Since we’ve been focusing on lowering our cholesterol for the last couple of weeks, there’s a lot to be said about cheese. Do you need to cut it completely out of your diet to lower cholesterol? Absolutely not! There is still much to be enjoyed without eliminating it altogether.
We all know that cheese can be high in saturated and total fat, calories and cholesterol, all of which should be limited for a healthy diet. That equates to smaller portions and choosing some cheeses over others.
Fat-Free Cream Cheese (1 mg per tbsp)
Low-fat Cheddar or Colby Cheese (6 mg per 1 oz)
Part Skim Mozzarella Cheese (15 mg cholesterol per 1 oz)
Low-fat (1%) Cottage Cheese (9 mg per cup)
Not So Good Choices
Whole Milk Ricotta Cheese (125 mg in 1 cup)
Commercially Prepared Cheesecake (44 mg per slice)
Cheeses with 25 to 27 mg of cholesterol per ounce: Feta, Munster, American Processed Cheese (one slice per serving)
Instead of piling on extra cheese when making a sandwich, improvise by adding vegetables such as mushrooms, tomatoes, alfalfa sprouts, sweet or bell peppers. Condiments such as horseradish, salsa, spicy mustards can also take the place of extra cheese by adding flavor without the fat and cholesterol.
When entertaining, use low or reduced-fat cheeses, such as a warm, low-fat Brie cheese along with a selection of whole wheat crackers, fresh grapes, and sliced apples to raise the nutritional value of a party favorite.
Remember that cheese is a great source of protein and calcium and doesn’t need to entirely excluded from your diet. By choosing the low-fat versions of cheeses and eating smaller portions, you’ll be able to “have your cheese, and eat it, too.”