Cheeses have a bad reputation when it comes to health. People who obsessively watch their weight have a special phobia of cheese, which is generally considered an evil food as it is said to raise blood cholesterol levels and lead to weight gain. But not all types of cheese deserve all the hatred that they are subjected to. Cheese can also be relatively low in calories and loaded with calcium and protein, and can even aide weight loss! You just need to know the right types of cheese to add to your weight loss diet. It may a bit tricky as there are countless varieties of cheese available in the market. The first thing you should do when you're on a weight loss diet is to eliminate processed cheese from your meals as that is the only variety that is bad for your health.
This is because processed cheese contains excessive salt, vegetable oils and even sugar and food colouring! Some packaged cheeses may even contain harmful artificial flavours and preservatives to increase its shelf-life. So, you should try and include more and more unprocessed or organic cheeses in your diet.
Also Read: 11 Best Cheese Recipes | Easy Cheese Recipes
Here Are Some Healthy Cheeses That You May Add To Your Weight Loss Diet:
1. Mozzarella Cheese
This is one of the popular varieties of cheese available worldwide. This is an Italian cheese variety that is used in pizzas and pastas. Mozzarella is a stretchy, stringy cheese that can be made from milk from cow, buffalo, sheep or goat. The organic mozzarella contains 280 calories per 100 gm (as per USDA data) and is also low in sodium. It is also extremely rich in calcium and hence, may aide weight loss. However, one must stay away from the processed varieties available in the packaged form and must instead opt for the organic and fresh form.
2. Feta Cheese
This is a traditional Greek cheese that is made from sheep's or goat's milk. Feta cheese crumbles are added to salad bowls or can be added to sandwiches and pies. It has a tangy, salty and mildly sour taste. A 100 gm of feta cheese contains 14 gm of protein and 264 calories (as per the USDA data).
3. Cottage Cheese
One of the healthiest cheeses out there, cottage cheese is a fresh curd cheese that has a crumbly texture and a very mild milky flavour. It is extremely popular among dieters as it contains lowest amount of calories among all the cheeses - a 100 gm portion has just 98 calories (as per the USDA data)!
4. Ricotta Cheese
This is another healthier variety of cheese that originated from Italy and is made from whey protein from the milk of the Italian water buffalo. Ricotta cheese prepared from whole milk contains just 174 calories and 11 gm protein per 100 gm (as per the USDA data). Ricotta is usually added to a number of traditional Italian desserts such as cheesecakes and cannoli. Needless to say, you may want to keep the sugar and other fattening agents out of your ricotta if you are including it in your weight loss diet.
Most cheeses are extremely rich in saturated fat, and hence, excessive consumption of these creamy delights over a long period of time may result in poor heart health. However, crumbling small portions of these healthy cheeses on dishes of your choice may not disrupt your weight loss goals.
Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.