spreading keto cream cheese frosting across cinnamon rolls

Is Cream Cheese Gluten Free

When making better options you may question is cream cheese gluten free? Others with a gluten intolerance worry about this because let’s be honest, cream cheese is amazing. Below, I tell you exactly how it is gluten free but teach you how to avoid it in recipes and products. 

Is Cream Cheese Gluten Free?

Yes and no, this depends if the cream cheese is flavored or has any additives. Naturally fat-free, low fat and full fat cream cheese don’t have gluten in them. But, when companies start to play with the cheeses making them strawberry flavored, pumpkin or cheesecake gluten can make its way in there. Throughout this passage I’ll help you understand how to steer clear of gluten and what else makes cream cheese so wonderful!

Classic keto no bake cheesecake slice on plate
No Bake Keto Cheesecake

Always check your label on any brand of cream cheese you use. A common way to sneak in gluten is through thickeners. Also, as mentioned before flavorings. When in doubt check the label.

Common ways they can add gluten:

  • Wheat
  • Starch
  • Vegetable Gum
  • Artificial color/flavor
  • Maltodextrin
  • Malt extract or malt vinegar
Crack chicken keto thighs in a cast iron skillet covered in cheese and a ranch cream sauce
Crack Chicken Thighs

Is Cream Cheese Keto?

Although there is a presence of carbs in cream cheese it is keto friendly. On the keto diet you want to go for full fat cream cheese and not low fat or fat free. Fat free cream cheese has slightly less carbs but this isn’t your best friend in this situation. Fat slows down the absorption of carbs so it benefits you more to have a full fat product over a fat free one.

Cream Cheese To Avoid

  • Any cream cheese with crackers or chips (these have gluten)
  • Sweet cream cheese blends (i.e strawberry, pumpkin spice, cheesecake, etc.)

When in doubt read your label. Typically if the cream cheese comes with carbs it comes with gluten as well.

Keto red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting and sprinkles
Red Velvet Cupcakes w/ Cream Cheese Frosting

Gluten Free Recipes With Cream Cheese

Conclusion

Is cream cheese healthy? Well it depends on which cream cheese you choose to eat. Cream cheese in its most natural form is gluten-free and keto friendly. These store-bought products love to add all these extra additives and sugar because they believe it’s what the customer wants.

As gluten intolerances begin to rise and keto gains popularity will things change? I doubt it! Yet, we will always have our natural sources. My go-to is Philadelphia cream cheese simply due to taste. I’ve tried store brands but it just wasn’t the same.

If you are keto or even thinking about going cream cheese is awesome in desserts and gluten free pancakes. To think, you’ll never have to give up cheesecake!

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