The Best of Healthy Cheeses
Cheese is so good! Good for mental health, good for the taste buds, good for the bones, and even good for fighting cavities! However, the saturated fats in cheese can cause harm to your heart on the long term. How can you accommodate both your arteries and your stomach? Switch to low-fat cheese!
Contrary to popular belief, soft cheese such as brie or camembert does not automatically contain more fat than firm cheese such as cheddar, brick, or Emmental. In fact, it is quite often the opposite! In order to make the cheese more firm, water needs to be removed from it. Thus, it is by reducing the humidity percentage in a cheese that we can increase the proportion of fat it contains.
To make an informed decision at the grocery, you can rely on the milk fat percentage written on the packaging of all cheeses. Most of the time, opt for cheeses with a percentage of 20 % or less. And why not try to buy local by trying low-fat cheeses made in Quebec, such as :
- Ben D’Adon from the cheese dairy La Chaudière (6 % M.F.);
- Biobio (7 % M.F.);
- Saputo’s Bocconcini (13 % M.F.), Fetos (13 % M.F.), Mozzarellissima (20 % M.F.), MozzaSnack (18 % M.F.), and Ricotta (13 % M.F.);
- Brise Du Matin from the cheese dairy Alexis de Portneuf (15 % M.F.);
- Beauceron cheddar from the cheese dairy Gilbert (6 ou 12 % M.F.);
- Light Cogruet (17 % M.F.);
- Dama 12 (12 % M.F.);
- L’Élan 7 % (7 % M.F.), St-Pierre de Saurel (15 % M.F.), and Swiss Chaliberg Riviera (17 % M.F.) from the Chalifoux dairy;
- Light Gouda Anco (17 % M.F.), light Havarti Anco Danesborg (17 % M.F.), and light Oka (19 % M.F.) from the cheese dairy Oka;
- P’tit Saint-Damase L’Authentique (15 % M.F.);
- Six Pourcent (6 % M.F.), and le Seigneur de Tilly (13 % M.F.) from the cheese dairy Bergeron;
- Swiss St-Fidèle from the cheese dairy St-Fidèle (17 % M.F.).
Even if we need to limit as much as possible our consumption of saturated fats, nothing prevents us from treating ourselves with a cheese with a higher fat content from time to time. The idea is to find the right balance between culinary pleasure and nutritive quality!
By Vanessa Martin, nutritionist
1. Fédération des producteurs de lait du Québec. Répertoire des fromages d’ici. Online. < http://www.fromagesdici.com/repertoire/autres/fromages-reduits-en-gras >. Page viewed on May 10, 2013.