Cream cheese vs. Ricotta — Health Impact and Nutrition Comparison
Ricotta is richer in proteins, selenium, calcium, zinc, phosphorus, and vitamin B12. Cream cheese is higher in calories, fat, saturated fats, and sodium. Cream cheese is richer in vitamins B2, B5, A, and E.
Table of contents
This article compares two types of dairy products: ricotta and cream cheese. We will discuss their differences according to their general aspects, nutritional content, and health impacts.
Ricotta is prepared from leftovers of cheese making by reheating and acidifying the whey product. In comparison, cream cheese is directly prepared from milk.
Ricotta is less creamy and has a granular texture compared to cream cheese; however, it has a slightly sweeter taste. On the other hand, cream cheese has a creamier texture than ricotta and has a saltier taste.
Nutritional content comparison
In this section, we are taking into consideration 100g of each.
Cream cheese contains double the number of calories compared to ricotta. There are 350 calories in 100g of cream cheese.
Cream cheese is higher in carbohydrates than ricotta.
Cream cheese contains higher amounts of fats compared to ricotta. There is nearly 35g of fat in cream cheese compared to 13g in ricotta.
Cream cheese contains 2.5 times more saturated fats than ricotta. This difference is significant. Cream cheese contains 20g of saturated fats.
Fat Type Comparison
Ricotta contains double the amount of protein compared to cream cheese. There are nearly 12g of protein per 100g of ricotta.
Ricotta is richer in selenium, calcium, zinc, and phosphorus. In comparison, cream cheese is high in sodium.
In the visual diagram below, we can visualize the difference in their mineral distributions.
Ricotta is richer in vitamin B12. Cream cheese is richer in vitamins B2, B5, A, and E.
In the visual diagram below, we can visualize the difference in their vitamin distributions.
Both dairy products share common health impacts; however, this section will focus on the different health impacts
Cream cheese contains higher amounts of LDL cholesterol, increasing the risk of atherosclerosis and cardiovascular diseases. (1)
Ricotta is richer in selenium, which has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Selenium maintains a healthy immune system. (2)
Cream cheese is richer in vitamin E, which also provides antioxidant properties. (3)
Calcium-rich foods, in this case, ricotta, are associated with increased risks of prostate cancer in males. It is essential to keep dairy consumption to moderate amounts. (4)
Comparison summary table
|Lower in Sugar|
|Lower in Sodium|
|Lower in Cholesterol|
|Lower in Saturated Fat|
|Lower in price|
|Rich in minerals|
|Lower in Glycemic Index|
|Rich in vitamins||Equal|
All nutrients comparison - raw data values
|Vitamin A RAE||308µg||120µg|
|Omega-3 - EPA||0.01g||0g|
|Omega-3 - DPA||0.02g||0g|
|Omega-6 - Eicosadienoic acid||0.007g|
|Omega-6 - Linoleic acid||0.807g|
|Omega-6 - Gamma-linoleic acid||0.002g|
|Omega-3 - ALA||0.125g|
|Omega-3 - Eicosatrienoic acid||0.002g|
|Omega-6 - Dihomo-gamma-linoleic acid||0.036g|
Which food is preferable for your diet?
|Low Fats diet|
|Low Carbs diet|
|Low Calories diet|
|Low Glycemic Index diet|
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Vitamins & Minerals Daily Need Coverage Score
All the values for which the sources are not specified explicitly are taken from FDA’s Food Central. The exact link to the food presented on this page can be found below.
- Cream cheese - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/173418/nutrients
- Ricotta - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/170851/nutrients
All the Daily Values are presented for males aged 31-50, for 2000-calorie diets.