Swiss cheese nutrition is often not a topic considered by those who love this cheese. Traditionally, Swiss cheese has been loved by millions for its salty flavor. This light yellow cheese with large holes in it originated from the Emmental and Gruyere varieties made in Switzerland. Here’s an interesting bit of trivia; the large holes are called eyes, thus any Swiss cheese lacking these large holes are fondly called “blind.” Is cheese healthy to eat? Many people think that Swiss cheese is a healthy food option, but the reality is it may have detrimental effects on a person’s health.
First, let’s tackle the good news about the nutrition provided by Swiss cheese. This cheese has traditionally been considered a great protein source. There are about 8 grams of protein in an ounce of Swiss cheese, however, some varieties contain only three grams. The average protein content for an ounce is about six to seven grams. Swiss cheese is trumped by ricotta and cottage cheese in terms of protein content for soft cheeses, but when it comes to semi-hard and hard cheese varieties, Swiss Cheese is considered a nutritionally strong source of protein.
Calcium and Phosphorus Source
Another nutrient in which Swiss cheese is rich is calcium. In an ounce of Swiss cheese, there are about 270 milligrams of calcium. Some varieties of Swiss cheese range as low as 200 milligrams per ounce, with an average being about 250 milligrams for an ounce of Swiss cheese. Likewise, Swiss cheese is also considered an excellent source of phosphorus. Phosphorus works with the B vitamins to provide energy for the body. Phosphorus is found in the bones and teeth, and ensures their health and strength.
Another important nutritional fact about Swiss cheese is it contains absolutely no sugar. This means that Swiss cheese appeals to people who are wary of increasing their blood sugar content, especially diabetics. While these nutritional facts suggest that Swiss cheese is a very healthy nutritional option, there are also some damaging effects of Swiss cheese on our health.
Too Many Calories
The first downside of eating too much Swiss cheese is that it can be fattening. Swiss cheese contains a high amount of calories. An ounce of Swiss cheese, which is about the size used on a regular sandwich, contains as much as 110 calories. Although this is very much like any other cheese variety, the fact is, Swiss cheese is not considered a diet food.
Likewise, Swiss cheese contains large amounts of sodium; Swiss cheese is high in sodium, with about 193 grams per ounce. This is because Swiss cheese is produced by putting it in a brine bath. Those who are conscious of their sodium intake should be wary of eating lots of Swiss cheese, especially the pasteurized variety.
A listing of Swiss cheese nutrition facts is not complete without citing the fat content of Swiss cheese. It is estimated that about 8 grams of fat is present in an ounce, or about 5 grams for the saturated Swiss cheese variety type. Now that you know about the nutritional values of Swiss cheese, you are better prepared to chose whether or not to include it in your diet.
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Image Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons / by Renee Comet