With today’s emphasis on mindful eating, the healthiest cheeses are all the rage.
Turns out, there are multiple benefits to eating cheese if you choose your cheese wisely. If you know what to watch out for in your diet, and if you know which cheese is good for health, there’s no reason you can’t enjoy cheese in moderate amounts.
In general, dairy products are great sources of calcium and protein and cheese is no exception.
Cheese also contains magnesium, zinc, and vitamins A, D, and K. It makes sense then, to include cheese as part of your already nutritious diet.
According to research conducted in the U.S. in 2017, Wisconsin produced the most amount of cheese – over 3.3. billion pounds. Obviously, this figure includes quite the range, from the unhealthiest cheese to the most beneficial.
But there’s no need for you to sort through the various types because we’ve got a list of healthiest cheeses right here.
When cottage cheese first came on the scene, it became part of every woman’s diet.
Today, it’s still considered the healthiest cheese for weight loss.
Cottage cheese is a protein powerhouse (70% of calories are from protein), so small amounts deliver necessary nutrients plus a strong dose of energy to get you through your day.
Feta cheese may be the reason the Mediterranean diet is so popular.
It has a ton of flavor but not too many calories in one serving and it can be used in a variety of dishes from salads, to soups, to main dishes and even in some pastries.
You’ll get more calcium and phosphorus (good for bone health) from feta than from mozzarella, ricotta, or cottage cheese.
Good news for those with dairy sensitivities!
With its particular protein structure, goat cheese may be easier on the stomach than cheese made from cow’s milk.
In addition, its fatty acids are thought to fight bacteria and ward off inflammation (another bonus for the digestive system).
If you’re looking for an excuse to eat pizza, we’ve got it.
Turns out, mozzarella is a source of complex B vitamins (B2, B3, B7) plus vitamins A, D and E.
In terms of minerals, a serving of mozzarella provides a dose of phosphorus (prevents muscle fatigue), zinc (boosts skin cells), and of course calcium (193 mg/oz.).
Our favorite way to enjoy parm is in a grated form, which can be sprinkled on all types of foods (breakfasts, lunches and dinners) and is a decent substitute for salt or butter.
It’s high in protein but low in fat, lactose-free, and a good source of calcium and certain vitamins (including vitamins A, B6, and B12).
And as a bonus for expectant mothers, parm is considered safe to eat during pregnancy.
Saltier and with a sharper taste than parmesan, pecorino is a cheese made from sheep’s milk.
Usually consumed in small amounts, pecorino is rich in protein, calcium, potassium and magnesium.
It’s also known for providing omega-3s and unsaturated fatty acids that support heart and bone health (among other things).
An easy way to ramp up pasta is to add a dollop of ricotta.
The creamy, spreadable cheese may feel like an indulgence, but a ½ cup serving has 25% of your daily calcium, plus significant amounts of vitamins A, B2, B12, and minerals phosphorus and zinc. It’s also relatively low in sodium.
If you’re wondering what is the healthiest cheese for a sandwich, our vote is for Swiss.
Compared with American cheese (another sandwich favorite), it has almost double the amount of protein and far less sodium (Swiss has 54 mg/oz. and American has 468 mg/oz.).
What’s more, of all the cheeses, it’s thought to have the highest amounts of phosphorus and B12.
Our research shows us that of all the cheeses, Quark is the healthiest.
Quark cheese already stands out thanks to its mild flavor that blends with everything and its thick Greek yogurt-like texture that’s perfect for cooking and baking purposes.
Super rich in protein, low in calories, and with no added sugar or salt, it’s a natural substitute for the more caloric ingredients like sour cream, cream cheese, or whole milk (we promise, all it takes to be convinced is one bite of Quark cheesecake).
And Quark also delivers a decent portion of your recommended daily allowance of vitamins and minerals.
Finally, we love the fact that it’s the perfect healthy on-the-go snack for kids and adults alike.
Today, people are stopping to think before saying “yes” to cheese and are even wondering “should I stop eating cheese to lose weight?” Our experts suggest choosing one of these “healthy” cheeses and enjoying them in moderation.
Try thinking about cheese as a fixing or an extra to a meal, rather than the main attraction. To that end, there are types like feta or Pecorino that can be sprinkled over a dish for additional flavor and varieties like ricotta or Quark that seamlessly blend with other ingredients.
Certainly, unless you have a medical reason, there is no reason to quit cheese altogether.