Cheese can be part of a healthy diet if you know which ones are the best choices and know how to use them. Start with these
six for maximum nutritional benefits.
Say "cheese" and sinfully-rich dishes often spring to mind. Cheese can be high in sodium and fat, but it also delivers powerful nutrients. A 1-ounce serving can pack up to a third of your
daily calcium, plus protein and vitamin D, a critical nutrient many Americans don't get enough of. The trick is to know which
kinds of cheeses are best and how to use them. Here are six cheeses you can easily incorporate into a healthy diet.
Parmesan has a grainy texture and a nutty, buttery flavor that intensifies with age. It's higher in calcium and lower in sodium
than many other cheeses, and one tablespoon of shredded has just 23 calories. Because of its sharp flavor, you can use less
and still get a big payoff in taste. The aging process also lowers the lactose content, making Parmesan easier to digest if
you have lactose intolerance. Try it in Fig-and-Arugula Salad with Parmesan (photo), Oven-Fried Chicken Parmesan,and Buttermilk-Parmesan Mashed Potatoes.
In Greece it was first made from sheep's or goat's milk; in the U.S. it's usually made with cow's milk. Either way, it has
a salty, tangy flavor that comes from curing the cheese in brine, which makes it high in sodium. But it's still a good source
of protein, riboflavin, calcium, and phosphorous-and at 74 calories per 1-ounce serving, it's diet friendly, too. Avoid feta
if you're pregnant. Soft cheeses such as feta can become contaminated with listeria, a bacteria that can be transferred to
the baby. Try it in Hummus Pitas with Feta-Olive Salsa (photo), Feta Omelet with Breadcrumbs,and Creamy Feta-Spinach Dip.
One percent, two percent, non-fat, creamy or dry-cottage cheese comes in lots of varieties, yet they all share that bright
white color, bumpy texture, and classic flavor. A dieter's standby, cottage cheese is low in fat and carbs but soaring in
protein and calcium. The downside: it's high in sodium. Try it in Butter Crunch Lemon-Cheese Bars (photo), Cheese-Bacon Tart,and Smoked Salmon Spread.
Also called chèvre, goat cheese can be creamy, crumbly, or semi-firm. It has a mild aroma and a strong, tangy taste. Lower
in fat and calories than cheese made from cow's milk, goat cheese is high in protein. It's easily digestible, too, making
it a good choice if you have lactose intolerance or dairy allergies. Avoid goat cheese if you're pregnant, as it may have
bacteria that can be harmful to the baby. Try it in Herbed Goat Cheese (photo), Eggplant and Goat Cheese Sandwiches,and Pasta and Grilled Vegetables with Goat Cheese.