Thursday, December 11, 2008

Cheese fiend

I have become a cheese fiend. Before marriage, I didn't really drink coffee nor did I care much for cheese unless it was on pizzas or cheeseburgers. But now, my wife has successfully converted me into a coffee nut as well as a cheese fiend.

Lately, I've been very open to trying new cheeses. I get a block of cheese at Costco for relatively cheap and I like to slice pieces of it off and chow down. Not the healthiest I know but it's damn tasty.

There are some cheeses, though, that are better than others. Thanks to Men's Health, I know a little bit of what kinds of cheeses to avoid. In general, they aren't going to tell you to go out and get blocks of cheese but what little info they give is useful.

The recommended cheeses are:
Kraft Sharp Cheddar 2% Milk Slices: 50 cal, 3 g fat per slice
Athenos Traditional Feta (1 0z): 80 cal, 6 g fat
Kraft Natural Low-Moisture, Part-Skim Mozzarella Shreds (1/4 cup): 80 cal, 5 g fat
Cabot 50% Reduced Fat Sharp Cheddar (1 oz): 70 cal, 4.5 g fat

And to avoid:
Kraft Deli Deluxe Sharp Cheddar: 110 cal, 8 g fat per slice
Kraft Cracker Barrel Vermont Extra Sharp White 2% Milk Cheddar (1 oz): 90 cal, 6 g fat, 240 mg sodium
Kraft Classic Melts Four Cheese Shredded Cheese (1/4 cup): 120 cal, 10 g fat, 310 mg sodium
Treasure Cove Blue Cheese (1 oz): 100 calories 100, 8 g fat, 380 mg sodium

If you are going for the sliced cheese, anything more than 100 calories per slice is just not good. You can get down to as low as 30 calories per slice if you get the nonfat kind, and honestly with those you can't tell the difference if you use it in certain types of foods. Sometimes for instance I'll melt the cheese over a sandwich and it tastes fine.

Still, the lack of quantity with regards to their choices is probably because cheese in general can pack the calories. Nachos, lasagna, pizza all are examples of foods loaded with cheese and all have lots of calories. It's no coincidence though that all are quite tasty, so just arm yourself with some knowledge. has all the info on all the cheeses, such as one of my favorites Monterey Jack and the block I passed on at the store recently, mozzarella. If nothing else, I know what I'm getting myself into when my cheese craving becomes too much.


tahoegirl said...

oh, i love the little cabot reduced fat cheese packages from costco! well, i confess i love pretty much any cheese. i wish i could be a cheesemaker. i told my husband i want a goat so we can make goat cheese -- he shot the idea down for some reason. (i posted a little tid bit for you on dec 7th's post) :O)

Pamela said...

LOVE cheese LB! I love a good swiss cheese or just some cheddar and crackers. Cabot 50% reduced fat chedder is awesome...even my hubby eats that! :)

L.B. said...

yes TG, thank you for your input. I think, well, I hope that would be a bit of a last resort. I haven't had the chance to go on a run and probably won't until next week so I will try a few other things and see how it responds. But yes, that's an idea I hadn't considered. Also, I'm trying to ignore the Monterey Jack cheese that's calling me from the kitchen.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the Cabot mention! :)

I've found that the 50% cheeses are easier to work with in certain dishes (better melting, overall consistency), and anything with less fat tends to be trickier. Doable, but definitely trickier.