Dieters: Are you cringing at the thought of avoiding the cheese table at your next holiday party?
What if we told you cheese is a good source of protein and calcium, and a great snack if you eat it in moderation?
Try serving and snacking on these more healthful (but still tasty) pairings. For additional nutrition information about your favorite cheeses, check out the U.S. Department of Agriculture Nutrient Database.
Soft goat cheese
Soft goat cheese is a lower-calorie option at 76 calories per ounce. Look for cheese made with pasteurized milk, especially if you or your guests are pregnant.
Serve with: Whole grain crackers and pesto.
Add extra protein to your diet with a chunk of hard cheese like Parmesan. An ounce is packed with 10 grams of protein. Romano, Swiss and Gruyere also are good high-protein options.
Serve with: Flavorful spiced nuts.
Cheese is naturally high in fat, but fresh mozzarella is at the lower end of the spectrum with 5 grams per ounce.
Serve with: Sliced or cherry tomatoes, fresh basil leaves and balsamic vinegar.
If you’re watching your salt intake, try Swiss. At about 74 mg per ounce, it has less sodium than most other cheeses.
Lactose is removed from Swiss during the cheese making process, so it’s usually well-tolerated by people who are lactose intolerant.
Serve with: Fresh fruit like pears, apples and grapes.
We doubt you’ll have leftovers after serving hungry guests these delicious cheeses, but in case you do, the extras don’t have to go to waste.
Here’s how the Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin, formerly Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board, recommends storing cheeses so they stay fresh longer.