What is Cheese – Types of Cheese

healthiest cheese


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Cheese is a dairy product that is made from milk and contains a high level of fat. Because of cheese’s high fat and calorie content, it is not typically viewed as a healthy food. However, the benefits of cheese can outweigh its negative effects if consumed in moderation. Processed cheeses generally contain sodium and other preservatives that work against your dieting efforts; however, natural cheeses can benefit your health by providing calcium and protein.

How do you know which types of cheese are best for you? The following list describes the healthiest and unhealthiest forms of this delectable dairy product:

Healthiest Types of Cheese

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Parmesan Cheese:

Parmesan cheese contains one-third the calories and two-thirds less fat than cheddar or Swiss cheese. A one-ounce serving provides 8 grams of protein as well as 12% of your daily recommended dose of calcium. This cheese is low in sodium and carbohydrates, making it a healthy choice for those who are watching their weight or looking to lower their risk of diabetes.

Fresh Mozzarella Cheese:

Fresh mozzarella cheese is made from buffalo milk instead of cow’s milk, which makes it a healthier option than other types of dairy products. One ounce contains 40 calories and less than 1 gram of fat; most importantly, this type of cheese is also very high in protein (7 grams per serving). Because it contains little lactose, fresh mozzarella can be enjoyed by individuals with lactose intolerance.

Organic American Cheese:

As its name implies, organic American cheese is a healthy option because it is made from organic milk. It contains 80 calories and 5 grams of fat per ounce, as well as 8 grams of protein. In addition, an ounce provides 12% of your daily recommended dose of calcium as well as 30% of your recommended daily intake for vitamin A.

Processed Cheese:

Processed cheese comes in a variety of flavors and can be found at most grocery stores. Although this type of cheese typically contains preservatives, which work against your health goals, there are some varieties that contain little sodium and other unhealthy additives. Foods labeled “reduced-fat” or “low-carb” are typically healthier choices than those that do not carry these labels; however, they still contain a high amount of calories and fat. Better yet, make your own processed cheese at home by combining low-fat cottage cheese with grated parmesan cheese.

Unhealthiest Types of Cheese

Cream Cheese:

Processed cream cheese is extremely high in calories, containing 100 per tablespoon. Furthermore, the average serving of 2 tablespoons provides 9 grams of fat and 5 grams of saturated fat – both of these are very high percentages when compared to other types of cheeses. Beyond its caloric content, cream cheese is also very high in sodium (75% recommended daily intake), making it a poor choice for individuals who are watching their salt intake or managing hypertension or kidney disease.

American Cheese:

As previously mentioned, American cheese is made from a combination of low-fat and high-fat cheeses. It is typically full of sodium and fat, but lacks calcium and protein in comparison to other types of cheese. One slice provides 250 calories and 22 grams of fat, which means that in order for this food to be considered healthy it would need to contain less than half the amount of calories per serving.

Muenster Cheese:

Muenster cheese actually contains high levels of vitamin A (100% recommended daily intake), but because one ounce also provides 340 calories it may not be the best choice if you are watching your weight or trying to manage diabetes or high blood pressure. Furthermore, mozzarella can contain up 7 times more saturated fat than muenster cheese.

Blue Cheese:

Blue cheese contains high levels of saturated fats, which are linked to an increased risk of developing heart disease. Furthermore, eating too much blue cheese can cause bloating because this type of dairy product is difficult to digest. Make sure you choose low-fat varieties to get the most nutritional benefits without consuming too many calories or unhealthy ingredients.

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