Is Cheese Good For You? Dairy Cheese Alternatives

A few months ago I tried cashew cheese for the first time, and it’s definitely an acquired taste. That brings up the question is it even worth acquiring the taste? How healthy is dairy cheese for you? Will switching to a nondairy cheese help you lose weight?

Will Switching Cheeses Help You Lose Weight?

That depends on how much dairy cheese you’re eating per day. If you’re eating one serving or less switching is probably not going to make that much of a difference.  If you’re eating more than one serving of dairy cheese a day, then that’s a reason to consider switching to nondairy alternatives.

Dairy cheese is a good source of calcium and protein, but it also has unhealthy fat in it. Too much unhealthy fat can cause you to gain weight, make it harder for you to lose weight, and can lead you to develop cardiovascular disease long term. So those are the reasons to consider switching.

Nut Milk Cheeses

The most common alternatives I usually see are nut milk cheeses, for example, almond cheese or cashew cheese. It’s definitely an acquired taste, but it does have less unhealthy fat than dairy cheese. Usually, nut milk cheeses have an equal amount of protein as dairy cheeses. The amount of protein in one slice or one ounce of nut milk cheese should be about 5-10 grams, that would make it roughly equal to the amount in dairy cheese.

Nut milk cheeses do have less calcium than dairy milk cheeses, so you would need to find alternate sources of calcium in your diet. The easiest option for calcium is green leafy vegetables like kale or spinach. If you’re eating a lot of salads, then you’re probably getting enough calcium in your diet.

Oat Milk and Coconut Milk Cheeses

Other common options I see are oat milk cheeses and coconut milk cheeses. Of the ones I’ve seen so far, they don’t have as good of a nutritional profile as nut milk cheeses. From what I’ve seen they have less protein and less calcium than dairy milk cheese, although they also have less unhealthy fat.

What Should You Do?

So if you’re switching to a nondairy cheese, I recommend nut milk cheeses over oat milk cheeses and coconut milk cheeses because they do have less unhealthy fat and an equal amount of protein when compared to dairy milk cheeses.

Foods with healthy protein can help you feel fuller when you eat, and will also help you maintain muscle when you’re losing weight. Again eating less unhealthy fat has many benefits including helping you lose weight.

P.S.  Here’s the YouTube version of this post.