Food Showdown: Pass the Cheese, Please!

By , SparkPeople Blogger
Cheese is one of the fattiest foods you can eat, and it's also high in unhealthy saturated fats.  However, it also adds calcium, flavor, and satiety to your meals.  Both of these cheeses are rich in flavor.  Feta, a soft cheese, usually tops Greek salads and pastas.  Cheddar also goes great on salad, sandwiches, and by itself. 

Which cheesy delight will set you back the fewest calories and fat?

The Winner: Feta!

A 1-ounce serving of feta cheese provides 80 calories and 6 grams of fat.  This makes it a better choice than cheddar, which contains 120 calories and 10 grams of fat per serving.  Next time you're about to top a salad with cheddar, think again!  Try to choose low-fat or fat-free cheeses whenever possible.  A fat-free serving of cheddar is much healthier than its full-fat counterpart, with only 45 calories and less than half a gram of fat.


How often do you eat cheese?

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I eat cottage cheese almost every day, and I love feta on salads and homemade pizza. I also make Greek stuffed chicken breasts in my slowcooker, a mixture of feta, basil and sun-dried tomatoes. Yum! Report
Calories and fat aren't the only things to take into consideration, though. Cheddar may have more calories & more fat, but also has more calcium. 1oz. of Cheddar has 204mg of Calcium, whereas 1oz. of Feta only has 140mg of Calcium. Report
Love love love cheese. And abhor any lowfat versions - I just use less!
Not too many choices where I live, so I always look for the low fat, if they have it. Good to now I can look for feta! Report
I do love my cheese, but I limit it. Tho to be honest, I always add it to salads, so the Feta is a better choice & that is good to know. Thanks, Report
I mainly just eat reduced fat tasty cheddar cheese. If it is on a cracker or toast, I usually put cottage cheese on first, and use a potato peeler and put thin slices on top. It uses way less cheddar that way, and the proper cheese flavour comes through. Saves HEAPS of calories/fat, too! Report
Oh, I LOVE cheese. My weakness.... ugh. Report
Cheese is undeniably delicious, to those of us who love it; I'm guilty (world's worst vegan right here, folks), but it is not healthy. It is especially bad for asthmatics. And it may be high in calcium, but because it is an acidic food (as all animal foods are), our bodies have to use their own calcium stores to neutralize it. The countries with the fewest dairy consumers also tend to have the fewest cases of osteoporosis. Get calcium from greens, almonds, and sesame seeds; your skeleton will thank you for it. Report
Sorry but I hate Feta so I do not care how "good " it is for me. Report
I was forced to eat too much cheese when I was little that at this point in my life I do not loath but I do not love it either, just avoid it and use other alternatives. Report
Cheese has a lot of calories. Report
I'm not going to be ruled by calories/fat alone. (or sodium, either, for that matter!)
I build my days around the foods that are important to me--and good cheese, cheddar (sharp!) stilton, fresh mozzarella (lower in fat and sodium than feta, I believe: 70 cal, 5g fat, 85mg sodium, 5g protein...) is worth planning for. Report
I love feta cheese in my salads and eggs Report
A day with out cheese is like a day with out sunshine. Cheese and yogurt are two foods that I eat daily to get the calcium without the milk mustache. Report
Feta is awesome - the studies linking saturated fat to health problems are all epidemiological, so do not prove causation, only correlation. If you want to use epidemiology to guide your eating habits there is what we call the French Paradox (the French could call it the North American paradox), they eat way more saturated fat than North Americans and have less heart disease ..... hmmmm.

Saturated fat consumption in North America is down over the last two decades and heart disease and diabetes are increasing - there's an epidemiological correlation.

Obviously everyone needs to do what they believe is best for them, just suggesting an alternate point of view.

Hail cheese. Report
I have the low fat string cheese mozarella with my weekday lunch daily -- don't drink a lot of milk so trying to get some dairy daily! Report
Trader Joe's Goat Cheese Medallions are the perfect, portion-controlled little tangy addition to salads, crackers, omelettes, etc.. : ) Report
I love the Laughing Cow low fat cheese wedges for my afternoon snack - 35 cals each. Wonderful with an apple! Report
I love my goat cheddar and feta, among others. The change I made was to weigh it and most of the time I only use half of the serving size, eg.10-15 grams. Moderation seems to work for me, it's a way of "having my cake and eating it too!" Also, I like a strong flavored cheese, then you don't need as much either! Report
Although I love, love, love melted cheese on chips or pizza, I too have to pass on it now. The high sodium content's detrimental to those with hypertension. Plus it's hard for the liver to process cheese. Report
You neglect to mention sodium content:

Feta: 316
Cheddar: 176

Pass Report
I LOVE cheese, but had to almost cut it out entirely. Cutting it out lowered my fat intake tremendously. It was the hardest thing to not put it on my salads all the time. Report
I love my cheese too, it's a hard habit to break. I do eat less of it than I used to, but I miss it when I don't have it. I have just started with the lower fat kinds, and they're not too bad. They do crumble a lot easier. I like it on my salad. Report
How do you mean it's your nemesis? Does it harm you? I love cheese, and as a vegetarian, it's one of my protein sources, daily!! Report
Cheese is my nemesis. I put it on everything. And it's one food I refuse to eliminate from my diet. I'll just have to opt for low fat versions. Report
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