I love cheese, you love cheese, we all love cheese. So which ones fit best into our healthy choices??
There are hundreds of types of cheese, but the 3 most common types are:
Soft cheese – ex. Mozzarella
Semi soft cheese – ex. Blue cheese
Hard cheese – ex. Cheddar and Swiss cheese
Cheese is a great replacement for meat, and if you want a light snack at any time, a 1 oz wedge of cheese supplies you the same amount of nutrients as a 12 oz glass of milk. The casein of cheese contains all the essential amino acids, and cheese contains a high amount of vitamin A and D, as well as calcium.
The downside of cheese is… the high salt content, which is essential to cheese making, and some kinds of cheese have relatively high fat. Cheddar cheese, which is one of the most popular types of cheese in the world, can have a fat content of up to 30%.
If you are watching your weight, than cheese is not something to go overboard with, as cheese is pretty heavy in calorie content. A 1oz wedge of Cheddar cheese has 120 calories, while a 3.5 oz wedge will add 400 calories to your daily calorie intake.
So, as you can see, although cheese is a useful and nutritious snack for busy lifestyles, eating more than a few slices of cheese will contribute dramatically to your total calorie intake. Consume in moderation!
Here are the basic calories and fat content in some of the more common cheeses:
For 1 ounce…
CALORIES FAT (in grams)
- Cheddar 120 10
- Swiss 105 7.1
- Mozzarella 79 6
- Cream 100 10
- Cottage 29 1.4
- Goat 76 6
- Blue 120 12
- Feta 80 6
- Brie 90 10
- Parmesan 111 7
When looking at these comparisons, remember that we often consume more than just the 1 oz standard serving size of cheese. Especially the softer ones that we spread on crackers and bread. The harder cheeses generally have a stronger flavor so we can get away a smaller portion size and still feel satisfied. The best snacks choices would be string cheese (already portion controlled) and cottage cheese (highest in protein). All said and done, moderation is better than deprivation.