The Healthiest Cheese Varieties

Cheese is an excellent source of calcium and protein. Some varieties are saltier and have more fat than others. Today we'll show you seven healthy varieties that also taste great.
The Healthiest Cheese Varieties

Last update: 11 June, 2022

These are delicious, versatile, and are present in many of our dishes. They are an excellent source of calcium and proteins. But in some cases, they have a lot of salt or fat. So, in this article, we are going to tell you what are the healthiest kinds of cheese. This way they’ll never be absent from your fridge!

Eat cheese in moderation

No one can deny that cheese is delicious. They are filling and they are a perfect complement for our recipes. For instance, what would pasta be without grated cheese? Or, potatoes without melted cheese?

Cheese is a strong source of calcium. It also has proteins and amino acids (one of these is Tryptophan). Because of this, it’s appropriate for all ages. However, as nothing is perfect in life, it also gives you calories and sodium. Because of this, you should eat it in moderation.

In proper quantities, cheeses are good for your health according to this study from Instituto Nacional de Ciencias Médicas y Nutrición Salvador Zubirán. Of course, healthier ones are more natural and less processed. And in many cases, they have less salt. But this depends more on the manufacturer than it does on the kind of cheese.

For instance, if you are dieting to lose weight, you must remember that fresh cheese has less fat and salt than cured ones. These include the ones you can find without salt and low calories in the stores.

The healthiest cheese varieties

Many times, when you go on a diet, you turn cheese into one of your main enemies. This is due to the calories or sodium they have. However, there are other kinds of cheese that are healthier than others. It’s worth it to know what they are so you can add a little bit of them to your daily diet.

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1. Ricotta

Ricotta is one of the healthiest types of cheese.

Also known as Ricotta, this cheese has many proteins, vitamins A and B and zinc. Also, it’s low in sodium and you can find it low-fat versions. Ricotta comes from secondary processing of milk whey. It’s white in color and has a grainy texture and a smooth taste. Ricotta can be used for both sweet and salty dishes. In Italy, it’s one of the most used cheeses for stuffing pasta.

2. Pecorino Romano

This is one of the most popular types of cheese. Its made with sheep’s milk and it’s hard, salty; it originated in Lacio, Italy.  It’s commonly used in sauces and for melted cheeses. Sometimes it’s grated into pasta. It’s also saltier than other pecorinos, Toscano and Sardo.

3. Cottage cheese is one of the healthiest cheese varieties

This is made with cow’s milk curds. And, it can be more or less fatty depending on how it’s made. This is available in several different forms: creamy, blended, without salt, and lactose-free. Cottage cheese has many proteins and other nutrients. For instance, it has calcium, selenium, and phosphorus. A cup of cottage cheese has 28 grams of proteins. This is very good food if you want to lose weight.

4. Parmesan

This is another one of the healthier kinds of cheese that comes from Italy, according to this study from the University of Parma. It has a hard granular consistency. This cheese is made with milk from the Holstein or Reggiana breeds. It shouldn’t be cured for less than a year. The most delicious ones stay on a shelf for three years.

It’s thought that this soup is only good for pasta or soups. But, Parmesan can be served as an appetizer if you cut it in cubes and serve it with sausage or fruit. In its country of origin, doctors recommend it for pregnant women, the elderly, children, and athletes. Also, it’s worth to mention that it’s easier to digest than any other cheese.

5. Aged cheddar

Being lactose intolerant can be a problem and an inconvenience. This is because many dishes today contain dairy so it includes all kinds of cheese.  The good news is, this kind of cheddar is one of the healthiest kinds out there and it doesn’t contain too much lactose. You can talk with a professional if it’s appropriate or try it yourself.

6. Feta cheese

This one mostly contains sheep and goat milk. This salty cheese has a unique taste and a crumbly, creamy texture. If you want the authentic kind then you must buy feta made in Greece. There are also good quality Turkish, Bulgarian, Romanian, and Danish varieties. People usually add this kind of cheese to salads together with olive oil, tomatoes, and cucumbers. It’s perfect for the summer.

7. Panela is one of the healthiest cheese varieties

This fresh, white, smooth cheese contains pasteurized cow milk. It’s one of the healthiest kinds of cheese that is out there. People usually serve it as an appetizer, in small pieces. It also has the particular ability to absorb other flavors, like garlic for instance. It has a lot of protein for it to be healthy you must choose one that’s both low sodium and low fat.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Ahola, A.J., Yli-Knuuttila, H., Suomalainen, T., Poussa, T, Ahlstrom, A., Meurman, J.H., & Korpela, R. (2002, November). Short-term consumption of probiotic-containing cheese and its effect on dental caries risk factors. Archives of Oral Biology, 47(11), 799-804
  • Groves, D. (2013, October 18). EU shows the way on per capita cheese consumption. Cheese Reporter
  • Lin, H., Boylston, T.D., Chang, M.J., Luedecke, L.O., Shultz, T.D. (1995, November). Survey of the conjugated linoleic acid contents of dairy products. Journal of Dairy Science, 78(11), 2358-2365
  • National Dairy Council. (2011). Cheese & healthy eating
  • National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference Release 27. (n.d.). United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service.
  • Ravishankar, T.L., Yadav, V., Tangade, P.S., Tirth, A., & Chaitra, T.R. (2012, June). Effect of consuming different dairy products on calcium, phosphorus, and pH levels of human dental plaque: a comparative study. European Archives of Paediatric Dentistry, 13(3), 144-148

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.