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How Healthy Is Cheesecake: Calories and Nutrition

How Healthy Is Cheesecake: Calories and Nutrition

It just takes one bite of a rich, creamy and sweet slice of cheesecake to get you helplessly hooked. Cheesecake is a very popular dessert, suitable for almost any occasion, from a family get-together at the holidays to a formal dinner. While it has an amazing effect on your taste buds, cheesecake isn't the most calorie-friendly food. Scroll below to learn the nutritional content of this type of cake.
Rave Uno
Desserts and sweet dishes are meant to be rich in texture and taste, leave a pleasant after-taste and above all, be sinfully delicious. The problem with desserts is that they can have a lasting impact on your weight and your body's calorie count. Some desserts are so dangerously calorie-ridden, that even a single spoon can destroy a week's workout results, such as a brownie sundae or an ice cream cake. In this article, learn the amount of calories in one of America's favorite desserts -- the cheesecake.
What Is Cheesecake?
Simply put, cheesecake is a cake made of firm but soft cream cheese, forming the center of the cake, with a hard and crumbly base made of biscuit or pastry crumbs. Cheesecake can be served dry and cold or warmed up with a fruity or chocolaty sauce. It can be baked in a baking pan, whose sides can be removed (springform pan) or unbaked. The unique but filling and rich taste of cheesecake is due to its unusual combination of ingredients. The cheese filling can be tart and tangy yet sweet in taste. The biscuit crust is solid and crumbly and offers a contrasting flavor. If a topping is present, the cheesecake is moist and the flavor is enhanced by the topping used. A typical slice of cheesecake consists of the following layers:
Crust or Base
The crust of a cheesecake has to be firm enough to support the cheese filling, yet crunchy in texture and taste. It can be made of crushed biscuit, cookie, or graham cracker crumbs. The crumbs are bound using butter and sugar, to create a thick paste.
The center or cakey part is made predominantly of cheese. Soft cream cheese is used in the U.S. and Canada. Cheeses, like ricotta, quark and twarog are also used. Other ingredients are eggs with their yolks, sugar and essences, like vanilla. Some recipes call for heavy cream or sour cream to be added.
Baked or unbaked, cheesecake can be served with a liquid or solid topping. Fresh fruit pieces or fruit coulis can be used. Syrups, such as chocolate, strawberry, or honey can be drizzled over the cheesecake. Whipped cream is another topping choice.
While the key ingredient remains cream cheese, the type of cream cheese can differ as well as the ingredients used to make the crust and the topping. You can mix and match with ingredients as you please, to make different cheesecakes out of the same recipe. The taste of the cheesecake also depends on the area of origin. For example, a New York cheesecake is made of cream cheese mixed with heavy cream, eggs and egg yolks and baked in a springform pan. A Philadelphia-style cheesecake uses only cream cheese and egg for a lighter, fluffier texture. The Pennsylvania Dutch style uses a tangier cheese known as farmer's cheese, for a different taste.
Is Cheesecake a Healthy Dessert?
Cheesecake is alternately a healthy and unhealthy food. Its basic ingredients, eggs, cheese and sugar, are heavy, rich foods and when combined together, can enhance the calorie content of a dish. But they are also nutritionally rich foods, that can contribute to an individual's growth and development. The nutrient analysis of a plain cheesecake slice is tabulated below.

Vitamin C 0.3 mg
Vitamin B-6 0.042 mg
Vitamin B-12 0.14 µg
Vitamin A 438 IU
Vitamin D 14 IU
Vitamin K 3.5 µg

Calcium 41 mg
Iron 0.50 mg
Magnesium 9 mg
Phosphorus 74 mg
Potassium 72 mg
Sodium 166 mg
*Nutrient facts referenced from the USDA database
Yummy taste and nutrient content aside, the cheesecake is a fatty dessert and can pile on the pounds. It is rather obvious that cheesecake is a calorie-ridden dessert, from the ingredients used to make it. Serving size is another issue, as cheesecake is a heavy substance and is best enjoyed as a thick slice. The problem with one slice, is having just one never seems enough. Since there are infinite flavors and types of this dessert, each having their own calorie content, below is a tabular comparison of the various types of cheesecake and calories in them.

Plain Cheesecake Without Topping
Cheesecake Name Serving Size Calories (kcal) Fat (g)
Plain Cheesecake 1 slice (80 g) 257 18
Unbaked Cheesecake 1 slice (99 g) 271 13
Outback Steakhouse Classic Cheesecake 1 slice (70 g) 163 12
Jell-O No Bake Real Cheesecake 1 slice (60 g) 290 15
Jell-O No Bake Homestyle Cheesecake 1 slice (55 g) 230 4.5
Lean On Me Baking Company Original Cheesecake 2 oz (57 g) 130 10

New York Cheesecake
Cheesecake Name Serving Size Calories (kcal) Fat (g)
Denny's Cheesecake 5 oz (141 g) 510 34
Chick-fil-A Cheesecake 1 slice 310 23
Fazoli's NY Style Cheesecake with Strawberry Topping 6.3 oz (180 g) 630 45
Omaha Steaks New York Cheesecake 106 g 430 28
Pamela's New York Cheesecake 1 slice (94 g) 370 25
Pamela's Agave Sweetened New York Cheesecake 1 slice (94 g) 350 22

Chocolate Cheesecake
Cheesecake Name Serving Size Calories (kcal) Fat (g)
Pamela's White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake 1 slice (94 g) 360 23
Sweet Street Desserts Triple Chocolate Cheesecake 6.5 oz (185 g) 700 47
Sweet Street Desserts Blueberry White Chocolate Cheesecake 5.8 oz (165 g) 570 40
PC Chocolate Brownie Cheesecake with Ganache Topping 100 g 410 23

Fruit Cheesecake
Cheesecake Name Serving Size Calories (kcal) Fat (g)
Fazoli's Caramel Apple Cheesecake 4.9 oz (139 g) 470 26
Omaha Steaks Almond Cheesecake 1 slice (95 g) 340 23
Omaha Steaks Strawberry Cheesecake 1 slice (95 g) 310 20
Jell-O No Bake Cherry Cheesecake 70 g 210 3.5
Jell-O No Bake Strawberry Cheesecake 70 g 200 3.5
Pamela's Zesty Lemon Cheesecake 1 slice (94 g) 360 23
Sweet Street Desserts Passion Mango Cheesecake 5 oz (142 g) 460 28

Cheesecake Name Serving Size Calories (kcal) Fat (g)
Cosi Crème Brulée Cheesecake 1 slice (200 g) 643 46
Denny's Turtle Cheesecake 8 oz (226 g) 780 42
Fazoli's Turtle Cheesecake 5.7 oz (162 g) 590 37
PC Red Velvet Cheesecake 100 g 410 25
PC Dulce de Leche Cheesecake 100 g 380 18

It is glaringly obvious that a cheesecake is very heavy in the calories. The average range of calories in cheesecake seems to be 300-700 kcal and that's a large amount in just one slice of cake. Plain unadorned cheesecake seems to be the least calorie filled, with an average of 225. Toppings like chocolate sauce or fruit coulis, will add heavily to the calorie count. Novel flavors like Crème Brulée or turtle and New York cheesecake are the heavyweights with an average of 500 calories.
So what's the nutritional verdict on this creamy sweet dish? The bottom line is that the calories in cheesecake make it a very rich dessert, that should be avoided by those watching their weight or trying to lose weight. If you can afford the calories, one slice is okay, but not on a regular basis. Sweet toothed folk who get dessert cravings, should curb their number of slices and cut down on toppings and fatty flavors. Pumpkin or plain cheesecake is less fattening than triple chocolate or turtle cheesecake, so choose smart. Avoid piling on chocolate sauce or raspberry coulis. There's no reason why you can't have your cake and eat it too, provided you watch what you eat!