20 Cheeses High in Protein

Photo of Daisy Whitbread Written by Daisy Whitbread
BSc (Hons) MSc DipION
Photo of Dr. Patricia Shelton Medically Reviewed by
Dr. Patricia Shelton
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20 Cheeses High in Protein

For vegetarians or anyone simply looking to get more protein into their diet, cheese can be a good choice, but which are the healthiest choices?

Here is a list of 20 different kinds of cheese that provide the most protein per ounce (oz) or half cup. An ounce of cheese is approximately equal to a thin slice large enough to cover a piece of toast.

The current daily value (DV) for protein is 50 grams per day. (1) Cheeses high in protein include ricotta, low-fat cottage cheese, Parmesan, Romano, non-fat cheddar, gruyere, low-fat Swiss, fontina, and more.

Many of the cheeses on this list are low-fat or non-fat cheeses. In general, cheeses which are lower in fat will tend to contain more protein per serving. However, this is not always the case, and some of the cheeses on the list have a higher fat content.

For more high protein foods, see the articles on vegetarian protein foods, beans high in protein, grains high in protein, and nuts high in protein.

List of High Protein Cheese

#1 Low Fat Cottage Cheeseper 1/2 cup24% DV
#2 Grated Parmesanper oz20% DV
#3 Ricottaper 1/2 cup19% DV
#4 Romanoper oz18% DV
#5 Non-Fat Cheddarper oz18% DV
#6 Hard Goat Cheeseper oz17% DV
#7 Gruyereper oz17% DV
#8 Low-Fat Montereyper oz16% DV
#9 Swiss Cheeseper oz15% DV
#10 Fontinaper oz15% DV
#11 Provoloneper oz15% DV
#12 Edamper oz14% DV
#13 Goudaper oz14% DV
#14 Tilsitper oz14% DV
#15 Low-Fat Muensterper oz14% DV
#16 Low-Fat Mozzarellaper oz14% DV
#17 Port De Salut Cheeseper oz14% DV
#18 Colbyper oz13% DV
#19 Blue Cheeseper oz12% DV
#20 Brieper oz12% DV

About the Data

Data for the curated food lists comes from the USDA Food Data Central Repository.

You can check our data against the USDA by clicking the (Source) link at the bottom of each food listing.

Note: When checking data please be sure the serving sizes are the same. In the rare case you find any difference, please contact us and we will fix it right away.

About Nutrient Targets

Setting targets can provide a guide to healthy eating.

Some of the most popular targets include:
  • Daily Value (%DV) - The daily value (%DV) is a general guideline for consumption that will prevent deficiency of a particular nutrient in most people. The %DV refers to the percentage of an amount that's found in a single serving of a food. It also accounts for absorption factors. It is set by the U.S. FDA.
  • Recommended Dietary Allowance (%RDA) - The RDA sets an average daily dietary intake level that is sufficient to meet the nutrient requirements of nearly all (97.5%) healthy individuals. It's more specific than the daily value, and varies by age and gender. The RDA is set by the US National Instutites of Health.
  • Reference Dietary Intake (%RDI) -The reference dietary intake is similar to the recommended daily allowance, but is specific to age and gender. The RDI for amino acids is set by the U.N. World Health Organization.
  • Adequate Intake (%AI) - This value is primarily used in reference to omega-3 and omega-6 fats. The Adequate Intake is set by the U.S. Institute of Medicine. Because there is less evidence to determine the ideal targets for consumption of these nutrients, the specific amount is considered to be less reliable. Using the term Adequate Intake, rather than one of the other terms, helps to emphasize that the ideal intake of that particular nutrient has not yet been scientifically determined.

See the Guide to Recommended Daily Intakes for more information.

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Use the ranking tool links below to select foods and create your own food list to share or print.

View more nutrients with the nutrient ranking tool, or see ratios with the nutrient ratio tool.

Data Sources and References

  1. U.S.FDA - Daily Value on the New Nutrition and Supplement Facts Labels
  2. U.S. Agricultural Research Service Food Data Central
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