 2 grams of carbs.

– Round up, especially if combining multiple servings. It’s better to overestimate than underestimate your carb intake.

– Account for extra carbs in flavored cheeses with added ingredients. Read labels closely.

– Make sure to subtract fiber from total carbs to get net carbs. Most labels already show fiber separated.

– Input your cheese portions into a food tracking app. Apps like MyFitnessPal have huge databases of nutrition info.

– Weigh your cheese on a food scale for most accuracy. Cheese shrinks as it’s grated, so measuring cups can be unreliable.

– Check carb counts from independent sources if data seems questionable. USDA and nutrition sites can verify accuracy.

With some diligence reading labels and weighing portions, it’s easy to get a good handle on the number of net carbs in all varieties of cheese. Cheddar and most hard cheeses contain minimal carbs per serving.

Health Benefits of Cheddar Cheese

While cheddar cheese is high in fat and sodium, it provides several important nutrients:


One ounce of cheddar cheese provides about 7 grams of protein. Protein helps build muscle, bones and skin. It also makes hormones and enzymes.


Cheddar cheese is an excellent source of calcium, with over 200 mg per ounce. Calcium is essential for bone health and nerve and muscle function.

Vitamin A

Cheddar cheese contains vitamin A in the form of retinol. Vitamin A supports eye health and immune function.

Vitamin B12

Hard cheeses like cheddar provide vitamin B12, which helps make DNA and prevent anemia. Vegans may be deficient in vitamin B12.


Phosphorus works with calcium to build bones and teeth. Cheddar cheese is a good source of this mineral.

Conjugated Linoleic Acid

CLA is a healthy fatty acid that may help reduce body fat and prevent cancer. Cheddar made from grass-fed cow’s milk contains more CLA.

Overall, cheddar cheese can fit into a well-rounded, low-carb diet in moderation. Limit portions to 1-2 ounces at a time, and balance with non-starchy veggies and healthy fats. This allows you to reap cheddar’s nutrients while keeping carbs low.

Low Carb Recipes with Cheddar Cheese

Here are some tasty low-carb recipes featuring cheddar cheese:

Baked Bacon Cheddar Ranch Chicken

Chicken breasts baked with bacon, cheddar and ranch seasoning. Gets crispy in the oven.

Cheese Taco Shells

Make taco shells from sliced cheddar cheese baked intocrispy bowls. Fill with taco meat and fixings.

Cheddar Jalapeño Bacon Burgers

Beef patties with spicy jalapenos and bacon crumbles inside, plus cheddar cheese on top.

Chicken Quesadillas

Grilled chicken and cheese quesadillas made with low-carb tortillas or lettuce wraps.

Cauliflower Mac and Cheese

A low-carb, gluten-free twist on mac and cheese with riced cauliflower and gooey cheddar.

Cheesy Cauliflower Fritters

Bite-sized fritters with grated cauliflower, cheddar cheese and bacon. Crispy outside and tender inside.

Broccoli Cheese Soup

Pureed broccoli, onions and cheddar make a warm, comforting soup perfect for chilly days.

There are so many tasty ways to cook with cheddar cheese while following a low-carb or keto diet. Moderating portions and counting net carbs allows you to work it into low-carb meals.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is cheddar cheese keto friendly?

Yes, cheddar cheese is generally keto friendly. It contains less than 1 gram of net carbs per ounce, meeting keto guidelines to restrict net carbs to 20-50 grams per day. Stick to 1-2oz portion sizes.

Can I eat cheddar cheese on keto?

You can safely eat moderate amounts of cheddar cheese on a keto diet. Just be sure to count the net carbs from any cheese you eat within your daily limit. Track portions with a food scale.

Is cheddar cheese low carb?

Cheddar cheese is very low in carbohydrates, with only about 1 gram of net carbs per ounce. It can fit into a low-carb diet in moderate portions.

What cheese has lowest carbs?

Parmesan, swiss, mozzarella and cheddar are some of the lowest carb cheeses. Hard, aged cheeses tend to have less carbs than soft, fresh cheeses. Always check labels for nutrition data.

Is shredded or block cheddar cheese better?

Nutritionally, there is no difference between block and shredded cheddar. However, shredded cheese is easier to measure accurately in small amounts. Get block cheese if you will grate your own.

The Bottom Line

Cheddar cheese contains only trace amounts of carbohydrates, with just 1 gram of net carbs per ounce. Moderate portion sizes of 1-2 ounces can fit into a low-carb, keto diet. For most accuracy, weigh cheddar cheese on a food scale instead of using measuring cups. With some diligence reading nutrition labels and counting carbs, cheddar cheese can be enjoyed as part of an overall healthy low-carb lifestyle.

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