The curd can be either used fresh, heated, salted, dried, ripened or matured according to the type of cheese being made.
There are 4 main groups of cheese categorized according to techniques of production and maturity:
► Fresh unripe cheese eg. Cottage cheese, cream cheese, ricotta cheese, quark, mascarpone, feta cheese
► Soft mould ripened cheese, eg., camembert
► Firm cheese, eg., cheddar and Swiss cheese
► Hard cheese, eg., parmesan, picarino
► Stretched curd cheese, eg., mozarella
It is a good source of protein, calcium and a range of vitamins and minerals. The fat content in cheese can vary from about 50 to 85 per cent in mascarpone, which is made from cream, to 35 per cent in cheddar types and 5 to 10 per cent in cottage cheese and ricotta.
Some cheeses are made from milk containing less fat and are labelled as ‘low fat’ cheese. A serve of cheese could vary from 25 grams (1 chiplet, 1 slice of cheddar cheese) to 40 grams (grated mozerella cheese, parmesan cheese). It can be a wise decision to choose the reduced fat variety wherever possible as cheeses are high on saturated fat too. Cheese is rich in calcium and good quality protein too.
Calcium and fat content of different types of cheese commonly used by Indians.
|Cheese type||Per serve||Fat||Calcium||Protein|
|Cheddar, processed cubes||25 grams (1 chiplet)||6.5||85||5|
|Processed Cheese spread||15 grams (1 tablespoon)||3.3||51||2|
|Cheddar, reduced fat||Contains 33 percent less fat than processed cheddar cheese||2.2||-||-|
|Cheddar, Cheese slice||20 grams (1 slice)||5||74||4|
|Emmental Cheese (swiss style)||25 grams||11.5||-||-|
|Mozarella cheese||25 grams||8 to 10||204||-|
|Malai paneer (full fat)|
One can opt for the low fat variants available in the market.
|Parmesan||25 grams (3 to 4 tablespoons grated)||7.5||342||-|
|Cottage cheese||25 grams||3.2||22||-|
Some are particularly low on fat and choosing them over others can be a judicious choice. Cheddar cheese, most commonly eaten by most people is quite low on fat as compared to cottage cheese (paneer), swiss style cheese, mozzarella cheese. Opting for the low fat variants of cheese slices, cubes and spreads is a healthier option with the protein and calcium content being the same or more and the bad fat content being lesser.
The protein obtained from cheese is the good quality protein which means that most of it is bioavailable to the body and hence easily absorbable. An average of 5 to 6 grams of protein can be obtained from 25 grams (single serve) of this dairy product.
Cheese spread versus butter and the low fat options:
|Per 100g||Lite Butter||Butter||Margarine||Cheese Spread||Cheese Slimz Spread |
(33 Percent Low Fat)
|Total Fat %||59||80||80||22 (11.5 g - Protein, 343 mg Calcium, 604 mg phosphorous||14.7|
|Milk Fat %||10||80||0||-||-|
|Vegetable Fat %||49||0||80||-||-|
Provided we stick to the serving size we can willingly opt for cheese over other high fat variants without guilt.