Do you love cheese, but feel like it’s a guilty pleasure? It doesn’t have to be, if you choose the right cheeses. Some types are high in fat and sodium, but don’t offer much nutritional value, while others have enough protein, vitamins and beneficial bacteria, they can even be considered healthy.
“Delish” talked to dietitians and food scientists to find out which cheeses are the healthiest and these are the ones they say we can feel great about eating more often.
- Mozzarella - Thanks to its six grams of protein per one-ounce serving, this is one of the healthiest cheeses. It’s also lower in saturated fat and sodium, and a good source of calcium, phosphorus and zinc, as well as two probiotics - Lactobacillus casei and Lactobacillus fermentum - that promote good gut health.
- Goat cheese - It’s made with goat’s milk, which is high in vitamin A and riboflavin (vitamin B2). It also has less lactose than cow’s milk and goat’s milk has a “higher concentration of short chain fatty acids,” which the nutrition experts say are more “metabolically reactive,” meaning they’re less likely to be stored as excess fat in the body.
- Cottage cheese - It’s been considered a health food for years, thanks to it being high in protein - 24-grams in a cup - and packed with B vitamins. Some brands also contain probiotics, which can boost your immune system and help with digestion.
- Parmesan - With 10 grams of protein and 335 milligrams of calcium per ounce, it’s good for you. But Parmesan is also fairly high in sodium, so it’s not recommended to eat in large amounts, but its strong flavor means you don’t need much at once.
- Swiss cheese - In 2017, this cheese was found to contain a probiotic called propionibacterium freudenreichii that can “help decrease inflammation, fight off infection and even slow the aging process. As a result, Swiss cheese is now considered a superfood, but beyond the probiotic, it’s also high in vitamin B12, calcium and phosphorus, as well as calcium.