Have you always heard that cheese is not good for weight loss? Should you avoid it? I’m so glad you asked. Let’s get straight to the point: cheese isn’t bad for weight loss. In fact, on a Keto diet, there are many health benefits of eating organic (grass-fed) cheese every day. There are some foods you should avoid if you’re trying to lose weight. In the case of cheese, sodium can be a big problem. But with moderation, cheese can be part of your diet and help you shed pounds.
Cheese is a dairy product that comes in hundreds of different textures and flavors.
It’s produced by adding acid or bacteria to milk from various farm animals, then aging or processing the solid parts of the milk.
The nutrition and taste of cheese depend on how it is produced and what milk is used.
Some people are concerned that cheese is high in fat, sodium, and calories. However, cheese is also an excellent source of protein, calcium, and several other nutrients.
Eating cheese may even aid weight loss and help prevent heart disease and osteoporosis. That said, some cheeses are healthier than others.
Here are 9 of the healthiest types of cheese.
Mozzarella is a soft, white cheese with high moisture content. It originated in Italy and is usually made from Italian buffalo or cow’s milk.
Mozzarella is lower in sodium and calories than most other cheeses. One ounce (28 grams) of full-fat mozzarella contains
- Calories: 85
- Protein: 6 grams
- Fat: 6 grams
- Carbs: 1 gram
- Sodium: 176 mg — 7% of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI)
- Calcium: 14% of the RDI
Mozzarella also contains bacteria that act as probiotics, including strains of Lactobacillus casei and Lactobacillus fermentum
Both animal and human studies show that these probiotics may improve gut health, promote immunity, and fight inflammation in your body
One study in 1,072 older adults found that drinking 7 ounces (200 ml) per day of fermented dairy containing Lactobacillus fermentum for 3 monthssignificantly reduced the duration of respiratory infections, compared to not consuming the drink
Therefore, dairy products like mozzarella that contain this probiotic may strengthen your immune system and help fight infections. However, more research is needed.
Mozzarella tastes delicious in Caprese salad — made with fresh tomatoes, basil, and balsamic vinegar — and can also be added to many recipes.
SUMMARYMozzarella is a soft cheese that’s lower in sodium and calories than most other cheeses. It also contains probiotics that may boost your immune system.
Blue cheese is made from cow, goat, or sheep’s milk that has been cured with cultures from the mold Penicillium
It is typically white with blue or grey veins and spots. The mold used to create blue cheese gives it a distinctive odor and bold, tangy flavor.
Blue cheese is very nutritious and boasts more calcium than most other cheeses. One ounce (28 grams) of whole-milk blue cheese contains
- Calories: 100
- Protein: 6 grams
- Fat: 8 grams
- Carbs: 1 gram
- Sodium: 380 mg — 16% of the RDI
- Calcium: 33% of the RDI
Since blue cheese is high in calcium, a nutrient necessary for optimal bone health, adding it to your diet may help prevent bone-related health issues.
In fact, adequate calcium intake is linked to a reduced risk of osteoporosis, which causes bones to become weak and brittle
Blue cheese tastes great on top of burgers, pizzas, and salads made with spinach, nuts, and apples or pears.
SUMMARYBlue cheese has distinctive blue or grey veins and a tangy taste. Loaded with calcium, it may promote bone health and help prevent osteoporosis.
Feta is a soft, salty, white cheese originally from Greece. It’s typically made from sheep’s or goat’s milk. Sheep’s milk gives feta a tangy and sharp taste, while goat’s feta is milder.
Since feta is packaged in brine to preserve freshness, it can be high in sodium. However, it is typically lower in calories than most other cheeses.
One ounce (28 grams) of full-fat feta cheese provides
- Calories: 80
- Protein: 6 grams
- Fat: 5 grams
- Carbs: 1 gram
- Sodium: 370 mg — 16% of the RDI
- Calcium: 10% of the RDI
Feta, like all full-fat dairy, provides conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), which is associated with reduced body fat and improved body composition
One study in 40 overweight adults found that taking 3.2 grams per day of a CLA supplement for 6 months significantly decreased body fat and prevented holiday weight gain, compared to a placebo
Thus, eating CLA-containing foods like feta may help improve body composition. In fact, feta and other cheeses made from sheep’s milk typically have more CLA than other cheeses
However, research is limited and has mostly focused on CLA supplements.
To add feta cheese to your diet, try crumbling it over salads, adding it to eggs, or whipping it into a dip to eat with fresh vegetables.
SUMMARYFeta is a Greek cheese that’s higher in salt but lower in calories than other cheeses. It may also contain higher amounts of CLA, a fatty acid linked to improved body composition.
Cottage cheese is a soft, white cheese made from the loose curds of cow’s milk. It’s thought to have originated in the United States.
Cottage cheese is much higher in protein than other cheeses. A 1/2-cup (110-gram) serving of full-fat cottage cheese provides
- Calories: 120
- Protein: 12 grams
- Fat: 7 grams
- Carbs: 3 grams
- Sodium: 500 mg — 21% of the RDI
- Calcium: 10% of the RDI
Since cottage cheese is high in protein but low in calories, it is often recommended for weight loss.
Several studies indicate that eating high-protein foods like cottage cheese can increase feelings of fullness and help decrease overall calorie intake, which in turn may lead to weight loss
A study in 30 healthy adults found that cottage cheese was just as filling as an omelet with a similar nutrient composition
Thus, adding cottage cheese to your diet may help you feel fuller after meals and reduce your calorie intake.
It tastes great spread on toast, blended into smoothies, added to scrambled eggs, or used as the base for dips.
SUMMARYCottage cheese is a fresh, clumpy cheese that’s loaded with protein. Adding cottage cheese to your diet can help keep you full and may aid weight loss.
Is Cheese OK When Trying to Lose Weight?
The key to losing weight — and keeping it off — is creating a healthy diet you can stick with for the long term, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Cheese is a nutrient-rich food you can include in a weight-loss diet, but it’s high in calories so you’ll need to limit the amount you eat. The protein in cheese may even help you lose weight by making you feel full and satisfied.
Watch Portions to Limit Calories
If you enjoy cheese, don’t eliminate it from your diet. Instead limit portions to 1 ounce and buy low-fat or fat-free brands to keep the calories and fat within your daily goals. Most types of full-fat cheese have 72 to 125 calories in a 1-ounce serving. Fat-free brands contain no fat, which subsequently reduces the calories by at least half and sometimes more than that, depending on the type of cheese. Semi-soft cheeses, such as brie and brick, have fewer calories than hard cheeses, but different types of cheeses vary in their calories, so check the nutrient facts label on the brands you buy.
Protein Keeps You Full
No matter what type of cheese you prefer, you’ll get at least 6 grams of quality protein in a 1-ounce serving. Beyond making a significant contribution to your daily protein requirement, the protein in cheese supports weight loss. It slows the movement of food out of your stomach so you feel full longer and it keeps blood sugar balanced, which means blood sugar won’t drop and trigger hunger, notes the Harvard School of Public Health. Protein also stimulates satiety by affecting hormones that regulate your appetite, according to research published in the May 2013 issue of the “American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.”
Dairy, Calcium and Weight Loss
Research has produced conflicting results about the role of calcium and dairy products in weight loss. However, two reviews published in late 2012 — one in the “American Journal of Clinical Nutrition” and the other in the “International Journal of Obesity” — concluded that dairy products facilitate weight loss when they’re part of a calorie-controlled diet. A report published in 2013 in the “European Journal of Clinical Nutrition” stated that overweight individuals who ate more calcium-rich dairy products on a low-calorie diet lost the same amount of weight as those who didn’t eat as much dairy, but they reported feeling more satiated and ultimately consumed less dietary fat.
Other Nutrients, Good and Bad
Cheese is high in saturated fat, so it’s important to choose low-fat or fat-free brands to avoid this unhealthy fat. Cheese can also be quite high in sodium. Check the label because sodium can range from as low as 16 milligrams per serving to more than 500 milligrams in processed American cheese. As a dairy product, cheese contains vitamin A, potassium, and is an especially good source of vitamin B-12, which you need to make normal red blood cells and maintain healthy nerves. Cheese is also a good choice for a low carbohydrate diet.
These THREE cheese types are best for weight loss
Due to the saturated fat present in it, cheese is not considered a healthy food for weight loss (unless of course you are following keto). But science says having cheese when striving to shed some kilos is actually a good choice.
Cheese is high in calcium and has a number of health benefits. Rich in protein and phosphorus, it helps in digestion and promotes gut health. Cheese increases the satiety and wards off the craving for unhealthy food.
However, not all types of cheese are good for you when you are aiming to lose weight. It is important to choose the one that is full of nutrients and is low in fat content.
Here are the three best cheese you can choose from :
Good old cottage cheese or everyone’s favourite paneer is best to have if you are trying to slim down. Packed with protein, cottage cheese gives you 50 percent of the daily recommended protein intake. A whole cup of cottage cheese contains approximately 163 calories.
The great taste of parmesan cheese makes it a popular choice for dieters. Rich in protein, calcium and minerals, 1 teaspoon of parmesan cheese contains 21 calories. Add it in salads or soups depending on your preference.
Traditional Greek feta cheese is made from sheep or goat milk. Feta cheese has few calories than any other cheese, so it a good choice for weight loss. 28 grams of feta cheese contains 75 calories. However, feta cheese is high in sodium, so it is advised to drink plenty of water if you have it.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Guide Pyramid recommends 3 cups of milk or dairy equivalents daily to help you get enough calcium to support bone-mass. A 1 ½-cup serving of hard cheese, or 2 cups of cottage cheese, counts as one of these servings. In a study released in October 2009, researchers from the Curtin University of Public Health in Australia found that dieters who increased their daily dairy intake to five servings lost more weight and belly fat than those who stuck to the standard three servings after 12 weeks. Low-fat cheese was included as part of this study’s dieting regimen. Cheese also provides protein, about 8 g per ounce, and phosphorus for strong bones. A 1-cup serving of cottage cheese provides 28 g of protein – making it a filling diet snack.
Even when dieting, you need some fat in your meals to help you feel more satisfied and to support some body functions. Although you want to keep saturated fat to less than 7 percent of total daily calories, adding a little cheese to meals can help you feel less deprived. Skip non-fat hard cheese, which has a rubbery texture and does not melt smoothly. Low-fat versions of cottage, cream, ricotta and mozzarella do not change much texturally or taste-wise.