Can you lose weight by eating cheese? Fun Fact: Mozzarella cheese has just 80 calories per ounce, which is lower than most other varieties. We often think of cheese as being a heavy food due greatly to it being a solid dairy product versus milk, yogurt, etc. However, it’s also very healthy since it’s high in protein, healthy fat, and calcium. Cheese is a “complete protein” since it has all the amino acids humans must get from food/supplements. There are up to 10 main types of cheeses then several varieties in sub-categories. So it can seem tough to find the best cheese for your diet.
If you want to lose weight then cheese is certainly a good option. One of the main benefits is it’s high in healthy fats that can help you feel full. One of the main reasons is fat contains 2x more calories than carbs and protein. However, there are many different factors to weigh when picking the healthiest cheeses for weight loss diets. Besides the calories, there are other issues like protein, fat, and sodium. For example, one serving of Parmesan has the full amount of sodium recommended for most adults by the American Heart Association (AHA).
Is Cheese Healthy?
This is the first big issue to take up. One of the main reasons is that people often have the impression that cheese is unhealthy because it’s high-fat. There are also options like sharp cheddar that are dense foods, which might make it seem diet-unfriendly.
One of the main issues is what kind of cheese is being discussed. For example, highly-processed “cheese” is usually loaded with oils, and artificial additives like colors, flavors, and preservatives. There’s also the fact that such options don’t need refrigeration, which is a sign it’s not the real deal.
Meanwhile, dairy-based cheeses have much more nutritional value. It’s important to consider the main ingredient of milk. This dairy product is high in several nutrients. For example, it’s one of the “complete proteins” and is high in Vitamin D, calcium, etc.
There’s still a relatively big difference when picking different kinds of cheeses. For example, the number of calories in one ounce of cheese can vary among different varieties. It can be as low as 80 per ounce and as high as 120 calories or so. When you’re counting calories that can make a big difference.
There are also differences in the amounts of nutrients like fats, vitamins, and minerals. For example, some cheeses are low-fat or high-fat. Others are higher or lower in certain vitamins and minerals.
For example, one serving of Parmesan has over 1500mg of sodium. That’s what the AHA recommends for a full day. So when looking for the healthiest cheese varieties it’s about more than just the calories. That’s one of the factors but a high-fat or high-sodium block of cheese could wreck your diet.
Another possible health issue with cheese is some are high in saturated fat. This is another big debate topic since olive oil and coconut water are also high in saturated fat.
Best Cheese for Diet
The semi-hard cheese is famous for options like sandwiches. It’s also lower in sodium/fat versus other varieties. Look for Swiss cheeses with under 140mg of sodium/serving to make them more diet-friendly.
2. Cottage Cheese
This is a low-calorie and high-protein cheese, which makes it a good option for snacks and meals. It’s also high in the antioxidant selenium, which can help to fight off inflammation.
This cheese is popular on the Mediterranean diet. Studies show it can lower heart disease risk. Feta is also lower-fat and offers a tangy taste for salads, wraps, etc. Feta is also high-calcium.
Some people can digest goat cheese better than cow’s milk cheese. It’s lower in lactose and has a milk protein that’s less likely than cow milk to cause digestion problems. Goat cheese can be added to salads, toast, wraps, etc.
Grated parmesan is a popular topping for pasta like spaghetti. It’s high in nutrients like calcium/phosphorous, which are bone-friendly ones. Make sure to watch out for sodium content, which tends to be high for Parmesans.
This cheese is great for crackers, sandwiches, and omelets. It’s high in nutrients like calcium and protein. Each slice has 7g of protein and 9g of fat.
The Italian cheese can be made from different kinds of milk including cow, sheep, and goat. This one is mostly made up of the milk protein whey, which is a complete protein.
This soft cheese is famous for one of the main ingredients for pizza and other Italian dishes. It’s lower-calorie/sodium and higher-calcium than other cheese varieties. It’s great for sandwiches, salads, etc.
You can use the fancy French spelling “Bleu” if you want. It’s a great option for dieters including high-calcium. Watch out for sodium content. Blue cheese is great for soups, salads, and appetizers.
Low-Fat Cheese Recipes
This is great for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. The vegetarian dish is meat-less yet full-flavored with lots of nutrients. You get Vitamins C/E, calcium, antioxidants, and fiber. You can even make it low-carb by making a crustless quiche that’s grain/gluten-free.
You can make a classic version of Garfield’s favorite food or swap in turkey for ground beef. Either way, you can add some low-fat cheese to add nutrients like protein and fat. There’s no question cheese helps to bring everything together with this Italian comfort food.
We usually think of stuffing as something for turkeys. However, you can also stuff chickens with stuff like goat cheese. This provides a mild flavor and can be paired with herbs like garlic for some extra flavor.
You can add just about any combo you want. Goat cheese is a good option, which can be paired with stuff like red peppers, fresh mint, and other healthy ingredients.
If you’re a pizza fan then this is easily one of the best toppings in terms of taste, texture, and protein. You can even make it healthier with some added mushrooms or green peppers. While mozzarella is the go-to cheese for most people you could go with some other light cheeses that add a slightly different taste.
Some good options include feta cheese although you can use other varieties. The meal is complete with other ingredients like olives and herbs/spices. These options are great as a light lunch or dinner side dish. Tomatoes are high in antioxidants, which can help to fight off free radical molecules.
Cheese works well with just about any kind of pasta. You can even combine 2+ types in one recipe. Then you can top off the recipe with a tasty sauce like roasted peppers that can include the best cheese for diet.