Healthy Cheese Choices

Cheese is the most essential ingredient in pastas and pizzas, but make healthy cheese choices if you want to maintain your health and weight. Let's see some healthy cheese choices for the same.
Rimlee Bhuyan Mar 14, 2019
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Can you imagine a creamy pasta alfredo without a generous helping of Parmesan cheese, or a deep crust pizza without mozzarella cheese. We bet you cannot imagine such a thing. Cheese is one of the main ingredient in many of our beloved pasta and pizza dishes. It is also an essential ingredient in many sauces and gravies. But is cheese healthy?
The fact is, cheeses are fattening and contribute to an ever-expanding waistline. Over consumption of cheese leads to heart diseases, obesity and high blood pressure. Does it mean that you should lay off cheese altogether? No, you only need to make healthy cheese choices and make sure that you exercise portion control while having these delectable treats.

Healthy Cheese to Eat

Making healthy food choices makes sense because it not only helps you to maintain an ideal body weight, but also helps you to maintain healthy cholesterol levels and prevent lifestyle related diseases like hypertension, diabetes and heart diseases. One of the food groups that we consume in excess is dairy, particularly cheese.
There are many kinds of cheese and these cheeses are used in sauces, Italian pastas, pizzas, casseroles, sandwiches, soups, quiches and tarts, which add up to a lot of calories. To make these dishes more healthier, you need to make healthy cheese choices. 
Here are some ways in which you can make healthy choices.
  • Substitute low fat version of your favorite cheeses for preparing dishes like soups and cheese sauce.
  • Some cheeses like mozzarella, cheddar and Swiss cheese often come in low fat versions that are a healthier option as they contain less fat and fewer calories.
  • The low fat version of cheeses have a milder taste and flavor than the full fat version.
  • If you do not want to compromise on the flavor by using low fat cheese in your dishes, then why not consider using goat's cheese.
  • Healthy choices in goat's cheese include Feta cheese, Bucheron cheese and Caprino cheese. 
  • Goat cheese has a bit of tangy flavor, which makes it ideal for adding it to salads.
  • It is a kind of crumbly white cheese and although it packs quite a punch with its hint of tanginess, it is quite low in fat as well as calories compared to other types of cheeses.
  • Goat cheese doesn't melt like mozzarella when heated making them ineffective to be used in pizza.
  • For pizzas, replace mozzarella with fat free Parmesan and fat free mozzarella. You will get the same melting texture without the excess calories.
  • If you need the same flavor as full fat cheese, then use half fat free and half full fat cheese in your pizza.
  • Cream cheese has one of the highest percentages of fat.
  • To replace cream cheese, you can use skimmed ricotta cheese or cottage cheese.
  • Both ricotta cheese and cottage cheese have lower fat content than cream cheese. However, they can be a bit on the blander side.
  • Add some herbs like dill, basil and chives to ricotta and cottage cheese to impart more flavor.
  • The cheese spread used in sandwiches and paninis is loaded with calories and trans fats.
  • To reduce the amount of calories, make your own cheese spread at home by using fat free cottage cheese with just a small amount of a strong flavored cheese like blue cheese or sharp cheddar.
  • This kind of cheese spread is much more healthier than any store-bought variety.
  • Although, high in fat, cheese has many health benefits.
  • Cheese is a natural source of calcium and it also contains good amounts of zinc, vitamin A, vitamin B12, and phosphorus.
  • Some of the most healthy cheeses are Brie, Camembert and Parmesan.
  • The best thing about these cheeses is that they are not only low in fat and calories, but also have a strong flavor.
  • The cheeses that are loaded with fat are cream cheese, Mascarpone and blue cheese.
  • Limit the use of such cheeses and indulge in them occasionally.
  • Heart healthy cheese are low fat ricotta, feta and cottage cheese.
It is crucial to make these healthy choices while cooking so that you can control the amount of fats and calories you consume from cheeses. Use grated cheese instead of sliced cheese, as it lets you control the amount of cheese you add to your dish. Making a conscious decision to substitute regular cheese with healthy, low fat cheese will keep you fit.
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