Philadelphia, or "Philly," cream cheese is a product manufactured by Kraft Foods. The manufacturers of the cream cheese boast of using local milk and cream while keeping the product as fresh as possible. Even though Philly cream cheese has limited preservatives and is made from natural ingredients, if you prefer a high-fat variety, you'll quickly add a lot of calories to your dish.
You probably already know that if you're go-to Philly cream cheese is the regular variety, you're getting way more calories than any other type. One tablespoon of regular cream cheese has 50 calories. Of that amount, 45 calories come from the 5 grams of fat. The remaining 5 calories come from a small amount of protein and carbohydrates.
The whipped variety isn't lower in fat; rather, it's just lighter and fluffier, so you don't need to use as much. Because it's whipped up, a 1-tablespoon serving gives you just 34 calories -- that's more than a 30 percent reduction over the regular variety. You'll get 3.4 grams of fat, which amounts to nearly 31 calories from fat, while the remaining 3 calories stem from about half a gram of protein and a half a gram of carbs.
Opting for the low-fat version of Philly cream cheese provides 30 calories per tablespoon. In this variety, the fat content goes down, while protein and carbs go up a bit. About 20 of the total calories come from the 2.3 grams of fat. The remaining 10 calories come from equal amounts of protein and carbohydrates: around 1.2 grams of each, or nearly 5 calories from each macronutrient.
If you're watching your diet, you'll definitely want to select fat-free Philly cream cheese. You'll get fewer than 20 calories per tablespoon from this variety. Fat-free cream cheese has less than 0.2 gram of fat, amounting to roughly 1.6 calories from fat. The same serving has 2.8 grams of protein, or 11.3 calories from protein. Lastly, carbs account for 5.5 calories from the 1.4 grams of carbs.
Saturated fat and cholesterol can elevate your blood cholesterol, stiffen up your arteries and boost your risk of developing cardiovascular disease later on in life. Because of the dangers, the publication "Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010" states that you should have no more than 10 percent of your daily calories from saturated fat. All fats have 9 calories per gram, so for a 2,000-calorie diet, you could have up to 22 grams of saturated fat in a day. You should also limit your cholesterol intake to less than 300 milligrams daily. Fat-free Philly isn't a big concern, providing just 0.1 milligram of saturated fat and 2 milligrams of cholesterol per tablespoon. The low-fat variety has 1.4 grams of saturated fat and 8 milligrams of cholesterol; whipped cream cheese offers nearly 2 grams of saturated fat and 11 milligrams of cholesterol; regular cream cheese gives you 2.8 grams of saturated fat and 16 milligrams of cholesterol per tablespoon.
- Kraft Foods: The Philadelphia Cream Cheese Story
- USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference: Cheese, Cream
- USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference: Cheese, Cream, Low Fat
- USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference: Cheese, Cream, Fat Free
- U.S. Department of Agriculture and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010