If you’re like most people you enjoy the great flavor of cheese, whether it’s melted on a sandwich or grated onto a fresh salad. Cheese is a good source of calcium and protein, but, unfortunately, it’s a little too high in calories and fat for most people’s taste. But if you can’t resist the taste of cheese, which one should you choose? What’s the healthiest cheese?
What’s the Healthiest Cheese?
There isn’t a single cheese that tops all the others in terms of health benefits. In general, soft cheeses are a better choice, because they’re lower in calories and fat. Cheddar cheese is especially high in fat, so it shouldn’t be at the top of your list if you’re looking for a healthy cheese.
If you’re limiting fat and calories, you won’t do better than cottage cheese. Even full-fat cottage cheese has only 120 calories in a 4 ounce serving, and fat-free cottage cheese has as little as 80 calories. It also has 14 grams of protein and is a good source of calcium and B-vitamins. It’s easy to understand why “dieters” and weight-lifters love it. The biggest drawback to cottage cheese is its high salt content – so read the label carefully.
Other Healthy Cheeses
Other healthier cheese choices are mozzarella cheese made from part-skim milk and string cheese, available at most grocery stores. Feta cheese is also a good choice for topping salads since its strong flavor means you need less of it – and it has half the fat of cheddar cheese. Ricotta cheese is another healthier option since it has 50% less fat than cheddar cheese. If you like cream cheese, substitute American Neufchâtel instead. It has all the taste with less fat.
Healthiest Cheeses: Should You Buy Low-Fat or Fat-Free Cheeses?
Low-fat cheeses are a good alternative, but some fat-free cheeses lack flavor. Skip the fat-free cheeses and using smaller amounts of a strong full-fat cheese. If you’re using a hard cheese, grate it first. It’ll feel like you’re getting more.
The Bottom Line?
When choosing the healthiest cheese, you don’t have to restrict yourself to fat-free cheeses. Choose a soft, spreadable cheese or a stronger cheese, and use less of it. Enjoy the great taste of cheese – in moderation.
Self.com. “Nutritional Data”
World’s Healthiest Foods website.