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Goat cheese vs. Ricotta — Health Impact and Nutrition Comparison

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Article author photo Sveta Badalyan by Sveta Badalyan | Last updated on April 16, 2024
Medically reviewed by Elen Khachatrian Article author photo Elen Khachatrian
Goat cheese
vs
Ricotta

Summary

Goat cheese is higher in calcium, copper, manganese, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, iron, protein, and monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Goat cheese has more vitamins B1, B2, B3, B6, A, Dand E. Ricotta has more carbs, zinc, choline, selenium, folate, and vitamins B5 and B12. Moreover, ricotta has fewer calories, cholesterol, saturated fats, and sodium.

Introduction

Goat cheese and ricotta are types of cheese, although they differ in ingredients, flavor, texture, and manufacturing processes. Here, we will discuss the differences.

Nutrition

In this part of the article, we will compare the nutritional values of goat cheese and ricotta, concentrating on differences.

Macronutrients and Calories

Goat cheese is denser compared to ricotta. Goat cheese contains 46% water, whereas ricotta has 72% water.

Macronutrient Comparison

Macronutrient breakdown side-by-side comparison
Contains more Protein +91.7%
Contains more Fats +129.9%
Contains more Other +188.2%
Contains more Carbs +2433.3%
Contains more Water +57.5%
22% 30% 46% 3%
Protein: 21.58 g
Fats: 29.84 g
Carbs: 0.12 g
Water: 45.52 g
Other: 2.94 g
11% 13% 3% 72%
Protein: 11.26 g
Fats: 12.98 g
Carbs: 3.04 g
Water: 71.7 g
Other: 1.02 g
Contains more Protein +91.7%
Contains more Fats +129.9%
Contains more Other +188.2%
Contains more Carbs +2433.3%
Contains more Water +57.5%

Calories

Compared to ricotta, goat cheese has two times more calories. A hundred grams of goat cheese has 364 calories, whereas ricotta provides 174 calories.

Protein

Goat cheese has more protein compared to ricotta. A hundred grams of goat cheese provides 21.58g of protein, whereas ricotta has only 11.26g

Fats

Goat cheese and ricotta provide high amounts of fats. In a 100g serving, goat cheese and ricotta have 29.84g and 12.98g of total fat, respectively. Goat cheese provides more monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat, whereas ricotta has 2.5 times less saturated fat.

Fat Type Comparison

Fat type breakdown side-by-side comparison
Contains more Monounsaturated Fat +87.7%
Contains more Polyunsaturated fat +84.2%
Contains less Saturated Fat -59.8%
73% 24% 3%
Saturated Fat: 20.639 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 6.808 g
Polyunsaturated fat: 0.709 g
67% 29% 3%
Saturated Fat: 8.295 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 3.627 g
Polyunsaturated fat: 0.385 g
Contains more Monounsaturated Fat +87.7%
Contains more Polyunsaturated fat +84.2%
Contains less Saturated Fat -59.8%

Carbohydrates

Both are not good sources of carbs. Compared to goat cheese, ricotta has over 25 times more carbs. A hundred grams of goat chees has 0.12g of net carbs, whereas ricotta has 3.04g.

Carbohydrate type comparison

Carbohydrate type breakdown side-by-side comparison

Cholesterol

Goat cheese has more cholesterol. In a 100g serving, goat cheese and ricotta have 79mg and 51mg of cholesterol, respectively. 

Vitamins

Goat cheese has over 5.5 times more vitamin B1 (thiamine), 3.5 times more vitamin B2 (riboflavin), 11 times more vitamin B3 (niacin), and 1.4 times more vitamin B6

Unlike it, ricotta has more vitamin B5 and 1.5 times more vitamin B12. Goat cheese provides three times more vitamin A2.5 times more vitamin D2.2 times more vitamin K, and 2.4 times more vitamin E, whereas ricotta has six times more folate. In a 100g serving, goat cheese and ricotta have 1464IU and 445IU of vitamin A, respectively.

Vitamin Comparison

Vitamin comparison score is based on the number of vitamins by which one or the other food is richer. The "coverage" charts below show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of the food.
:
Contains more Vitamin A +229%
Contains more Vitamin E +136.4%
Contains more Vitamin D +150%
Contains more Vitamin B1 +453.8%
Contains more Vitamin B2 +246.7%
Contains more Vitamin B3 +1003.8%
Contains more Vitamin B6 +39.5%
Contains more Vitamin K +127.3%
Contains more Vitamin B5 +12.1%
Contains more Folate +500%
Contains more Vitamin B12 +54.5%
Contains more Choline +13.6%
Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin C Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Folate Vitamin B12 Choline Vitamin K 88% 6% 15% 0% 18% 156% 22% 12% 14% 2% 28% 9% 7%
Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin C Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Folate Vitamin B12 Choline Vitamin K 27% 3% 6% 0% 4% 45% 2% 13% 10% 9% 43% 10% 3%
Contains more Vitamin A +229%
Contains more Vitamin E +136.4%
Contains more Vitamin D +150%
Contains more Vitamin B1 +453.8%
Contains more Vitamin B2 +246.7%
Contains more Vitamin B3 +1003.8%
Contains more Vitamin B6 +39.5%
Contains more Vitamin K +127.3%
Contains more Vitamin B5 +12.1%
Contains more Folate +500%
Contains more Vitamin B12 +54.5%
Contains more Choline +13.6%

Minerals

Goat cheese has more calcium, copper, manganese, and potassium. It also provides two times more phosphorus, 2.5 times more magnesiumand four times more iron. In contrast, ricotta has more zinc, choline, and over four times more selenium. Ricotta provides over five times less sodium. In a 100g serving, goat cheese and ricotta have 415mg and 84mg of sodium, respectively.

Mineral Comparison

Mineral comparison score is based on the number of minerals by which one or the other food is richer. The "coverage" charts below show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of the food.
Contains more Calcium +44%
Contains more Iron +326.3%
Contains more Magnesium +163.6%
Contains more Phosphorus +137.3%
Contains more Potassium +50.5%
Contains more Copper +2585.7%
Contains more Manganese +1450%
Contains less Sodium -79.8%
Contains more Zinc +75.8%
Contains more Selenium +281.6%
Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Zinc Copper Manganese Selenium 90% 61% 21% 161% 14% 55% 19% 188% 13% 21%
Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Zinc Copper Manganese Selenium 63% 15% 8% 68% 10% 11% 32% 7% 1% 80%
Contains more Calcium +44%
Contains more Iron +326.3%
Contains more Magnesium +163.6%
Contains more Phosphorus +137.3%
Contains more Potassium +50.5%
Contains more Copper +2585.7%
Contains more Manganese +1450%
Contains less Sodium -79.8%
Contains more Zinc +75.8%
Contains more Selenium +281.6%

Oxalate content

Animal products like goat cheese and ricotta are oxalate-free.

Glycemic Index

The glycemic index of goat cheese is equal to 0Ricotta cheese has a glycemic index of 27. Ricotta tends to have a higher glycemic index than goat cheese. However, the glycemic index of both falls in the low category.

Acidity

The potential renal acid load (PRAL) is a method for measuring a food's acidity. The PRAL number reflects the food's capacity to break down into acids or bases within the body. Goat cheese has a PRAL value of 16.5. The PRAL level for ricotta is 6.2. That indicates that goat cheese is more acid-forming than ricotta.

Weight Loss & Diets

VeganVegans avoid all animal products such as dairy products, eggs, meat, fish, and other foods. 

Vegetarian: A vegetarian diet excludes meat, poultry, and fish, but it allows for the consumption of dairy products and eggs. Goat cheese and ricotta are suitable for vegetarians.

Keto: The keto diet includes low-carb, high-fat, and high-protein foods. Goat cheese and ricotta are keto-friendly.

Paleo: The paleo diet focuses on eating unprocessed, natural foods and avoiding processed foods. Goat cheese and ricotta can be part of this diet.

Health Impact

Cardiovascular Health

Section reviewed by cardiologist Astghik Grigoryan Article author photo Astghik Grigoryan

There is strong evidence that consuming a moderate amount of dairy cheese, particularly goat cheese and ricotta, significantly reduces the risks of cardiovascular disease (1,2,3).

According to the study, consuming goat cheese may increase levels of "good" HDL cholesterol in the blood. However, it remains uncertain whether ricotta cheese has the same effect (4).

Additionally, goat cheese contains proteins with ACE inhibitory activities, similar to antihypertensive medications like Captopril and Lisinopril (5).

It should be noted that people taking MAO inhibitors (particularly antidepressants) may experience a hypertensive crisis when eating cheeses, including goat cheese and ricotta, which contain tyramine, which is the main amine in cheese (6).

Diabetes

Overall, there is a negative association between cheese and low-fat dairy product consumption and the risk of Type 2 Diabetes (7).

Choosing foods with a low glycemic index (GI) may help regulate postprandial glycemia, leading to more stable blood glucose levels. Additionally, opting for low-GI foods may contribute to reduced weight gain in individuals with prediabetes or diabetes. Given its lower GI, goat cheese is preferable for individuals with Type 2 Diabetes (8).

Cancer

Studies found that cheese intake is inversely associated with the risk of prostate cancer, breast cancer, and colorectal cancer (9). 

There is low association with lung, gastric, colorectal, colon (total and distal), rectal, bladder, and pancreatic cancers, and cheese consumption. According to the study, there is an inverse correlation between ricotta cheese eating and ER−negative (estrogen receptor) breast cancer incidence (10).

Goat cheese consumption may prevent the proliferation of leukemic cells (11).

Lactose Allergy

Dairy products like goat cheese and ricotta may be allergic to people. Cow milk found in ricotta can cause allergic reactions such as wheezing, vomiting, abdominal cramps, flushing, and anaphylaxis. Goat and sheep's milk have proteins similar to cow's milk, so if you are allergic to cow's milk, you should avoid goat cheese and ricotta (12.13).

Lactose Intolerance

Lactose-intolerant people lack lactase, an enzyme that digests lactose found in dairy products. Goat and cow milk contain lactose, so lactose-intolerant people should avoid ricotta and goat cheese (14). 

Classification

Goat cheese is a type of cheese that is made from goat's milk. On the other hand, ricotta is typically made from cow's milk, but it can also be made using sheep's milk or a combination of these kinds of milk.

Goat cheese originates in the Mediterranean and Middle Eastern regions. Ricotta is a traditional Italian cheese.

Appearance

Fresh goat cheese is white or off-white, whereas aged varieties are slightly golden or beige. Ricotta is often white or off-white, but the color might vary somewhat based on the kind of milk used.

Goat cheese varies in texture, ranging from soft and creamy to firm and crumbly, based on the type and age. Ricotta has a gritty, creamy texture and a light and fluffy consistency

Some goat cheeses may have a natural or edible rind, whereas others come without it. Depending on the type of goat cheese, the rind may be smooth, wrinkled, or covered with herbs, ash, or spices. Ricotta, on the other hand, is a fresh cheese that often lacks a rind. It is served in its creamy, unripened condition.

Unlike other older cheeses, ricotta lacks a characteristic mold. It comes in containers or tubs. Goat cheese has different shapes, including logs, rounds, pyramids, and other molded forms.

Taste and Use

The taste of goat cheese can vary depending on the type of milk used. It has a tangy flavor. Ricotta has a moderate sweet taste. It is commonly used in savory and sweet dishes and may absorb the flavors of other ingredients.

You can use goat cheese in salads, pizzas, appetizers, and as a spread for toast or crackers. You can use ricotta cheese in dishes like lasagna, cannoli, and filled pasta.

Varieties

Rricotta is available in different forms: the most common types are ricotta di mucca (cow milk ricotta), ricotta di pecora (sheep milk ricotta), and ricotta mista di mucca e pecora (a mixture of cow and sheep milk ricottas).

There are several regional and artisanal goat cheese variations, each with distinct features. Fresh Goat Cheese (Chevre), Crottin, Bucheron, and Pico are common types of goat cheese.

Article author photo Sveta Badalyan
Education: General Medicine at YSMU
Last updated: April 16, 2024
Medically reviewed by Elen Khachatrian

Infographic

Goat cheese vs Ricotta infographic
Infographic link

Comparison summary table

Pay attention to the rightmost column. It displays the amounts side by side, giving a clearer understanding of the difference.
Goat cheese Ricotta
Lower in Sodium ok
Lower in Cholesterol ok
Lower in Saturated Fat ok
Lower in Sugar ok
Lower in Glycemic Index ok
Rich in minerals ok
Rich in vitamins ok
Lower in price Equal

All nutrients comparison - raw data values

Nutrient Goat cheese Ricotta Opinion
Net carbs 0.12g 3.04g Ricotta
Protein 21.58g 11.26g Goat cheese
Fats 29.84g 12.98g Goat cheese
Carbs 0.12g 3.04g Ricotta
Calories 364kcal 174kcal Goat cheese
Sugar 0.12g 0.27g Goat cheese
Calcium 298mg 207mg Goat cheese
Iron 1.62mg 0.38mg Goat cheese
Magnesium 29mg 11mg Goat cheese
Phosphorus 375mg 158mg Goat cheese
Potassium 158mg 105mg Goat cheese
Sodium 415mg 84mg Ricotta
Zinc 0.66mg 1.16mg Ricotta
Copper 0.564mg 0.021mg Goat cheese
Manganese 0.093mg 0.006mg Goat cheese
Selenium 3.8µg 14.5µg Ricotta
Vitamin A 1464IU 445IU Goat cheese
Vitamin A RAE 407µg 120µg Goat cheese
Vitamin E 0.26mg 0.11mg Goat cheese
Vitamin D 22IU 10IU Goat cheese
Vitamin D 0.5µg 0.2µg Goat cheese
Vitamin B1 0.072mg 0.013mg Goat cheese
Vitamin B2 0.676mg 0.195mg Goat cheese
Vitamin B3 1.148mg 0.104mg Goat cheese
Vitamin B5 0.19mg 0.213mg Ricotta
Vitamin B6 0.06mg 0.043mg Goat cheese
Folate 2µg 12µg Ricotta
Vitamin B12 0.22µg 0.34µg Ricotta
Choline 15.4mg 17.5mg Ricotta
Vitamin K 2.5µg 1.1µg Goat cheese
Tryptophan 0.227mg 0.125mg Goat cheese
Threonine 0.805mg 0.517mg Goat cheese
Isoleucine 0.893mg 0.589mg Goat cheese
Leucine 1.861mg 1.221mg Goat cheese
Lysine 1.549mg 1.338mg Goat cheese
Methionine 0.575mg 0.281mg Goat cheese
Phenylalanine 0.859mg 0.556mg Goat cheese
Valine 1.485mg 0.692mg Goat cheese
Histidine 0.589mg 0.459mg Goat cheese
Cholesterol 79mg 51mg Ricotta
Saturated Fat 20.639g 8.295g Ricotta
Monounsaturated Fat 6.808g 3.627g Goat cheese
Polyunsaturated fat 0.709g 0.385g Goat cheese

Which food is preferable for your diet?

ok
ok
is better in case of low diet
Goat cheese Ricotta
Low Fats diet ok
Low Carbs diet ok
Low Calories diet ok
Low Glycemic Index diet ok

People also compare

Vitamins & Minerals Daily Need Coverage Score

The summary scores indicate the extent to which this food can fulfill your daily vitamin and mineral requirements if you consume 3 servings, consisting of 100 grams of each (an approximation of 3 serving sizes).
Vitamins Daily Need Coverage Score
29%
Goat cheese
13%
Ricotta
Minerals Daily Need Coverage Score
64%
Goat cheese
29%
Ricotta

Comparison summary

Which food contains less Sodium?
Ricotta
Ricotta contains less Sodium (difference - 331mg)
Which food is lower in Cholesterol?
Ricotta
Ricotta is lower in Cholesterol (difference - 28mg)
Which food is lower in Saturated Fat?
Ricotta
Ricotta is lower in Saturated Fat (difference - 12.344g)
Which food is lower in Sugar?
Goat cheese
Goat cheese is lower in Sugar (difference - 0.15g)
Which food is lower in glycemic index?
Goat cheese
Goat cheese is lower in glycemic index (difference - 27)
Which food is richer in minerals?
Goat cheese
Goat cheese is relatively richer in minerals
Which food is richer in vitamins?
Goat cheese
Goat cheese is relatively richer in vitamins
Which food is cheaper?
?
The foods are relatively equal in price ($2)

References

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.

  1. Goat cheese - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/173433/nutrients
  2. 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.

Data provided by FoodStruct.com should be considered and used as information only. Please consult your physician before beginning any diet.