Who among us does not love cheese? However, it is often the first food to go when you are on a weight loss diet. What if we told you that cheese is good for weight loss? That’s right, certain types of cheese can actually help you burn fat and keep you in shape. Read on to know what types of cheese to eat and avoid when trying to lose weight, how much cheese to eat in a day, the best time to eat cheese, and more!
Cheese is a dairy product made by curdling milk. Most often, cow, buffalo, goat, and sheep milk are used for cheese-making, but cheese can be made from the milk of any domesticated mammal. There are about 1,800 varieties of cheese available worldwide.
Most cheeses are high in fat, protein, calcium, and sodium while being low in carbohydrates and sugar. Depending on the variety, cheeses can also be rich in vitamin A, vitamin K, B-complex vitamins, and other essential micronutrients.
The following are the nutritional profiles for 100 g of various cheeses, according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).
|Nutrient||Cottage Cheese, low-fat milk (2%)|
|Feta Cheese||Muenster Cheese, low-fat milk||Mozzarella Cheese, low-moisture, part-skim milk|
|Energy||84 kcal||138 kcal||265 kcal||271 kcal||298 kcal|
|Water||81.1 g||74.4 g||55.2 g||50.5 g||47.7 g|
|Protein||11 g||11.4 g||14.2 g||24.7 g||23.7 g|
|Carbohydrates||4.31 g||5.14 g||3.88 g||3.5 g||4.44 g|
|Sugars||4.1 g||0.31 g||0 g||3.5 g||1.81 g|
|Total fat (lipid)||2.3 g||7.91 g||21.5 g||17.6 g||20.4 g|
|Saturated fat||1.26 g||4.93 g||13.3 g||11 g||11.7 g|
|Monounsaturated fat||0.469 g||2.31 g||4.62 g||5.09 g||4.65 g|
|Polyunsaturated fat||0.072 g||0.26 g||0.591 g||0.65 g||0.744 g|
|Trans fat||0.069 g||0 g||0 g||0 g||0.705 g|
|Calcium||103 mg||272 mg||493 mg||529 mg||693 mg|
|Sodium||321 mg||99 mg||1140 mg||600 mg||699 mg|
|Cholesterol||12 mg||31 mg||89 mg||63 mg||65 mg|
Most varieties of cheese are rich in protein and healthy fats, which makes them filling. Adding a moderate amount of cheese can make your meal more satiating, which prevents overeating and snacking. This lowers your calorie intake.
The high calcium levels in cheese can also help you shed weight as calcium hinders fat production in your body by inhibiting an enzyme called Fatty Acid Synthase (FAS), which makes fatty acids.
If you are on a keto diet, cheese is an excellent addition to your meal plan due to its low carbohydrate and high fat content. Choose cheeses made of high-fat or whole milk if you are on a keto diet.
Several studies conducted over the years have shown that people who eat more cheese tend to have lower BMIs (Body Mass Index). However, the key is picking the correct type of cheese.
The following are the best cheeses to include in your weight loss diet:
The following cheeses can be eaten sparingly if you are on a weight loss diet:
When on a weight loss diet, always choose cheeses made of skim, low-fat or reduced-fat milk as they are lower in calories. Read the label carefully so you can avoid cheeses that are high in cholesterol, trans fats, and sodium.
You should avoid the following cheeses if you are trying to lose weight:
Commercially available American and cheddar cheeses are often highly processed, which lowers their nutritional value.
Limit your cheese consumption to a maximum of 3 servings per day. Each serving should comprise 1.5 ounces or 42 g of cheese. Try to consume at least 1 serving of cheese every day.
Adding cheese to your breakfast can fill you up and keep you going till lunch. This can help you reduce snacking and overeating, which lowers your calorie intake. Eating cheese for breakfast can also kickstart your metabolism and help your body burn more fat.
Having some mozzarella, muenster, or grilled paneer at snack time with some fruits or whole-grain crackers is a healthier and more nutritious option compared to snack foods like chips, candy, store-bought protein bars, namkeen, etc.
Add some crumbled cheese to your salads to make them more filling, delicious and nutritious. Add cheeses like feta, Parmesan, blue cheese, Swiss cheese, etc., that have a strong flavor to your salads. You can also have salads or other appetizers made of grilled or roasted paneer.
Adding low-fat paneer or ricotta cheese to your post-workout snack can help your muscles recover quicker. The high protein and low carbohydrate content in these cheeses can help your body build lean muscle
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