“Eat cheese sparingly” is the conclusion of a CNN news story entitled “Is cheese healthy?” Cheese contains nutrients like protein, calcium, vitamin B12 and zinc. But cheese also contains saturated fat, which can elevate LDL cholesterol when you over consume cheese. There are also soft cheeses and hard cheeses. Soft cheeses contain less fat and therefore fewer calories than hard cheeses.
As an example, an ounce of whole-milk ricotta contains 50 calories, an ounce of feta cheese 75 calories. The reason is that ricotta cheese contains 4 grams of fat, while feta cheese has 6 gram of fat. Parmesan cheese has 7 grams of fat, Swiss cheese 8 grams and cheddar cheese 9 grams of fat, all of these values per one ounce of cheese. This explains why an ounce of Swiss cheese has 108 calories, and an ounce of cheddar cheese 114 calories.
How to consume cheese
It is important that you understand that hard cheeses have higher saturated fat content and therefore more calories. But you can for instance use Parmesan cheese by sprinkling it over salads or pasta. By limiting the amount you are using, you don’t have to worry about the fat content or the amount of calories as much.
Apart from fat and calories, cheese can have substantial amounts of sodium from salt. For instance, feta contains 260 milligrams of sodium per ounce, while Parmesan even has 390 milligrams.
Hard cheese like cheddar is higher in calories, but it requires you to chew it more. This produces saliva, which is alkaline. So, your mouth is getting less acidic, which is good for preventing cavities.
Cheese in smaller amounts is good to enhance the flavor of your food. Treat it like a condiment! It has nutrients like protein, calcium, vitamin B12 and zinc in it. Hard cheeses have more saturated fat and calories in it than soft cheeses. But overall it is important to note that cheese should only be an addition to your meal. Consume it in small amounts to enhance the flavor. If you overindulge in cheese you would elevate your LDL cholesterol, which down the road could cause heart attacks and strokes. Moderation in using cheese is the solution.