The 6 Healthiest Cheeses You Should Be Buying

Say cheese! Here are our favorite cheeses that are healthier than you may think.

From Gruyère to Gouda, we know a thing or two about cheese—probably because we love a good cheese board and hardly ever pass up on delicious, cheesy pizza. But because cheese is often high in saturated fat, sodium and calories, you're probably wondering if cheese is healthy.

Like with any food, eating too much isn't great, but cheese can absolutely fit into a healthy eating pattern and has some health benefits as well (learn more about why cheese is good for you). Not only is it a good source of calcium (specifically the cow's milk variety), but the fermentation process used to make some cheeses can be beneficial for your gut health. But with all of the different types of cheese on the market, it can still be hard to pick your favorite or to know which ones to buy. In no particular order, here is a list of 6 healthy cheeses that are worth a spot on your shopping list.

1. Parmesan

EatingWell's Eggplant Parmesan

Pictured Recipe: Eggplant Parmesan

Although high in sodium, Parmesan's pungent flavor means a little goes a long way. Not to mention, a 1-ounce serving has 10 grams of protein and over 25 percent of your daily calcium intake. Although it's a classic in Chicken Parmesan, you don't miss out on these delicious Baked Parmesan Zucchini Curly Fries.

Nutrition for a 1-ounce serving of Parmesan cheese:

  • Calories: 111
  • Fat: 7g
  • Saturated Fat: 4g
  • Sodium: 333mg
  • Carbs: 1g
  • Sugars: 0g
  • Protein: 10g
  • Calcium: 336mg
  • Phosphorus: 197mg
  • Vitamin A: 221 IU

2. Fresh Mozzarella


Pictured Image: Caprese Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

From fresh caprese salads to margherita pizza, it has so many good uses that it would be a crime to pass up on this fresh cheese. Thankfully, it's pretty healthy. With 85 calories in a 1-ounce serving, this cheese is relatively low in calories and sodium and is perfect in pretty much any Italian dish.

Nutrition for a 1-ounce serving of mozzarella cheese:

  • Calories: 85
  • Fat: 6g
  • Saturated Fat: 4g
  • Sodium: 138mg
  • Carbs: 1g
  • Sugars: 0g
  • Protein: 6g
  • Calcium: 143mg
  • Phosphorus: 100mg
  • Vitamin A: 192 IU

3. Cottage Cheese

With a whopping 24 grams of protein in one cup, cottage cheese is perfect to pair with some fruit for a filling afternoon snack. Be mindful of the sodium count and opt for a brand that doesn't add any sugar, and happy snacking! Learn more about why we love this cheese and RD-approved ways to enjoy it.

Nutrition for a ½-cup serving of 2% cottage cheese:

  • Calories: 92
  • Fat: 3g
  • Saturated Fat: 1g
  • Sodium: 348mg
  • Carbs: 5g
  • Sugars: 5g
  • Protein: 12g
  • Calcium: 125mg
  • Phosphorus: 170mg
  • Potassium 141mg
  • Vitamin A: 267 IU

4. Ricotta Cheese


Pictured Recipe: Fig & Ricotta Toast

We're a sucker for spreadable cheese, and the mild and slightly sweet taste of ricotta cheese makes it perfect for spreading on toast and pairing with jam. Or try mixing it into this Blueberry-Lemon Ricotta Pound Cake for a perfectly creamy protein-packed dessert. Ricotta also works well in savory dishes like pasta and soup. It has over 10% of your daily recommended vitamin A needs and 9 grams of protein per serving.

Nutrition for a ½-cup serving of whole milk ricotta cheese:

  • Calories: 186
  • Fat: 13g
  • Saturated Fat: 8g
  • Sodium: 135mg
  • Carbs: 9g
  • Sugars: 0g
  • Protein: 9g
  • Calcium: 255mg
  • Phosphorus: 191mg
  • Potassium: 272mg
  • Vitamin A: 552 IU

5. Swiss Cheese

kielbasa squash casserole

Pictured Recipe: Kielbasa-&-Swiss Spaghetti Squash Casserole

If you're watching your sodium intake, this is the cheese for you. With only 53 mg of sodium per ounce, this cheese has a significant less sodium than most other types of cheese. Not to mention, the firm cheese is perfect for your turkey sandwich, mixed into a casserole or on a charcuterie board to add some nutty flavor.

Nutrition for a 1-ounce serving of Swiss cheese:

  • Calories: 111
  • Fat: 9g
  • Saturated Fat: 5g
  • Sodium: 53mg
  • Carbs: 0g
  • Sugars: 0g
  • Protein: 8g
  • Calcium: 252mg
  • Phosphorus: 163mg
  • Vitamin A: 297 IU

5. Goat Cheese

Since this decadent cheese isn't made from cow's milk, you may be able to enjoy it if you are lactose intolerant without worrying about unwanted tummy troubles. And your local grocery store may even have it in a variety of fun flavors—think herbs & garlic or maybe even a sweet treat like cranberry goat cheese. Enjoy it crumbled over salads, dipped on crackers or even spread on your sandwich.

Nutrition for a 1-ounce serving of goat cheese:

  • Calories: 75
  • Fat: 6g
  • Saturated Fat: 4g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 1g
  • Sodium: 130mg
  • Carbs: 0g
  • Sugars: 0g
  • Protein: 5g
  • Calcium: 40mg
  • Vitamin A: 293 IU
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