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Goat Cheese: Is It Healthy?

Yes, say 5/5 experts.

Illustration by Lon Tweeten for TIME

All of our experts are ready to order, and they’d all like a crumbing of goat cheese on the salad, please.

We know nutrition isn’t the first thing on your mind when you spread creamy, tangy goat cheese on a hot piece of toast. But though it is indulgent, it’s not as bad as you think, says Kristin Kirkpatrick, who is such a fan of goat cheese that she even owns a goat. A 1-oz serving has 75 calories and 6 grams of fat, much of it saturated. But that’s less than some other soft cheese, she says.

Goat cheese also gives you 5 grams of protein and 40 mg calcium, along with about 3% of your daily iron recommendations.

All of that can even give goat an edge over cow milk. Research from Javier Díaz Castro, professor in the department of physiology at the University of Granada in Spain, suggests that at least in rats, goat milk, compared to cow milk, increases absorption of iron and improves bone formation and the bioavailability of certain minerals.

But we’re not gonna kid you: many of our experts skipped right past the nutritionals and into pure cheese hedonism. “I consider good goat cheese, great bread and fine wine about the best culinary combination the planet has ever devised,” says David Katz, MD, director of the Yale University Prevention Research Center. “This is not a health food! But then again, pleasure is good for health, and as an occasional treat for those who love it as we do, goat cheese is very pleasurable stuff.”

It can be especially pleasurable for some people who can’t deal with cow’s milk, adds Walter Vetter, professor of food chemistry at the University of Hohenheim in Germany who’s studied the (very strong) flavor compounds in goat cheese. “In many instances goat cheese can be consumed by people allergic to cow’s milk,” Vetter says.

“Goat cheese stands out due to its ease to digest,” says Cathy Strange, the global cheese buyer for Whole Foods Market. “The protein structure is different from other animals’ milk; it’s easier to breakdown because the fat does not separate.”

We don’t need more goading than that. Grab a friend, and grab some goat: it’s chevre time.

Read next: Is Microwave Popcorn A Health Food?

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Write to Mandy Oaklander at [email protected]

Here’s a Science-Based Ranking of Types of Cheese, by Nutritional Value

Americans love cheese. While US dairy milk consumption has fallen, cheese consumption keeps on increasing year over year. According to an Agriculture Department report from 2018, per capita cheese consumption increased to a record 37.23 pounds (16.9 kilograms).

If you’re a die-hard cheese fan, you’re probably consuming your mozzarella and ricotta (Italian cheese are now the most popular in the United States) with a side of guilt.

After all, cheese has long gotten a bad rap because of its high saturated fat content, which is considered bad for heart health.

Research is starting to suggest, however, that the issue may be more complex. One study published in 2018 showed dairy fats such as cheese had a neutral-to-positive effect on the heart.

A 2018 review from Harvard researchers concluded there was a “null or weak inverse association between consumption of dairy products and risk of cardiovascular disease,” though it said more research was needed.

A study from the Lancet medical journal found dairy products such as cheese were linked to a lower mortality risk.

According to Jennifer Glockner, a registered dietitian and creator of the Smartee Plate, recent studies have indicated “that cheese may actually offer protective properties on the heart,” though she also noted that they were observational and did not prove cause and effect.

Cheese does provide some beneficial nutrients, she said, “including protein; calcium for bone and teeth health; zinc, which promotes wound-healing and immunity; vitamin A for eye and skin health, and B12.”

None of this means you should start consuming cheese indiscriminately; you should take care when adding it to your diet. Which cheeses are most healthful?

It can be tough to offer hard-and-fast guidelines because each variety has its own nutritional profile, and cheeses can be broken up into categories in myriad ways, whether you group them by the kind of rind, milk source or production style.

But with the help of experts, we’ve come up with some general guidelines, as well as other factors to consider when making cheese part of a healthy diet.

Ranking by healthfulness

Fresh cheese. If you’re looking for the leanest option, your best bet is fresh cheese. Such unripened cheeses include goat cheese, feta, ricotta and cottage cheese. “These cheeses are produced by the coagulation of milk and cream by chemical or culture acidification, or a combination of chemical acidification and high heat treatment,” says Nicole Magryta, a registered dietitian and author of Nourish Your Tribe: Empowering Parents to Grow Strong, Smart, Successful Kids.

“They also tend to be lowest in fats and cholesterol.”

A serving of cottage cheese or ricotta will pack a healthy dose of protein, and they’re typically lower in calories; half a cup of cottage cheese is roughly 110 calories. Ricotta is higher in calories – about 180 calories for half a cup – but is loaded with calcium.

“While high in sodium, feta tends to be one of the lowest in calories. Plus, with its strong flavor, you often use less of it than other cheeses,” says Kelli McGrane, a registered dietitian with the weight-loss app Lose It!

“Goat cheese is milder in flavor than feta, but also tends to be lower in calories as well as fat.”

Depending on how it’s processed, goat cheese can also pack probiotics, which are microorganisms that can aid digestion.

Fresh mozzarella, “tends to be one of the lowest in calories and sodium,” McGrane says. “Additionally, fresh mozzarella contains Lactobacillus casei and Lactobacillus fermentum, two probiotic strains that are beneficial for gut health.”

Harder cheeses. These hard, fermented cheeses have been aged longer than soft cheese, lending a richer flavor and increasing shelf life. They include varieties such as cheddar, Swiss and Parmesan and tend to be good sources of important vitamins and minerals such as calcium and vitamin A.

They also have a modest amount of fat, according to Glockner. “Hard cheeses such as cheddar and Parmesan usually have more calcium and less lactose, since the whey is removed during processing,” she explains. That said, though there’s less fat than there is in soft cheese, there’s more sodium.

If you have lactose sensitivity or suffer from irritable bowel syndrome, hard cheeses such as Parmesan will probably be better for reducing your gut symptoms.

Sharon Collison, a registered dietitian and clinical instructor in nutrition at the University of Delaware, says you may end up only wanting a little bit of this variety.

“These cheeses are very low in moisture which increases their shelf life,” Collison says.

“They are generally served grated and can be healthy choices because they have such intense flavor that small portions are usually enough.”

Blue cheese. Blue cheese, which has been ripened with cultures of the mold penicillium, includes varieties such as Stilton and Gorgonzola. It can be considered soft or hard, depending on how it’s processed, and falls somewhere in the middle of the pack in terms of health.

“It’s high in calories, total and saturated fat, yet it is also one of the highest in calcium,” McGrane says.

Again, its potent flavor profile may mean you’re satisfied with less of it.

Softer cheeses. Bloomy, mold-ripened varieties of cheese tend to have a firm rind and creamy interior, as they ripen from the outside in. Although extremely tasty on that cheese plate, soft cheeses such as Camembert, brie and triple-crème (cheese enriched with cream) fall into the “less healthy” category because of their saturated fat content.

“A key thing to remember is that the softer the cheese, the higher the fat,” says Emily Tills, a dietitian and nutrition coach. “Fat makes things creamier.”

It’s also very easy to overeat a gooey brie slathered on a slice of bread with a sweet jam.

Processed cheeses. In the camp of cheeses better avoided completely, you can toss out the processed types, such as American cheese singles, Velveeta, spray can varieties or shredded cheeses in plastic bags.

“These products shouldn’t even be considered real cheese, as they have been manipulated and engineered and pumped with preservatives,” Magryta says. “Sweetened cottage cheeses should also be avoided; labels that read ‘fruit flavored’ mislead consumers when, in truth, the product is just cheese with sugar, additives and preservatives.”

Other factors to consider

If eaten in moderation, “quality cheeses can be enjoyed as part of a healthy, whole-food, plant-focused diet,” Magryta says. But there are some factors you can keep in mind to improve the health of your cheese choices.

Magryta suggests keeping portion sizes small. “Most cheeses are between 60 and 90 percent fat and have between 75 and 120 calories per ounce,” she says.

“Aim to keep your serving size of cheese to 1.5 ounces or less of hard cheeses – that’s about the size of four dice or a third of a cup shredded – or a half-cup portion size of cheeses like ricotta or cottage cheese.”

Also, stick to just one serving a day – and savor it.

“Remember, cheese is not a source of protein, it is more so a source of fat and sodium,” Amy Shapiro, a registered dietitian and founder of Real Nutrition NYC.

“People tend to put a health halo on it since it doesn’t contain many carbs, but that doesn’t make it a ‘free food.’ ” If you really love cheese, Shapiro’s favorite way to consume it is by making it “the star of the show, when it is worth it” instead of adding it as an extra to “sandwiches, salads, omelets,” and so on.

Expert opinions differ on whether turning to low-fat cheese is a smart strategy. Though some dietitians continue to recommend low-fat or part-skim options, recent research suggests that this, too, might be a more complex issue.

A 2016 study in Circulation linked the real deal to a lower risk of diabetes, and another study published the same year linked full-fat cheese consumption with a lower risk of obesity among women.

Magryta recommends choosing full-fat or whole-milk cheese.

“When the fat is processed out of dairy foods, you lose not only the flavor but the food’s natural ability to keep you full,” she says. “Whole-fat cheese also helps to balance blood sugars, which may have to do with its high amounts of vitamin K, vitamin D and calcium.”

Furthermore, low-fat cheese can be “a highly processed food”.

Look at the ingredients. Unhealthy additions include “acids, emulsifiers, thickeners, stabilizers, gums and other nondairy ingredients to make up for the lost fat.” You should be wary if the ingredient list on the cheese feels long.

As long as you’re consuming cheeses in moderation as part of a diet rich in whole foods, Magryta believes the higher amount of saturated fat shouldn’t be an issue.

“The healthiest cheese depends first on its quality,” she says. “Cheeses that are unprocessed, raw, full-fat, grass-fed and certified organic, if possible, are the best. Fermented cheese products are also excellent choices. You don’t always have to have all of these characteristics, but shoot for as many as you can.”

For specific health needs

The dietitians we talked to recommended these cheeses to address specific health concerns.

  • To reduce sodium: Swiss, goat, Emmental, or Wensleydale
  • To boost calcium: Manchego, Emmental, Parmesan, Romano, Gruyere, or Swiss
  • To increase protein: cottage cheese, ricotta, Romano or Parmesan
  • To boost gut health: Raw, unpasteurized cheddar, feta, Gouda, Edam, caciocavallo, Emmental, or Gruyere
  • To cope with lactose sensitivity: hard cheeses such as cheddar, Parmesan, Swiss, asiago, manchego and Pecorino Romano
  • To be safe during pregnancy: pasteurized cheeses.

2019 © The Washington Post

This article was originally published by The Washington Post.

Cheese Recipes

Ready to try some healthy cheese cookery? Here are a couple of recipes to get you started.

Parmesan-Crusted Chicken Breast

Journal as: 1 serving of lean meat without added fat + 1/4 cup “starchy foods and legumes without added fat”
OR 1 slice bread

3/4 cup finely chopped fresh Italian parsley (or 1/4 cup dried parsley flakes)
2/3 cup plain (or Italian) dried breadcrumbs
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
1 tablespoon finely chopped lemon zest
4 skinless and boneless chicken breasts
Canola or olive oil cooking spray

  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Cover a 9 x 13-inch baking pan with foil; coat the foil with canola cooking spray.
  • Add parsley, breadcrumbs, Parmesan, pepper, and lemon zest to medium bowl and blend well.
  • Press both sides of each chicken breast in breadcrumb mixture, and place in prepared pan. Coat the top of each crusted breast lightly with cooking spray.
  • Bake until the chicken is completely cooked through, and the tops and bottoms are lightly browned (about 25 minutes).

Yield: 4 servings

Deluxe Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Journal as: 2 servings of whole wheat bread + 1 ounce regular cheese + 1 tsp light margarine + serving of raw vegetables
OR 1 “sandwich and burger, veggie burger or sandwich”

One of the most common ways to enjoy cheese is as a grilled cheese sandwich. Here’s a deluxe and healthful rendition of the old favorite.

4 slices whole-wheat bread
2 teaspoons less-fat margarine (with 8 grams of fat per tablespoon)
3 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced (or shredded reduced-fat Swiss cheese or Jarlsberg Lite or part-skim mozzarella)
1 medium vine-ripened tomato, thinly sliced
Freshly ground pepper
Salt to taste (if desired)
About 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves

  • Begin heating a nonstick griddle pan (or similar) over medium heat. Coat one side of all 4 slices with the less-fat margarine.
  • Place two bread slices, buttered side down, on griddle. Top with cheese, then sliced tomato, pepper (and salt if desired), and fresh basil leaves. Top with the remaining two bread slices (buttered side up).
  • When bottom side is golden (2-3 minutes), flip sandwiches over and grill until other side until golden (2-3 minutes). Cut each sandwich diagonally and serve.

Healthy Eating: Soft Types of Goat Cheese

You might have heard about lower-fat types of goat cheese. Shape provides you with the nutrition facts about this tasty snack.

Nutrition facts # 1: Soft goat cheese is leaner than cow’s milk varieties (it has 76 calories per ounce-versus 114 for cheddar-and 3 fewer grams of fat).

Nutrition facts # 2: Soft goat cheese may provide better protection against anemia and osteoporosis, reveals a study from the University of Granada in Spain.

Nutrition facts # 3: Researchers explain that goat’s milk products can help our bodies absorb nutrients like iron, calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium more effectively than their cow-derived counterparts.

Interested in other low fat cheeses that will fit well into your balanced healthy diet? Shape shares the healthy eating scoop.

Ever if you’re not a goat cheese fan, there are a variety of other low-fat options available. Until recently, eating a wedge of low-fat cheese was like chewing an eraser. And cooking some? Forget about it. Fortunately, new varieties are fit for both slicing and melting.

“Reduced-fat cheeses are a great calcium and protein source with a lower-fat bonus,” says Janet Helm, M.S., R.D., a spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association and a dairy-industry nutritional consultant. “Top a whole-wheat cracker with these cheeses and you’ll sneak some fiber into your snack.” Although low-fat varieties can contain no more than 3 grams of total fat per ounce, a serving is typically the size of an ice cube.

Recommendations of low fat cheese for your balanced healthy diet include:

Fleur de Lit Premium Light Spreading Cheese

1 ounce (28 g)

Calories: 60

Cholesterol (mg): 20

Protein (g): 2

Total fat (g): 4.5

Light Alquette Garlic et Herbes

2 tablespoons (23 g)

Calories: 50

Cholesterol (mg): 20

Protein (g): 2

Total fat (g): 4

Fancy Brand Low Moisture Part-Skim Mozzarella

1 ounce (28 g)

Calories: 80

Cholesterol (mg): 15

Protein (g): 8

Total fat (g): 5

Cabot Creamery 50% light Vermont Cheddar

1 ounce (28 g)

Calories: 70

Cholesterol (mg): 15

Protein (g): 8

Total fat (g): 4.5

Horizon Organic Dairy Reduced Fat Cheddar

1 ounce (28 g)

Calories: 80

Cholesterol (mg): 20

Protein (g): 7

Total fat (g): 6

Kraft Natural Reduced Fat Sharp Cheddar Cheese

1 ounce (28 g)

Calories: 90

Cholesterol (mg): 20

Protein (g): 7

Total fat (g): 6

Rondele Reduced Fat Garlic & Herbs

2 tablespoons (27 g)

Calories: 80

Cholesterol (mg): 20

Protein (g): 3

Total fat (g): 7

Vegans and Paleo dieters might be OK with giving up dairy, but for some of us, the cheeseless life is just not a realistic option. (Especially since many non-dairy cheese substitutes are totally not delicious). But if you’re a cheese lover and a clean eater, you still want your dairy products to be healthy. So what’s your best bet? Goat cheese. Yes, those bleating little creatures that love to nibble on cans and kick each other over produce cheese that’s better for you and for the planet than the stuff that comes from cows. Here’s why:

It has fewer calories than cow’s cheese.
Goat cheese clocks in at just 75 calories per ounce—significantly less than popular cow cheeses like mozzarella (85), brie (95), Swiss (108), and cheddar (115).

It also has more vitamins and minerals than cow’s cheese.
Goat’s milk is richer in essential nutrients vitamin A, vitamin B, riboflavin, calcium, iron, phosphorus, magnesium, and potassium.

MORE: The 8 Best Recipes to Make with Farmers’ Market Food

It’s easier to digest.
Goat milk has less lactose and a slightly different protein structure than cow’s milk. These subtle shifts actually make a big difference: Even people who are allergic to cow’s milk can usually drink goat’s milk without issue.

Goats are easier on the earth.
Since they’re smaller than cows, they require less space and less food. Goats can also survive in places where other dairy animals literally can’t: They’re opportunistic foragers who happily munch on a wide variety of plants that cows won’t eat, like desert scrub, weeds, trees, shrubs, and aromatic herbs.

MORE: The 10 Unhealthiest Salads You Can Order

They are milk-making machines.
These things are small but mighty: If you give an average cow and an average goat 70 pounds of food each, the goat will produce one more gallon of milk than the cow.

Goats are treated more humanely.
Generally, goat farms tend to be smaller and more ethical than big dairy operations. But you still have to buy carefully: There are some companies that crowd goats into resource-intensive Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs), says Lissa Howe, co-owner of Chiva Risa Ranch, a small goat dairy in Bisbee, AZ. Sometimes, she adds, goat cheese is imported from other countries and dressed up in deceptive packaging that only looks local. The easiest way to avoid this? “Go to your local producer” she says. “Shop at the farmers’ market or a co-op and know your farmer. If you can’t do that, make sure you research the farm that’s listed on the package you buy.” (Sometimes, dairy that’s labeled “organic” is a total fraud.)
Bonus: They’re nature’s little firefighters.
Goats are often employed to eat away at plant overgrowth, lessening the risk for forest fires, especially in drought-stricken areas like California. (Check out this firefighting goat stampede unleashed in Berkeley, CA just last month!)

Whether it’s melted between two slices of bread, gooey and soft on a hot piece of pizza, sprinkled over a crisp salad, or the perfect nibble to pair with wine, cheese is hard to beat. But what’s the healthiest cheese out there?

A serving of cheese is considered to be one ounce, or about the size of three standard dice. Within this serving (or, ahem, two), you’ll reap important nutrients including vitamins D and A along with certain B vitamins, calcium, phosphorus, zinc, potassium, and protein. Its fermented qualities ensure that cheese supports gut health while boosting the immune system too. In moderation, cheese is a perfectly acceptable food to enjoy with your favorite meals.

Note; we’re talking cheese here. Real deal, authentic quality cheese made from quality sources of cow, goat, and sheep milk. Processed cheeses contain emulsifiers, extenders, weird ingredients, phosphates, and hydrogenated oils and should be avoided at all costs. Those cans of cheese-like products – no, just no.

Cheesy Fermentation

Cheese has some serious history and is found as a staple in cultures all over the world. Before modern industrialization, fermented dairy products (cheese, kefir, yogurt) were commonly consumed.

Without pasteurization and refrigeration, milk quickly sours and separates. This is due to lacto-fermentation, where lactic-acid producing bacteria begin digesting both milk sugar (lactose) and milk protein (casein). After this occurs, milk is preserved from spoiling for several days or weeks. As cheese undergoes future fermentation, it can last for several months or years.

The fermentation of dairy results in numerous beneficial changes, including an increase in vitamins B and C. The process of fermenting dairy helps to break down casein, a milk protein that many people cannot digest. According to Sally Fallon, author of “Nourishing Traditions,” culturing the dairy product restores many of the enzymes destroyed during pasteurization including lactase, which helps digest lactose or milk sugar, and numerous enzymes, which help the body to absorb calcium and other minerals. Lactase produced during the culturing process allows many people who are sensitive to fresh milk to tolerate fermented milk products, such as cream cheese, yogurt, kefir, whey, and cultured milk, cream, and cheese.

Going Raw with Cheese

Some of the healthiest cheese you can find is raw. These cheeses are made from raw milk that has not been pasteurized. Raw cheese contains an array of beneficial enzymes and nutrients and are therefore more easily digested than cheeses made from pasteurized milk.

According to Cathy Strange, the global cheese and specialty buyer for Whole Foods Market, raw milk has been “the go-to ingredient for cheeses for over a thousand years and right up to today and for good reason – flavor.” When milk is cooked, or pasteurized, many naturally occurring flavor-rich and gut-friendly enzymes are destroyed or denatured by the heat and the cheese loses its delectable flavor.

Raw cheese isn’t that scary or hard to find, either. Strange notes that you’ve probably nibbled on some raw varieties and haven’t even realized it. For example, Parmigiano Reggiano can’t be called Parmigiano Reggiano unless it’s made from raw milk – according to the law! You can purchase raw milk cheese from an organic source at your farmers market or at health food stores, like Whole Foods or Sprouts.

Full Fat or Low Fat Cheese?

When it comes to choosing between low-fat and full-fat anything, always go full fat. Low-fat baked goods, dairy products, butters, nut butter, etc. have been stripped of their beneficial fats and are often pumped up with a host of strange ingredients instead including chemicals and artificial sugars to mimic the texture of the full-fat variety. Look at full-fat foods as a special treat, and go all in.

Besides, the saturated fat found in cheeses isn’t so bad after all. A 2015 study found that people who eat at least eight servings full-fat dairy per day have a 23 percent lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes compared to people who eat one or fewer servings per day.

Full fat cheeses also contain a type of fatty acid known as conjugated linoleic acid (CLA). CLA has been shown to have numerous health benefits including anti-cancer, anti-diabetic, and anti-hypertensive.

Organic or Conventional Cheese?

Always go organic when making the decision to purchase conventional or organic dairy products. Fat carries the largest doses of the hormones and antibiotics used in non-organic livestock. A 2013 study published in PLOS ONE also found that organic dairy products contain 62 percent more heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids than conventional milk.

So the healthiest cheese out there? A cheese that is organic, raw, and easy digested by your digestive system. Here are a few of our cheesy favorites that boast some serious nutritious powers.

The Healthiest Cheese: A Nutritional Breakdown

Image of Goat Cheese via

1. Goat Cheese, aka Chevre

1 ounce:
102 calories
6 grams saturated fat
6 grams protein
8% DV vitamin A
11% DV vitamin B2
83 mg calcium
Source of iron, phosphorus, potassium, vitamin B12 and D.

For those who cannot tolerate cow’s milk cheese products, goat’s milk cheese may be a suitable swap. The protein structure found within goat cheese is different from other animal’s milk, as the fat globules are smaller and easier to digest.

This milk protein (casein) is called A2 casein and does not demonstrate the inflammatory effects associated with dairy. In fact, this casein is the most similar protein structure to human breast milk. A particular study suggests that goat milk, when used as the first kind of protein introduced after breastfeeding, is less allergenic for babies than traditional cow’s milk.

Other research has also shown that in comparison to cow’s milk, goat milk increases absorption of iron and improves bone formation and the bioavailability of certain minerals such as magnesium.

Goat cheese can be used like cream cheese to spread on toast and bagels, stuffed into olives and peppers, added into sauces and creamy soups, added to salads, sandwiches, grain dishes, in frittatas, and made into sweet treats.

Image of Pecorino Romano via

2. Pecorino Romano

1 ounce:
110 calories
7 g protein
7 g saturated fat
8% DV vitamin A
25% DV calcium
Also contains vitamins B2, niacin, B12, D, zinc, and phosphorus.

Pecorino Romano is a hard, sharp, salty Italian cheese (considered one of the oldest Italian cheeses) made from sheep’s milk that is both delicious and nutritious, in moderation.

This cheese, especially when from a grass-fed source, is rich in CLA (conjugated linoleic acid), a type of Omega-6 fatty acid. Consumption of CLAs within Pecorino Romano may be linked to lower BMIs and risks of diabetes, obesity, cancer, and inflammation, according to a a five-year study.

When purchasing this cheese, always go with quality over quantity. The label should read “Pecorino Romano,” which means the cheese has been strictly regulated and produced on Italy’s islands of Sardinia, Lazio, and in the Tuscan Province of Grosseto.

Pecorino Romano is delicious grated onto pasta dishes, simple green salads, vegetable dishes, shaved into grain salads, in frittatas and other egg dishes, and grated over pizza.

Image of Cottage Cheese via

3. Cottage Cheese

1 ounce:
27 calories
1 g fat
3 g protein
1% DV vitamin A
44.5 mg phosphorus
4% DV selenium
Also contains calcium, vitamin B12, potassium, and sodium

Cottage cheese has long been considered a healthy whole food, with good reason. This cheese is thought to aid in weight loss and promote bone health, while boosting calcium, protein, and nutrient intake.

Cottage cheese is made by boiling and curdling milk with the help of an acidic medium, such as vinegar, lime juice, or lemon juice. As the milk boils it begins to curdle and form lumps of milk curds. These curds are then pressed and formed into large a big lump of cottage cheese. In fact, this process is so simple that you can even DIY your own cottage cheese at home.

Those watching their sodium levels may benefit from making cottage cheese their cheese variety of choice. A 2014 BJM Open study of 612 cheeses found that cottage cheese contained the least amount of sodium. Typically, cheeses that are soft and less aged tend to contain less sodium.

Cottage cheese is quite versatile in your kitchen. You can enjoy a cup of it as the basis for a meal alongside of granola, raisins, fresh fruit, nuts, and seeds. It can also be used for pasta sauces, in baked dishes, on pancakes and waffles, and more.

Image of White Cheddar Cheese via

4. Cheddar Cheese

1 Ounce:
115 calories
6.8 g protein
9.6 g fat, 5.49 g saturated
8% DV vitamin A
10% DV vitamin B12
19% DV calcium
19& DV phosphorus
15% DV selenium
Also contains vitamin B2 and B3, folate, sodium, and zinc.

This sharp (or extra-sharp) cheese originated in Great Britain in a village of the same name. Now, it’s the most popular cheese in the UK and the second most popular cheese in the states, behind mozzarella. This cheese can be a healthy choice. Avoid (at all costs) processed cheddar cheese products made with artificial preservatives and funky yellow coloring, which is certainly not real cheese.

Real cheddar cheese is off-white, or a mild orange if spices are added, and aged for three to 18 months, depending on the variety. Like other cheeses, cheddar boasts protein, vitamin A, a host of B vitamins, along with calcium for proper muscle and nerve function.

Cheddar cheese can be used in a variety of recipes. It works well in quiches, risotto, baked breads, on sandwiches, and more.

Image of Feta Cheese via

5. Feta cheese

1 ounce:
74 calories
6g fat, 4g saturated
4 g protein
2% DV vitamin A
14% DV riboflavin
8% DV vitamin B12
14% DV calcium
Also contains sodium, selenium, zinc, phosphorus, vitamin B6

Feta cheese is a tangy delight made from sheep or goat’s milk (or often a combination of the two) and is synonymous with Mediterranean flavors. Along with being versatile in the kitchen, this cheese boats body-loving benefits as well.

Nutritionally, feta cheese may promote cancer protective properties thanks to its levels of calcium and vitamin D. These two nutrients in combination help to protect the body against certain types of cancer. Feta cheese also boats friendly bacteria probiotics to keep the gut healthy and ample amounts of calcium for bone health.

Salty and creamy feta cheese is delicious stuffed in olives and spicy peppers, in grain and salad dishes, on pizza, in pasta, and paired with sweet elements like watermelon in this salad.

Image of Mozzarella Cheese via

6. Mozzarella Cheese

1 ounce:
85 calories
6.3 g protein
6.3 g fat, 3.73g saturated
6% DV Vitamin A
27% V Vitamin B12
14% DV calcium
100 mg phosphorus
Also contains zinc, selenium, sodium, and iron

Mozzarella is a creamy cheese that originated from Southern Italy. In Italy, this cheese is typically made with water buffalo milk, and given the name mozzarella di bufala. Although rare to find in the states, buffalo mozzarella is a treat that should be enjoyed in your next Italian meal. Along with buffalo milk, mozzarella cheese is commonly made from cow’s milk.

Like other cheeses, mozzarella boats gut-healthy probiotics, protein, fat, and nutrients to support whole body health, in moderation. Specifically, mozzarella is filled with energy producing B vitamins, including vitamin B12, which is supportive for red blood cell health.

Mozzarella cheese is an Italian no-brainer and can (and should) be added to pasta, pizza, salads, grain dishes, baked dishes, and stuffed in hearty squashes for a filling vegetarian meal.

Image of Blue Cheese via

7. Blue Cheese

1 ounce:
100 calories
6.1 g protein
8.1 g fat, 5.29 saturated
6% DV vitamin A
10% DV vitamin B5
14% DV vitamin B12
15% DV calcium
22% DV sodium
16% DV phosphorus
Also contains selenium, zinc, folate, and vitamin B6.

Sharp and salty blue cheese is actually an umbrella classification to describe a host of different types of cheeses including Roquefort, Danablu, Cabrales, Gorgonzola, and Blue Stilton. These cheeses gets their name, and vibrant coloring thanks to the addition of cultures of the mold, penicillium, which is added during the cheese making process.

Blue cheese is filled with gut-friendly beneficial bacteria, satiating protein, and essentials minerals and vitamins. Particularly Roquefort cheese, a type of blue cheese from France aged in caves (yes, caves), may also promote anti-inflammatory properties as well. The anti-inflammatory compounds in this tangy blue cheese variant were found to work best in acidic environments, such as the gut.

Blue cheese is delicious sprinkled over salads, pasta, in a tangy grilled cheese, and more.

Related On Organic Authority:
Grated Parmesan Cheese Actually Made of Wood Pulp Marketed as ‘100% Real Cheese’
What In The World Is Vegan Cheese Anyway? Can It Actually Replace ‘Real’ Cheese?
A Simple Guide to Making Cheese: You Can Do It!

Image of Various Cheeses via

This article was first published October 4, 2016 and republished February 25, 2019.

Goat cheese, despite its presence dating back thousands of years, has not gained much popularity as conventional cheese that is derived from cows. Surprisingly, goat cheese, also known as chevre, has many health benefits to offer. Although high in fat, like any other cheese, goat cheese has no trans fat and contains a good proportion of high quality proteins, vitamins, calcium, and micronutrients. Being a good source of calcium, phosphorus and vitamin D, it can aid in maintaining good bone health.

Goat milk products, including chevre cheese, are less toxic because they contain lesser pesticides and are not commonly bombarded with growth hormones, unlike cow milk and its products. These unique attributes make goat cheese more desirable than the widely available cow cheese products.

Compared to cow cheese:

  • Goat cheese contains fewer calories
  • Has half the sodium, fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol content
  • Has more selenium (antioxidant) and copper
  • Contains more vitamins, especially vitamins B1, B2, and B3 (thiamine, riboflavin, and niacin, respectively)
  • Adequate amounts of vitamin A, calcium, and phosphorus
  • Although low, there is still a sufficient amount of protein in goat cheese

The protein present in goat milk products has a higher biological value and a good proportion of essential amino acids, compared to cow milk products. It is also much easier to digest due to the short to medium chained amino acids it is made up of. Thus, this healthy cheese has been considered as a good candidate for the treatment of milk allergies and malabsorptive disorders.

According to a study conducted by Park Y from Texas A&M University, alpha lactoglobulin (the component in cow milk), one of the major factors responsible for milk protein allergy, is absent in goat milk (similar to human milk) products, which makes it suitable for those with milk protein allergies, especially infants. This property along with less lactose content would be the most compelling reason to choose goat milk and its products.

Additionally, the fats in goat milk products are also highly digestible because of a higher proportion of short and medium fatty acids, and the smaller size of its constituents, namely casein micelles and fat globules. Goat milk products, including cheese, is also well tolerated in people with lactose intolerance, as it has very low lactose content.

According to a study conducted by Yangilar from Ardahan University, Turkey, the medium chain fatty acids present in goat milk products have the ability to inhibit the formation of and dissolve cholesterol deposits. This property has been found to be useful in the treatment of malabsorption disorders, coronary diseases, cystic fibrosis, gallstone disorders, and to aid in the nutrition of premature infants.

Additionally, the good bacteria (probiotics) that is used in the cheese-making process have many benefits for the human body such as improved absorption of nutrients present in food and alleviation of diarrhea and constipation, to name a few.

It is quite evident that goat milk products including cheese are a healthier alternative to cow milk products. However, it has to be kept in mind that goat cheese may not be healthy if it is prepared in an unhygienic manner or if it is unpasteurized, as studies have linked such poorly prepared goat cheese to certain food-borne diseases.

Park Y. Hypo-allergenic and therapeutic significance of goat milk. Small Ruminant Research. 1994;14(2):151–159.

http://drinc.ucdavis.edu/goat2.htm (accessed on 11/19/2014)

http://www.nhs.uk/chq/Pages/2684.aspx?CategoryID=54 (accessed on 11/19/2014)

Helpful Peer-Reviewed Medical Articles:

Park, Y. W. (2008). 2.2 Goat Milk—Chemistry and Nutrition. Handbook of milk of non-bovine mammals, 34.

Haenlein, G. F. W. (2004). Goat milk in human nutrition. Small Ruminant Research, 51(2), 155-163.

Park, Y. W., & Haenlein, G. F. (2007). Goat milk, its products and nutrition.Handbook of Food Products Manufacturing, 449-488.

Ribeiro, A. C., & Ribeiro, S. D. A. (2010). Specialty products made from goat milk. Small Ruminant Research, 89(2), 225-233.

If you’re a lover of cheese, you might wonder what kind of cheese, if any, is good for you. Goat cheese, with its tangy taste and crumbly texture, has earned a reputation as being one of the healthiest cheese choices there is. What are some of the reasons that nutritionists and even certain obesity experts now recommend eating goat cheese (that is if you can tolerate it)? Goat cheese provides healthy fats, is easier for many people to digest than cow’s milk cheeses, and is even a bit lower in calories and fat than other cheeses.

Cow milk and goat milk are by far the two most popular types used to make dairy products like yogurt, kefir and cheese. While good-quality cow milk does have certain benefits — I recommend consuming raw milk from A2 casein cows whenever possible — there are a number of reasons why you might want to have goat milk instead. Some people simply prefer the unique taste of goat’s milk to other cheeses, but as you’ll learn goat’s milk also has a chemical composition that makes it a superior choice for many people.

People living in places such as France have been consuming high-quality goat cheeses for thousands of years — in fact, historians believe that goat’s cheese was likely one of the first dairy products to ever be consumed. With some effort you can still find traditionally made, organic and even raw goat cheeses today that provide you with protein, calcium and other essential nutrients. Let’s take a look at what makes goat cheese a good addition to your diet, how it’s different from other cheeses (such as cottage cheese and feta cheese) and what types of goat cheese recipes you might consider making.

6 Goat Cheese Benefits

According to the Journal of Dairy Science,”Numerous varieties of goat milk cheeses are produced worldwide. Proteolysis and lipolysis are two major biochemical processes in the multifaceted phenomenon of cheese aging, which involves a variety of chemical, physical, and microbiological changes under controlled environmental conditions.” (1)

Like other cheeses, goat cheese is made by allowing raw milk to curdle, coagulate and thicken. The milk is then drained, leaving behind curds of tasty, high-fat cheese. A traditional way of making soft or semi-soft goat cheese is to fill cheesecloths with curds and then to hang them in warm kitchen for several days to cure. Certain types of goat cheeses are then aged by storing them in cool places for several months so they can continue to cure and harden.

Factors that influence how goat cheese turns out include: fatty acid composition, lipolytic enzymes, starter and nonstarter bacteria that are present, pH and moisture levels of the curds, storage temperature and time, salt content, salt-to-moisture ratio, surface area that is exposed, and humidity.

Below are some of the major benefits associated with goat cheese:

1. Provides Healthy Fats

Why is goat cheese a source of healthy fat? A serving of full-fat goat cheese provides about six grams of fat, much of which is saturated fat. Even though saturated fat has earned a reputation for being unhealthy and “dangerous” for your heart, there’s a lot of evidence that this isn’t the case. For example, France is one of the world’s leading consumers of cheese and butter, yet the French don’t have higher rates of heart disease compared to other nations that consume less. In fact, “the French paradox” describes the low rates of coronary heart disease death rates in France despite high intake of dietary cholesterol and saturated fat. (2) Healthy fats are an important part of every diet because fat helps facilitate nutrient absorption, hormone production, protects neurological health and much more.

Overall cow and goat milk have similar amounts of fat, but the fat globules found in goat milk are smaller and tend to be easier to digest. Compared to cow’s milk, goat’s milk has a higher proportion of medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs), including caproic acid, caprylic acid and capric acid. This is one reason why goat’s milk products have a more tart flavor to compared to cow’s milk. MCFAs are also found in fatty foods like coconut oil and coconut milk; they have been shown to help support energy metabolism and are easily digested, even by people who have a hard time metabolizing fats. (3)

Caprylic acid found in goat milk and goat cheese has been found to possess antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties. Consuming caprylic acid may be helpful for fighting fungal and yeast infections, such as candida, urinary tract infections, acne, digestive problems and more. (4, 5)

Can you eat goat cheese if you’re following a low-carb diet, such as the ketogenic diet? Yes, and you probably should. Goat’s milk kefir, a fermented “drinkable yogurt,” contains some sugar (about nine to 12 grams per cup), which means it’s probably not the best choice for a very low-carb diet. But full-fat goat’s cheese contains much less sugar and carbs, only about a gram. During the fermentation process when cheese is made, the bacteria in the milk “eat” the sugar, resulting in much fewer carbs and sugar left over. To keep carbs to a minimum, avoid eating any processed cheeses, flavored cheeses (such as those blended with honey or fruit) and always get grass-fed, full-fat cheese.

2. Good Source of Protein and Calcium

Like other dairy products, goat’s milk and goat cheese are great sources of calcium, which can be hard to get enough of if someone doesn’t eat many green veggies, nuts or much seafood. Having a serving or two of high-quality dairy products per day, which can include goat cheese and other raw cheeses, can provide about 10 percent to 30 percent of your daily calcium needs depending on the specific kind.

Calcium is an essential mineral for helping build bones, maintaining a strong skeletal system, supporting dental health and more. Emerging research even shows that consuming more calcium from your diet in combination with vitamin D (from both sunlight and food sources) may have the ability to regulate glucose metabolism and help protect against cancer, diabetes and heart disease. (6) Calcium also helps balance levels of other minerals, including magnesium, phosphorus and potassium. These minerals work together to maintain balance of bodily fluids and regulate heart rhythms, nerve and muscle function, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels.

A serving of goat cheese (one ounce) also provides about five to six grams of protein, making it a good addition to salads, roasted veggies and other low-protein sides. Studies have found that goat cheeses tend to be a bit lower in protein than cow’s milk cheeses because they experience greater rates of protein degradation during the cheese-making process.

3. Supplies Probiotics (Beneficial Bacteria)

Probiotics can both grow naturally in fermented foods or be added by manufacturers to increase their concentration. It’s now common for cheese makers to add probiotic bacteria strains to cheese, just like they do with yogurt, because cheese turns out to be a good carrier for these microbes. Due to the fermentation process that cheeses undergo while they’re curing, aged/raw goat cheese (and other raw cheeses made from raw cow’s or sheep’s milk) are often high in probiotics, including thermophillus, bifudus, bulgaricus and acidophilus. The benefits associated with eating probiotic foods include improving gut health, enhancing immunity, and helping reduce allergies and inflammatory reactions. (7)

The concentration of probiotics within different types of cheeses depends on factors like the amount of starter that’s used, the concentration of salt, the addition of a protein hydrolysate and the ripening time. Certain studies have found that these variables all affect the “microbiological, biochemical, and sensory properties of the cheese.” (8) The amount of probiotics available from goat cheese can be optimized by the addition B. lactis and L. acidophilus, salt, and ripening for 70 days or more.

Aged, raw cheeses are more likely to be have higher probiotic concentrations because they are not exposed to high heat that kills beneficial (and harmful) bacteria. Goat cheese that contains probiotics may taste more acidic and tart (similar to goat’s milk yogurt or kefir) due to containing L. acidophilus or B. lactis. (9)

4. Provides B Vitamins, Copper and Phosphorus

Along with protein and fat, goat’s cheese also provides phosphorus, copper, B vitamins like vitamin B6 and some iron. The combination of protein, calcium and iron may help support bone formation and help with absorption of certain minerals.

You can get about 10 percent to 20 percent of your daily copper (depending on the specific type of cheese) from having just one ounce of goat cheese. Getting enough copper is important for maintaining high energy levels because copper acts as a catalyst in the reduction of molecular oxygen to water, which is the chemical reaction that takes place when ATP is synthesized (the fuel that provides bodily energy). Copper is the third most prevalent mineral in the body and plays a role in skeletal health, hormone production, and the production of hemoglobin and red blood cell.

Phosphorus is the second most abundant element in the human body. Phosphorus benefits include supporting your metabolism, synthesizing the major macronutrients from your diet (proteins, fats and carbohydrates) and controlling muscle contractions.

5. May Be Easier to Digest

For people with sensitivities to dairy, why is goat cheese better than regular cheese? Goat milk can be a good choice for some people who can’t digest cow’s milk because its chemical structure is slightly different. Some experts even believe that goat cheese can be safely consumed by people who are allergic to cow’s milk. One reason is because goat’s milk is lower in lactose (milk sugars) than cow milk, and the presence of lactose is a major reason why some people cannot digest dairy very well.

To understand another reason why goat cheese is easier on digestion than cow’s milk cheese we need to go back thousands of years. Milk from cows, sheep and goats contain specific types of protein, one of which is called casein. In many cases, when people are intolerant of cow milk they are actually sensitive to A1 casein, a type of protein found milk produced by the majority of dairy cows in the U.S., Western Europe and Australia. (10) Intolerance to A1 casein can contribute to problems such as gastrointestinal distress, irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn’s, leaky gut, acne and eczema. (11, 12)

Goat milk contains A2 casein, which is less inflammatory and less likely to cause an intolerance. In fact, the chemical composition of goat’s milk makes it very close to human breast milk, which is why some mothers have traditionally weaned their babies by giving them goat’s milk. Recently, the European Food Safety Authority stated that “proteins from goat’s milk can be suitable as a protein source for infant and follow-on formula.” (13)

6. May Help Reduce Hunger and Cravings

Cheese probably doesn’t come to mind when someone mentions dieting and weight loss, but what do the studies say? Is goat cheese good for weight loss? Because goat cheese provides fat and protein, it can be helpful for controlling hunger because it’s satiating.

Another less obvious reason that goat cheese and other full-fat dairy products may be “good for you” is because they taste great and ultimately can makes recipes more enjoyable, which means you might need to eat less to feel satisfied. When you enjoy what you eat you’re less likely to seek out snacks and/or feel deprived, which can lead to a reduced risk for overeating in the long run. Rather than attempting to cut calories by eating low-fat, processed cheeses, many weight loss experts now recommend eating the real thing — full-fat, high-quality cheeses — and simply watching your portion size.

Goat Cheese Nutrition

Studies have found that, depending on how goat cheese is cured and aged, a wide variation exists in terms of the concentrations of nutrients, such as phosphorus, vitamin K, calcium, iron, sodium and zinc. (14) Softer cheeses tend to be lower in calories, fat, protein and most of the minerals mentioned above compared to harder cheeses that have been aged longer.

A one-ounce serving of soft goat cheese has about: (15)

  • 75 calories
  • 0.2 gram carbohydrates
  • 5.2 grams of protein
  • 5.9 grams of fat (slightly less than most other cheeses)
  • 0.2 milligram copper (10 percent DV)
  • 71.7 milligrams phosphorus (7 percent DV)
  • 0.1 milligram riboflavin/vitamin B2 (6 percent DV)
  • 289 international units vitamin A (6 percent DV)
  • 39.2 milligrams calcium (4 percent DV)
  • 0.1 milligram vitamin B6 (4 percent DV)
  • 0.5 milligram of iron (3 percent DV)

Goat Cheese vs. Cow Cheese vs. Other Cheese

Is goat cheese better for you than other cheese, such as feta or cheddar? Here’s how goat cheese stacks up against other cheeses:

  • Goat cheese has less calories, fat and protein than many cheeses made with cow’s milk, such as cheddar, brie or gouda cheese.
  • Feta cheese, popular in Greece and parts of the Mediterranean and Middle East, has traditionally been made from goat’s milk (or sometimes sheep’s milk).
  • Cheeses made from sheep’s milk — such as Roquefort, manchego, pecorino romano — are other great options. Sheep milk is even higher in many vitamins and minerals than cow’s and goat’s milk, including vitamin B12, vitamin C, folate and magnesium. Compared to goat’s cheese, sheep’s milk cheese is less tangy and usually creamier.

Where to Find and How to Use Goat Cheese

Wondering where to buy goat cheese if you’re concerned about getting the best quality? Check your local farmer’s market for organic goat cheese, or even consider buying organic cheeses online. Depending on how you plan on using goat cheese you might want to try different varieties, including soft, semi-soft, hard, fig, honey, pepper, garlic and herb cheeses.

The best goat cheese brands are those that use organic goat’s milk from grass-fed animals that are not treated with hormones or antibiotics. Although raw cheeses can be harder to find, I recommend buying them whenever possible because they contain more enzymes and beneficial bacteria due to avoiding high-heat pasteurization. Certain studies have found that the quality of cheese affects the actual chemical composition of the cheese. One analysis of 60 different samples of goat cheese found that farm-produced cheese had more dry matter, high protein levels and more fat. Goat cheeses from farms contained higher concentrations of lactoferrin caprine and serum albumin proteins compared to cheeses produced in factories. (16)

What are some of the ways you can use goat cheese? Goat cheese goes well with flavors and foods like honey; dates or figs; turkey or chicken; eggs; beets; herbs like oregano, basil and parsley; black pepper; spinach; arugula; kale; avocado; tomatoes; and eggplant. Popular uses of goat cheese include adding some to salads or omelettes/frittatas, serving goat cheese with roasted beets and balsamic dressing, adding some to sandwiches or collard wraps, and topping veggies with crumbled goat cheese.

Goat Cheese Recipes

Here’s a basic recipe for making soft goat cheese (also called chevre): (17)

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 gallon of goat’s milk (I recommend raw, organic goat’s milk that has not been pasteurized)
  • 1 packet chevre culture (purchase enough culture to set 1 gallon of milk; look for one that includes culture and rennet for cheese making)
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • Thermometer
  • Knife
  • Spoon or ladle
  • Butter muslin or large colander

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Warm the milk to to 68–72 degrees F (20–22°C) in a pot over low heat.
  2. Add the culture by sprinkling it over the top of the milk. Wait about 2 minutes for the culture to rehydrate, then stir.
  3. Place a cloth over the pot and let the milk sit in the pot at room temperature for 6–12 hours.
  4. Once you see that the curd has formed (and there’s a thin layer of whey over the curd mass), drain the whey from the curd using a colander. The curd will drain slowly over about 6 hours or more. The more time you allow for the curd to drain, the drier and tangier the cheese will be. You can slowly keep draining for about 24–36 hours to form a dense cheese. Softer, sweeter cheeses need less time to drain.
  5. Once the cheese has drained to your preference, add about 1.5–2 teaspoons of salt and any herbs you might like. Store the cheese in the refrigerator in a bowel and use within about 7–10 days.

Below are some ideas for using goat cheese in healthy recipes, whether the cheese is homemade or store-bought:

  • Berry Goat Cheese Recipe
  • Creamy Goat Cheese and Artichoke Dip Recipe
  • Eggplant Wrapped Goat Cheese Recipe

Goat Cheese History and Facts

According to the Original Chevre website, “Authentic, artisanal French chèvre has been passed down between generations of farmers for thousands of years.” With its long history of goat cheese consumption, France continues to be one of the biggest produces of several types of goat’s milk cheeses, commonly called French chèvres (chèvre in French simply means goat). (18)

Geography, geology and climate all dictate the varieties of cheese made from goat’s milk. Milk quality and taste are directly linked to the land, or terroir, where the goats roam. Varieties of goat cheese have been traditionally made in Australia, Greece, China, Italy, Norway, Turkey, U.S., U.K., Netherlands, Ireland and in the Eastern region of the Middle East (where Labneh cheese is often made with goat’s or sheep’s milk). In ancient Greece, goats were considered “legendary animals”; they were raised not only for their meat, but also for their nutrient-dense milk and even their skin.

According to Eurial International (a supplier of goat’s milk), “Settling down around 7,000 BC, the prehistoric nomadic hunter created the first goat cheeses, becoming the forerunner of all cheeses. During the Greek and Roman civilisation, goats adapted well to arid areas of the Mediterranean. In the Middle Ages goat cheeses were used as money as well as food for the pilgrims.” (19)

Goat cheese consumption has risen in the U.S. over the past several decades as goat’s cheese has become known for being healthier than other cheeses. In fact, according to the Agricultural Marketing Resource Center, “in the past decade goat cheese has been one of the fastest growing cheeses in the specialty food product market.” (20) Currently, more than 50 percent of the goat cheese products consumed in the U.S. are imported, mostly from France. The most popular type of goat cheese available in the U.S. is chevre, a fresh, soft cheese similar in texture to cream cheese that is usually sold in logs, often with added flavoring from berries, herbs or nuts.

Precautions

If you have a known allergy to cow’s milk, or lactose intolerance, incorporate goat cheese into your diet slowly to make sure you don’t have a negative reaction. Even though it’s less allergenic than cow’s milk, it’s still possible to be allergic to goat (or sheep’s) milk products. Consume goat cheese carefully if you’ve ever experienced a histamine response to goat’s milk products. Stop eating goat cheese and other dairy products if you experience symptoms like hives, sweating, diarrhea, abdominal pain or swelling.

Pregnant women are advised not to consume raw cheeses due to the potential for bacterial contamination, so to be safe it’s best to either avoid eating questionable cheeses during pregnancy or to always purchase from a reputable retailer that you trust.

Final Thoughts on Goat Cheese Benefits

  • Goat cheese is typically a soft or semi-soft cheese made from goat’s milk that has a tangy taste and smooth texture.
  • Benefits of goat cheese include that it provides calcium, healthy fats, probiotics, phosphorus, copper, protein, B vitamins and iron.
  • Goat’s cheese is a good alternative to cow’s milk cheeses because it’s lower in lactose, contains type 2 casein protein, is typically easier to digest, and is usually much less allergenic and inflammatory.

Read Next: Goat Milk Benefits Are Superior to Cow Milk

Do you love cheese but feel guilty of calories every time you have some? Do you often feel how great would it be if only you could have the best cheese in the world, which is both tastier and low in calories? Well, there is some good news for you. There is goat cheese, which is exactly the kind of cheese you want! And what’s more is that Goat cheese comes with a host of health benefits!

Goat Cheese: A Brief

Goat cheese is made from goat milk and is available in soft and hard forms like other cheese. It is healthier and better for you than the cheese made from cow milk. Apart from having more nutrients than other forms of cheese, there are many health benefits of goat cheese which are listed below!

1. Low Fat:
Goat cheese is a low-fat alternative to regular cheese. It contains lesser amounts of fat than other cheese forms, and replacing your regular cheese with goat cheese can help you reduce the amount of saturated fat and cholesterol in your diet. Goat cheese contains just a little more than half the amount of fat than regular cheese. And coming to saturated fat, goat cheese contains only half of the same found in regular cheese.

2. Fewer Calories:

Goat cheese contains fewer calories than any other form of cheese made using cow milk. Ideally, if you substitute cheddar with goat cheese, you will be effectively reducing 200-300 calories from your diet.

3. Good For Lactose Intolerant People:

Goat milk contains significantly lower amounts of lactose than regular milk. Lactose is usually lost when cheese is churned, and goat cheese thus contains an exceptionally low amount of lactose. This makes it the ideal cheese for people who suffer from lactose intolerance.

4. Low Sodium:

Goat cheese contains less than half of the amount of sodium than regular cheese. Excess sodium can lead to chronic conditions and potentially fatal diseases like heart attack and even stroke. Usually, doctors recommend we have no more than 2,300 mg of sodium daily. If you are someone who cannot resist the cheese, you might want to switch to goat cheese.

5. Sufficient Protein:

Goat cheese is not as rich as regular cheese in terms of protein content, but it does provide a decent amount of the nutrient, which is enough for the proper functioning of the body. Goat cheese usually contains slightly more than half of the protein level as cheddar cheese. Doctors usually recommend women to consume 46 g of protein, while men should ideally consume 56 g of protein every day.
6. Rich In Vitamins And Minerals:

Goat cheese contains more minerals and vitamins than cow cheese. It is especially rich in Vitamin D and Vitamin K, while also containing the same amount of vitamin A as cow cheese. Goat cheese is also high in B vitamins like thiamine, niacin and riboflavin. Riboflavin is an essential vitamin that helps promote tissue health. As your body does not produce these essential vitamins and minerals on their own, goat cheese can provide a steady source of these essential vitamins.

7. Calcium-Rich:
Goat cheese is especially rich in calcium, with greater calcium concentrations than cow cheese. Calcium is especially important for the body, helping strengthen bones and teeth as well as protecting you from diseases. Calcium has many benefits for the human body.

So, now that you know about the amazing health benefits of goat cheese, consider replacing your regular cheese with goat cheese. However, remember to buy Goat Cheese from a trusted source, like Shisler’s Cheese House.

If you’re anything like me, you’re constantly on the lookout for ways to switch up your daily eating routine. I literally eat salad at every meal, so I’m always trying to change things around in order to avoid boredom.

Unfortunately, my college’s dining hall doesn’t offer much variety in terms of salad add-ins (there’s only so many times you can have chickpeas, shredded carrots, and cherry tomatoes before you lose all desire to eat) so I’ve been forced to get creative lately.

This past summer, I discovered a newfound love for one particular salad add-in: goat cheese (it’s also known as chèvre, which is the French term). While interning in NYC, I spent my lunch breaks trying out a bunch of different salad places close to my office building. A fellow intern recommended one particular place called The Picnic Basket, and it was at this hipster NYC lunch spot that I fell in love with a salad featuring pears, dried cranberries, almonds, grilled chicken, and goat cheese.

Since being back at school, I’ve even begun to bring my own goat cheese to the dining hall, yearning for that great flavor combination that I grew to love over the summer. I don’t even care if I get weird looks from other diners.

Claudia Miller

Here are three reasons why I think that goat cheese (or chèvre, if you want to be fancy) should be your new favorite food:

1. It makes for a great salad.

A photo posted by karah (@karahjoyful) on Jul 12, 2016 at 9:42am PDT

I’m a salad aficionado. It’s my favorite food by far, just because there are so many things you can do with it. Not surprisingly, my favorite way to eat goat cheese is on top of my salad. Here’s how I recommend you do it.

Choose either romaine or spinach (I prefer the latter). Next, add one of your favorite fruits. I like green apples or pears, but grapes or blueberries can work, too. Sprinkle on some almonds or walnuts for some crunch and some dried cranberries for added tangy sweetness.

If you’re craving extra protein, you can add some grilled chicken. Lastly, crumble on top or add slices of smooth goat cheese to your salad.

2. It tastes amazing when it’s warm (and melty).

Alana Babington

In other words, try it in omelets, wraps, sandwiches, or on top of pizza. My favorite omelet at the moment includes goat cheese, spinach, and mushrooms.

I also love grilled veggies, such as red peppers and eggplant, inside of wraps or sandwiches with goat cheese. When it warms up, the cheese gets super smooth and melted; it really helps to bring out its distinct flavor.

3. It’s healthier than cow’s milk cheese.

Maya Krasnow

Goat cheese is creamy and indulgent, so at first glance you probably wouldn’t consider it to be all that healthy. But it’s not as bad for you as you’d think. In fact, it proves to be even healthier than cow’s milk cheese.

Goat cheese has fewer calories per ounce than popular cow cheese counterparts. Goat cheese contains 75 calories per ounce, while mozzarella comes in at 85, brie at 95, Swiss at 108, and cheddar at 115 calories per ounce.

Goat cheese packs in more vitamins and minerals than does a serving of cow’s cheese. Lastly, due to its different protein structure and lactose content, goat cheese is significantly easier to digest than cow’s cheese.

Lively Run Goat Dairy

Cheese making has been in practice for over 8,000 years by various cultures around the world. Throughout history, many animals have been valued for their milk, including camels, bison, goats, and yaks. Today, the majority of dairy production comes from cow’s milk, increasing by 50% over the last 40 years. While the percentage of milk consumption in liquid form has decreased, the popularity of cheese has been on the rise, with each person eating an average of 34 pounds a year as of 2012 (1).

However, not all cheeses are created equal. Most cheeses get a bad rap. We hear about how it is unhealthy, negatively contributing to our waistline and increasing the number on the scale. While all cheeses should be eaten in moderation, there are some that are a good addition to your shopping list, including swiss, feta, part-skim mozzarella, parmesan, and cottage cheese (2). These are a great source of many essential vitamins and minerals, and can help you avoid common health issues.

1. Cheese Can Prevent Osteoporosis

Our parents always instructed us to drink our milk as children, telling us that the calcium and vitamin D would help us to build strong bones. The truth is our bone mass continues to grow throughout childhood and adolescence, reaching its peak density around age 30. From there, the aging process begins to thin our bones over time. It is easy to see that the greater your bone density is at this point, the less effect aging will have on your skeletal integrity.

Unfortunately, inadequate bone mass can contribute to the development of osteoporosis later in life. Osteoporosis is a disease characterized by fragile, porous bones, and it affects over 10 million Americans, 80% of which are women. It is the leading cause of fractures, with 1.5 million estimated each year (particularly in the wrist, hip, or vertebrae). The cause can be attributed to low consumption or poor absorption of calcium, which causes the bones to slowly break down (3).

Balanced nutrition can help you avoid the development of osteoporosis. You need to ensure you are receiving adequate amounts or protein, calcium, and vitamin D. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends a minimum daily intake of 400 to 500 mg of calcium per day for people over 50 and at risk for fractures (4). Dairy products, particularly cheese fortified with vitamin D, can be a great way to consume the correct balance of vitamins and minerals.

Bottom Line: Increasing your calcium and protein intake with cheese can keep your bones strong, and help prevent osteoporosis.

2. Cheese Can Have a Positive Effect on Your Dental Health

A study done by dental professionals showed that eating cheese might help to prevent dental cavities. Four groups were tested, consuming milk, sugar-free yogurt, paraffin, and cheese, and the pH balance in various areas of their mouths were tested before and after consumption. A pH level lower than 5.5 can leave your teeth at risk for erosion due to acids created in your mouth. While the groups who drank milk, and ate paraffin and sugar-free yogurt showed no significant change, the group who ate cheese experienced an increase in pH levels (5).

The findings may be the result of increased saliva production, due to chewing, which protects teeth from erosion. It could also be that certain components of the cheese adhered to the teeth, protecting them from acid. Either way, your teeth are made up of the same substances as your bones. Just as cheese is beneficial for your bone health, it can also have positive effects on your dental health.

Bottom Line: Cheese can keep your teeth strong and prevent expensive dental work that results from decay.

3. Cheese Consumption Can Help You Gain Weight in a Healthy Way

To most people, the idea of gaining weight is not something to be looked at favorably. For some, weight gain is a necessity for various reasons. Actors and athletes may need to bulk up for an upcoming role or game season, or a child may be underweight for their age, according to their pediatrician.

For those looking to gain weight, there is a right and a wrong way to do so. You do not want to put your health at risk by choosing the wrong foods. With its fat and protein content, plus the various vitamins and minerals it contains, cheese is a great choice for gaining weight in a healthy manner (6).

You do need to be careful about how much cheese you eat, as it can take you too far to the opposite extreme on the weight chart. It is a very energy-dense food, containing a lot of calories per gram. Common cheeses, like goat, gouda, and parmesan, contain over 100 calories per gram. Eating a diet mainly consisting of foods high in energy density can lead to obesity. Try to balance your cheese intake with low energy-dense foods, like fruits and vegetables (7).

Bottom Line: If your doctor has said that you or your child needs to gain weight, cheese can be a healthy way to achieve this.

4. Cheese is the Best Dietary Source for Calcium

The most abundant mineral in the body, calcium is a necessity for life. It regulates vascular function, nerve transmission, muscle function, and hormone secretion. While only 1% of the calcium in the body is necessary for these functions, the other 99% is stored in the bones.

Your bones go through constant remodeling throughout your life. The balance between breakdown and formation changes over time, with the formation greatly outweighing breakdown in childhood, vice versa in older adults, and a balance between the two in adolescence and early adulthood (8).

Our bodies cannot create new calcium, and we lose calcium every day through our dead skin cells, nails and hair, sweat, and excrement. It is important to get your recommended daily calcium (roughly 1,000 mg for the average adult (9)), as the calcium we do not receive through our food is then taken from our bones, leaving them prone to breaking down and vulnerable to fractures (10).

Bottom Line: Cheese is the best way, without supplementation, to receive your recommended daily intake of calcium.

5. Cheese is an Excellent Source of Protein

Responsible for the formation, regulation, repair, and protection of the body, protein is a necessity in our diets, giving you a strong immune system, healthy hair, and proper fluid balance in your body. Without proper protein intake, you are at risk for fluid retention and shrinkage of muscular tissue.

Your body does not store protein. Because of this, your daily food consumption should contain adequate amounts of protein. About 2-3 servings of protein-rich foods (such as meat and dairy) per day is adequate for most adults to meet the requirement (11).

While most cheeses are an excellent source of protein, low moisture-content cheeses are your best choice. If you are looking for the best cheesy source of protein, Parmesan is the one for you. It is the highest protein-content cheese, with 10 grams per ounce. Stay away from “wet” cheeses, like cottage, ricotta, and other cheese spreads if you are looking for protein content. These are very low in protein and high in fat (12).

Bottom Line: Cheese can help you receive your daily amounts of protein, giving you leaner muscle and healthier skin and hair.

6. Cheese is High in Vitamin B12

Vitamin B-12 (also known as Cobalamin) is the largest and most complex vitamin discovered to this day. It aids in the production of red blood cells, protein, and DNA, as well as promotes many mental health functions. Vitamin B-12 anemia, or pernicious anemia, is the result of a deficiency which can lead to lethargy, muscles weakness, and, in long-term, severe cases, neurological damage (13).

This essential vitamin can only be found, naturally, in animal products, or synthetically in supplements. It can be consumed in large doses with no ill side-effects. The excess merely gets stored away in the body until it is needed, and can be stored up to a year (14).

Many cheeses provide an excellent source of natural vitamin B-12. Amongst all cheeses, Swiss has been found to have the highest B-12 content, with 0.95 micrograms per ounce. That’s about 39% of your recommended daily intake. Even the cheeses with the lowest content, cheddar and Monterey, still offer 10% of your B-12 requirement in one ounce (15).

Bottom Line: Choosing cheeses, like Swiss, can energize you and keep your nervous system healthy through vitamin B-12.

7. Cheese Can Reverse Hypertension by Lowering Blood Pressure

There have been links found between a diet that contains dairy and lower blood pressure. It is believed that the increased calcium intake is what is ultimately responsible. There was a study done in which two groups, one who ate only fruits and vegetables and the other included low-fat dairy products, were tested. It was found that the group that included dairy showed overall decreased blood pressure.

Those with hypertension may find that their systolic blood pressure lowered by 2-4 mmHg by including certain cheeses in their diet (16). However, you do still need to be aware of your sodium intake, not exceeding 1,500 mg per day. Choose low-sodium cheeses by checking the packaging labels. Balancing your diet with foods high in potassium can help to reduce your sodium level as well (17). So, why not top that potato with some cheddar?

Bottom Line: Pairing low-sodium cheeses with potassium-rich foods can lower your blood pressure and reverse hypertension.

8. Cheese Provides the Essential Fat, CLA

Conjugated linoleic acid, or CLA, is a complex compound that does not get enough credit. With the trend of low-fat, no-fat diets, the intake of CLA amongst most Americans is very low. It is an essential, “healthy” fat that is commonly found in dairy and meat, primarily from grass-fed cows, sheep, and goats (18).

With the help of CLA, you can experience a loss of body fat and build lean muscle. It also plays a vital role in supporting the immune and inflammatory systems, improving bone mass, regulating blood sugar levels, and reducing your risk of heart disease.

Cheese made from milk from grass-fed cows tends to be high in CLA’s. The amount of CLA in these cheeses tend to increase with the amount of fresh grass eaten. Therefore, when cows have access year-round to fresh grass, you can have as much as 30 mg of CLA per ounce of cheese produced (19).

Bottom Line: Grass-fed cheeses are rich in CLA, which can regulate your blood sugar and reduce your risk of heart failure.

9. Cheese Can Help Prevent Common Cancers

There’s no doubt about it: cancer runs rampant throughout our population. Colorectal cancer is amongst the most common in the world, affecting the colon and digestive tract. Many complications come along with colorectal cancer, including abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting, rectal bleeding, and, if undiagnosed, can lead to death in the long-run (20).

While many studies have shown mixed results when it comes to dairy consumption and cancer risk, there has been some evidence that shows milk and cheese can prevent some common cancers, such as colorectal and bladder. There are many factors to consider when it comes to diet and cancer prevention. When it comes to cheese and other dairy products, it is believed that the calcium, vitamin D, and lactic acid can potentially protect you from these cancers (21, 22).

Bottom Line: The calcium content in cheese can potentially help prevent common cancers, like colorectal.

10. Cheese is Plentiful in Healthy Fats

Once upon a time, we were told that fat was evil, causing us to be obese and clogging up our precious arteries. Thus, the low-fat, no-fat diets began to roll out, resulting in a population that was overweight and very sick.

Now we know that fats are essential to a healthy diet. They help to keep you full, so you eat less, and are necessary to help your body absorb certain vitamins. It is still only recommended that 10% or less of your daily calories should come from fat, and you should be selective with where your fats come from and what type of fats you choose.

Unsaturated fats are the best for you. These are typically found in nuts and fish. Saturated fats can also be good, but in moderation. These are often solid at room temperature, and are found in animal products, like meat, butter, and cheese, and certain oils, like coconut and palm. Trans fats should be avoided altogether, being undeniably the worst fat for your heart and found in fried foods and packaged snacks.

Cheese, in moderation, can help you get these necessary fats into your diet. Try choosing aged cheeses, like parmesan, and using it as a garnish to salads. The fats in the cheese will help keep you full and help your body absorb the vitamins in your vegetables (23).

Bottom Line: We now know that fats are essential in our diets, and cheese is a good source of healthy dietary fats.

11. Cheese is a Good Choice for Pregnant Women

Preeclampsia affects 5 to 8% of pregnant women in America. It is a condition in which a woman develops hypertension in pregnancy, and can have a serious impact on her unborn child, including death. Through various studies and research, it has been shown, however, that calcium supplementation, receiving between 1,500 and 2,000 mg per day, during pregnancy can greatly reduce a woman’s risk of developing preeclampsia (24).

With its calcium content, cheese is a good choice for the pregnant woman’s diet. Not only is it rich in calcium, but it can offer many other essential nutrients for pregnancy, including protein and B vitamins. However, there are many conflicting opinions on the consumption of cheese during pregnancy, and these need to be taken into consideration.

Some soft cheeses, due to their moisture content, can be the perfect environment for bacteria to grow. One of these bacteria, listeria, is especially dangerous for pregnant women and their fetuses. Listeriosis can produce symptoms similar to that of food poisoning, and the bacterial infection can even result in fetal death (25).

If you do choose to eat soft cheese, make sure it is in cooked food. The heat will help to kill the bacteria, making it safer for pregnant women to eat. If you really desire to eat cheese, but you are afraid of the risk of listeriosis, choose hard cheeses instead, like gouda, cheddar, and parmesan. These are usually made with pasteurized milk and cooked at high temperatures, which kill any existing bacteria (26).

Bottom Line: With proper choices and preparation, cheese can be a good choice for pregnant women to receive vitamins and minerals necessary for healthy fetal development.

12. Cheese Helps You Build Muscle

We all know how difficult it can be to lose weight, but for some people, it can be just as hard to put on muscle. Adding certain foods to your diet, however, can help you gain weight and bulk up. Cheese can effectively help you build muscle, due to its fat and protein content (27).

Cottage cheese is easily the cheapest addition to your diet that can help you build muscle. Per serving (about 4 ounces), you get 13 grams of protein, 5 grams of fat (in regular cottage cheese, not low- or no-fat), and 4 grams of carbs. It is a popular choice amongst many athletes and body builders, as the whey and casein protein keeps their muscles lean and aids in post-workout recovery (28).

Bottom Line: With the protein, fat, and carbs in cheese, you can gain weight and build muscle with ease.

13. Cheese Benefits the Immune System

Immunoesenescene is a disease that plagues the elderly, attacking their immune system, leading to its deterioration. It makes it harder for their bodies to fight cancerous cells and respond to immunizations and vaccines, leaving them more susceptible to cancer and infectious diseases.

Recent research, however, has shown that cheese, fortified with probiotic bacteria, can help boost the immune system and prevent immunosenescene. Probiotics are similar to the bacteria found in the human gut, where the majority of the immune system is located. Scientists, therefore, decided to target this area for their research.

A group of volunteers in a nursing home, between the ages of 72 and 103, were observed over a period of four weeks. One group was given a placebo cheese, and the other was given probiotic-rich gouda. At the end of the period, it was clear that natural and acquired immunity was improved in the group who ate the probiotic-fortified gouda (29, 30).

Bottom Line: Cheese, especially gouda, can improve the immune system by introducing gut-healthy probiotics to your body.

14. Cheese is Abundant in the Vital Vitamin K2

Vitamin K is well-known for the role it plays in helping your blood to clot, but there are a few forms of vitamin K. Vitamin K2 doesn’t get as much attention as K1, which is the K vitamin responsible for blood coagulation (called Koagulationsvitamin, understandably). It is believed to be the “unsung hero” when it comes to the prevention of some common diseases (31).

This vitamin works hand-in-hand with other vitamins and nutrients, such as calcium and vitamin D. It benefits your bone, skin, and dental health, by transporting and depositing these essential vitamins and minerals to these areas. It can help prevent dementia in the elderly by promoting healthy brain function. It can even prevent, and possibly treat, common cancers, like leukemia (32).

Many Americans (about 80%), and other Western populations, are believed to not get enough of this magical vitamin. The optimum recommended intake is still inconclusive, but it is believed that 180 to 200 mcg per day will be enough to get those vitamin-transporting proteins working. Hard cheeses, have adequate amounts of vitamin K2, offering over 30% more than soft cheeses, and amongst these, gouda and brie boast the highest amounts, at about 75 mcg per ounce (33, 34).

Bottom Line: Vitamin K2 is a miracle vitamin, believed to help prevent many common diseases, and gouda cheese is an excellent source for this vitamin.

15. Cheese is Good for Your Thyroid Health

Your thyroid, a small, butterfly-shaped gland in your neck, is probably not something you think about often, but it should receive special attention when it comes to your health. The hormones it produces regulate nearly all of the body’s metabolic functions. Too much (hyperthyroidism) or too little (hypothyroidism) production of these hormones can set your body off balance.

A thyroid disorder can have a vast array of symptoms. These include weight gain, fatigue, and infertility with hypothyroidism, and anxiety, insomnia, and rapid weight loss with hyperthyroidism. Both are cause for concern, and can lead to more serious problems in the future.

More than 30 million Americans suffer from a thyroid disorder, and over half of them are undiagnosed. Chances are even higher of an issue developing with your thyroid if you are female, making it about 30% more likely (35, 36).

There are many things you can do to prevent developing a thyroid disorder, such as nutrition. Selenium is an essential mineral, as there are many benefits that result from daily intake. You can experience boosted immunity, as it counteracts the development of viruses, and it regulates thyroid function by aiding in the production of thyroid hormones (37).

Changing your diet can be the first step to avoiding a thyroid disorder. Adding cheese to your diet can help. Hard cheeses, like cheddar, can be a great source of selenium. In a 100-g serving, you can get over 50% of your recommended daily value (38).

Bottom Line: Adding cheddar, and other hard cheeses, to your diet can reduce your risk of developing a thyroid disorder by keeping your hormones in balance.

Recipes

We all love cheese, and it’s easy to find many fattening, soul-soothing recipes. If you need your cheese fix, try these healthier alternatives.

1. Loaded Cauliflower

With all of the cheesy goodness this dish has to offer, you can enjoy your favorite comfort food without even noticing you’re eating vegetables.

In a microwave-safe bowl, combine either a whole head of cauliflower (then cutting it into florets) or a pound of pre-cut cauliflower and 2 tablespoons of water, cover with clear wrap, and microwave for 5-8 minutes, until tender. Drain the excess water and allow to cool for a few minutes.

Transfer the cauliflower to a food processor and blend until fluffy. Add ¼ teaspoon of garlic powder, 3 tablespoons of butter, and 4 ounces of sour cream. Blend again until the mixture looks like mashed potatoes.

In your serving dish, combine the cauliflower mixture and about 2 tablespoons of snipped chives, and mix in a ½ cup of shredded cheddar. Season with salt and pepper. Top the mixture with another ½ cup of shredded cheddar.

Pop it back in the microwave for a few minutes or put it under your broiler to allow the cheese to melt. Sprinkle on some chopped chives and serve.

2. Spaghetti Squash with Bacon, Spinach, and Goat Cheese

With the gluten-free trend on the rise, this recipe is a great trend for those looking for pasta without the carbs.

Preheat the oven to 400°F and line a baking pan with either parchment paper or foil. Prep your spaghetti squash by cutting off both ends, slicing it into 1-inch thick rings, and cutting out the seeds in the middle. Drizzle oil onto your lined baking pan, and spread out the squash rings, making sure both sides are coated with olive oil and seasoned with salt and pepper. Allow to bake for about 30 minutes, and cool for 10 minutes when it is finished.

Heat a large pan and cook about 6 strips of bacon (cut into 1 inch pieces) until it is browned and crispy. At this point, stir in a tablespoon of red wine vinegar (which will help to deglaze your pan and loosen any stuck pieces of bacon) and a tablespoon of maple syrup. Add a bag of fresh spinach to the pan, one handful at a time, while stirring over low heat. Once the spinach is wilted, remove from heat.

Peel the skin from your squash, then, using a fork or your fingers, separate the “spaghetti” strands. Add the squash to your skillet and toss together.

Top with goat cheese crumbles and serve warm.

3. Spinach and Goat Cheese Frittata

Add a little bit of cheesy goodness to your brunch with this recipe.

Preheat your oven to 400°F. In an oven-proof skillet, heat olive oil and add 6 slices of pancetta. Cook over medium-high heat until crispy. Allow to cool on a separate plate before crumbling into small pieces.

Slice up a small leek (length-wise then into ½ inch pieces) and add it to your pan. Cook over low heat until soft and slightly browned. Add a cup of fresh spinach and cook until wilted. Remove the leek and spinach mixture from the pan and allow to sit with the pancetta.

Beat 8 large eggs and add them to the pan, seasoning with salt and pepper, and cooking for about a minute. Spread the pancetta, leek, and spinach mixture over the eggs and top with about a ½ cup of goat cheese crumbles.

Bake for a few minutes until the frittata is set. Cut into wedges and serve immediately.

4. Skinny Mac and Cheese

Looking for some comfort food without the guilt? This mac and cheese recipe is sure to hit the spot.

Grate about a pound and a half of cauliflower (either a head cut into florets or pre-cut) into a large bowl. Measure out about 3 cups of the grated cauliflower and add to a slow cooker or Dutch oven with 2 cups of elbow macaroni and 2 cloves of sliced garlic.

In a separate bowl, whisk together 1 ½ cups of chicken broth, ½ cup of milk, and 2 tablespoons of flour. Pour the mixture over the cauliflower and macaroni, stirring everything together. Allow to cook until macaroni is tender. Stir in 1 ½ cups of grated cheddar cheese and a cup of low-fat Greek yogurt.

Top with more shredded cheddar, if you so desire, and salt and pepper, melting the cheese before serving.

5. Parmesan Kale Grilled Cheese

This healthy spin on classic grilled cheese is sure to satisfy even the pickiest of eaters.

Preheat your indoor grill or panini press (you can also use a grill pan on your stove). On a slice of bread, crumble a half-ounce of sliced parmesan and sprinkle hemp seeds and garlic powder. Top with sliced kale, another half-ounce of parmesan, slices of another cheese of your choice (something that will easily melt).

Lay your second slice of bread on top and place in grill or panini press and close. Allow to cook for a few minutes, until cheese is melted and grill marks are visible. Serve warm.

6. Parmesan Roasted Zucchini

Why eat French fries when you can enjoy this healthy and delicious alternative?

Preheat oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with foil. Slice about 4 to 5 zucchinis into wedges (quarter them length-wise). In a separate bowl, mix together 2 tablespoons of olive oil, the zest of a lemon, and 2 cloves of garlic (minced).

Spread your zucchini slices on your lined baking sheet and brush with your olive oil mixture. Sprinkle with shredded parmesan and season with salt and pepper. Allow to bake for a few minutes, until zucchini is tender, then allow to broil until the parmesan is golden in color.

Serve as a snack or a side with your favorite dish.

7. Cottage Cheese Chicken Enchiladas

Instead of taco night, try serving up these creamy enchiladas with a twist.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Shred two chicken breasts, and combine it with ½ cup of chopped onion, and a can of chopped green chile peppers in an oiled pan. Sauté the mixture until brown, then add taco seasoning following the package directions.

In a large bowl, mix together ½ cup of sour cream, 2 cups of cottage cheese, and season with salt and pepper. In 6-inch soft tortillas, place a spoonful of your chicken mix, a spoonful of your cheese mix, and some shredded cheese, roll them up, and place them in a greased baking dish. Pour over enchilada sauce and sprinkle on shredded cheddar.

Allow to bake for about 30 minutes, until cheese is melted on top, and serve with Spanish rice.

8. Reuben Dip

Enjoy all the flavor of your favorite sandwich in this easy to make snack.

Preheat your oven to 350°F. Combine together a package of cream cheese (room temperature), ½ cup of mayonnaise, 2 tablespoons of ketchup, 1 tablespoon of horseradish, and 1 tablespoon of relish in a food processor, and blend until smooth.

Stir in 2 cups of grated Swiss cheese, 2 ounces of chopped corned beef, ½ cup of sauerkraut, and ¼ cup of chopped chives. Transfer to a baking dish, and allow to bake in the oven for about 15 minutes, until the dip is hot and bubbly.

Serve with pieces of toasted pumpernickel bread

Cheese is one of the oldest foods produced by man. It is part of many cultures of countries that overlook the Mediterranean and the Middle East. Many foods considered the cornerstones of a people’s diet over the centuries have been lost. But some resist as important elements of our diet: wine, oil, honey and cheese. This does not mean that consumption has remained unchanged over time.

In the last century the cheese suffered a downgrading due to more or less founded and more or less precise news concerning its relationship with cholesterol. Fortunately today, cheese is experiencing a period of revaluation and enhancement. But what are the reasons why we should eat sheep’s and goat’s cheese? Let’s find out 5.

1) Thousand shades of flavours

The first point is linked to taste, or rather to flavors and aromas. We spoke in a previous article in which we talked about tasting of cheese (READ) and differences between flavors and aromas, how to recognize them and how to analyze them.

The sheep’s and goat’s milk has a more full-bodied flavor than cow’s milk and when tasted it we can realize how the flavor and aroma is more intense, creamy and tending to sweet.

Moreover, if we choose a sheep’s or a goat’s cheese with raw milk, a variety of complex aromas will open in your mouth, which you will not find in pasteurized dairy sheep’s cheese. Among the many foods that exist there is not one, not even wine, which can offer a range of aromatic sensations so complex and balanced at the same time.

2) Food with great nutritional values

Goat’s and sheep’s cheese are rich in nutritional products, vitamins, proteins and noble fats. It is a food that brings many benefits to our body. Do not you believe it? Do you think which is the longest-lasting region in Italy? What is the region in which the dairy tradition is the oldest in Italy? The same, Sardinia and given the importance in the diet and the large consumption of cheese that you do in Sardinia, the fact that in this region there is the highest number of centenarians can not be pure chance. This does not mean that cheese is an elixir of long life, but that certainly brings many benefits and few problems.

The pecorino and the goat cheese are rich in calcium and Vitamin D and this helps to keep bones, nerves and muscles strong and healthy, but also to regulate the metabolism.

3) High digestibility

The sheep’s and goat’s milk have less lactose than cow’s milk. This translates into a best digestibility already of the basic product. The cheese is created through a path that goes from curd to maturing. More the seasoning will be long and cured and more the cheese will be digestible.

If you have digestive problems (not a true lactose intolerance) and you have renounced eating cheeses for this reason, you can breathe a sigh of relief, because the long-aged sheep’s and goat’s cheese, from 18 months upwards, will make you rediscover the pleasure unique to eat cheese without unpleasant consequences.

4) Eating cheese combines sleep

You got it right! Recent studies have found that eating cheese and dairy products combines sleep. It seems incredible, but the secret of everything lies in the chemical composition of these products. In fact, cheeses and dairy products are rich in tryptophan, an essential amino acid present in the milk that is the basis of the synthesis process of serotonins.

The latter are exciting neurotransmitters that with the synthesis process favored by tryptophan are transformed into melatonins that on the contrary have sedative properties and regulate the sleep cycle.

5) Eating the cheese does not make you fat

How many times have we heard that cheese makes you fat, which makes cholesterol increase and that we have to limit its use? Too many times, and we had to renounce of our pleasure. But a study conducted by the University College of Dublin has (fortunately) denied these clichés. Taking a sample of 1.500 people, they analyzed the impact of milk derivatives on their health.

The result was stunning! The results say that habitual consumers of cheeses and dairy products have a lower fat mass index, lower cholesterol values and lower pressure than “non-consumers”. Incredibly, the results of the analysis of habitual consumers of low fat cheeses have recorded higher levels of cholesterol.

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