Nutrition Action Healthletter
Center for Science in the Public InterestJanuary/February 2001 — U.S. Edition 
Don't Say Cheese
Calcium... At A Cost
Cheese Everywhere
What's A Serving?
A Little Goes a Long Way
Going Up
Part (Not) Better
The Problem With Pizza
Chart: The Cheese Board
The Cheese Board
Just one ounce of full-fat cheese can have as much as six grams of artery-clogging saturated fat—a third of a day's worth. Switch to reduced-fat cheese and you can reduce your sat fat intake dramatically. Here are some examples:
Cream cheese (2 Tbs.)106
Philadelphia Light, tub
(2 Tbs.)
Cheddar, regular96
Cabot 50% Light Cheddar53
Cabot 75% Light Cheddar32
Provolone or Swiss, regular85
Jarlsberg Lite Swiss42
Sargento Light
Ricotta, regular
(1/4 cup-2 oz.)
 Sargento Light Ricotta
(1/4 cup-2 oz.)
Cheez Whiz (2 Tbs.)75
 Cheez Whiz Light
(2 Tbs.)
Feta, regular64
 Alpine Lace Reduced Fat Feta32
Mozzarella, regular64
 Mozzarella, part-skim53
 Sorrento Low Fat Mozzarella32
American, regular
(1 slice-3/4- oz.)
 Kraft 2% Milk Singles
(1 slice-3/4-oz.)
Cottage Cheese
(1/2 cup-4 oz.)
 Light n’ Lively Lowfat Cottage Cheese21
 (1/2 cup-4 oz.)  
Parmesan, regular, grated (1 Tbs.) 1.51

Print Version (Acrobat 8k)
Additional Information a Cost
As a nation, we get more bone-building calcium from cheese than from any other food except milk. But cheese also gives us more (artery-clogging) saturated fat than any other food, even beef or milk. And it’s a major source of cholesterol and sodium.

Cheese Everywhere
A serving of lasagna contains 21 grams of saturated fat (an entire day’s worth). A plate of cheese nachos has 25 grams. Cheese is everywhere. It’s in salads and sandwiches. It’s melted on greasy burgers and lean chicken breasts. It coats french fries. It’s glopped onto steaming baked potatoes.

What's a Serving?
According to food labels, a serving of cheese is one ounce. That ain’t much. One-and-a-half slices of process (American) cheese will do it. So will one slice of Swiss or provolone, a 1 1/4-inch cube of cheddar or most other hard cheeses, or the cheese on a slice of pizza from a large pie.

A Little Goes a Long Way
Parmesan and Romano are just as fatty as other cheeses, but they’re so flavorful that two (grated) tablespoons are all it may take to zip up a bowl of pasta or most any other dish. That means just three grams of fat (two of them saturated).

Going Up
In 1970 the average American ate a little over 11 pounds of cheese. By 1998 it had jumped to 28 pounds. That’s more than two pounds a month.

If you were trying to damage your heart, you couldn’t do much better than to eat a cheeseburger. The fatty ground beef is bad enough without the fat-laden cheese. Add cheese to your McDonald’s Quarter Pounder or Burger King Whopper, for example, and you’ll swallow an extra five grams of saturated fat (a quarter of your daily maximum).

Part (Not) Better
An ounce of mozzarella has less fat (six grams) and saturated fat (four grams) than most other cheeses. But part-skim mozzarella is something of a fraud. It saves you just one gram of total fat (almost all of it saturated) for every ounce you eat.

The Problem with Pizza
A four-ounce slice of Pizza Hut’s Pan Cheese Pizza has 14 grams of fat, six of them saturated. Make it a four-ounce slice of Domino’s Hand Tossed Cheese Pizza and you’ll get about half as much of each. Your best pizza strategy: Ask for your pie with half the usual amount of cheese. And, whatever you do, stay away from cheese-stuffed-crust pizzas and Pizza Hut’s new The Insider, which has an extra layer of cheese between its two crusts.














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