Cheese makes most people’s hearts beat faster. And if you look at all the dishes to which this ingredient simply belongs, you might think that you can’t do without it. Why cheese is healthy is actually clear: abundant calcium, protein and B vitamins. But although it undoubtedly brings some health benefits, it is also constantly under criticism. Indeed, most cheeses are not only very high in calories, but also contain saturated fatty acids that promote inflammation, as well as a lot of salt. So, is cheese healthy or not? Fortunately, the emphasis is on “most”, because there are also such varieties that you can snack without hesitation. Which cheese is healthy and which is better to avoid? We give you an overview about it.
Table of contents
- Which cheese is healthy?
- Unhealthy cheese varieties
- Which cheese is healthy for pregnant women?
Which cheese is healthy?
As long as you do not overdo it with the amount, but consume this delicious dairy product in normal moderation, it is safe. Nevertheless, there are varieties that are more beneficial – then cheese is healthy! We list the healthiest varieties:
The Harz cheese variety
If the cheese should be healthy and suitable for weight loss, Harzer is without question one of the best varieties. Why is Harzer cheese healthy? With its 120 calories per 100 g, it is very low in calories and fat, and in addition to that, it also offers many valuable nutrients. These include not only a lot of calcium and protein (a full 27 g per 100 g), but also phosphorus, potassium and folic acid. Although it has a very unique taste and is therefore avoided by many, it is still worth introducing it into the diet. Especially those who aim to build muscle , will benefit from protein-rich foods like this.
Is it still not for you? Then read on to find out: which cheese is healthy while having a more neutral taste?
The favorite “mozzarella”
To decide for the mozzarella is already much easier. There is hardly anyone who does not love it. In addition, it is not only ideal for salads, but also works well as a pizza topping and is used in casseroles. It is characterized by a high calcium and protein content (20 g/100 g), and at the same time it has only about 20 g of fat per 100 g – of which 7 g are unsaturated fatty acids, i.e. the healthy fats. In addition, this type of cheese scores with vitamins A and E, as well as with the minerals magnesium (for a healthy nervous system) and potassium.
Which cheese is healthy: cottage cheese as an all-rounder
As a spread, with a salad, combined with jam or simply spooned out of the cup – cottage cheese can be snacked on in a variety of ways, because it has a very neutral taste, which makes it the perfect combination partner. But that is by no means the only great feature. It also provides you with about 13 g of protein per 100 g of product. And if you want to lose weight, you can also use cottage cheese without worrying, because it contains only a few calories. It also contains magnesium and B vitamins.
So either way, too much cheese is unhealthy, but with some varieties you should pay special attention to the amount. The following are among them:
Consume any processed cheese in moderation.
As delicious as processed cheese may be, it is a highly processed product. For example, artificial phosphate is added to it, which is said to be harmful to health, unlike the natural phosphate salts found in other cheese. They put a strain on the kidneys, causing them to deposit on the walls of blood vessels, and this promotes cardiovascular disease . And although cheese is known to contain a lot of calcium and promote healthy bones, these phosphates have the property of removing calcium from the body. This can lead to osteoporosis.
Sweetened cream cheese – Why is this cheese not healthy?
As you can already guess, it is because of the sugar that these cream cheeses contain. And don’t be fooled by healthy-sounding ingredients like strawberries. Sugar has a pro-inflammatory effect and damages the intestinal flora. It also increases the risk of developing certain diseases. For example, obesity, type 2 diabetes or fatty liver can be a consequence of too much sugar consumption. If cream cheese also contains aspartame, the risk of cancer increases, as this sweetener is considered carcinogenic. A healthy cheese alternative would be natural cream cheese with spices or if you sweeten it yourself and only with fruits.
Paradoxically, low-fat and low-sodium cheeses.
You want to lose weight, so you reach for a reduced-fat type of cheese – and you’re reassured because, after all, less fat means healthier. Well, not in this case. You see, the missing fat has to be compensated somehow, and usually sweeteners or artificial substances are used that are harmful to your health. So instead of satisfying your cravings by eating a lot of low-fat cheese, it’s better to snack on less but normal cheese. This rule does not, however, apply to quark or yogurt. You can eat these with peace of mind even in the light version, which is actually the healthier one.
Additives are also used to compensate for reduced-sodium cheeses, which is also detrimental to health.
Which cheese is healthy for pregnant women?
In principle, pregnant women are allowed to consume any cheese that is not made from raw milk or with heat treatment. The only raw milk cheese that is allowed is one that has been aged for a long time (e.g. Parmesan). However, you must remove the rind. Also avoid soft cheeses, cheeses with mold or surface smears, and pre-made grated cheeses or pickled varieties (mozzarella, feta).