Is Cheese Good or Bad For You?

Is Cheese Good or Bad For You?

When it comes to cheese, people often say they love it so much they can’t live without it — but hate that it can make you fat and causes heart disease.

The truth is that cheese is what you call a whole food. Whole foods are generally good for you if you don’t eat too much of one thing.

Eating cheese may even aid weight loss and help prevent heart disease and osteoporosis. That said, some cheeses are healthier than others.

Here are 9 of the healthiest types of cheese.

NUTRITIONAL BENEFITS:

Cheese is a good source of calcium and can play an important role in maintaining strong, healthy bones. Cheese is also a good source of vitamins A and B12, zinc and magnesium. The presence of both protein and healthy fat helps make cheese a satiating component of a meal or snack and can also help prevent spikes in blood sugar.

Cheeses with higher water content, such as goat, mozzarella, and feta, contain slightly fewer calories and fat than harder cheeses, such as cheddar. Many cheeses tend to be higher in sodium and saturated fat, which is important to keep in mind for those with high blood pressure or cholesterol. Cheese may cause discomfort in those with lactose intolerance; however, harder cheeses, like cheddar and Parmesan, contain less lactose and may be tolerated better than soft cheeses.

PORTION SIZE:

28 Grams of cheese is the recommended portion size. Here’s what that looks like:

Photo credit MyFitnesspal

Here are a few of the healthiest types of cheese:

Mozzarella:

Mozzarella is a soft cheese that’s lower in sodium and calories than most other cheeses. It also contains probiotics that may boost your immune system.

28 Grams contains:

  • Calories: 85
  • Protein: 6 grams
  • Fat: 6 grams
  • Carbs: 1 gram
  • Sodium: 176 mg — 7% of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI)
  • Calcium: 14% of the RDI

Blue cheese:

Blue cheese has distinctive blue or grey veins and a tangy taste. Loaded with calcium, it may promote bone health and help prevent osteoporosis.

28 Grams of whole-milk blue cheese contains:

  • Calories: 100
  • Protein: 6 grams
  • Fat: 8 grams
  • Carbs: 1 gram
  • Sodium: 380 mg — 16% of the RDI
  • Calcium: 33% of the RDI

Feta cheese:

Feta is a Greek cheese that’s higher in salt but lower in calories than other cheeses. It may also contain higher amounts of CLA, a fatty acid linked to improved body composition.

28 Grams of full-fat feta cheese provides:

  • Calories: 80
  • Protein: 6 grams
  • Fat: 5 grams
  • Carbs: 1 gram
  • Sodium: 370 mg — 16% of the RDI
  • Calcium: 10% of the RDI

Cottage cheese:

Cottage cheese is a fresh, clumpy cheese that’s loaded with protein. Adding cottage cheese to your diet can help keep you full and may aid weight loss.

Cottage cheese is much higher in protein than other cheeses. A 1/2-cup (110-gram) serving of full-fat cottage cheese provides:

  • Calories: 120 or (31 calories for 28g portion.)
  • Protein: 12 grams
  • Fat: 7 grams
  • Carbs: 3 grams
  • Sodium: 500 mg — 21% of the RDI
  • Calcium: 10% of the RDI

Parmesan:

Parmesan is a low-lactose cheese that’s high in calcium and phosphorus, which may promote bone health.

28 Grams of Parmesan cheese provides:

  • Calories: 110
  • Protein: 10 grams
  • Fat: 7 grams
  • Carbs: 3 grams
  • Sodium: 330 mg — 14% of the RDI
  • Calcium: 34% of the RDI

Cheddar:

Cheddar is rich in vitamin K2, a nutrient that prevents calcium from building up in your arteries and veins. Getting enough K2 may decrease your risk of heart disease.

28 Grams of whole-milk cheddar contains:

  • Calories: 115
  • Protein: 7 grams
  • Fat: 9 grams
  • Carbs: 1 gram
  • Sodium: 180 mg — 8% of the RDI
  • Calcium: 20% of the RDI

The Bottom Line:

Most cheeses are a good source of protein and calcium, and some offer additional health benefits.

However, as some cheese can be high in sodium and/or fat, it’s still worth keeping an eye on your intake!

Overall, cheese can be a nutritious addition to a healthy, balanced diet.

Note: If you follow our Low Fat Low GI eating plans, stick to low fat cheeses!

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Linda xx

Sources: http://www.healthline.com/ and MyFitnessPal

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