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Diet Diva

Get advice on healthy eating, nutrition, and weight loss from expert dietitian Tara Gidus. 

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A Cheesy Blog Post for You!

Choosing healthy cheese, without hurting your waistline.

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Cheese wedge with grapes.As a Wisconsin-ite (born and raised), one of my favorite foods and guilty pleasures is cheese. Cheese makes any dish better, doesn’t it? Unfortunately, cheese has some fat (and it’s not all good fat) and calories. So, what’s a cheese lover to do?

Fortunately, you can have your cheese and eat it too by being smart about which cheeses you select. Not all cheeses are equal. Some are higher in fat and calories, but a few tasty ones can add tons of flavor with less fat. For a good choice, choose cheese with about 6 grams of fat per serving.

Naturally better cheese choices include:

In your dishes, try skim ricotta or cottage cheeses instead of regular; low-fat cream cheese instead of full fat; and string cheese as a snack instead of Brie or cheddar.

For cheese connoisseurs, these options might not cut it, in which case there is still hope. If you prefer the higher fat types (Brie, Swiss, Monterey Jack) then portion control is key for you. Use these cheeses as a garnish rather than as part of the main meal, and, if possible, use a little less than the suggested serving size. This way, cheese can still be part of your diet—without hurting your waistline.

Cheeses that are perfect for accenting your food include:

  • extra sharp or sharp cheddar
  • Gorgonzola
  • Asiago
  • Parmesan

Cheese is delicious! Enjoy small portions and savor the flavor!

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Tags: Healthy Eating , Nutrition , Protein , Vegetarian

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About the Author


MS, RD, CSSD, LD/N

Tara Gidus is a nationally recognized expert and spokesperson on nutrition and fitness.

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