Pepper Jack Cheese Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits

Grated pepper jack cheese

Getty Images / Candice Bell

Table of Contents
View All
Table of Contents

When it comes to popular food, cheese is toward the top. Soft or hard, mild or pungent, foreign or from local farms, there’s a type of cheese for everyone. While the fat content of cheese once gave it a bad reputation, there are many ways to incorporate cheese into a healthy diet.

Pepper jack—also known as jalapeño jack—is a spicy take on Monterey Jack cheese. An American cheese, pepper jack adds peppers and herbs to Monterey Jack to give it a kick.

On the cheese continuum, pepper jack weighs in on the more nutritious end of the spectrum, due to its relatively low amount of calories and sodium compared to many other cheeses. It’s also a great source of calcium and protein.

Pepper Jack Cheese Nutrition Facts

A 1-ounce (28g) serving of pepper jack cheese—approximately one slice or two cubes—has 100 calories, 7 grams of protein, and 8 grams of fat. This spicy varietal of Monterey Jack cheese is high in fat, but a great source of calcium with 15% of your daily recommended value in one serving. This nutrition information is from the USDA.

  • Calories: 100
  • Fat: 8g
  • Sodium: 170mg
  • Carbohydrates: 0g
  • Fiber: 0g
  • Sugars: 0g
  • Protein: 7g
  • Calcium: 209mg

Carbs

Pepper jack cheese is not a source of carbohydrates, sugar, or fiber. Certain brands of pepper jack cheese may contain less than one gram of total carbs.

Fats

The majority of the calories in pepper jack cheese come from fat; a 28-ounce serving contains 8 grams, which is a full 10% of the recommended daily intake. 

More than half of the fat content in pepper jack cheese is saturated fat, at 5 grams. Saturated fat, which is found in animal meat, dairy products, certain plant oils, and many pre-packaged snacks, is not considered as unhealthy as it once was; however the American Heart Association recommends that less than 5% to 6% of your daily caloric intake consist of saturated fat.

Saturated fat from cheese may be healthier than saturated fat from other sources: one large study suggested that consuming dairy products may actually lower the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Protein

With high protein and low carb content, pepper jack cheese is an excellent choice for a high-protein diet, which is intended to boost weight loss, improve energy, and enhance athletic performance. Regardless of your individual health goals, the protein in pepper jack cheese can help the body perform essential functions relating to things such as hormones, enzymes, and cell repair and maintenance.

Vitamins and Minerals

Pepper jack cheese does not contain iron, potassium, or vitamin D, but it is an excellent source of calcium. One 1 ounce serving provides 209mg of calcium, which is 15% of your daily recommended intake.

Calcium, which is the most abundant mineral in the body, is hugely important to teeth and bone health; 99% of the body’s calcium is stored there. Along with keeping teeth and bones strong, calcium also assists muscle movement, sending messages from the brain to other parts of the body, restricting and relaxing blood vessels, and releasing hormones.

Pepper jack cheese also contains 170mg of sodium, or 7% the recommended daily intake. This qualifies it as a low sodium cheese, along with Swiss and mozzarella, unlike saltier types like American and blue cheese.

Calories

Along with being considered a low-sodium cheese, pepper jack is also a relatively low-calorie cheese.

Health Benefits

Supports Bone Health

As mentioned previously, pepper jack cheese is a significant source of calcium. Calcium aids in keeping bones strong, and lacking calcium in your diet increases the risk of osteoporosis.

Suitable for a Low-Carb Diet

Due to its lack of carbohydrates, pepper jack cheese is an acceptable component of a low-carb diet. Whether you’re practicing keto or simply limiting your intake of heavy carbs such as grains, fruits, and other high-sugar foods, pepper jack provides a filling option. 

Suitable for a High-Protein Diet

Similarly, the protein content in pepper jack cheese lends itself to a diet leaning intentionally into high protein. Accompany pepper jack with other protein-heavy foods like lean meats, seafood, beans, soy, eggs, and nuts for satisfying snacks and meals.

Can Keep You Full Longer Than Other Foods

Protein is the nutrient responsible for making you feel full. Thus, foods with a high protein content like pepper jack cheese are more likely to keep you full than other snacks that may have similar calorie counts.

Might Be Acceptable for People with Lactose Intolerance

Pepper jack cheese is made of cow’s milk. Lactose is a sugar found in cow’s milk, but pepper jack is low-carb—most or all of the lactose is taken out during the production of the cheese. Some people who are lactose intolerance can eat low-carb cheeses with little to no side effects that they usually experience from dairy products with a higher carbohydrate content. 

Recipes

Was this page helpful?
5 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. FoodData Central. Pepper jack cheese. USDA. Updated November 2019.

  2. The Skinny on Fats. American Heart Association. November 2020.

  3. de Oliveira OMC, Mozaffarian D, Kromhout D, et al. Dietary intake of saturated fat by food source and incident cardiovascular disease: The multi-ethnic study of atherosclerosisAmerican Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2012;96:397-404. doi:10.3945/ajcn.112.037770

  4. Beto JA. The role of calcium in human agingClin Nutr Res. 2015;4(1):1-8. doi:10.7762/cnr.2015.4.1.1

  5. Cormick G, Belizán JM. Calcium intake and healthNutrients. 2019;11(7):1606. doi:10.3390/nu11071606