If you love cheese, you’ve probably heard of Parmesan. It’s a popular cheese that is often grated and used as a topping on pasta dishes and salads.
But is Parmesan a healthy cheese? Let’s find out.
What is Parmesan Cheese?
Parmesan cheese, also known as Parmigiano-Reggiano, is a hard, granular cheese that originated in Italy. It’s made from cow’s milk and has a sharp, nutty flavor. Parmesan cheese is often aged for at least 12 months before it’s sold.
Is Parmesan Cheese Healthy?
Parmesan cheese is packed with nutrients such as protein, calcium, and vitamin A. One ounce of Parmesan cheese contains about 9 grams of protein and 331 milligrams of calcium. Protein helps to build and repair tissues while calcium strengthens bones and teeth.
However, like most cheeses, Parmesan cheese is high in fat and calories. One ounce of grated Parmesan cheese contains about 111 calories and 7 grams of fat. If you’re watching your calorie intake or trying to lose weight, you may want to limit your intake of this delicious cheese.
The Benefits of Eating Parmesan Cheese
Despite its high calorie and fat content, there are several benefits to eating Parmesan cheese in moderation:
- It’s a good source of protein
- It provides important nutrients like calcium
- It can enhance the flavor of dishes without adding too many calories
The Risks of Eating Too Much Parmesan Cheese
While there are benefits to eating this tasty cheese, it’s important to remember that consuming too much can have negative health effects:
- It can contribute to weight gain due to its high calorie and fat content
- It’s high in sodium, which can contribute to high blood pressure
- It may not be suitable for those with lactose intolerance or dairy allergies
How to Enjoy Parmesan Cheese in a Healthy Way
If you’re a fan of Parmesan cheese, there are ways to enjoy it in a healthy way:
- Use it as a condiment: sprinkle a small amount of grated Parmesan cheese on top of your favorite dishes for added flavor without adding too many calories
- Pair it with healthier foods: enjoy Parmesan cheese with fruits, vegetables, and whole grains for a balanced snack or meal
- Choose low-fat options: look for reduced-fat versions of Parmesan cheese or try other low-fat cheeses like mozzarella or feta
The Bottom Line
Parmesan cheese can be a healthy addition to your diet when consumed in moderation. It’s packed with important nutrients like protein and calcium but is also high in calories and fat. Be sure to enjoy it in small amounts and pair it with healthier foods for maximum benefits.