The middle eastern dip/spread called labneh is increasingly becoming available which makes many wonder if it’s really better than existing options. Labneh vs cream cheese is one such comparison. 

As a nutritionist, I will help you clear the air and find answers to questions including Is labneh healthier than cream cheese. Stay with me till the end to understand which one’s better for you.

Labneh versus Cream Cheese


| Labneh versus Laban– Are They The Same? | 

Labneh Versus Cream Cheese Nutrition & Outcome Differences

Before I explain in details, let’s take a quick look at labneh vs cream cheese calorie, nutrition and other attributes:



Cream Cheese

Milk & cream


Sour & Creamy

Cream Cheese

Sweet & creamy 


3-4 tablespoons

Cream Cheese

1-2 tablespoons



Cream Cheese



7 g*

Cream Cheese

4.1 g*


13 g*

Cream Cheese

34 g*


6 g*

Cream Cheese

6 g*


110 mg*

Cream Cheese

98 mg*


Morning or Noon

Cream Cheese




Cream Cheese




Cream Cheese




Cream Cheese



Very Good

Cream Cheese



10 days

Cream Cheese

21 days


Lemon & Herbs

Cream Cheese

Herbs & honey

*Source: USDA; Quantity per 100g

Now that you have more clarity about the basic difference between labneh and cream cheese, let me help you dig a little deeper- 

Method of Preparation for Labneh Vs Cream Cheese 

Labneh is a very popular spread from the Middle East made from cow milk yogurt. The yogurt is strained to remove most of the water content. The resulting smooth labneh is a delicious spreadable dip. 

Cream cheese is usually made using whole milk and cream. The mixture is curdled, strained and blended to get a smooth texture. Cream cheese has its origin in the US, and is a very popular dish served as dip and spread.

Is Labneh and Cream Cheese the Same, Taste and Texture-Wise?

Labneh is soft and thick. It is sour and creamy, and has a very spreadable consistency. 

Cream cheese consistency is very similar to labneh. It is soft, thick and spreadable. Taste wise it is very mild and sweet with a hint of tanginess.

Ideal Daily Consumption of Labneh Vs Cream Cheese

Labneh and cream cheese are both concentrated dairy products and hence nutrient-dense. Therefore, they should be consumed in moderation. 3-4 tablespoons per day is the ideal serving size per day for labneh. 

Cream cheese is also a nutrient dense food product and it is important that it is consumed in a limited quantity, 1-2 tablespoons are enough for a day.

Labneh vs Cream Cheese Calories Comparison

If we compare 100 gm of labneh with 100 gm of cream cheese, we find that cream cheese has almost double the calories as compared to labneh. 

This is because cream cheese is generally made using heavy cream and whole milk, which has a lot of fat and results in higher calories.  

Labneh Vs Cream Cheese: Which Has Lower Carbs? 

When it comes to carbohydrates, labneh has higher carbohydrates content when compared to cream cheese.

Since cream cheese is low in carbs, it is a favourite among people who are following a ketogenic diet. A keto diet is a diet low in carbs but high in fat. 

Fat Comparison: Is Labneh Healthier than Cream Cheese?

Labneh is made using whole milk and is higher in calories as compared to many other dairy products like buttermilk, kefir, etc. However, in comparison to cream cheese the fat content is quite less. 

Cream cheese is pretty high in its fat content. Therefore, many consider labneh as the healthier or low-fat alternative to cream cheese. 

Difference Between Labneh and Cream Cheese Protein Content

Labneh and cream cheese are both derived from milk, which makes them good sources of protein. One serving of labneh gives almost the same amount of protein as one serving of cream cheese. 

So, protein content is one aspect where labneh is exactly similar to cream cheese.  

Which Has More Calcium: Labneh or Cream Cheese?

All dairy products are rich in calcium and considered the best source of calcium in your diet. 

Since both labneh and cream cheese are dairy products, they are rich in calcium too. They both have pretty similar levels of calcium in them.  

Best Time to Consume Labneh Vs Cream Cheese

Labneh is a delicious dairy product that goes very well with a range of dishes. You can use it as a dip or a spread. Morning and noon are the best recommended time to consume it. 

Since cream cheese has a lot of calories and fat, the best time to consume it is in the morning. I would recommend eating it for breakfast so that the body has enough time to break it down. 

Labneh Vs Cream Cheese & Their Impact on the Environment 

The dairy industry has a negative impact on the environment and this is a well documented finding. Since traditional versions of labneh and cream cheese are made using milk, they are bad for the planet.  

Milk production is associated with deforestation, and greater release of carbon dioxide. Due to these impacts both these milk products are not considered environmentally sustainable.

Labneh Vs Cream Cheese : Which One Can be Vegan-Friendly?

Labneh and Cream cheese are milk or animal derived products. This makes them unsuitable for vegan consumption. 

The good news however is that there are more and more vegan friendly versions are becoming available. While you can use any alt-milk yogurt to make vegan labneh, cream cheese can be made with cashews.

Labneh or Cream Cheese: Better for Overall Oral Health? 

Since labneh and cream cheese are dairy based, they are rich in calcium. This makes both these foods good for your overall oral health. 

Other than the calcium, both have a number of vitamins and minerals that are good for maintaining dental health. They also contain probiotics or good bacteria that help in keeping your mouth free from bad bacteria. 

Labneh Versus Cream Cheese for Tummy Health

Labneh is also a good source of probiotics which contribute to a happy and healthy digestive tract.

Cream cheese too has probiotics and can help you maintain a healthy digestive tract. However, since it has a lot of fat, it might cause issues in some people.

Which Has a Longer Shelf Life – Labneh or Cream Cheese?

Homemade and even store-bought labneh have a shelf life of upto 21 days  in the refrigerator even after it is opened. The good bacteria keep it fresh for longer. 

Cream cheese once opened can be kept in the refrigerator for upto 10 days. Even the homemade versions can last fresh only up to 7 days when kept in an airtight container. 

A More Versatile Product: Labneh or Cream Cheese?

Labneh is an excellent and very versatile food product. You can make them savoury or sweet. I like to add olive oil and some fresh spices to it. 

Cream cheese too is versatile. It can be used to prepare frosting for cakes or spiced up with herbs to make a tangy dip. Many people ask, can you substitute labneh for cream cheese? The answer is Yes! Infact, labneh is a pretty good substitute nutritionally.  

Hope this blog helps you get clarity on these two dairy products. Both labneh and cream cheese are great but labneh has an advantage of being much lower in calories and fat content. 

Feel free to drop any doubts that you have about the subject.