These Are the Best Cheeses to Eat and Still Lose Weight, According to Dietitians
Cheese: it's the MVP of comfort food, whether it's gooey, melted, and mixed with macaroni or solid and sliced atop a cracker. And while you probably can't imagine cheat day without a slice of pizza or loaded cheeseburger, you can absolutely enjoy cheese as part of your regular diet and still lose weight.
If you're keto, then you're probably loading up on full-fat dairy as it is. But if you're doing the old-fashioned calorie or macro counting, there are some cheeses that are better than others for weight loss. We tapped some dietitians who told us which cheeses to reach for that won't derail your weight-loss goals when you're craving it. Although cheese can be high in calories and fat, if portioned out properly, it can add a boost of flavor to your favorite healthy meals.
Monica Auslander Moreno, MS, RD, LDN, and nutrition consultant for RSP Nutrition, recommends brie because it's high in vitamins B6 and B12, which can help boost energy. Plus, it's rich and creamy, so a little goes a long way, which means you're less likely to overeat it.
Amy Shapiro, MS, RD, and founder of Real Nutrition NYC, said cottage cheese is good for people looking to lose weight since it's high in protein and pretty low in calories. One half-cup serving of low-fat (two percent milkfat) cottage cheese is 90 calories, 12 grams of protein, and five grams of carbs.
"The protein will help you to stay full and the flavor will quench your craving," she told POPSUGAR. "Easy addition to breakfast or lunch or snack time!"
Feta cheese is made from sheep milk or a combo of sheep and goat milk, which means it might be easier to digest (and not result in a belly bloat) for people who are lactose intolerant or have a sensitivity to cow's milk. It also has the B vitamin riboflavin, Monica explained, which can help boost energy and metabolism.
Amy likes that it has a strong flavor but is lower in calories, so a little goes a long way. "This allows you to have more portion control and to not go overboard but to get the flavor you really want in your dishes," she said.
"Goat cheese tends to be lighter in fat and calories per gram and has a mild flavor," Monica told POPSUGAR. "Many people who can't tolerate cow's milk cheeses find they can tolerate goat cheese because it is lower in lactose as well as A1 casein." She added that goat cheese is also higher in medium-chain fatty acids than cow's milk, which means it can help fight inflammation. Plus, some goat cheese can have probiotics, depending on how it's processed.
Amy said parmesan is the best cheese for weight loss because it's so low in calories: 20 calories and 1.5 grams of fat per tablespoon. Parmesan also has vitamin A and calcium.
"Because it is is low moisture, it has a more intense flavor, so a little goes a long way," she said. "Add it to your veggies and sprinkle it on your salad — it is your best bet!"
String cheese makes for the perfect snack because it's low-cal and already comes preportioned. Amy likes string cheese for weight loss, too.
"I am a fan of portion-controlled cheeses such as string cheese or Babybel cheese since it is satisfying but portioned so you can take it to go," she said. "[You don't] easily overindulge, but still feel like you are enjoying the flavors you crave."