Cheese Doesn't Have to Be a

Block of Asiago Cheese

Ah, cheese! Delectable in flavor and a way to add color and texture to foods. Eliminating cheese entirely when you're trying to lose weight means you've also eliminated health benefits, as cheese can help promote healthy bacteria in your gut. Cheese also offers calcium and protein, which promote strong bones and teeth as well as fuel for your daily activities. Regular fat cheese can also help you feel full longer, another useful trick when trying to lose weight. The key is to choose carefully and eat cheese in moderation.

Ounce for ounce, some cheeses offer fewer calories than others. An ounce, by the way, is about the same size as a pair of dice. Generally speaking, aged cheeses like cheddar, Gruyere are on the high end of the calorie/fat scale. But even then, you’re talking about 130 calories compared to 90 to 100 for cheeses like American. Feta and Camembert, at 75 and 85 calories per ounce, respectively, are on the lowest end of the scale.

Choose a hard, strong-flavored cheese to boost taste. The same amount of sharp cheddar, for example, isn't any higher in calories or fat than medium cheddar, but the stronger flavor means less cheese goes farther. Parmesan, Asiago and Romano are other cheeses that provide a flavor hike. A tablespoon of finely grated Parmesan can liven up steamed vegetables or a Caesar salad, and a rind of Parmesan added to a soup like minestrone is both economical and flavor-enhancing. Crumble an ounce of cheese and add to salads or sprinkle it on broiled chicken. Scramble your eggs with an ounce of grated cheese. Substitute soft goat cheese for cream cheese on toast and in sandwiches. You can also add finely chopped fresh herbs to goat cheese for additional flavor.


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