Cheese is undoubtedly one of the most craved dairy products around the world. The origins of cheese date back thousands of years, with evidence of cheese-making dating back to ancient civilizations such as Egypt, Greece, and Rome.
The exact date of the invention of cheese is uncertain, but it is believed to have been discovered by accident.
The first recorded history of cheese making was found in ancient Egyptian tomb murals, it is believed that cheese was first made in ancient Mesopotamia around 6000 BC.
The ancient Romans also had a sophisticated cheese-making industry, and cheese was also popular among the ancient Greeks and Celts.
Whatever the history, talking about cheese guarantees a salsa of taste buds for most, regardless of their age.
Cheese is known for its rich and complex flavor, which can be attributed to a combination of factors including the type of milk used, the method of production, and the aging process.
But even though all these facts are acknowledged and admired, not all can have cheese. At least as they intended or wish even if it’s very little. And that’s a fact. Why is that? Because of the content that cheese inhabits and saturated fat is one of them.
Apart from cheese, it is typically found in animal-based foods such as meat, butter, and cream, as well as in some plant-based foods such as coconut and palm oil.
What Is The Problem With Saturated Fat?
The problem with saturated fat is that they raise LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol levels in the blood, which can increase the risk of heart disease.
The American Heart Association also recommends limiting saturated fat intake to less than 6% of total daily calories. This is equivalent to about 13 grams of saturated fat per day for someone consuming 2,000 calories a day.
But don’t get disappointed and shun your expectations after reading this much. There is a natural tendency to but don’t. There are alternatives for those who can’t have cheese varieties high in saturated fat.
As long as you eat cheese in moderation and include it in a comprehensively balanced and healthy diet, cheese need not be eliminated from a heart-healthy or diabetes-friendly diet. Likewise, cheese with low-saturated fat is another great choice to go when you have that uncontrollable craving.
Low-saturated fat cheese is a great option for those looking to maintain a healthy diet while still enjoying the delicious taste of cheese. Here are five popular varieties of low-saturated fat cheese to consider:
This crumbly cheese is a great option for those looking for a low-saturated fat option. Feta is typically made from sheep’s milk or a combination of sheep’s and goat’s milk and contains around 6 grams of saturated fat per 100 grams.
The cheese variety also provides approximately 14% of the RDA12 for calcium. Feta cheese is also a good source of phosphorus and vitamin B12.
Another great choice that hails from the Netherlands. One of the most popular cheeses around the world, Gouda is typically made from cow’s milk and contains around 6 grams of saturated fat per 100 grams.
It has a nutty, slightly sweet flavor that can be enjoyed on its own or as part of a dish. It also contains moderate amounts of vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin B12, Phosphorus, and Zinc.
However, it’s important to note that not all Gouda is created equal, the saturated fat content can vary depending on the production process and the animal’s diet.
Gouda made from whole milk will have a higher saturated fat content than Gouda made from skim or semi-skimmed milk.
Neufchâtel cheese is named after the town of Neufchâtel-en-Bray in northern France. It is made entirely of cow’s milk and is traditionally aged for 6 to 8 weeks before being consumed.
For those watching their saturated fat intake, Neufchâtel cheese can be a good substitute for higher-fat cream cheese. This cheese has 3.6 grams of saturated fat per ounce (compared to 5.1 grams in 1 ounce of regular cream cheese).
Neufchâtel cheese must have a minimum of 20% fat and a maximum moisture content of 65% compared to the regular varieties which will be higher in fat and lower in moisture.
It is a type of mozzarella cheese that is made from partially skimmed milk. This means that some of the creams have been removed from the milk, resulting in a lower fat content compared to traditional mozzarella cheese.
One of the main benefits of part-skim mozzarella is that it is lower in saturated fat than traditional mozzarella. Part-skim Mozzarella is a good option for those looking to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight as it is lower in calories.
It’s also a great option for those who are looking for a cheese that can be enjoyed on its own or as part of a dish, for example, in pizza or lasagna.
It is considered a low-fat cheese with around 3.5 grams of saturated fat per ounce. This is a significant decrease when compared to traditional mozzarella which contains around 8 grams of total fat and 5 grams of saturated fat per ounce
Fat-Free Swiss Cheese
Fat-free Swiss cheese is a type of cheese that has had fat removed from it during the manufacturing process. It is a good option for those who are trying to reduce their fat intake, as it is lower in calories and fat than regular Swiss cheese.
However, it may also be lower in flavor and texture than regular Swiss cheese. Additionally, it could also be less nutritious as it may lose certain nutrients during the fat-removal process.
A dietitian may suggest cheese as part of a balanced diet for some individuals, depending on their dietary needs and goals.
Cheese can be a good source of protein, calcium, and vitamin B12, and some types of cheese like the above described are relatively low in saturated fat too.
However, many cheese varieties are high in fat and calories, particularly saturated fat, and some cheeses are also high in sodium.
So a dietitian would consider the overall dietary pattern and the individual’s health condition, such as heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity, or diabetes before making a suggestion.
Last but not the least, check the nutrition label for the saturated fat content if you’re not aware of it. Enjoy your happy and healthy cravings, people!