Cheese is one of the most popular dairy products all over the world. There are many kinds of cheese, and Feta Cheese is one of them. Traditionally found in Greek cuisine, feta cheese is quite popular among a lot of people. Usually feta cheese is made from the milk of sheep, or a mixture of goat and sheep milk. However, there are several places where it’s made from cow’s milk as well. Feta cheese has a grainy texture and can be used in salads and pastries. Adding feta cheese to salads gives them a unique taste. But, is feta cheese healthy? There are several benefits as well as disadvantages of having feta cheese. They are mentioned below.
Feta Cheese Calories
The amount of calories feta cheese contains is very high. Studies have shown that a single cup of feta cheese contains almost 400 calories, which satisfies one’s daily calorie requirement to a certain level. Moreover, the amount of saturated fat in feta cheese is very high. However, the high feta cheese calories do not imply that this cheese is not healthy. As compared to other types of cheese like cheddar cheese, the amount of fat contained in feta cheese is relatively less. Additionally, there are some low-fat varieties of feta cheese available in the market which you can use to reduce the amount of fat you consume.
Feta Cheese Nutrition
Due to the high calorie content of feta cheese, many people ask about how healthy feta cheese, indeed, is. Well, it is, as there are several feta cheese health benefits. It is rich in calcium, and consuming a cup of feta cheese provides three-fourth of the daily calcium requirement. Calcium is required for the development of bones, and as such consuming feta cheese strengthens the bones. Additionally, it contains high amounts of riboflavin, phosphorus and vitamin B12.
Riboflavin is required by the body as it helps in metabolism of fats, carbohydrates and proteins. Phosphorous is required by the human body, as it helps in the formation of bones and teeth. No doubt, calcium is an important component of teeth and bone formation, but calcium alone is not able to build strong bones, and as such phosphorous is important mineral. Vitamin B12 is required by the body so as to keep the red blood cells healthy and prevent heart diseases. Moreover, it also helps the immune system function effectively.
Feta Cheese and Pregnancy
For pregnant women, feta cheese is healthy to eat, but only if pasteurised. Many a time it is found that soft and unpasteurised feta cheese is available, so try to avoid these, as unpasteurised feta cheese may contain bacteria called Listeria, which may be the reason for mild flu. Though this may not be that harmful for the mother, it may be harmful to the baby. Studies have shown that if Listeria causes any infection, there are chances of premature birth or even miscarriage. So, only pasteurised feta cheese can be consumed during pregnancy. Hence, check for the label, and see if it says ‘pasteurised’ before you buy feta cheese.
So, to answer the question, is feta cheese healthy, it’s a yes and a no. Eating feta cheese is recommended, but only in small quantities. Make sure you don’t eat it too often as it may be harmful. If you have any doubts, it’s always better to consult a dietitian or nutritionist who would be able to guide to better about how much feta cheese to consume and how it can affect health.