So you want to munch on some cheese but don’t want to gain weight? Well, there could be a way to have your cake and eat it too, and that’s fat-free cheeses. Now we know what you’re thinking, cheese is a dairy product, and there’s no way to be fat-free. If you ever did some cheese research, you’d know that milk is full of some great fats and proteins, so how does it work?
Is There a Fat-Free Cheese?
Fat-free cheese is, in the simplest way, made off skim milk instead of whole. But that’s just one way of doing it. The other would be centrifuging it after the curdling process. After that, it’s pressed to remove the fat. The average cheese lover is against this type of processing since cheese is quite famous for its fatty characteristics. Some would even argue that removing it is a sin. But those are the people who don’t know the pain of not being able to get rid of a belly before the summertime. It’s not all swimsuits and looking good while sunbathing.
Plenty of people need to switch to fat-free foods because of their health. Which means low-fat cheeses could be the only option for them. And imagine someone not being able to eat cheese! We must not allow that to happen!
So here we have some of the best (in our opinion anyway) low-fat cheeses that you can find.
You probably heard of cottage cheese by now, and you probably have some relatives who even make it at home. This historic giant has been around for five thousand years B.C., and it is believed to come from the Middle East. It was found in a temple in Mesopotamia, and the Romans were famous for perfecting it throughout the existence of their empire.
It found its way to Spain, and through them, it found its way to the Americans in the 15th century. Heck, it’s even mentioned in Homer’s “Odyssey.”
It has a long history behind it and it became a worldwide cheese. Many craftsman did what they thought is the best and now we got numberless variations of cottage cheese. Choice can be though with such a diversity so we picked 12 best cottage cheeses you will love.
This low-fat classic is made by draining the cheese as opposed to pressing it, and by doing this, it retains more whey at the end since it keeps the curds loose. The cream is usually added during its making, making it stand out in the new cheese business.
Speaking of the fresh cheeses, this one is one of the most popular among the bodybuilding community since it’s famous for having a high amount of protein while keeping the fat to a bare minimum. And if the bodybuilders are eating it, you can bet that it should be implemented in your diet as well. Speaking of which, we wrote an article if you’d like to learn more about cheese and bodybuilding.
Parmesan, or Parmigiano-Reggiano as it is known in the towns of its origin Parma and Reggio Emilia, is an Italian hard, granular cow-milk cheese. If you’re not buying the original, the chances are that the name “Parmesan” won’t be found on the packaging since its makers protect it. It’s an aged cheese, and those aren’t always found on these lists but more on that later.
It is a skim/whole mix made by adding the morning milk with skim milk that was left in shallow pots overnight – so the cream would separate. It must be aged a minimum of twelve months and can go up to thirty-six months. You probably tried it at some point in your life, and it is one of the healthier cheeses thanks to its skim/whole milk mixture.
Traditionally it can be ground into soups and pasta, or eaten on its own. The taste is aromatic, and you’ll probably run into some cheese crystals that will elevate the experience even more.
Back to the fresh cheeses we go, and we have another classic on our list. Mozzarella is an Italian soft, fresh and white cheese that is sometimes made from Cows or Water Buffalo milk. It’s low fat, and of mild taste, so it’s perfect for pizzas since it spreads as it melts. It’s kept in brine and can be kept for up to a week -though it is usually sold in vacuumed packages, so the shelf life is relatively longer than it used to be.
The term “Mozzarella” is derived from the word “Mozza,” which means “cut.” It was first mentioned in the 16h century, and it has been a staple in salads and pizzas ever since. The taste is a bit too bland for those that are more used to more pungent or aged cheeses, but you must consider it if you’re planning on cheering up a refreshing salad. It is a staple of low-fat cheeses everywhere, and you’d have a hard time finding a diet that doesn’t include it.
And finally, last but not least, we have the Ricotta, an Italian whey cheese that’s made from cow, sheep, goat, and water buffalo milk. Quite a variety of milk sources, and there’s a reason for that. Ricotta has been here for a long, long time. The making of it in the region of today’s Italy dates back to the bronze age. Since it’s a whey cheese, it’s manufacturing is a bit different than other cheeses. It’s made by letting whey ferment, and after that, it is brought to the boiling point to separate the protein. The name Ricotta pretty much tells you the recipe, considering that it means “Recooked”.
The texture depends on the variety of the cheese itself. After all, there’s more than a fistful of options. It can range from a soft fresh to a semi-aged cheese. One thing that you can be sure of no matter what kind you find, there won’t be much fat in it. This is a whey cheese, and as such, it’s protein-packed while the fat is at a minimum.
There are a couple of versions that you should know about in today’s age. For instance, whole milk Ricotta is made from whey, but whole milk is added at the end of the process. Ricotta can be baked, smoked, and salted to prolong its shelf life. So if you’re buying it in a store, you can expect to find one of them.
In case you got some leftover ricotta you can always freeze it and save it for later. Wondering how? We got you covered, here’s a neat guide we made on that topic.
Stay Low on Fat
There you have it, four kinds of low-fat cheeses as promised. And we want to finish off with one last thing. Fresh cheese usually has the reputation of being the go-to cheese while dieting. By nature, it usually has a lower fat percentage when compared to other cheeses. But research has shown that aged cheese tends to help better with weight loss. Keep your health in the first place, and don’t forget to enjoy a glorious meal with cheese.