Diet & Nutrition 4 MIN READ 3115 VIEWS August 7, 2023

Types of Cheese: Which One is the Healthiest?

Cheese is a timeless culinary treasure. Beyond its irresistible taste and versatility in various dishes, cheese also offers several health benefits thanks to its nutrition-rich profile. From creamy and mild to sharp and tangy, there is a whole world of different types of cheese. But some varieties are more nutritious than others. Read on to learn more about the types of cheese and their nutrition facts.

About Cheese and Cheese-Making Process

Cheese is a dairy product made by coagulating milk and separating the curds from the whey. The cheese-making process involves coagulating milk using rennet or a bacterial starter culture. This separates the curds from liquid whey. It further undergoes processing through heating and pressing to gradually remove extra whey and consolidate the curds.

Types of Cheese

The curds are subsequently salted, moulded, and aged to develop different types of cheese, each having a unique flavour, texture, and nutritional value. Have a look at the specially curated types of cheese in India. 

1. Paneer

Paneer is the most popular Indian cheese. It is made from full–fat cow’s milk combined with a vegetable acid like lemon juice. It is a suitable option for lacto-vegetarians as it is prepared without the use of a rennet. It is a non-melting soft cheese with a mild flavour and a high-fat content. Paneer is also a good source of fat-soluble vitamins like A and D. The nutritional profile of paneer is as follows:

Every 25g serving of paneer provides:

  • 6.5 g protein
  • 6.1 g fat 
  • Calcium equal to 2.6% of the DV 

2. Mozzarella

Mozzarella is a soft and white cheese with a high moisture content. It has an Italian origin and known for its unique characteristic, which is lower sodium and calorie content. Additionally, it contains beneficial bacteria, including Lactobacillus fermentum and Lactobacillus casei. Given below is the list of nutritional elements of mozzarella cheese. 

Every 28 g serving of full-fat mozzarella cheese contains –

  • Protein : 6 g
  • Fat: 6 g
  • Carbohydrates : 1 g
  • Sodium equal to 6% of the DV
  • Calcium equal to 11% of the DV

3. Blue Cheese

Blue cheese has distinctive bluish-grey veins. It is crafted from cow, goat, or sheep’s milk and cured with Penicillium cultures. It’s the mould used in its production that lends a powerful aroma and bold, tangy taste. Besides being extremely delectable it is rich in nutrients, including calcium, which promotes optimal bone health. Its rich and creamy taste pairs wonderfully well with burgers, pizzas, and salads. The nutrition facts of blue cheese are as follows:

Every 28 g serving of full-fat blue cheese made contains:

  • 6 g protein
  • 8 g fat 
  • 1 g carbohydrates  
  • Sodium equal to 14% of the DV
  • Calcium equal to 12% of the DV 

4. Feta Cheese

Feta cheese originated in Greece. It is a soft and salty white cheese made either from the milk of sheep or goat. Feta cheese contains high amounts of sodium due to its brine packaging but it is low in calories than most other cheeses. Feta cheese also contains conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), which has been associated with improved body composition. 

The best way to enjoy feta cheese is to crumble it over salads, incorporate it into omelettes, or use it to create creamy dips with fresh vegetables. The nutrition facts of feta cheese are as follows:

Every 28 g serving of feta cheese made from whole milk provides:

  • 4 g protein 
  • 6 g fat 
  • 1 g carbohydrates 
  • Sodium equal to 14% of the DV 
  • Calcium equal to 11% of the DV 

5. Ricotta Cheese

Ricotta cheese is an Italian delight. It is crafted from the whey left behind during the production of other cheeses. Milk from cow, goat, sheep, or Italian water buffalo is commonly used for making ricotta cheese. The cheese has a creamy texture that is milder than cottage cheese. The protein content of ricotta is high and contains all essential amino acids required by the body. 

Ricotta can be savoured in various dishes such as salads, scrambled eggs, pasta, and lasagna, and can even be used as a base for creamy dips or enjoyed with fruits for a delightful sweet-and-salty snack. The nutritional facts of Ricotta cheese are as follows:

Every 124 g serving of whole-milk ricotta cheese delivers:

  • 9 g protein 
  • 13 g fat 
  • 9 g carbohydrates 
  • Sodium equal to 6% of the DV
  • Calcium equal to 20% of the DV

6. Cheddar Cheese

Cheddar cheese, originating from England, is a widely loved semi-hard cheese. Cow’s milk that has been matured for several months is used for the process. This results in colour variations ranging from white, off-white to yellow. This also affects the taste of cheddar and it ranges from mild to extra sharp, depending on the maturity of the milk. 

Cheddar cheese is a good source of protein and calcium. It is also revered for its vitamin K content which plays a crucial role in heart and bone health by preventing calcium buildup in arteries and veins, reducing the risk of blockages and heart disease. The nutritional profile of cheddar cheese is as follows:

Every 28 g serving of sharp cheddar cheese provides:

  • 115 calories 
  • 7 g protein 
  • 9 g fat 
  • 1 g carbohydrates 
  • Sodium equal to 8% of the DV
  • Calcium equal to 15% of the DV

7. Gouda Cheese

Gouda cheese is a Dutch cheese known for its smooth and creamy texture. It is made from cow’s milk and aged to develop its distinct flavour profile. Gouda cheese has a sweet, nutty taste that becomes more pronounced with age. 

This semi-hard textured cheese is rich in calcium, which empowers bones and teeth. Also, it contains elements that reduce blood pressure. The antioxidants of Gouda cheese protect against high salt intake. Apart from these, it’s a good source of vitamin K2.

Every 25 g serving of gouda cheese provides:

  • 94 calories
  •  6.3 g protein 
  • 7.7 g fat 
  • Calcium equal to 15% of the Daily Value
  • Sodium equal to 25% of the Daily Value 

Conclusion

Being a popular dairy product, cheese offers several health benefits. They also become a crucial part of a balanced diet because of their calcium and protein-rich nutrition profile. There are different types of cheese which offer yummy textures and flavours. So, an individual should pick a cheese which is best suitable for their diet. 

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