From spreading in sandwich to topping French onion soup, cheese has become a dairy food used in daily cooking.
Do you wonder why it’s so popular? It’s due to vital nutrients it contains, including calcium, protein, and vitamins like Vitamin B12, Vitamin D, and some more. They are good for health of healthy eaters, vegetarians and vegan.
With this mind, we’re writing about cheeses that are healthy and some that you should avoid. Keep reading!
Tips for choosing a healthy cheese
There are several factors to make a healthy cheese. For that reason, you should look for these things when choosing cheeses at store
Like any other food, ingredient quality must be a prior concern. With cheese, you should choose types made from pure milk. Make sure to read the label carefully because there are some processed cheeses that contain harmful ingredients like artificial food colorings, sorbic acid (a preservative), etc.
2. Choose a flavorful cheese
The second thing to consider is the flavor of cheese. Among 3 main kinds of cheese on the market, full-fat cheese, low-fat cheese and fat-free cheese, it’s still smart to choose 2 former ones, especially the first one.
Here are the reasons: first is that not all fat in cheese is bad, second is that full-fat cheese is more satiating and make you eat less, and last and most important is that CLA- a fatty acid found in full-fat cheese can help in preventing cancers, diabetes, and hypertension.
3. Fermentation process
As you know, some cheeses might have probiotics depending on processing. So, it’s better to opt for cheeses of which fermentation process is a bit older. The longer cheese is fermented, the more the lactose and casein (a milk protein) are broken, making it easier to digest and producing more good bacteria.
Cheeses that are healthy to eat
Following above factors, we suggest a list of 9 best cheeses to eat:
Feta, which is an active ingredient in Mediterranean dishes ranks number 1. It’s made from sheep milk or a combo of sheep and goat milk and has fewer calories than other cheeses. Vitamin B found in Feta may help promote metabolism and give you an energy boost.
2. Cottage cheese
A cup of low-fat cottage cheese severed with some fresh fruits must be an ideal choice for breakfast. It’s not rich and satiating but it also keeps you staying full till lunchtime thanks to the high amount of calories (163 calories) and protein (28 grams) it contains.
Mozzarella is a low- lactose cheese. It is definitely an ideal choice for those who are intolerant to lactose. Not just that, it can be served as a snack due to its taste and high amount of protein.
If you are looking for a sodium-low cheese, just give Swiss a try. It also contains a high amount of calories and protein that helps a lot with your weight loss. More than that, Vitamin B12 that is rich in Swiss may promote health of bone and teeth.
5. Blue cheese
Aside from Feta and goat cheese, blue cheese can provide you with high calories. It contains up to 100 calories and 8 grams of fat per ounce.
6. Goat Cheese
Lower in fat and calories accompanied by a mild favor, goat cheese is such an ideal choice for those engaged in strict lactose diet and sensitive to cow’s milk. In addition, goat cheese may contain probiotics depending processing process and has many medium-chain fatty acids than cow’s milk that aid in fighting inflammation.
Being a high-calcium cheese, Ricotta is a good option for those who are looking for benefits for bone health from cheeses. Just with a half cup of it, you can receive 25% amount of calcium you need for a day. Ricotta is also low in sodium and high in Vitamins B and Vitamin A.
Another high-calcium cheese is Ricotta, often served with omelets, salads and sandwiches. A slice of cheddar packs with 100 calories, 7 grams of protein and 9 grams of fat. So, having an omelet added some cheddar in the morning can give you an energy boost for whole morning activities.
Parmesan is not only good at raising taste but also provides a higher amount of protein, calories and fat than other cheeses. It provides 110 calories, 7.3 grams of fat and 10 grams of protein per ounce. The cheese is originally used roasted vegetables and pasta dishes but is now topping popcorn.
Cheeses should reduce consumption
Aside from cheeses that are good for health with a proper consumption, there are also types that you should eat less.
1. American cheese
The first cheese that should minimize or even avoid consuming is American cheese. Despite of its attractive flavor and look, the cheese does more harm than good. It is made up of mostly processed ingredients, including food dyes that give it an unnatural yellow-orange color. It also contains up to 57 grams of fat per slice.
2. Cream cheese
As containing a high amount of calories from fat (46 calories), the intake of cream cheese must be watched carefully unless your waistline will be raised. You might choose the whipped cream cheese to reduce its fat. Although it tastes so good, but the look of your waist also matters, right?
Like cream cheese, Gruyères – an active ingredient of the traditional French onion soup, provides a whopping 117 calories and over 9 grams of fat per ounce. It is named after the town of Gruyères in Switzerland.
Other cheese that is high in fat and calories is Fontina. An ounce of Fontina cheese contains up to 110 calories and almost 9 grams of fat, so make sure that you add a proper amount in your dishes.
Cheese is a basic food and a simple ingredient to combine with other foods. There are cheeses that are healthy for using properly and some of which the consumption should be reduced because of containing high calories and grams of fat. For that reason, you should read the label carefully when choosing cheeses.