Is cheesecake healthy? The nutritionist explains

With its velvety texture and sweet taste, cheesecake tops the list of many people’s favorite desserts.

A cheesecake usually consists of a layer made of cheese — usually cream cheese, ricotta cheese, or cottage cheese — plus eggs and sugar.

Some cheesecakes have a bottom crust made of crushed cookies such as graham crackers or pretzels.

Classic cheesecake is usually flavored with vanilla extract, but cheesecake comes in other flavors as well, from chocolate to pumpkin spice.

While there is no doubt that cheesecake is delicious, some people may wonder whether or not it can fit into a healthy diet. Spoiler alert! Can.

This article takes a look at the nutritional value of cheesecake and shares recipe ideas for cheesecake lovers, including dairy-free and low-carb alternatives.

It should come as no surprise that a traditional cheesecake is high in calories, fat, and carbohydrates. After all, its main components are cheese, eggs and sugar.

However, there can be some nutritional differences between cheesecakes, depending on what they are made with.

Here’s a comparison chart that includes nutrition details for four different types of cheesecake: commercially made regular cheesecake, keto cheesecake, flavored chocolate cheesecake, and dairy-free cheesecake (1And the 23, 4).

Most cheesecakes are high in fat and carbohydrates and provide little protein from the dairy and eggs used in the recipe.

Since they are sweetened, cheesecakes usually contain a large amount of added sugar. For example, the chocolate cheesecake above has 21.2 grams of added sugar per 100 grams. That’s more than 5 teaspoons of sugar (1).

Some cheesecakes are made with ingredients such as low- or no-calorie sweeteners such as erythritol or allulose to make them suitable for people on low-carb diets.

These products are lower in carbohydrates than traditional cheesecakes and can be lower in calories as well.

Because cheesecake is traditionally made with dairy — which doesn’t fit into many people’s diets — some companies offer vegan cheesecake products made with ingredients like coconut and pea protein.

However, just because it doesn’t contain dairy doesn’t mean it has fewer calories and sugar than a traditional cheesecake.

In fact, a vegan cheesecake product is higher in calories and contains the same amount of sugar as a chocolate cheesecake product, although the serving size is larger compared to the other desserts on the chart.

This is why it is important to read the nutrition and ingredient labels when shopping for cheesecake.

In general, a traditional cheesecake is a dessert that is high in calories, sugar and high in fat.

Summary

Like most desserts, most cheesecakes are high in calories, carbs, fat, and sugar. However, the exact nutritional specifications will depend on the ingredients used.

Not many foods were created for health benefits. Instead, it is meant to be enjoyed in small amounts depending on its taste and texture.

Just like other desserts like ice cream and pie, cheesecake should not be consumed for its nutritional value.

Sure, cheesecake contains nutrients like protein, calcium, and selenium, but it’s also high in calories and high in fat and sugar, which means it shouldn’t make up a huge part of your diet (2).

However, this does not mean that cheesecake should be avoided completely. Small amounts of any kind of dessert, including cheesecake, can fit into most diets.

As long as you follow a generally nutritious diet while enjoying the occasional cheesecake, it won’t have much of an impact on your health.

On the other hand, eating sweets like cheesecake too often can happenIt is harmful to health and increases the risk of disease.

If your diet is rich in foods and drinks such as cheesecake, candy, soda, and ultra-processed snack foods, it is best to reduce these products and replace them with foods rich in nutrients such as fruits, vegetables, and legumes.

This can help reduce the risk of health conditions associated with eating large amounts of added sugar and consuming excess calories, such as obesity and type 2 diabetes (5And the 6).

Summary

Cheesecake is not considered a nutritious food. However, it can sometimes be enjoyed in small amounts as part of an overall healthy diet. Taking it occasionally should not affect your health.

Most cheesecakes are high in calories, fat, and sugar.

If you eat a dessert like cheesecake a lot, it can negatively affect your health in many ways.

High in calories

Cheesecake is usually made with high-calorie ingredients such as cream cheese, sour cream, and butter.

For this reason, cheesecake can contain an amazing amount of calories.

For example, a slice of Caramel Pecan Cheesecake from The Cheesecake Factory restaurant chain has 1,330 calories. That’s more than half the calories most people need each day to maintain their weight (78).

Although occasionally eating a slice of your favorite cheesecake won’t significantly affect your body weight, eating cheesecake and other high-calorie desserts too often can lead to unwanted weight gain.

Consider sharing a slice with a friend or eating half of your slice and taking the other half home to freeze.

rich in sugar

Most cheesecakes are high in added sugar, and many contain the recommended amount of added sugar per day in one slice.

The American Heart Association recommends that adult men and women limit their added sugar intake to no more than 9 teaspoons (36 grams) and 6 teaspoons (25 grams) per day, respectively (9).

Just one 113-gram slice of Favorite Day’s Favorite Chocolate Triple Cheesecake contains 30 grams of added sugar, which is the equivalent of 7.5 teaspoons (10).

As you can see, sugar builds up quickly, and it’s easy to exceed the recommended limits – especially if you regularly eat foods like cheesecake.

Consuming too much added sugar can harm your health in a number of ways, from increasing your risk of liver disease to increasing levels of harmful visceral fat found in the abdominal cavity, which surrounds your organs (11And the 12And the 13).

High levels of visceral fat are associated with an increased risk of disease, including cardiovascular disease risk, in adults and children (14And the 15thAnd the 16).

Some species are highly processed

Homemade cheesecakes are usually made from simple ingredients such as eggs, cream cheese, sour cream, and sugar.

On the other hand, commercially made cheesecakes can contain a number of ingredients such as fillers, stabilizers, artificial colors, sweeteners, and flavors, which some people prefer to leave out of their diets.

In general, ultra-processed foods such as commercially prepared cheesecakes should be limited in any healthy diet.

Diets rich in ultra-processed foods have been linked to a number of health issues, such as an increased risk of heart disease, obesity and type 2 diabetes (17And the 18And the 19).

Summary

Cheesecakes tend to be high in calories and added sugar, and some are highly processed. Like all sweets that are high in calories and sugar, it is best to limit your cheesecake and enjoy it only on occasions.

If you are a cheesecake lover, you may be wondering if you can make cheesecake even healthier by changing the ingredients.

Also, some people may want cheesecake recipe options that better align with their dietary preferences, such as paleo or low-carb.

Fortunately, there are a number of recipes that use less sugar and replace it with some nutritious ingredients to create delicious cheesecake-inspired desserts.

And for those who can’t tolerate dairy, there are ways to make cheesecake dairy-free — and vegan, too!

Dairy-free cheesecake recipes

Many people like the taste of cheesecake but want or need to avoid dairy. Fortunately, there are ways to make cream cheesecake without dairy.

Keep in mind that just because a product is vegan or old-fashioned, it doesn’t necessarily mean the food is “healthy.” Plant-based products can contain as many calories and grams of sugar as a traditional cheesecake.

Here are some delicious dairy-free cheesecake recipes for those who can’t – or choose not to – consume dairy.

  • paleo cheesecakeGrain-free, dairy-free paleo cheesecake recipe. It gets its creamy texture from coconut milk and cashew nuts and is an ideal choice for those following a paleo diet.
  • vegan cheesecakeIf you’re looking for a versatile vegan cheesecake recipe, try this 7-ingredient vegan cheesecake recipe. The simple recipe can be flavored with peanut butter, bourbon caramel sauce, or blueberries to suit different tastes.

Low carb cheesecake recipes

For people on low-carb diets, cheesecake can be a dessert option, as long as it’s low in carbohydrates and you get its sweetness from sugar substitutes like monk fruit.

These low-carb desserts can be good options for diabetics, too.

Here are some low-carb cheesecake recipes:

  • keto cheesecakeThis keto cheesecake recipe uses ingredients like almond flour, cream cheese, eggs, and monk fruit to make this delicious, low-carb cheesecake. It provides only 5 net carbs per serving, making it an ideal sweet and keto-friendly option for eating.
  • Keto cheesecake bites without bread: If you’re not a fan of baking, try these Keto Cheesecake Bites. They’re made with low-carb ingredients and contain only 1 gram of net carbs per serving.

Although these recipes are useful alternatives for those on certain diets or for people who want to cut back on added sugar, there’s nothing wrong with enjoying a traditionally made cheesecake once in a while.

If cheesecake is your favorite dessert, enjoy it! Just be sure to limit cheesecake in your diet as you would any other high-calorie sugary dessert.

Summary

It is possible to make cheesecake lower in carbohydrates and use ingredients like cashews and coconut to make dairy-free versions.

Cheesecake is a sweet, creamy treat traditionally made with ingredients like cheese, eggs, and sugar.

It’s high in calories, sugar, and fat, so it’s important to limit cheesecake in your diet, just as you would any dessert. However, there is nothing wrong with enjoying this dessert from time to time as part of an overall healthy diet.

For those who want to try low-carb, vegan, and paleo cheesecake recipes, there are plenty of recipes available online to suit those preferences.

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