Feta cheese is a soft, white, brined cheese which is a very well-known type of cheese in Greece.
It is made with milk from goats and sheep which are raised on local grass.
It has a creamy texture in the mouth.
It is nutritious and is one of the best sources of calcium.
This cheese has its versatility, as it can be used in a variety of cuisines starting from starters to desserts.
But one question arises ‘Is Feta cheese healthy?’ the answer to that question is, Yes, it is.
To support this answers there are several health benefits, let’s know about them-
It Improves Bone health
- The Feta cheese is rich in Calcium and protein. Also, it is a good source of phosphorus; all these components help to improve bone health.
- The first two helps Calcium and protein are instrumental in preventing osteoporosis as they maintain bone density.
- Whereas, phosphorus is a critical component of bone.
- It is proven that the amount of calcium and phosphorus in milk from sheep and goats is more than the amount in cow’s milk, so consuming a product of such dairy daily is considered to be the recommended amount of fluid.
Feta cheese helps to prevent diabetes
- There is a fatty acid called Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) which is generally found in animal products.
- CLA can prevent diabetes as it helps to improve the body composition by decreasing the fat mass and increasing the lean body mass.
- The CLA concentration in cheeses made with sheep’s milk is more than the CLA in cheeses made with cows and goats milk.
- For not losing the CLA content during its processing and storing, therefore to increase it, the use of bacterial cultures can be useful.
- According to stats, the European Union has the highest consumption of cheese and Greece has the lowest cases of breast cancer.
It is good for the Gut
- Feta contains Lactobacillus plantarum which has 48% of Probiotics bacteria which is considered to be good for health.
- These bacteria protect the intestinal system from disease-causing bacteria like E. coli and Salmonella.
- Therefore, they can improve the immune system and the gut health.
- These have anti-inflammatory effects and can grow even in the extreme conditions of the gut.
It is a good source of Vitamins
- Well, other than improving the gut health feta cheese ensures to be a good source of vitamins.
- If someone wants to include vitamins in their diet chart, Feta could be their choice to be involved in.
- It contains vitamins such as Vitamin B6, Vitamin A, and Phosphorus.
- All these elements can help to fight many diseases.
Lower fat contents
- According to the stats, Feta is lower in fat and calories than cheddar and Parmesan.
- As per USDA, Feta cheese has 21 grams of fat whereas cheddar has 33 grams and Parmesan contains 29 grams.
- Also, most of the latter is saturated.
- So what is your choice when choosing cheese?
Who should not eat Feta cheese?
No unpasteurized Feta for Pregnant women
- There is a type of bacteria called Listeria monocytogenes, which can contaminate the plants and animals.
- Pregnant women have a risk to be contaminated with these bacteria. Therefore they are advised to avoid consuming unpasteurized dairy products.
- It is proved, that the cheeses made with unpasteurized milk have more of these bacteria than the cheeses made with pasteurized milk.
- Also, the cheeses which are fresh have more possibility to contain such bacteria than the aged cheeses because the fresh cheese has a higher moisture content.
- So, pregnant women should avoid consuming Feta cheese made with unpasteurized milk.
Feta contains a high amount of sodium
- Feta is top in sodium, for the reason that salt is added in the curd during its making process, and its blocks are submerged with 7% salt in a brink.
- 1 ounce of cheese which is 28-gram contains 312 mg of sodium, which is more than the recommended amount.
- Excess consumption of cheese in a day can be dangerous to the people who are sensitive to salt.
- Also, excess consumption of this salty cheese might lead to high blood pressure.
This cheese contains lactose
- The fresh or unripened cheeses have the potential to be higher in Lactose than the aged cheeses.
- Feta is an Unripened cheese. Therefore it contains a higher amount of Lactose content than some others.
- So, people who are allergic to lactose should avoid Feta; in fact, they should not consume any other unripened cheese.
Feta cheese nutrition & calorie count
Even though some people should not consume feta, it still is a healthy choice.
It is packed with nutrition, let’s see this table-
|1 ounce (28-grams) of Feta cheese provides:|
|Riboflavin||14% of the RDI|
|Calcium||14% of the RDI|
|Sodium||13% of the RDI|
|Phosphorus||9% of the RDI|
|Vitamin B12||13% of the RDI|
|Selenium||6% of the RDI|
|Vitamin B6||6% of the RDI|
|Zinc||5% of the RDI|
It also has Vitamins A and K, pantothenic acid, folate, iron, and magnesium.
As discussed above it has lower fat than Parmesan and cheddar.
Also, it is packed with more calcium and Vitamin B than other cheeses like mozzarella, goat cheese, cottage cheese, and ricotta.
How to eat it or what to eat it with?
Unlike other cheeses, Feta cheese can be used in a variety of food items and can make a dish cheesy and delicious.
Its great flavor and texture are an addition to its likeliness.
People can use it with so many things-
- Can be used as a topping on bread with a drizzle of olive oil and salt and pepper.
- Can be grilled seasoned with a drizzle of olive oil.
- Can be served with fruit and vegetable salad.
- Along with omelets with the vegetables to be added.
- With tasty drizzling pasta.
- And with other vegetables to make a delicious cheesy pizza.
Feta cheese is healthy and can be a suitable replacement for some other cheeses as well.
Other than the fact that it has lactose content, and higher sodium, and cannot be consumed by pregnant women if it is made with unpasteurized milk, it is a good deal.