Cheese is notorious for getting a bad rap by saying it’s artery clogging, and packs on the pounds.  But newsflash: not all cheese is bad for you!  Here is a list of 5 cheeses that are low in calories and good for you!  Cheese can be a great source for lean protein, calcium, phosphorus, and other health benefits.

Feta:

A key component of Greek cuisine, feta is lower in fat and calories than most cheeses.  A one-ounce serving has 4 grams of protein and only 74 calories.

Feta’s characteristic strong flavor means you can get away with using less cheese without feeling cheated.  Another interesting tidbit, is that Greek feta is made with sheep’s or goats milk which can be beneficial for people who have issues digesting cow made dairy products.

String Cheese:

You read that correctly, it’s not just an addition to your kids school lunch so pack it for work too.

For starters, if you choose string cheese made of part-skim mozzarella, it’s low in calories and high in protein (a one-ounce serving has 71 calories and 7 grams of protein).  String cheese isn’t a processed cheese either, mozzarella is naturally stringy (bet you didn’t know that).  When buying your cheese, make sure it’s 100% mozzarella.

Parmesan:

Like feta, parmesan is a great choice because just a little packs a potent, nutty punch.

Parmesan is relatively low in calories (110 in a one-ounce serving), but it’s high in sodium (449 milligrams for the same serving size), so be sure to use it in moderation.  A good way to eat parmesan would be shaved onto salad, or grating it over pizza and pasta.  For a lighter snack, try eating small slices with apples or pears.

Swiss:

Swiss is another strong cheese that’s good for you. What we call Swiss cheese is often Swiss Emmentaler (or Emmental), though other cheeses with a similar taste and hole-studded texture are sometimes lumped in as well.

As a hard cheese, Swiss is also richer in phosphorus than nearly all soft cheeses.  Calcium and Phosphorus are important for women to ingest at any age.  Eat Swiss cheese on your sandwich or scrambled into eggs.  A few small cubes make a great snack with fruit.

Cottage Cheese:

There’s a reason dieters love cottage cheese: It’s high in protein, low in fat (if you buy a low-fat variety), and versatile enough to add to most any meal or snack.

A one-ounce serving of low-fat cottage cheese has 3 grams of protein and only 20 calories. Like all cheeses, it’s also high in calcium.  Indian paneer, Mexican queso fresco, and other types of farmer’s cheese are simply pressed versions of cottage cheese.  When buying cottage cheese, make sure you buy it with low sodium because the nonfat versions are notorious for containing high amounts.

Make sure to stock up on these favorites during your next shopping trip!

-Jessica Brown

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