Cheese is a constant part of most people’s holiday eating habits, from mac and cheese to charcuterie platters. The idea of giving any of it up as part of a New Year’s diet plan can seem impossible. However, you can simply select from the healthiest cheeses instead so you’re not missing out.
If you want to enjoy all of the cheesy goodness you love without any of the guilt, here are five delicious healthy cheeses that will satisfy your craving.
Aside from being tasty whether you eat it with fresh fruits or vegetables, cottage cheese boosts a great calorie-to-protein ratio. The USDA reports that a one-cup serving of low-fat cottage cheese contains about 183 calories, 5 grams of fat, and 23 grams of protein. This is the perfect excuse to enjoy a bowl of cottage cheese as a late night snack!
As rich and indulgent as Swiss cheese is, it’s also one of the highest sources of vitamin B12. A single serving can provide you with more than 50 percent of your daily needs. Your body uses vitamin B12 to carry out several of its necessary functions, like making red blood cells, according to Harvard Health Publishing. So, feel free to savor this hole-filled cheese knowing that it’s also good for your health.
If you’re looking for a cheese that resembles Greek yogurt, but with less tartness, then quark is the way to go! This European-style cheese is actually very low in calories and fat (a one-cup serving of Elli Quark totals 120 calories and 5 grams of fat). Quark’s creamy texture is described as “cheesecake in a cup” which means you can have your cake and eat it too!
As a standout cheese on this list, goat cheese offers a unique health benefit. A 2017 study published in Nutrients found that goat cheese is perfect for controlling a person’s appetite compared to cheeses made with cows milk. The author of the study believes this is due to types of fatty acids found in goat’s milk. Adding goat cheese to a filling meal such as a salad or on top of a burger should keep those post-meal cravings at bay.
Spreading cream cheese on a freshly toasted bagel is a morning treat. However, for a healthier option, Neufchâtel cheese does the trick with about 30 percent fewer calories and total fat. Luckily, it can be found right next to the cream cheese in the dairy aisle so there’s no need to search high and low for something healthy.
This cheese list should inspire you to search for healthier options while browsing the cheeses on your next grocery run. The three rules of thumb are to go for something with a higher protein content, lower saturated fat content, and a short ingredient list. As long as you maintain healthy portions of these five cheeses and save nachos for a cheat day, you should be able to indulge without guilt!