Five of the healthiest cheeses

Published on May 9, 2014

Updated on June 3, 2024

Are you a cheese addict? Don’t fret—there are healthy ways you can enjoy your favorite food.

You don’t normally see cheese on healthy food lists, but it’s part of pretty much everyone’s diet. Nutrition is a key part of cancer prevention, so it’s good to keep in mind along with being physically active, limiting alcohol and protecting your skin from the sun.

We did some research on the healthiest types of cheese that you can enjoy at breakfast, lunch and dinner. In general, choose cheeses that are low in sodium and fat—soft cheeses tend to have higher amounts of both. Moderation is key.

Here are 5 cheeses to try next time you go grocery shopping:

Shredded parm cheese on a salad.

1. Cottage Cheese: A white curd cheese that is a light flavor, it mixes well with both sweet and savory ingredients. Mix it with fruit in the morning or top off a bowl of pasta and tomato sauce for a light dinner. Cottage cheese is high in phosphorous that aids in bone health and it contains all nine amino acids. It comes in a variety of types: regular, low fat and nonfat. Low and nonfat are recommended since they contain less fat. While it has various nutritional benefits, it is high in sodium and portion size is key. 

2. Goat Cheese: Most popular in France and Spain, this white creamy cheese can be found soft or hard and has a tart flavor. Easier to digest than cow products, goat cheese can be a great alternative for people who are intolerant to cow’s milk. Goat cheese is packed with flavor. Use it in moderation—a little goes a long way. Toss into salads, top off roasted vegetables or add into a fruit salad. Goat cheese is low in calories, fat and has less sodium than feta. 

3. Swiss: A hard cheese that is full of flavor. Swiss is a great lunch alternative to higher fat sandwich cheeses like provolone and cheddar. Chop up slices to use in a Cobb salad. Swiss is high in vitamin A and low in calories, fat and sodium. 

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4. Parmesan: Originally from Italy, Parmesan has now become a household name. A dry cheese, it is easy to grate and has a salty, nutty flavor. Toss into salads, on pasta or to top off risotto. Portion size is important. While Parmesan contains vitamin A and is low in fat, it still contains a fair amount of sodium. 

5. Part-Skim Mozzarella: Whole milk, part skim—what is the difference? Part skim has less fat in it and is the healthier choice. Another Italian favorite, mozzarella, mixes well in almost any dish. Grate it or melt it. Part skim fresh mozzarellas contain less sodium than hard mozzarellas. Mozzarella is packed with minerals and vitamins, low in both fat and sodium. 

READ ALSO |  Healthy Recipe: Green Salad with Strawberries & Goat Cheese


Thank you so much for the information. I have learnt a lot to benefit my health because I already removed cheese from my menu.
God bless you!


I mix provolone Swiss mozzarella Mexican blend tomatoes Dill oregano spring onion chives melt all of this in a microwave safe dish until fully melted and stir it and it is like a fondue it is so delicious. Bon appetit!


please change Swiss calories – – – it’s 108, not 180


Cathy, thanks for taking the time to let us know. We’ve verified that Swiss cheese has 108 calories/ounce and have updated the text.


Is the sodium content correct?


Thanks for writing. We have reviewed all of the information against the most recent data from USDA FoodData Central and have made a few updates as of April 28, 2021. We hope you find the information here helpful!

Prevent Cancer Foundation


I would think that LOW SODIUM cheeses are MUCH healthier.
Can you provide similar analysis for specifically marketed “Low Sodium” cheese products? Thanks! p.s. I’m a kidney stone former and sodium is a major concern in my diet.


I always look at labels and the fat, sodium, and sugars can vary remarkably by brand of the product you purchase. And I try to check every time because sometimes they change their recipes and numbers can be affected tremendously!

Daisy Light Sour Cream 15mg sodium 2 Tablespoons, I purchased a store brand when shopping, when it was all they had —when I got home I realized it had 75mg sodium for 2 Tablespoons!


I’m a senior who frequently has labs showing hyponatremia (low sodium), even though I do not restrict sodium or take diuretics. Other than Parmesan cheese showing slightly more sodium, is it a calcium rich, low fat cheese?


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