Cheese is often considered a high-fat no-no for dieters. Cheese offers an undeniably good flavor and texture to many foods. Using it in moderation when dieting can help satisfy your taste buds and make you feel full longer because of its fat content.
Naturally Low-Fat Cheeses
Feta, part-skim mozzarella and goat cheese are lower in calories per ounce than cheddar or brie. For example, 1 oz. of feta contains just 75 calories and 6 g of fat, while an ounce of cheddar contains 114 calories and 9 g of fat. Feta makes a good topping for salads or broiled over chicken. Part-skim mozzarella can be melted in an egg white omelet or broiled on top of tomatoes for a quick side dish. Plain goat cheese may be used in lieu of cream cheese on toast or mixed with herbs to make a light, flavorful sandwich spread.
Hard cheeses such as Parmesan, Romano, asiago and aged cheddar have strong flavors that can be used in small amounts to accent dishes. Just a tablespoon of finely grated hard cheese gives depth to steamed vegetables, scrambled egg whites or a tossed salad and adds only about 25 calories and 1.5 g of fat. Tossing a rind of Parmesan into broth-based soups or stews gives a deep flavor without adding significant calories.
A study from Curtin University in Australia found that eating five servings of low-fat dairyfoods, including cottage cheese, induced greater weight loss and body-fat loss after 12 weeks than three servings daily. Low-fat ricotta cheese is another good dietary choice that helps you boost your dairy servings. Mix it with strawberries and a no-calorie sweetener for dessert or use in casseroles.
Many cheeses have low-fat or lighter counterparts. Oftentimes, the flavor and texture of these versions is a poor substitute for the real thing. Use low-fat and fat-free versions of cheddar, Gouda and Monterey jack in casseroles and melted dips where their deficiencies are masked by other ingredients.
If you just cannot live without an ounce of high quality blue cheese on your salad--or want to enjoy a few samples from a gourmet cheese tray--go ahead. Just remember to cut back in fat in other places over the course of the day. If you have cheese on your salad, skip the nuts and avocado. A slice of melted cheese on a sandwich means you should choose lean meat such as deli turkey or chicken breast instead of pastrami or salami. If you enjoy an appetizer of cheese and crackers, stop at an ounce--which is about the size of a pair of dice--to keep your calories in check.
Do you enjoy snacking on cheese? Choose these healthier options and you'll still be able to lose weight! Comment what you think!