What Is the Nutritional Value of Cheese?

Blocks of sharp cheddar cheese.
A bowl of bocconcini, small balls of fresh mozzarella.
Cheese wheels aging on shelves.
Goat cheese.
Cheese-making factory.
Blue cheese is generally high in fat.
Slice of havarti cheese.
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  • Written By: Debra Durkee
  • Edited By: Daniel Lindley
  • Last Modified Date: 22 March 2014
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When it is consumed in moderation, the nutritional value of cheese can outweigh negative aspects like a high fat and sodium content. Cheeses are generally high in calcium, which can help reduce the chance of developing osteoporosis. The high calcium content in cheese can also keep teeth strong and cavity-free.

As a dairy product, the nutritional value of cheese is similar to that of other dairy-based foods. High in calcium, it can be a healthy addition to the diet of growing children and women who are going through menopause. Calcium is needed for the development of strong bones, and a diet high in calcium can help keep women from developing osteoporosis. A similarly high calcium diet can also benefit pregnant women, as it will aid in the development of the baby.

In addition to calcium, cheese is also rich in potassium and phosphorus. Potassium is essential in maintaining the general health of the body because it helps regulate the balance of water. It is also crucial to the function of nerves and muscles. An important nutritional value of cheese also lies in the high levels of phosphorus. Phosphorus works together with calcium in reinforcing the structural integrity of bones, and is also vital in the repair of tissues and the storage and efficient use of energy.


Many cheeses are also high in protein, a necessary ingredient in the body's muscle-building processes. Once broken down by the body's digestive tract, proteins contained in cheese are converted into amino acids. These compounds help the body build muscle, strengthen the enamel on teeth, and beef up bones.

Cheese is also high in vitamin B12. This nutrient is a key ingredient in the body's ability to make red blood cells, as well as to replicate genetic material. The vitamin is crucial in the reproduction of red blood cells, and an anemic individual can greatly benefit from the nutritional value of cheese.

The exact numbers of the nutritional value of cheese differ among varieties. Cheeses such as mascarpone and blue cheese are high in fat, while others like ricotta, mozzarella, and Camembert have about half the fat and calories of other varieties. Many cheeses should not be eaten by those who are lactose-intolerant, but goat cheese is a lactose-free alternative. The nutritional value of cheese also depends on the type of milk used; milk from cows, goats, and sheep has different percentages of nutrients and vitamins.


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