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Technically traditional Italian ricotta is not cheese because it is made from whey. Ricotta means re-cooked and is made by cooking the whey that has drained away during the making of other cheeses.
American ricotta is more likely to be a mix of whey and milk (either whole, low-fat or skim). It is a slightly grainy, high moisture cheese similar to cottage cheese. As with many dairy products, ricotta now comes in whole milk version (4 grams fat per ounce), part-skim (2 grams fat per ounce) and a fat free skim milk version.
1 ounce whole milk ricotta cheese = 49 calories, 4 fat, 2g sat fat, <1g mono fat, 3g protein, <1g carbohydrates, 24mg sodium, 14mg cholesterol
1 ounce part skim milk ricotta cheese = 39 calories, 2 fat, 1.5g sat fat, <1g mono fat, 3g protein, 1g carbohydrates, 35mg sodium, 9mg cholesterol
1 ounce fat free ricotta cheese = 27 calories, 0 fat, 0g sat fat, 0g mono fat, 5g protein, 1g carbohydrates, 27mg sodium, <5mg cholesterol