To the chagrin of cheese lovers around the internet, we recently outed the savory snack as one of the most fattening, addictive foods lining your supermarket shelves. In the words of Neal D. Barnard, MD, author of New York Times best-seller The Cheese Trap, cheese is "fattening, habit-forming, and contributes to a surprising range of health problems," he told MyDomaine. "It is high-fat and zero-fiber."
But for those of us whose happiness resides inside a wheel of gouda, giving up cheese entirely is most likely not an option (myself included). Part of maintaining a healthy diet is being realistic about the foods you can and cannot give up, and for me, cheese is on the must-have list. With that, I sought out to identify the kinds of cheeses that do the least damage to your health.
"Though this rich form of dairy can sometimes be high in fat and calories, the healthiest cheese can also be loaded with key nutrients," writes Fitness. "So choose wisely, and the good will outweigh the bad." Samantha Lynch, MS, RD, CDN, even goes as far as saying that there are some "important nutrients that this dairy can provide." Here are the three types of cheese that get a pass from Lynch:
Feta: With only 75 calories per ounce, feta is "on the lower end of the fat-and-calorie spectrum," writes Fitness. "Becuase of its strong flavor, you don't need a lot of it to get the full effect."
Goat cheese: Labeled a "smart choice" by Lynch, goat cheese is surprisingly low in calories and high in protein. She suggests trying it with beets for a delicious antioxidant-rich snack.
Cottage cheese: Forget cubed cheese or cheese sticks—cottage cheese has 16 grams of protein in just half a cup. Choose the low-sodium variety to make your mid-afternoon snack even healthier.
Style your cheese on our favorite cheese board, and share your favorite kind with us below!