HealthThe cheesy conundrum: Unveiling the healthiest choices for cheese lovers

The cheesy conundrum: Unveiling the healthiest choices for cheese lovers

Ricotta is one of the healthiest cheeses.
Ricotta is one of the healthiest cheeses.
Images source: © Getty Images | Isabelle Rozenbaum

7:16 AM EST, January 14, 2024

A cheesy dilemma

While cheese is rich in protein, calcium, vitamins, and essential amino acids, it's also a high-calorie product that can contain significant amounts of fats and sodium. As with everything, balance is key, as going overboard with the calories is easy.

The protein found in cheese is a good alternative to protein derived from meat, as it contains all the essential amino acids that the body can't produce on its own.

Consumption of cheese can lead to several health benefits. Of course, much depends on the type and quantity of cheese. So, which cheese is the healthiest? Nutrition experts have delved into various kinds and have given us an answer.

Healthier cheese options for cheese lovers

Dietitian Emily Martorano declared that ricotta is the undisputed champion among cheeses. It has a high whey protein concentration, which is easily absorbed by the body and contains a wide assortment of amino acids.

Ricotta is an excellent choice to build muscle, lose fat, and shed some weight. This cheese type is also incredibly versatile and can be used to prepare a variety of dishes - from sweet desserts to savory plates.

Castro Mortillaro, a clinical dietitian, points out that harder cheeses, such as Parmigiano, pecorino, or gouda, can also be healthy if consumed in moderation. They contain more protein and are quite satisfying.

However, caution is required as hard cheeses may have a higher sodium content. Exercise caution and moderation if you have high blood pressure or kidney issues. Cheeses that are rich in protein and lower in fat content are often the best option for those who wish to keep their weight in check.

Factors to bear in mind when choosing cheese

Preferably choose cheeses with a protein to calorie ratio of 1:10. This means that for every 100 calories, there should be at least 10 grams of protein. This way, we ensure maximum benefits from our cheese intake.

If you can help it, avoid highly processed products, especially those that come packaged in slices and those that don't need refrigeration. Such products offer minimal protein content but a maximum amount of fat and sodium.

Some cheeses are also good sources of probiotics, including feta, goat cheese, and cheese made from unpasteurized milk. While your favorite product, consumed occasionally, won't cause harm, remember that moderation is key.

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