5 Best Cheeses for A Healthy Diet

5-best-cheesesCheese is typically high in saturated fat and calories, eating too much will often lead to weight gain. But it is a rich source of calcium, a key nutrient for healthy bones and teeth, blood clotting, wound healing, and normal blood pressure.

A single ounce of cheese provides 20 percent of your daily requirement of calcium. You could try low fat cheese, but it often lacks flavor and has a rubbery texture and salty taste. Choose wisely from these healthy choices:

Feta Cheese – It is made from sheep or goat milk. Feta contains only 90 calories and 7 grams of fat in a quarter cup serving. The taste is slightly salty. The texture is crumbly and is often used in preparations like omelets with spinach, with rosemary on chicken breast and baked, or in salads along with almonds, greens and strawberries.

This popular Mediterranean cheese comes in small blocks or “crumbles” and thanks to its strong flavor, you won’t need a lot of it. Feta gives you the most bang for your buck at only 75 calories per ounce. Feta is on the lower end of the fat-and-calorie cheese spectrum, and since feta is made from goat’s milk, it is a great choice if you’re lactose sensitive.

Parmesan – This well known, flavored Italian cheese is made from cow’s milk and contains about 110 calories and 7 grams of fat per ounce. It can be used in steamed vegetables like broccoli, asparagus or beans, or in salads containing tomatoes, romaine lettuce and black olives.

This versatile cheese can be grated in everything from omelets to popcorn to save calories and cut back on fat while still getting a boost of flavor. Parmesan tastes great and provides 8 grams of satisfying protein per serving.

Goat Cheese – It varies from mild to strong in flavor and creamy to crumbly in texture. It contains 70 calories and 6 grams of fat per ounce and can be used on toast, in a dip with Greek yogurt and tomatoes, as a snack with apple or peach slices or with herbs as stuffing in chicken breast. It is a creamy, spreadable cheese with more than 5 grams of protein per ounce. Use it to add protein to your next salad.

Provolone – Provolone is a firm, white, buttery-tasting cheese and an excellent choice for sandwiches when compared to other high fat sandwich options like cheddar, Swiss or mozzarella. A single ounce provides 20 percent of your recommended daily requirement of calcium. Provolone is relatively high in sodium which may be a consideration if you are on a salt restricted diet.

Ricotta Cheese – This Italian sheep’s milk cheese has a similar texture to cottage cheese but contains 14 grams of protein and 25% of your daily calcium requirement in only half a cup. Ricotta cheese is low in sodium, high in phosphorus, vitamins A and B and zinc and often used in lasagna and Italian desserts.

Leave A Response »