When it comes to healthy eating, many foods are put on an imaginary –or sometimes real – list of foods you probably shouldn’t eat every day. Burgers, candy, chips and the one we’re most upset about: cheese.
Yes, cheese is a food that rarely makes it into diet plans, but we are not here for this discrimination. While it’s true that cheeses are higher in fat and calories than say, a cucumber, they’re still essential for a healthy diet.
If you aren’t dairy-free or vegan, you can benefit from a host of cheesy nutrients such as calcium, protein, phosphorus, zinc, vitamin A and vitamin B12.
However, if you’re still worried about saturated fat and heart health, then we have some good news for you. New research has found that saturated fat has minimal impact on heart disease risks compared to what was previously believed!
Calories are still a concern and we hear you, some cheese is just undeniably fatty – we’re looking at you, brie.
But, we still think you should be enjoying cheese regularly, so here is a list of cheeses on the ‘lighter’ side for you to enjoy as part of a healthy and balanced diet.
1. Parmesan: 110 calories per ounce
This nutty Italian cheese originates from the Parma area.
It’s high in sodium, so use in moderation but a little goes a long way thanks to its strong flavor. Sprinkle a few shavings to a salad or pasta for a tasty addition.
2. Swiss: 108 calories per ounce
Otherwise known as Emmental, this strong cheese is richer in phosphorus than most soft cheeses which helps maintain bone density.
It comes in low-sodium and low-fat options to fit your dietary needs.
3. Feta: 75 calories an ounce
Feta is both lower in fat and calories than most cheeses while also being a great source of protein.
Similar to parmesan, the popular Mediterranean cheese is full of flavor, so you won’t need to add much to your salad.
4. Cottage: 29 calories per ounce
This is a diet-friendly food for a reason. It’s high in protein (16 grams per half cup) and low in fat and goes with pretty much anything.
Check the label before buying though, as cottage cheese can contain a lot of sodium. Some companies, like Friendship Dairy, make no-salt-added versions.
5. Goat: 75 calories per ounce
A great choice for those who are lactose intolerant. This low-calorie choice is rich in protein with more than 5 grams per ounce.
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