It’s no secret that cheese is, and has been for many years, a fantastic source of calcium and protein in a healthy diet. But which type of cheese gives us the best benefits with the least amount fat?
Sources of Calcium:
It’s important to know that vegetables, nuts, and grains give us plenty of calcium, and we would do good to make this our main source–another reason why it’s so important to eat our greens!! Fish and eggs are also very good sources. Typically the main source of calcium intake these day’s come from milk, yogurt and cheese. Which is all good and part of a balanced diet. But seeing that I like to eat most foods (healthy calories and complex carbs) usually with the “full-fat” option, I thought it would be fun to do a little research on cheese. I sometimes like to see which one is the lesser of the evil when it comes to choosing what would naturally be the “less fat” option without doing the “fat-free“, if you get where I’m coming from…or how my brain ticks!!
Aside from processed cheeses–which are not on my healthy list in any case–there are different types of cheese that you would probably want to eat less of, or maybe not use as your daily staple cheese, as the fat content can be deceiving. Most people automatically think that French cheeses are number 1 on the High Fat list, but funny enough the staple “Cheddar” ranks higher than either Brie or Camembert. Here is a quick list of 10 common cheeses and the amount of calories per serving.
Per 30 grams (recommended amount per serving).
Cheddar Cheese = 112 calories
Swiss Cheese = 95 calories
Brie = 96 calories
Camembert = 85 calories
Cream Cheese = 132 calories
Parmeggiano = 122 calories
Feta = 75 calories
Gouda = 113 calories
Swiss =95 calories
Mozzarella = 87 calories
As you can see Parmigiano also ranks high in calories if not just above the staple Cheddar cheese. So why is Parmigiano on my good list you ask?
3 Reasons Why I Choose Parmigiano!
High in Calcium – yes it’s high in calories, but the main nutritional source I’m looking for here to keep my bones healthy is calcium. Per 30 grams of the recommended serving it ranks a whopping 314 mg of calcium (Cheddar 204 mg, Camembert 110 mg, Feta 140 mg).
Source of protein – with the recommended average of protein for adult women being around 46 grams, just 1 serving of Parmigiano will give about 11 grams of protein.
Likely to eat less – it may be ranked in the higher end of the calorie scale, but I believe in the end we will be consuming less calories due too its rich flavor. As just one little block will do the trick in satisfying the taste buds, it will most likely help us avoid eating more than recommended…unlike some of the other high calorie cheeses that you could put several slices of on your lunch sandwich.
Way’s to Include Parmigiano into your Diet:
Being half Italian, I of course love this cheese! There were day’s when I lived in Africa that I dreamed of eating huge blocks of it! It was like gold! And it was as pricey as gold when you did find it! In my opinion this cheese is pretty versatile as you can use it in pasta, minestrone, salad, risotto, pesto, as a melt on baked dishes, etc. For lunch, I’ve replaced my usual butter and very thick slice/slices of Cheddar cheese for pesto in my sandwich. Talk about best of both!!
With the above said, enjoying a delicious cheese platter from time to time will do no harm, but as far as daily consumption is concerned I hope these few facts help you when deciding on which cheese to eat, or being aware of how much!