Is Cream Cheese Wholesome? Diet, Advantages, and Downsides

Cream cheese is a delicate cheese with a clean consistency.

It has a light style and is a well-liked unfold for bread, crackers, and bagels.

This text explains all the pieces you have to learn about cream cheese, together with its diet, well being advantages, and drawbacks.

Cream cheese is often constructed from cream however will also be made with a mix of cream and milk (1).

First, the cream is heat-treated by pasteurization to kill any doubtlessly harmful microorganisms. Then, lactic acid micro organism are launched, making the cheese mildly acidic (2).

From there, fats droplets from the cream are damaged into smaller and extra uniform drops, making a clean product (1, 3).

Components like carob bean gum and carrageenan thicken the cheese. Lastly, a clotting enzyme — derived from both a plant or animal supply — is included to enhance the firmness (3, 4, 5).

In the USA, cream cheese should include not less than 33% fats and have lower than 55% moisture by weight. Nonetheless, in some international locations, increased fats content material could also be required (3, 5).


Cream cheese is constructed from cream or a mix of cream and milk. It turns into barely acidic from the addition of lactic acid micro organism.

Many varieties of cream cheese can be found for buy, together with common, double-cream, whipped, and flavored.

Due to this fact, its dietary profile will depend on the particular product and model.

Generally, 1 ounce (28 grams) of standard cream cheese offers (6):

  • Energy: 99
  • Protein: 2 grams
  • Fats: 10 grams
  • Carbs: 2 grams
  • Fiber: zero grams
  • Vitamin A: 10% of the Every day Worth (DV)
  • Riboflavin (vitamin B2): 5% of the DV

Cream cheese is excessive in fats and comprises a small quantity of carbs and protein. It’s a very good supply of vitamin A and contributes some riboflavin (vitamin B2).

Whipped cream cheese comprises much less fats and fewer energy per serving (6).


Cream cheese is excessive in fats and a very good supply of vitamin A and riboflavin.

Apart from being a tasty unfold, cream cheese has some well being advantages.

Good supply of vitamin A

Cream cheese comprises a major quantity of vitamin A.

Simply 1 ounce (28 grams) comprises 87 mg of vitamin A, which is 10% of the DV (6). This vitamin is fat-soluble and significantly necessary in your imaginative and prescient (7).

It additionally helps your immune system and helps defend the integrity of many tissues, comparable to your pores and skin, lungs, and intestines (8).

Provides antioxidants

Cream cheese is a supply of a number of antioxidants that defend your physique towards unstable molecules referred to as free radicals. When ranges of free radicals get too excessive in your physique, it could actually result in mobile injury.

Cream cheese comprises small quantities of carotenoid antioxidants, together with lutein and zeaxanthin, that are particularly necessary for eye well being (6, 9, 10, 11).

Might have probiotic results

Cream cheese is made utilizing a starter tradition from lactic acid micro organism.

A few of these strains of micro organism are probiotics, that are pleasant micro organism that supply well being advantages (12).

For instance, some Lactobacillus species help your immune system by lowering inflammatory response, whereas different species stimulate your immune system when uncovered to an infection (12, 13, 14).

In an 8-week research, mice that ate Lactococcus chungangensis cream cheese confirmed elevated ranges of helpful short-chain fatty acids and an improved micro organism profile of their stools (15).

Brief-chain fatty acids are the principle vitality supply for colon cells. Additionally they scale back irritation in your physique, which can profit individuals with sure inflammatory issues (16, 17).

These outcomes are promising, however human research are wanted.

Since heating kills probiotics, search for cream cheese with a “live and active cultures” label, which signifies that the product boasts residing probiotics.

Low in lactose

Lactose is a sort of sugar present in dairy merchandise like milk, cheese, and yogurt.

But, some persons are unable to digest this sugar. This situation is named lactose intolerance, which may trigger signs like bloating, fuel, and diarrhea (18).

Individuals with this situation ought to restrict or keep away from dairy merchandise.

Nonetheless, analysis reveals that most individuals with lactose intolerance can tolerate small quantities of as much as 12 grams of lactose per meal (18).

As cream cheese comprises lower than 2 grams of lactose per ounce (28 grams), individuals with lactose intolerance might not have bother with it (6).


Cream cheese is a good supply of vitamin A, low in lactose, and a very good supply of antioxidants. It could even have probiotic results.

Regardless of its well being advantages, cream cheese might have some downsides.

Low in protein

Cream cheese comprises a small quantity of protein, with a typical 1-ounce (28-gram) portion offering lower than 2 grams. That is considerably lower than many different types of delicate cheese, together with brie and goat cheese (6, 19, 20).

Protein is crucial to sustaining muscle mass and energy. It additionally helps you’re feeling full after meals (21, 22).

Thus, you must eat loads of different good sources of protein, comparable to meat, fish, eggs, beans, lentils, and different dairy meals.

Brief shelf-life

Cream cheese has a comparatively quick shelf-life.

Components like processing, packaging, and storage have an effect on how lengthy it stays recent.

Though pasteurization kills harmful microorganisms, its excessive water content material nonetheless poses a danger of microbial contamination (23).

Generally, cream cheese ought to be eaten inside 2 weeks of opening and stored within the fridge (24).

To cut back microbial development, unfold it with a clear knife and at all times reseal the packaging. Cream cheese ought to be completed by the expiration date and discarded in the event you discover an uncommon odor or mould (23).


Cream cheese is low in protein and should be eaten inside 2 weeks after opening.

Cream cheese is extraordinarily versatile.

Its creamy texture makes it a preferred ingredient in each candy and savory dishes. Whereas primarily used as a variety on bagels, crackers, and toast, it’s additionally added to fillings for sandwiches or baked potatoes, in addition to creamy sauces (1, 3).

It will probably even be paired with smoked salmon as a delicious snack or starter.

What’s extra, it’s widespread for cheesecakes and different desserts like brownies and cookies (1).


Cream cheese is a well-liked unfold that’s additionally utilized in baked items, comparable to cheesecakes.

Cream cheese is a flexible dairy unfold.

It’s a very good supply of vitamin A and doesn’t present a lot lactose. Nonetheless, it’s low in protein and excessive in fats and energy, so it’s greatest to make use of it sparsely.

Notably, variations like whipped cream cheese are decrease in fats and energy.

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