Mozzarella cheese is actually a dairy product. Contrary to the popular belief, mozzarella cheese is not a type of vegetable cheese. It is made from the milk of water buffalo. Mozzarella cheese is quite popular in pizza and other Italian foods because it melts well when you cook it. In fact, mozzarella was traditionally used for pizza where it melts when cooked.
mozzarella cheese, what is it?
The best way to approach this question is to think about mozzarella cheese in terms of its social history. While the term “mozzarella” was coined in Italy in the 17th century, the first use of it (as a food product) dates back to 1597, when Francesco Saverio Nelli (1528-1597) imported Italian mozzarella cheese from Greece and introduced it to his friends.
This ancient cheese was often eaten with bread, but it is also known for its use as an intrinsic ingredient in French cuisine. It is not until 1880 that the process of producing mozzarella was perfected by Enrico Anzellotti, who began mass-producing it for commercial purposes (i.e., for export). Then, in 1892, Domenico Mozzato invented the machine that allowed bakers to quickly produce fresh mozzarella from milk at a much lower cost than previously possible; and thus today’s world-famous mozzarella was born.
To understand how this cheese is made, take a look at the last picture above: what you see is two indentations on top of each other — one for each of the wheels of cheese below them — and melt away their outer layer to reveal what lies underneath:
That’s right: The melted layers are called “mozzarella casings.” They are pieces of waxed cheesecloth with holes cut out so they can be filled with milk and then sealed shut behind them. As you can see, they have little holes drilled through them allowing milk to seep into them with ease. These little holes are designed so that when the milk is poured into the casings there should be no air pockets inside them (which could reduce quality), but there should be enough air space between each layer that they don’t touch each other when they are stacked up before being packed into boxes or sent off for shipping across oceans to your front door.
When you are looking at these two pictures together you will notice something interesting: There isn’t much resemblance between any two different kinds of cheeses. While cheeses come from all over the world — France has cheeses made from cows raised in 800 different localities; Italy has – just about every kind imaginable – cheeses made from cows raised all over the country; Portugal produces a type called Camembert which originated on an island off Spain’s
Is Mozzarella Cheese Healthy?
Cheese is a nutrient-dense food that offers many health benefits, such as reducing the risk of osteoporosis and heart disease. One study also found that it can help improve cholesterol levels, thanks to nutrients like calcium and vitamin K. While many people think that cheese is high in fat, sodium and calories, you may change your mind after learning more about the nutritional breakdown of mozzarella cheese.
Nutrition of Mozzarella Cheese
According to the USDA, every ounce (28 grams) of mozzarella cheese provides:
- 72 calories
- 7g protein
- 4.5g fat
- 3g saturated fat
- 1g carbohydrates
- 0g fiber
- 175mg sodium (8% Daily Value)
- 222mg calcium (22% Daily Value)
- 131mg phosphorous (19% Daily Value)
- 0.8mg zinc (10% Daily Value)
One ounce of mozzarella cheese provides close to one-third of your daily requirement of dairy needed, according to USDA MyPlate.
Eating mozzarella cheese gives you a portion of your dairy requirement, as do other cheeses, milk and yogurt. You need 3 cups of dairy a day, whether you are maintaining or losing weight. Cheese makers begin the process of making mozzarella cheese with either goat, cow or water buffalo milk. The milk, rennet, citric acid and salt combine together to make the cheese in a complex process that takes several hours. The type of milk used — either skim, part-skim or whole milk plays a role in the caloric and fat content in the mozzarella cheese. The more fat the milk contains, the more the cheese calories can affect your weight loss.
Health Benefits Of Mozzarella Cheese
Made from milk, Mozzarella cheese is just more than its taste and calories. Other than calcium, this cheese variant offers a variety of health benefits. Read our guide to see how your favourite cheese rates of the nutrition meter.
1. Source Of Biotin
Mozzarella cheese is a fine source of Biotin also called Vitamin B7. Since this nutrient is water soluble, the body does not store it. Eating this cheese variant can thus satisfy your immediate nutritional needs. Pregnant women can eat cheese to cope with possible biotin deficiency (1). This vitamin also stops nails from turning brittle. Studies have shown biotin can also lower blood glucose levels in diabetic people. It also helps in promoting the health of the hair, skin, and nails.
2. Source Of Riboflavin
It is a good idea to eat mozzarella cheese as it is rich in Vitamin B2 or riboflavin. Part of the vitamin B complex family, it needs to be taken daily as it helps the body fight various ailments and conditions like migraine attacks and anemia (2). It also has proven antioxidant properties.
3. Source Of Niacin
The dairy product also contains vitamin B3 or Niacin, which plays a pivotal role in turning fat into suitable energy in the human body (3). Besides, Niacin helps control cholesterol, prevents the onset of ailments like diabetes and arthritis.
4. Source Of Protein
One of the best benefits of mozzarella cheese is that it is a powerhouse of protein. If you want a source of protein, mozzarella cheese makes a good choice. Eating this cheese keeps you energetic and boosts muscle strength.
5. Replete With Fat Soluble Vitamins
Mozzarella cheese also contains important fat-soluble vitamins like D, E and A (4). These vitamins are required for calcium absorption, bone health and cell membrane protection.
6. Helps Make Bones Stronger
The cheese variant contains a high amount of Calcium-a key mineral that is required for optimum bone and teeth health. One ounce of mozzarella cheese has 183 milligrams of calcium important to protect tooth enamel and maintain bone structure (5). Besides, it plays a pivotal role in safeguarding heart muscles and reduces risk of colon cancer. It may also contribute to weight loss.
7. Good Source Of Phosphorus
Mozzarella cheese has a fair amount of phosphorus, which helps the human body absorb calcium from foods. It is also required for optimum digestion and proper functioning of the kidneys. The mineral helps fight muscle fatigue and facilitates brain functioning.
8. Replete With Zinc
Zinc is a vital mineral present in Mozzarella cheese (6). Zinc helps battle skin problems and increases white blood cell count. It also helps the prostate gland function well and aids in shedding excess weight.
9. Source Of Potassium
Potassium is another key mineral that is found in this cheese (6). Potassium helps battle the adverse effects caused by sodium consumption in humans. Potassium also aids in lowering blood pressure and rectifying abysmal heart rhythms.
Risks: Here are the risks of mozzarella cheese:
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- Some commercially manufactured cheese can be a source of unhealthy fats and additives which can lead to the risk of various health complications.
- Shredding cheese can lead to an excessive addition of the same in foods. This can lead to weight gain due to excessive fat and calorie intake.
- People suffering from lactose intolerances can suffer from digestive discomfort and other health complication upon consumption of mozzarella cheese.
- Some level of tyramine is found in mozzarella cheese and excessive intake of the same can trigger migraines and headaches.
- The presence of casein can trigger an inflammatory response in some people.
While mozzarella cheese has nutritional benefits, if you are counting calories while losing weight, eating 2 oz. of mozzarella cheese each day adds over 150 calories, or 9.4 percent of your 1,600 calorie diet. Choose reduced-fat mozzarella cheese over whole, measure the cheese before adding it to foods and make adjustments in your other food choices throughout the day to allow for the calories from the mozzarella cheese. Additionally, the high amount of saturated fat in mozzarella cheese can lead to heart disease or obesity, if consumed too frequently.
How to Enjoy Mozzarella Cheese
Mozzarella cheese is just as versatile as it is nutritious. It is widely used in Italian and American cuisines for how easily it melts and its delicious flavor. The white soft cheese pairs with everything from sweet to savory, making it well-loved by chefs and home cooks alike. Pair it with tomatoes, pesto, fruits and more for a nutritious meal or snack. Mozzarella is also a perfect slicing cheese for pizzas, Caprese salad and flatbreads.
Melt it over toast or your favorite protein, add it to breakfast with our Sun-Dried Tomato & Fresh Mozzarella Cheese quiche, or use it to top roasted vegetables. Our favorite is the Roasted Bell Pepper Salad with Mozzarella and Basil. The possibilities are endless!
You can also simply eat them as is, in the form of mozzarella sticks. Some people also enjoy mozzarella sticks as comfort food by rolling them with panko and an egg wash and frying them with oil. While mozzarella cheese is relatively low in fat, the calories and total fat add up once fried with cooking oil. For a healthier option, you can try our Air-Fry Mozzarella Sticks over the traditional frying method. Despite the cooking method you choose for the fried mozzarella sticks, enjoy them in moderation.
Will mozzarella cheese help you lose weight?
You still need a final fact about mozzarella cheese. The amount of calories in it.
Mozzarella cheese contains about 280 calories per 100 gram. 16.1 of these calories come from carbohydrates (3.1 g per 100 grams).
Mozzarella cheese is not one of the lowest carb cheeses but it is still generally suited for low carb diets like the keto diet.
There are certainly foods lower in calories. On the other hand, most of these calories come from protein which will help you feel full. Mozzarella cheese is also a good source of certain vitamins and minerals.
Adding some mozzarella cheese will basically help you fuller and reach your protein goals. You do have to keep in mind that you can overdo it with this food too.
What about mozzarella sticks?
Mozzarella sticks are basically fried mozzarella cheese with breadcrumbs around it.
This makes for a higher calorie, lower protein, unhealthier due to the frying, food (3). If you want to lose weight you generally want to stay away from mozzarella sticks.
Comparison with other cheeses
The next question is how good mozzarella is for weight loss compared to other cheeses. Below you can find a comparison chart with gouda (4), feta cheese (5), cheddar (6) for some of the most important nutrients for weight loss.
The amount of vitamins and minerals in the foods does matter for weight loss and health but you can’t simplify that in one number.
|Values per 100g||Mozzarella||Gouda||Feta||Cheddar|
|Calories||280 calories||356 calories||264 calories||403 calories|
|Fat||17.1 g||27.4 g||21.3 g||33.1 g|
|Protein||27.5 g||24.9 g||14.2 g||24.9 g|
|Carbohydrates||3.1 g||2.2 g||4.1 g||1.3 g|
Popular cheeses compared
Out of the compared cheeses mozzarella looks like the best cheese for weight loss.
Healthy mozzarella cheese combinations
Another benefit of mozzarella cheese is that it combines well taste-wise with other foods. Here are some examples of weight loss friendly mozzarella cheese combinations:
- Chicken with mozzarella cheese
- Asparagus with mozzarella cheese
- Mozzarella cheese, basil, and tomato
- Ground beef patty with pieces of mozzarella inside
You don’t have to limit yourself to these suggestions. Mozzarella cheese goes well with a lot of foods.