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3 Steps to Healthier Cheese Choices

Get the most out of your cheese choices by skipping the low-fat, processed cheeses and instead following these recommendations.

From cheese-stuffed sandwiches to the samples on toothpicks in the grocery store, cheese seems to be everywhere. While it is a good source of calcium, its high calorie (and often high sodium) content suggest it should be enjoyed in moderation. On the other hand, calories from fat don’t appear to drive weight gain to the extent that calories from carbohydrates do – this may help explain why the cheese-loving French have far lower obesity rates than we do in the U.S. In any case, try the following when the cheese plate comes your way:

  1. Choose a cheese you really enjoy and savor it all by itself – skip the cracker!
  2. Opt for high-quality, full-fat, organic versions.
  3. If you're pregnant, avoid soft cheeses (such as feta, goat, blue and brie) as they may harbor Listeria, a bacterium that can harm a growing baby. Instead, choose hard cheeses like true Parmesan, Gruyere and hard Swiss cheese when you're eating for two.

For more healthy food information, join Dr. Weil on Healthy Aging - where you’ll find hundreds of recipes, articles and guides based on the Dr. Weil-recommended Anti-Inflammatory Diet!