A diet myth is that cheese is a no-no when it comes to nutrition. Well for all you cheese lovers out there, I am here to BUST this myth! While it is true that cheese is high in fat saturated fat, if used in moderation and the right kind of cheese, you can gain numerous health benefits. Being part of the dairy group, cheese is essential to bone health, dental health and getting your healthy does of proteins, fats, calcium, vitamins and minerals. Here is a list of the best lowfat cheeses:
1. Cheddar – My personal favorite kind of cheese. I love the Cabot 50% Reduced Fat with Omega-3 DHA. This little slice of heaven has only 70 calories and 5 grams of fat per oz and fulfills 20% of your daily omega-3 needs.
2. Swiss – This is a great choice as a substitute for mayo in recipes or in sandwiches. I spread one wedge, only 35 calories and 1.5 grams of fat, on my wraps. This is a great way to ween yourself off of mayo and other high caloric sides without compromising the taste! These also make a great snack with an apple and a couple of whole wheat crackers.
3. Feta – I sprinkle Athenos Low-Fat Feta on all of my salads, pasta dishes and quinoa recipes for a great grab-and-go snack. With just 35 calories and 0 grams of fat per oz, why not?
4. Jarlsberg – For those cold winter day grilled cheese sandwiches or paninis try a Jarlsberg Light Fresh-Pak for some ooey-gooey goodness. This is a great soft cheese that melts to perfection, giving you all of the flavor without all of the calories; 70 calories and 4 grams of fat per slice.
5. Goat – Easy on the digestive system, lower in calories, cholesterol, and fat AND contains a healthy does of protein, calcium and vitamin A, this cheese is a yes please! Coach Farm offers Reduced Fat Medallions that have only 45 calories and 3 grams of fat per oz.
6. Parmessan – This light flavored cheese is a staple in my families salads, pastas and appetizers. Out of all of the types of cheese Parm has one of the densest amount of calcium and protein. I don’t have a favorite brand but most low-fat brands have about have about 20 calories and 2 grams of fat per serving.
7. Mozzarella – Sargento Preferred Light and Sorrento Lite are two preferred low-fat brands. I use this on my homemade pizza’s and would think twice about replacing it. The Sargento brand boasts 50 calories and 3 grams of fat – not bad!
8. Vegan – You don’t need to be a veggie just to try this kind of cheese. If you suffer from high cholesterol or a lactose intolerance, try one of these vegan cheese brands – Vegan Rella, Sheese, or Toffuti. The list of health benefits are astronomical. It is lactose free, full of vitamin, contains a rich source of calcium, vitamin B, essential amino acids, essential fatty acids, and isoflavines (which help to control hormones – HELLO PMS!)
9. Blue – Sticky as it may be, the mold in Blue cheese is actually related to penicillin that fights harmful bacteria in the body. Load up on The Laughing Cow Light Blue Cheese Wedges for only 35 calories and 2 grams of fat per serving.
10. Cottage – This is one of the best healthy, weight management snacks I can suggest. It is high in protein, low in calories and carbs and is slow to digest, keeping you fuller longer. Have an entire cup for 165 calories and only 2 grams of fat. Fill it with fruit and nuts for a wholesome snack and your waist line will thank you!
What is your favorite kind of cheese? Have you ever tried a vegan brand? If so, which one and how did you like it? What is your favorite dish with cheese?