How Much Protein Is in an Ounce of Cheese?

by Tammy Dray

Not all cheeses are equal when it comes to protein content.

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Protein makes up an essential component of your diet -- it allows you body to make antibodies required for immune function, and also helps you grow new tissue. Several foods, including meats, beans and nuts, serve as sources of protein, and cheese also contributes to the total protein in your diet. The amount of protein you'll get, however, depends on the type of cheese you select.

Soft Cheeses

Soft cheeses such as brie and mozzarella contain less protein than hard cheeses. They average about 6.2 grams of protein per ounce. Goat cheese also falls into this group. Other soft cheeses contain even less. For example, 1 ounce of feta contains only 4 grams of protein. Cream cheese is at the bottom of the list, with just 2 grams of protein per ounce.

Hard Cheeses

The hardest cheeses are the ones that contain the most protein. Grated parmesan tops the list at 12 grams of protein per ounce. Romano cheese contains 9 grams of protein. At 8 to 8.5 grams of protein, you can find Swiss and gruyere cheeses. Most other firm cheeses, including cheddar, offer around 7 to 7.5 grams of protein per ounce.

Other Cheeses

Ricotta cheese is high in protein compared to other types of cheese. A cup of ricotta contains 27.5 grams of protein. Cottage cheese made with 2 percent milk contains 31 grams of protein, while the version made with 1 percent milk contains 28 grams of protein.

Vegan Cheeses

Imitation cheeses, generally made with soy, are lower in protein than real cheese. The amount varies according to brand and type of cheese, but generally contains between 2 and 7 grams of protein per ounce, according to registered dietitian Kim Galeaz, a consultant for the Indiana Soybean Board. Opt for soy cheeses that contain at least 4 grams of protein per ounce.

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About the Author

Tammy Dray has been writing since 1996. She specializes in health, wellness and travel topics and has credits in various publications including Woman's Day, Marie Claire, Adirondack Life and Self. She is also a seasoned independent traveler and a certified personal trainer and nutrition consultant. Dray is pursuing a criminal justice degree at Penn Foster College.