Health and Nutrition

Are you avoiding cheese because you’re trying to lose weight? Think again! Cheese can be a delicious part of your diet, even when you’re aiming to shed pounds. We spoke to dietitians to find out which cheeses are best for weight loss and how to include them in a balanced diet.

Is Cheese Healthy?

Cheese can be a healthy addition to your diet, especially for weight loss. It’s a good source of protein, which helps keep you feeling full and satisfied, potentially reducing your overall calorie intake. Cheese also provides essential nutrients like calcium, vitamin D, and phosphorus, all important for bone health.

The fats in cheese, such as conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), can support weight loss by reducing body fat and increasing lean muscle mass. Fats also contribute to satiety, helping prevent overeating.

The 6 Best Cheeses for Weight Loss

  1. Cottage Cheese Cottage cheese is high in protein and low in calories, making it an excellent choice for weight loss. With 180 calories and 24 grams of protein per cup of reduced-fat cottage cheese, it’s a top-notch fill-you-up food. It’s also very versatile, fitting well into both sweet and savory dishes.
  2. Parmesan Cheese Parmesan is a flavorful cheese that you only need a small amount of to feel satisfied. Just 1 tablespoon of grated Parmesan adds a cheesy touch to your dishes for about 20 calories. It’s versatile, great for sprinkling over salads, pasta, or vegetables.
  3. Labneh Labneh is a tangy, lower-calorie soft cheese made from strained yogurt, rich in gut-friendly probiotics. A 2-tablespoon serving has 3 grams of protein for 45 calories. It’s great as a garnish, a spread, or a topping.
  4. Part-Skim Mozzarella Cheese Mozzarella, especially part-skim varieties, is low in calories and sodium, and can be low in saturated fat. One ounce of part-skim mozzarella has about 70 calories and 7 grams of protein. It’s great as a snack, in salads, or added to sandwiches.
  5. Goat Cheese Goat cheese is lower in fat and calories than many other cheeses. A 1-ounce serving has about 75 calories, compared to 115 calories for cheeses like Cheddar or Swiss. Its strong flavor means a small amount goes a long way.
  6. Quark Quark is a high-protein option popular in Germany. A half-cup serving of nonfat plain quark has about 90 calories and 11 grams of protein. It’s creamy and versatile, great for spreading on toast, mixing into smoothies, or enjoying with fruit.

Tips for Choosing Cheese for Weight Loss

Consider these three nutrition factors when choosing cheese:

  • Calories: Check the nutrition label to ensure the calories per serving fit your goals.
  • Fat: Opt for low-fat, part-skim, or reduced-fat cheeses to lower calorie content.
  • Protein: Choose cheeses high in protein like cottage cheese, labneh, and quark.

The Bottom Line

While cheese often has a reputation for being high in calories, there are many types that can support your weight loss goals. Look for cheeses that are low in calories, part-skim, or reduced-fat and high in protein. Remember, all foods can be part of a healthy eating plan, so enjoy your favorite cheese occasionally, even if it’s higher in calories. If you eat cheese frequently, consider the options on our list.

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