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We are a nation of cheese lovers, with CNN reporting Americans ate over 38 pounds of cheese per capita in 2020. Whether we’re indulging in a slice (or two) of our favorite cheese pizza or whipping up a quick grilled cheese sandwich, we can’t get enough of cheese in the good old U.S of A.
Sadly, while cheese is high in protein and essential amino acids, it can be high in calories and fats – not something cheese aficionados want to hear. However, some cheeses are healthier than others and CNN found out which cheese comes out tops.
According to CNN, ricotta is one of the healthiest cheeses thanks to its high concentration of whey protein.
“Whey protein is one of the most absorbable forms of protein and it contains a very wide range of amino acids,” registered dietician Emily Martorano told CNN. “So this is the best bet for someone who’s looking to build muscle, build strength while also losing fat and weight.”
Hard cheese fan? According to CNN, Lourdes Castro Mortillaro from the NYU Food Lab says Parmigiano, pecorino, and gouda are some of the healthier options – provided they’re eaten in moderation.
When it comes to cheeses we should avoid, CNN reports processed cheese (including cheese in a can and plastic-wrapped slices) are big no-no’s.
“Squeezable cheese, American cheese, even cream cheese, provide minimal protein for a much higher fat and sodium content,” Martorano told CNN. “Fresh is always better.”