Monterey Jack Cheese Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits

photo of Monterey Jack cheese on green background


imacphotoca / Getty Images

With its mild, buttery flavor and perfect melting abilities, Monterey Jack cheese is a common ingredient in Mexican cuisine. However, Monterey Jack cheese, also known as Monterey cheese, is an American-born cheese.

Made from cow’s milk, Monterey Jack is high in fat like most other types of cheese. But it is also a good source of calcium.

Although there is some evidence that full-fat dairy foods like Monterey Jack cheese provide some health benefits, adding more of the gooey cheese to your Mexican casserole or chicken quesadilla may not be the best way to get those benefits. Here is a look at the nutrition facts, health benefits, and uses of Monterey Jack cheese.

Monterey Jack Cheese Nutrition Facts

A 1-ounce (28g) serving of Monterey Jack cheese has 100 calories, 6 grams of protein, 8 grams of fat, and 1 gram of carbohydrates. The American-style cheese is high in fat, but an excellent source of calcium. This nutrition information comes from the USDA.

  • Calories: 100
  • Fat: 8g
  • Sodium: 180mg
  • Carbohydrates: 1g
  • Fiber: 0
  • Sugars: 0
  • Protein: 6g


Carbs

Monterey Jack cheese has only 1 gram of carbohydrates in a 1-ounce serving. It also has no sugar or fiber.

Fats

With 8 grams of total fat per serving, most of the calories in Monterey Jack cheese come from fat. Unfortunately, most of the fat in the cheese is saturated fat, with 5 grams per ounce. 

Getting too much saturated fat in your diet increases blood cholesterol and your risk of heart disease. Health experts recommend limiting your saturated fat intake to less than 10% of your total calories. That means you should have no more than 22 grams of saturated fat on a 2,000-calorie diet. 

Reduced-fat Monterey Jack cheese may help limit your fat and saturated fat intake, but not by much. A 1-ounce serving of the lower fat version has 5 grams of total fat and 3.5 grams of saturated fat. 

Protein

You get 6 grams of protein in a 1-ounce serving of this mild, buttery cheese. Made from cow’s milk, the protein in Monterey Jack cheese contains all of the essential amino acids, making it a complete source of protein.

Vitamins and minerals

Monterey Jack cheese is an excellent source of calcium—with 200 milligrams per 1-ounce serving—and meets 20% of the daily value. The semi-soft cheese also has some vitamin A, providing 300 international units per serving and meeting 6% of daily recommendations. 

Like other types of cheese, Monterey Jack is a source of sodium, with 180 milligrams per serving. However, it contains about half the amount of sodium as American cheese, which has more than 360 milligrams per 1-ounce serving.

Calories

A 1-ounce serving of Monterey Jack cheese has 100 calories. About 72% of those calories come from fat, 24% from protein, and 4% from carbohydrates.

Health Benefits

There are a number of benefits to eating dairy products like Monterey Jack cheese. Learn more about how this calcium-rich, low-carb cheese might help you meet your health goals.

May Be Good for Bones

Most Americans fail to meet their daily calcium needs. In fact, the majority of the calcium in your body is found in your bones. Not getting enough calcium in your diet affects bone health and may increase your risk of osteoporosis.

Adults need 1,000 to 1,200 milligrams of calcium a day. With 200 milligrams per ounce, adding a little Monterey Jack cheese to your morning eggs, lunchtime sandwich, or dinner salad may help boost your daily calcium intake and improve bone health. 

May Aid in Hunger Control

When it comes to managing hunger, the type of food you eat may help or hinder your health and nutrition goals. To keep hunger in check, you need to include foods that keep you feeling full and protein is the most satiating nutrient.

With 6 grams per serving, Monterey Jack cheese is a good source of protein. The reduced-fat version is an even better source of protein with 7 grams per serving.

Instead of hitting the vending machine to curb your mid-day hunger, snack on a little Monterey Jack cheese. Eating consistently throughout the day may prevent overeating at your next meal. 

May Be Suitable for Carb Counters

Whether you are trying to keep your blood sugar in check due to type 2 diabetes or following the keto diet, you might be searching for low-carb foods to add to your menu. Monterey Jack cheese makes a great low-carb snack or the perfect add-on to your roasted broccoli and grilled chicken dinner.

May Be an Option for Lactose Intolerant People

Lactose is the primary carbohydrate in cow’s milk. If you are lactose intolerant, you may avoid dairy products for fear of digestive consequences. 

After all, lactose intolerance causes gas, bloating, and diarrhea after you eat foods that contain lactose. These uncomfortable symptoms occur because your body cannot break down lactose, leading to malabsorption and subsequent symptoms. 

But some people with lactose intolerance have found that they do not have to avoid all dairy foods—especially low-carb cheeses like Monterey Jack. Most of the lactose is taken out during the cheese-making process. That means you may get the protein and calcium benefits from this dairy food without indigestion. 

Allergies

Cow’s milk is the main ingredient in Monterey Jack cheese. If you have a milk allergy, you need to avoid this type of cheese.

You can find dairy-free versions of Monterey Jack cheese made from plant proteins like peas. However, these dairy-free versions may not have the same buttery taste or melting properties as the original. Their nutritional profile may be different as well, so be sure to read the label.

Storage and Food Safety

Monterey Jack cheese is a perishable item that should be kept in a refrigerator. It stays fresh for 1 month after the date of purchase in the fridge and up to 4 months in the freezer. Throw away any cheese if it is growing mold or if it smells off or sour. 

Recipes

Was this page helpful?
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.
  1. USDA. FoodData Central. Monterey Jack Cheese. Updated March 19, 2021.

  2. U.S. National Library of Medicine. MedlinePlus. Facts about saturated fat. Updated January 25, 2021.

  3. USDA. FoodData Central. Reduced Fat Monterey Jack Cheese. Updated March 19, 2021.

  4. USDA. FoodData Central. Cheese, American. Updated October 30, 2021.

  5. National Institutes of Health, Office of Dietary Supplements. Calcium. Updated August 17, 2021.

  6. Hansen TT, Sjodin A, Ritz C, Bonnet S, Korndall SK. Macronutrient manipulations of cheese resulted in lower energy content without compromising its satiating capacity. Journal of Nutritional Science. 2018; 7: e7. doi:10.1017/jns.2017.73

  7. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Lactose Intolerance. Published February 2018.

  8. FoodSafety.gov, FoodKeeper App. Cheese, shredded, cheddar, mozzarella, etc. Updated April 26, 2019.