The 6 Healthiest Cheeses You Can Eat
The healthiest cheese options give you the taste you crave and have great health benefits. Plus, you don’t need to worry about the calories!
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Cheese isn’t a villain
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Cheddar, Swiss, and other hard cheeses pack over 100 calories per ounce. As cheese lovers, we know the calories add up, but eating dairy is good for you, so cheese can be part of a healthy eating plan; in fact, research published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests dairy foods like cheese can help protect your brain against aging. Luckily for real cheese lovers (who wouldn’t touch low-fat versions with a ten-foot cheese knife), the healthiest cheese options that are naturally lower in calories are already some of your favorites. Here’s how they stack up, and delicious ways to add them to your meals and snacks.
Feta cheese: 77 calories per ounce
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Feta is the healthiest cheese that gives you a tangy alternative to more fatty cheeses. Just a half-ounce will transform a salad. Different types of feta have different calories, so check the label to make sure you’re getting the healthiest option. Each variety of feta—we recommend Valbresco, Mt. Vikos, and Athenos—tastes deliciously unique. One surprisingly delicious way to eat feta: with watermelon.
Goat cheese: 75 calories per ounce
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This creamy cheese has about the same amount of calories as feta. The flavor of goat cheese varies by type, but it is generally tangy like yogurt, like this Capricorn pick. Goat cheese is the healthiest cheese that’s perfectly suited for spreading on a sandwich. Replace mayonnaise with this protein-filled spread. Or try it in a yummy salad with arugula.
Mozzarella: 70-85 calories per ounce
If you’re using a lot of cheese—think lasagna—cook with part-skim mozzarella cheese; it only has about 70 calories per ounce and might be the healthiest cheese choice that’s also an excellent source of calcium. For 15 more calories per ounce, whole milk mozzarella is can be more satisfying. Try this instead of cheddar on a grilled cheese sandwich (while you’re at it, try these other tweaks to take your next grilled cheese sandwich to the next level.) or just add basil and sun-dried tomato spread for a delicious treat.
Neufchatel cheese: 70 calories per ounce
This spreadable cheese is the ultimate antidote to fattier cream cheese. Philadelphia brand’s 1/3 less fat cream cheese is actually this type of cheese. You won’t miss the fat, and some people swear that Neufchatel actually tastes better! Make it your bagel’s new BFF, or smear it on banana bread instead of butter.
Camembert: 85 calories per ounce
Try this cousin to Brie with crackers and fruit. Camembert is made in a similar way to Brie but has 10 fewer calories per serving. That doesn’t sound like much, but it can add up. Don’t limit Camembert to the cheese tray. Baked in a Portobello mushroom, it can be an entire meal. Curious how other cheese stacks up, calorie-wise? Here’s how to find out how many calories are in your favorites.