Mmmmmm cheese. What’s not to love? Cheese has gotten a bit of a bad rep over the years due to its high saturated fat and sodium content. That being said, there’s no reason why you can’t enjoy it from time to time while sticking to your healthy eating goals. It’s satisfying, delicious, makes a great snack and adds protein and calcium to your diet.
Most cheeses hover around the same amount of calories per ounce (about 100 to be exact), unless you’re reaching for the reduced fat variety, but some are lighter than others. Like most things in life, the key is moderation. Enjoy a few slices with some whole grain crackers and dried fruit, and you’re good to go!
Here are six cheeses on the lighter side (according to typical serving amounts and calories per ounce):
When it comes to Parmesan cheese, a little goes a long way. You can add a sprinkle of cheesy goodness to your omelet, kale salad, or pasta and you get to enjoy all that delicious flavor without adding a ton of calories to your meal. And have you tried that trick where you toss a Parmesan rind into your soup while it’s cooking to boost its flavor factor? Do it. Just be sure to remove it before you dig in.
Greek salad is one of my favorite things to eat and it wouldn’t be complete without a few crumbles of this savory cheese. It’s so flavorful that you only need a small amount to really punch up that pile of cucumbers, tomatoes, red onion and fresh basil. Yum!
Mmmm gooey Camembert is an essential cheese plate ingredient at any party, and tastes divine with a fruity condiment and whole grain crackers. You can also use it to enhance your sandwiches. It’s a little lighter in calories than Brie, but delivers the same creamy experience.
Just the thought of a few slices of bocconcini mozza layered between fresh tomato slices and drizzled with a nice, high quality olive oil makes me drool pretty hard. The flavors are so simple, yet so delicious.
Another one of those very flavorful but lighter cheeses, goat cheese adds distinct pizzazz to any dish. Spread it on sandwiches or whole grain crackers, crumble it on salads, or try stirring a little into your tomato soup for a major flavor boost.
Cottage cheese has such a neutral, light flavor that it pairs well with sweet or savory ingredients. A favorite combo of mine is chopped grape tomatoes with cottage cheese and a few squirts of hot sauce. You can also try mixing it up with some fresh, chopped peaches or the fruit of your choice.
How do you incorporate these cheeses into your recipes? Share in the comments or over on Twitter at @luvoinc.