Cream Cheese Nutrition Facts

Calories, Carbs, and Health Benefits of Cream Cheese

Cream cheese, annotated

Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman 

Cream cheese is a smooth, creamy fresh cheese product made from milk and cream, often with other ingredients added as stabilizers and thickeners, such as guar gum and carrageenan. Regular cream cheese is sold in a bar form or whipped tubs. You'll find it in the dairy section of most grocery stores. How you buy the product will affect cream cheese calories and fat content.

Cream Cheese Nutrition Facts

The following nutrition information is provided by the USDA for 1 tablespoon (14.5g) of cream cheese.

  • Calories: 50.8
  • Fat: 5g
  • Sodium: 46.5mg
  • Carbohydrates: 0.8g
  • Fiber: 0g
  • Sugars: 0.5g
  • Protein: 0.9g
  • Vitamin A: 44.7mcg
  • Choline: 3.9mg
  • Vitamin E: 0.1mg


There is minimal carbohydrate in cream cheese. A single serving provides less than 1 gram of carbs (0.8 grams), primarily in the form of sugar. However, if you purchase certain types of flavored cream cheese, the carbohydrate content will increase.

For example, the Philadelphia brand Brown Sugar Cream Cheese Spread contains 7 grams of sugar per serving. This flavor of cream cheese is whipped, so the serving size is 2 tablespoons.


Most of the fat in cream cheese is saturated fat. There are 5 grams of total fat in a single serving of cream cheese and 5 grams are saturated fat. There is also a small amount of polyunsaturated fat (0.2 grams) and monounsaturated fat (1.3 grams).


There is slightly less than 1 gram of protein (0.9 grams) in a single serving of cream cheese. 

Vitamins and Minerals

Cream cheese provides some vitamins and minerals. You'll benefit from a small amount of vitamin A (44.7 IU), vitamin K (0.3 mcg), folate (1.3 mcg), and choline (3.9 mg).

Minerals in cream cheese include calcium (14.1 milligrams), phosphorus (15.5 mg), magnesium (1.3 mg), potassium (19.1mg), sodium (45.5 mg), and trace amounts of selenium.


One tablespoon (14.5g) of cream cheese contains 50.8 calories, 87% of which come from fat, 7% from protein, and 6% from carbs. Whipped cream cheese is much lower in calories. Because the whipping process adds air to the cheese and fluffs it up, it seems like you get more cream cheese for the same size serving. Some brands also add skim milk as an ingredient, lowering the fat content.

Philadelphia Whipped Cream Cheese lists a serving size as 2 tablespoons on the package. According to the manufacturer, that amount will provide 50 calories, 4.5 grams of fat, and 3 grams of saturated fat.

Calories in flavored cream cheese will also depend on the kind you buy. Sweet flavors like mixed berry or strawberry cream cheese will have added fruit or puree, increasing both the sugar and calorie count. Savory flavors like chive may have added salt so that the sodium content will be slightly higher, but the calories will probably stay the same.

What is a Serving of Cream Cheese?

A single serving of cream cheese is roughly 1-2 tablespoons. Popular brands like Philadelphia provide line markings on the package, so you know exactly how much to consume per serving. According to that brand, a single 1-ounce serving (roughly 2 tablespoons) provides 100 calories.

Health Benefits

Cream cheese does not have a lot of health benefits, and there is little to no direct research regarding the potential health benefits of cream cheese. The micronutrient content of a serving of cream cheese does not contribute much to daily values.

May Help Reduce Fat in Diet

For some people, cream cheese provides a benefit because it is lower in fat and calories than butter. However, the difference is not substantial and cream cheese cannot stand in for butter in every case. If you choose low-fat cream cheese, you can save even more saturated fat, which is a kind of fat associated with an increased risk of heart disease. You can use low-fat cream cheese to thicken foods like soups and sauces instead of flour and butter.

Source of Vitamin A

While cream cheese does not contain substantial amounts of many nutrients, it does have a good amount of vitamin A. One tablespoon contains 5% of your recommended daily value, and a typical two-tablespoon serving contains 10%. Dairy is a good source of vitamin A, and including fat in a meal with vitamin A will help its absorption. Cream cheese contains fat and vitamin A, making it an ideal source.

Vitamin A is an essential micronutrient that plays a vital role in several bodily processes, including vision, immune response, cell differentiation and proliferation, intercellular communication, and reproduction. You must obtain vitamin A from your diet or supplements as your body cannot produce it. Primary sources are derived from animal products like dairy.


People who have a dairy allergy or a milk allergy should avoid cream cheese as it contains cow's milk. According to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology symptoms of milk allergy can range from mild to severe and may include wheezing, vomiting, hives, and digestive problems. Exposure to milk may also cause anaphylaxis.

Additionally, people who are lactose intolerant may want to avoid cream cheese. Symptoms of lactose intolerance include nausea, cramps, gas, bloating, and diarrhea. 


There are several varieties of cream cheese, including low-fat, flavored, and whipped. There is also a similar cheese product called Neufchatel cheese which provides one-third to one-half less fat than the traditional variety. A single 1-tablespoon serving provides 2.5 grams of fat and 1.5 grams of saturated fat.

Neufchatel cheese is made from milk while traditional cream cheese is made from milk and cream. If you're trying to cut fat and calories in recipes you can use Neufchatel cheese instead of cream cheese.

Storage and Food Safety

Cream cheese should remain tightly sealed and refrigerated. You can freeze cream cheese to use in recipes, but the texture will change. You probably won't want to spread it on toast or a bagel after it is thawed.

How to Prepare

When cream cheese is cold it can be hard to work with in recipes. The best way to soften it is to leave it on the counter for a short period of time. But if you don't have time, simply press the cheese with a pastry roller or with the palm of your hand to soften it. 

If you love cream cheese, you can get creative to keep it in your healthy diet. You may be able to find Greek cream cheese at your local grocer. Brands like Green Mountain Farm make this style of spread and it provides more protein and less fat than traditional versions.

You can also go light on the spread to keep the fat and calories in control. For example, if you usually love to eat a bagel with jam and cream cheese for breakfast, try this healthier version instead: scoop out a bagel, then spread a thin layer of whipped cream cheese, and top with real fruit.

You'll not only cut fat, carbs, and calories but you'll also reduce the amount of sugar you consume by swapping fresh fruit for jam.

8 Sources
Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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By Malia Frey, M.A., ACE-CHC, CPT
 Malia Frey is a weight loss expert, certified health coach, weight management specialist, personal trainer​, and fitness nutrition specialist.