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Good news: you can eat cheese and still lose weight. Dieting isn’t as simple as sorting foods into ‘good’ and ‘bad’ categories – you can still eat what you enjoy, and reach your weight loss goals. Express.co.uk is joined by an expert nutritionist to explain how.
Losing weight means you have to go on a strict diet, and avoid all your favourite foods – right?
Wrong. Many overly-restrictive diets are a recipe for yo-yo dieting and eventually packing on the pounds – sometimes even gaining weight to the point of being heavier than you were to start with.
Some so-called wisdom suggests to lose weight you have to cut out foods like cheese completely, but that’s not true.
Jenaed Brodell, dietitian at Nutrition&Co, spoke to Express.co.uk about why sorting foods into ‘good’ and ‘bad’ categories is not the best approach for a sustainable and healthy diet with lasting results.
Did you know that there are plenty of health benefits of eating cheese?
Jenaed said: “Cheese is a great source of calcium, fat, and protein.
“It also contains high amounts of vitamins A and B12, along with zinc, phosphorus, and riboflavin.
“Due to the high calcium intake, it can prevent osteoporosis and strengthen bones.”
All foods are much more than their calorific value, and even if your goal is to lose weight, you need to ensure you are eating a balanced diet, with plenty of nutritional value.
On top of that, if you find your food doesn’t taste good, or doesn’t fill you up, you’re going to crave your favourite foods.
Allowing yourself foods you enjoy – like cheese – in moderation, will help you enjoy your food while you work towards your weight loss goal.
Generally, eating more protein helps your meals to fill you up, and cheese is a source of protein.
Jenaed explained: “Despite being a great source of protein and calcium, cheese is energy dense which means it contains a fair amount of calories per portion size.
“Typically people who are trying to lose weight need to be in a calorie deficit and eating large amounts of cheese can add to their energy intake quickly.
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“Cheese is also high in saturated fat and salt which can increase your risk of cardiovascular disease.
“Cheese can certainly be included in a person’s diet but you need to consume it in moderation.
“Your lighter cheeses such as mozzarella, cottage cheese and parmesan are often lower in calories than your mature cheddars, for example.”
What are the best cheeses to eat on a diet?
If your goal is weight loss, these types of cheeses are lower in calories than other varieties.
Jenaed said: “Cottage cheese is a great source of protein and lower in calories.”
Cottage cheese makes a great topping for jacket potatoes, or added to salads.
Melted mozzarella makes a great topping for dishes, as it’s so satisfyingly stringy.
Jenaed added: “Mozzarella is lower in calories and sodium.”
A great cheese to crumble over salads, feta is a source of protein.
Jenaed said: “Feta is lower in calories but can be higher in sodium.”
Creamy ricotta is fabulous with pasta or baked with roast vegetables.
Jenaed said: “Ricotta is low in calories and high in protein.”
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