5 Healthy Cheeses You Can Still Eat if You Have High Cholesterol


You’ve probably heard the motto, “everything in moderation.” This, of course, applies to all foods and (unfortunately) includes cheese. As a dietitian, member of a family that owned a cheese store in New York City, and wholehearted cheese lover, I know that sometimes you just can’t get enough of this beloved dairy food. However, most cheeses are higher in saturated fat and sodium, which isn’t the best choice if you have high cholesterol. That said, if you have concerns about your cholesterol, this doesn’t mean that cheese should be off your menu.

Many kinds of cheese tend to be higher in fat and cholesterol per ounce, like Parmesan or blue cheese. The good news is that these cheeses also tend to be rich and highly flavorful, so you don’t need a lot to enjoy your fill! One shredded or crumbled tablespoon of these highly flavorful cheeses is really all you need to up the “wow” factor of your dish. However, if you’re looking for a cheese to eat daily and enjoy in larger portions—especially if you have high cholesterol—below you’ll find six choices that, according to dietitians, are better options.

1. Mozzarella

Mozzarella is a soft cheese that was first made in Italy. It is usually made from buffalo or cow’s milk.

Mozzarella is relatively low in fat and calories. This makes it a healthier cheese option compared to others.

ContentsAmount per 21 grams (g)
Energy62.6 kcal
Protein4.98 g
Carbohydrates0.932 g
Fat4.28 g
Sodium147 milligrams (mg)
Calcium146 mg

Mozzarella contains probiotics such as the bacteria Lactobacillus casei and Lactobacillus fermentum.

As a 2019 study revealed, Lactobacillus fermentum is great for a person’s immune system, can prevent upper respiratory infections, and can reduce a person’s blood cholesterol.

2. Part-skim ricotta

Ricotta is a soft Italian cheese that is made from whey in leftover milk from the production of other cheeses.

Ricotta cheese is much lower in calories and fat than other cheeses.

ContentsAmount per 21 g
Energy31.08 kcal
Protein2 g
Carbohydrates1.26 g
Fat1.98 g
Sodium21.42 mg
Calcium52.08 mg

Ricotta is made from whey protein, which can significantly decrease cholesterol, including harmful LDL cholesterol, according to a 2020 study.

Whey protein may also have anti-cancer effects, according to a 2014 study. Alpha-lactalbumin is a whey protein found in milk that has been found to selectively target and kill cancer cells.

3. Feta

Feta is a Greek cheese made from sheep’s milk.

Although feta is higher in sodium than other cheeses, it is lower in calories.

ContentsAmount per 21 g
Energy55.6 kcal
Protein2.98 g
Carbohydrates0.815 g
Fat4.51 g
Sodium239 mg
Calcium104 mg

Feta is a very nutritious cheese, with 100 g providing 337 mg of phosphorus, which is half of the 700 mg daily recommendation for adults of both sexes.

Phosphorus and calcium are both important for bone and dental health.

4. Cottage cheese

Cottage cheese is a low calorie cheese with a mild flavor. Its popularity has grown in the last few decades, and it’s often recommended as part of a healthy diet.

Cottage cheese is not only high in protein but also essential nutrients.

For these reasons, it’s widely used by athletes and in weight loss plans.

Getting enough vitamin B-12 can also help prevent megaloblastic anemia, which makes people feel tired and weak.

Cottage cheese is soft, white, and creamy. It’s considered a fresh cheese, so it does not undergo an aging or ripening process to develop flavor.

5. String cheese

Kids and adults alike enjoy the on-the-go pleasure of portable string cheese. But, more than that, from a health standpoint, it’s a great, protein-packed snack. When made with 100% mozzarella, string cheese is an unprocessed, natural snack choice with seven grams of protein per ounce.

Most string cheeses contain 70–80 calories and only about 5 grams of total fat (3 grams saturated) per serving, making them an excellent pick. Plus, string cheese is individually packaged, so you can eat the proper portion size of cheese without worrying about overdoing it.

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