What Is The Least Healthy Kind Of Cheese?

If you love cheese, you're in good company. According to Statista, the average American ate over 40 pounds of cheese in 2020.

Cheese is not only a delicious and versatile food, but it's quite nutritious when consumed in moderation. According to Healthline, this is because cheese is not only an excellent source of calcium but also contains protein and a variety of vitamins and nutrients. Research also indicates that cheese may help to protect your teeth from cavities.

Each type of cheese will have a different nutrition profile, but if you want to stay away from the high-calorie cheeses, there are low-fat versions of mozzarella, Swiss, and feta cheese that may be tasty enough to tantalize your palate. If you're worried about consuming too much sodium, Healthline recommends that you stay away from harder cheeses because they will likely have added salt as part of their aging process. Similar to low-fat cheese, there are also varieties of low-sodium cheeses available.

These are the kinds of cheese you need to avoid

Just as there are healthier, artisanal cheeses, there are highly processed varieties. If the labels on cheese describe the contents as "cheese product," know that this means it has been processed and has less than 51% real cheese (via The Daily Meal). Eating processed cheese on occasion will likely not do you any harm, but, according to Bon Appétit, you should know that when you eat a processed cheese product you could be ingesting a wide variety of chemicals, such as food dyes, preservatives, and artificial ingredients. This shouldn't come as a surprise. After all, something needs to make up the other 49% of that cheese product!

While health experts support low-fat or low-sodium cheese when you are looking to reduce calories, you may risk buying those with unhealthy substitute ingredients added in. And, sorry bagel lovers, but cream cheese makes the list of unhealthy cheeses due to a particular unhealthy added ingredient — aspartame — which has reportedly been known to potentially cause gastrointestinal issues (via The Daily Meal).

Bottom line: If you love to bite into a gooey grilled cheese or cheeseburger made with processed American cheese every once in a while — go for it. But be careful about making unhealthy cheese a habit in your diet, or it could come back to bite you.