Is Philadelphia Cream Cheese Keto? Carbs and Calories Count

keto philadelphia cream cheese

Philadelphia cream cheese is a soft, mild-tasting cheese with a smooth consistency that makes for a versatile dairy spread. It is a popular addition to crackers and bagels or it can be stirred into creamy sauces.  Philadelphia cream cheese is also used in baked goods, such as cheesecakes, cream cheese icing, and Danishes. 

With that being said, you may be wondering where Philadelphia cream cheese fits in on a low carb diet, like Keto.  Apart from its traditional uses, cream cheese can enhance a number of healthy recipes.  Keep reading for some great low carb meal ideas using cream cheese as well as a recipe for Keto cheesecake.

You’ll also be pleased to discover that Philadelphia cream cheese is a good source of vitamin A to promote good vision. It’s also rich in riboflavin, which helps your body break down carbohydrates, proteins and fats into produce energy. 

Most diets could benefit from a little cream cheese.  In fact, using it as a condiment instead of butter provides a fraction of the calories and significantly less fat. So go on and add a little Philly to your life.

Is Philadelphia Cream Cheese Keto Friendly?

Philadelphia cream cheese is a perfectly low-carb food to consume on the Ketogenic diet as long as you avoid spreading it on bagels and crackers.  Instead, try it paired with smoked salmon as a delicious appetizer.  It’s also great added creamy cheese sauces, which you can pour over broccoli or cauliflower. 

How Many Carbs are in Philadelphia Cream Cheese?

There are only 0.4 grams of carbs in a tablespoon of Philadelphia cream cheese.  One small 85-gram package of cream cheese contains only 3.5 grams of carbs.  If you’re following a low carb diet, cream cheese makes a great addition to your meal plan, as long as you avoid smearing it on bagels. It should be noted that flavored Philadelphia Cream Cheese, such as strawberry flavor, contains added sugar and more carbs.

How Many Calories are in Philadelphia Cream Cheese?          

There are 34 calories in a tablespoon of Philadelphia cream cheese. One small package of cream cheese contains 291 calories.  If you’re following a calorie-reduction diet, you may wish to try one of the calorie-reduced, low-fat or “light” brands that are available in your supermarket.  Whipped Philadelphia cream cheese also contains less fat and fewer calories per serving than regular Philadelphia cream cheese.

Nutrition Facts

Amount: Per 1 tablespoon, Philadelphia Cream Cheese, whipped (10 grams)
Calories 34
Total Fat 3.4 grams 5%
Saturated fat 1.9 grams 9%
Polyunsaturated fat 0.1 grams
Monounsaturated fat 0.9 grams
Cholesterol 11 milligrams 3%
Sodium 32.1 milligrams 1%
Potassium 13.8 milligrams 0%
Total Carbohydrate 0.4 grams 0%
Dietary fiber 0 grams 0%
Sugar 0.3 grams
Protein 0.6 grams 1%
Vitamin A 2% Vitamin C 0%
Calcium 0% Iron 0%
Vitamin D 0% Vitamin B-6 0%
Cobalamin 0% Magnesium 0%

Health Benefits

Probiotic Effects

Philadelphia cream cheese is made using lactic acid bacteria cultures which are probiotics.  These gut-friendly bacteria offer powerful health effects on the body.

In fact, the Lactobacillus species strengthens your immune system and reduces inflammation while other species of bacteria in cream cheese boost your immunity to prevent infections.

Rich in Antioxidants

Philadelphia cream cheese is a source of several antioxidants that help fight off harmful, unstable molecules called free radicals. When free radicals are at high levels in the body, it can lead to inflammation, cellular damage and even cancer. 

Supports Eye Health

Philadelphia cream cheese contains a decent amount of vitamin A, a nutrient that is especially vital for eye health.  An ounce of cream cheese contains 87 milligrams of vitamin A, which accounts for 10% of your daily recommended value.

Additionally, Philadelphia cream cheese also contains carotenoid antioxidants, such as lutein and zeaxanthin, which are especially helpful for your healthy vision.

A Good Source of Riboflavin

Riboflavin is a nutrient in Philadelphia cream cheese that is used by the body for the development and function of the skin, lining of the digestive tract, blood cells and other vital organs.  Riboflavin is a vitamin that is needed for growth and overall good health. It helps the body break down carbohydrates, proteins and fats to produce energy. This nutrient also allows oxygen to be used by the body.

Calcium for Strong Bones and Teeth

Philadelphia cream cheese contains a moderate amount of calcium, which your body needs to maintain strong bones and prevent osteoporosis (bone loss). Dozens of studies have shown that high calcium intake strengthens bones to prevent fractures and breaks.  Calcium also plays a vital role in the maintenance of healthy teeth and gums.

Side Effects

Philadelphia cream cheese is safe for most people in normal food amounts. 

Although it contains a small amount of lactose, individuals with lactose intolerance may be able to tolerate cream cheese as it is lower in lactose than other cheeses.  

Philadelphia cream cheese has a relatively short shelf-life and must be eaten within 2 weeks after opening.

10 Ways to Enjoy Philadelphia Cream Cheese on Keto

  1. Use Philadelphia Cream Cheese in Low Carb Sushi
  2. Mix it with sour cream and fresh herbs to make a dip for raw veggies
  3. Add it to your casseroles
  4. Add it to your sauces
  5. Make a low-carb cheesecake (Keep reading for the recipe)
  6. Top smoked salmon with Philadelphia cream cheese
  7. Pair Philadelphia cream cheese with low carb fruit and nuts
  8. Use Philadelphia cream cheese to stuff mushrooms, peppers and chicken breasts.
  9. Use it to thicken smoothies and to add decadence
  10. Drizzle melted Philadelphia cream cheese over a grilled peach and sprinkle with cocoa powder.

Keto Cheesecake Recipe

philadelphia keto

Ingredients for Crust:

  • 1 cup pecans or walnuts, pulsed in a food processor
  • 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 4 teaspoons of melted coconut oil

Crust Instructions:

  1. Combine all ingredients, pour into a lined 8 or 9-inch spring-form pan.
  2. Press down evenly. 
  3. Set aside while you make the filling.

Ingredients for Filling:

  • 24 ounces Philadelphia cream cheese  
  • 2 cups Greek yogurt or coconut cream yogurt
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice, optional
  • 2/3 cup Erythritol or equivalent sugar-free sweetener of choice
  • 1/4 cup almond flour

Filling Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 Fahrenheit.
  2. Fill a baking pan about halfway up with water and place it on the oven’s lower rack for a water bath.  This will keep the cake from drying out.
  3. Bring cream cheese to room temperature, then beat all ingredients in a blender or food processor just until smooth.  Do not overmix or it could result in cracking.
  4. Spread filling on top of the prepared crust. Place on the middle rack (above the rack holding the water pan) and bake for 30 minutes without opening the oven door.  
  5. After a half-hour, turn off the oven but leave the cake inside the oven for an additional 5-7 minutes. When you remove it from the oven it should still look slightly underdone.
  6. Let cool on the counter for at least 20 minutes, then refrigerate overnight so it doesn’t crack as it firms up.
philadelphia cream cheese keto

Is Philadelphia Cream Cheese Good for Weight Control?

Besides its most popular uses on bagels and in cheesecakes, Philadelphia cream cheese can enhance the flavor of many nutritious dishes.  It can be stirred into cheese sauces to pour over veggies, like broccoli, cauliflower or zucchini noodles.

Philadelphia cream cheese is a lighter dairy spread than butter. For reference a tablespoon of regular cream cheese contains 50 calories – that’s half the calories than the amount contained a tablespoon of butter. The same amount of cream cheese is much lower in fat than butter as well, providing only 4.5 grams of fat.  

If you want to lighten things up a bit more, try using the whipped or light varieties instead of Philadelphia cream cheese.

Whipped Philadelphia cream cheese incorporates air bubbles in the whipping process, which means you can eat more of it.  A tablespoon of the whipped variety contains only 40 calories and 4 grams of fat.

Light Philadelphia cream cheese contains even fewer calories, with a tablespoon containing only 35 calories and 2.5 grams of fat. Fat-free versions are even lower, at only 20 calories per tablespoon and 0 grams of fat per serving.

Is Philadelphia Cream Cheese Good for Diabetics?

Philadelphia cream cheese eaten in moderation is safe for individuals with diabetes.  

In fact, fresh cheeses like Philadelphia cream cheese might even help reduce the risk of diabetes in people who do not already have the condition.

Can I Eat Philadelphia Cream Cheese if I’m Lactose Intolerant?

People with this condition should limit or avoid dairy products. However, studies show that most people with lactose intolerance can tolerate small amounts of lactose (up to 12 grams per meal).

Philadelphia Cream cheese (along with most other brands cream cheese) is lower in lactose than most other cheeses, containing less than 2 grams of lactose per ounce.  Therefore, people with lactose intolerance may not have trouble digesting cheese in this form.

Melissa Marshall

A litigation paralegal and writer. Her first novel debuts this fall. She lives with her kitten, Zoey overlooking the waterfront in beautiful Dartmouth, Nova Scotia - also known as the “City of Lakes”.

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