Spread low-fat cream cheese on crackers and toast.
Cream cheese and ricotta cheese can be valuable additions to sauces, pasta and desserts. Instead of buying the rich, regular versions of either dairy product, scour your supermarket's shelves for low-fat alternatives. This information is clearly marked on the container. If you track your intake of carbohydrates, low-fat ricotta has fewer carbs than low-fat cream cheese.
Ricotta Contains Fewer Carbs
A serving of low-fat ricotta cheese doesn't contain as many grams of carbohydrates as a serving of low-fat cream cheese, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The USDA reports that 1 ounce of ricotta made from skim milk has 1.5 grams of carbohydrates, while 1 ounce of low-fat cream cheese has 2.3 grams of carbs. Cream cheese is also higher in calories. One-ounce servings of cream cheese and ricotta cheese contain 56 and 39 calories, respectively.
Consider Full-Fat Varieties
If you're concerned about your intake of carbs, the low-fat versions of ricotta and cream cheese are actually higher in carbs than their regular counterparts. The USDA notes that 1 ounce of ricotta made with whole milk has 0.9 grams of carbs, which is lower than the 1.5 grams of carbs in the same size serving of ricotta made with skim milk. One ounce of regular cream cheese has 1.2 grams of carbs, which is lower than the 2.3 grams in low-fat cream cheese.
Low-Fat Cream Cheese Nutrition
If you wish to use low-fat cream cheese in your cooking or just enjoy it with toast or crackers as a snack, its carbs aren't the only nutritional factor to consider. Even if it's lower in fat than its regular counterpart, low-fat cream cheese is a significant source of fat. One ounce contains 4.3 grams of total fat. This product, however, is also high in protein and calcium, with 2.2 grams and 41 milligrams, respectively, per 1-ounce serving.
Low-Fat Ricotta Cheese Nutrition
Low-fat ricotta cheese contains fewer calories and carbs than low-fat cream cheese, and also less fat. One ounce of ricotta made with skim milk contains 2.2 grams of total fat. Ricotta's protein and calcium levels, however, are higher than those of low-fat cream cheese. A 1-ounce serving of ricotta has 3.2 grams of protein and 76 milligrams of calcium.