Q. Which is better for a low-cholesterol diet: soft or hard cheeses?
A. No matter how you slice it, cheese contains far more fat than the milk from which it’s made and, unfortunately, it is the saturated kind that’s linked with elevated LDL cholesterol levels.
Cheeses are sometimes categorized by texture: soft (Brie, Camembert), semi-soft (feta, mozzarella, Muenster), hard/very hard (Parmesan, Romano, Swiss, aged sharp Cheddars). Harder cheeses generally tend to have a tad more fat than softer ones per ounce, but picking full-fat Muenster over full-fat Parmesan won’t make much of a fat-savings difference. The fat variation between hard versus soft cheeses is quite small, particularly when you consider that harder cheeses generally have sharper flavors, so you can use less and still get a wonderful taste effect.
Your best bet for limiting saturated-fat intake from cheese is to buy ones that are labeled “reduced-fat” or “low-fat”. These federally defined terms identify foods that contain 25 percent less fat than their regular counterparts.
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