Mozzarella is a stretched-curd cheese made from raw or pasteurized cow’s milk or buffalo’s milk. You’ve probably tried it in pizzas, salads, sandwiches – everything! – giving you that satisfyingly beautiful melted-cheese oozing from your food.
This fresh, soft, lightly salted, and milky-tasting cheese from Italy is popular around the world. In fact, the sales for mozzarella cheese shreds was expected to exceed revenues worth US$4 billion in 2019 and its demand continues to grow.
With its popularity, it’s likely that it’s also your favorite cheese. But is mozzarella healthy for you? If you’d like to keep track of your diet, then you should be familiar with what each serving of this cheese contains.
Is Mozzarella Healthy?
Just like for any other food, the answer is: it depends on your condition, the recommended portion size you can eat daily, how many times you eat it, and how you eat it (consumed melted on fast-food burgers vs. sliced with tomatoes and basil with balsamic vinegar).
Also take note there are different types of mozzarella sold in the market:
- Regular (processed) mozzarella – These are the dry white cheese bricks that come in vacuum-tight plastic bags. You’ll also find them already grated in plastic bags. It contains 22% fat.
- Fresh mozzarella – The original Italian mozzarella balls you’ll find soaking in a water solution. It’s soft, moist, and milky in flavor. It is made from cow’s milk. It contains 18% fat.
- Buffalo mozzarella (Mozzarella di bufala campana) – Looks like fresh mozzarella but instead made from water buffalo’s milk, making the cheese creamier, softer, and more flavorful. It has 21% fat content.
- Burrata – A mixture of mozzarella and cream that contains 24% fat.
Is Mozzarella High in Calories?
No, if you compare it with other types of cheese. But keep in mind that even though it’s low in calories, you can still gain weight if the total calories you eat is more than what you can burn. Among the different types of mozzarella mentioned above, fresh mozzarella has the lowest calorie count.
Here’s the calorie count of each mozzarella type per ounce (28g):
- Regular (processed) mozzarella – 80 calories (based on the nutritional information of a 226g/8oz Kraft shredded mozzarella cheese)
- Fresh mozzarella – 70 calories
- Buffalo mozzarella – 73 calories
- Burrata – 90 calories
Is Fresh Mozzarella Fattening?
No, as long as you know how to fit it into your diet plan. A serving of fresh mozzarella has 70 calories, and how much you can eat per day would depend on your daily calorie goal. Just remember that the American Heart Association recommends adults should have 2–3 servings of low-fat dairy products per day.
You can try using calorie count calculators available online to know your calorie goal. But it’s best to consult with your dietitian or doctor so you’ll know how much cheese or dairy you can eat per day if you want to lose weight.
Is Mozzarella Cheese Good for Weight Loss?
Yes, but make sure you’re choosing the right mozzarella that is low in fat and calories. Based on each mozzarella’s calorie count per serving, fresh mozzarella is definitely the best type to pick.
Even if you chose to eat fresh mozzarella, don’t forget to watch what you eat with it. You can skip the mayo when using fresh mozzarella in your sandwich or go for a margherita instead of a four-cheese pizza.
Ask your dietitian for more information on what you can eat to lose weight.
Is Mozzarella Keto-Friendly?
Yes. If you go keto, it means you’re following a low-carb, high-fat diet. Mozzarella contains almost 0 percent carbohydrates, so you can surely eat it with your favorite keto bread, keto pasta, and more!
Expect your mozzarella to contain almost 0% carbs, but make sure to read the nutrition facts first, especially when grabbing the regular type.
For example, among all types of mozzarella listed below, regular mozzarella got a bit of carbs in it:
Is Mozzarella Healthy for Bodybuilding?
Yes. Bodybuilders should go for a high-protein diet, and you can add mozzarella to your diet plan if you need a high-protein, low-carb snack.
Here’s the protein amount of each type of mozzarella per serving:
Your bodybuilding diet plan should also stay away from high-fat foods – well, the bad ones. Saturated fats are known to be big no-nos for overall health, but they are essential in gaining muscle mass. Both saturated fat and cholesterol help produce testosterone that supports building bigger and stronger muscles and decreases recovery time.
Here’s the saturated fat content of each type of mozzarella (by % Daily Value):
If you’re eating too much saturated fats but not following a serious workout routine as powerlifters and bodybuilders do, these fats can turn into body fat and increase insulin levels and the risk for heart disease and stroke.
It’s best to consult your doctor or dietitian to know how much saturated fats you can consume, especially if you have a medical condition.
Is It Okay to Eat Mozzarella When Pregnant?
Yes! You can eat mozzarella cheese even when you’re pregnant as long as it’s made from pasteurized milk. You can even benefit from its high calcium and protein content.
Wondering how much calcium a serving of mozzarella contains by Daily Value (DV)? Check this out:
Is Mozzarella Cheese Good or Bad for You?
Mozzarella cheese can be good or bad for you depending on the nutrients you need or are trying to avoid. It can be good for bodybuilders or athletes, who need fats to gain muscle mass, or for those who follow a low-carb diet. But it can be bad for your health if you eat more than what you can burn daily.
Always remember that there are different types of mozzarella with different content for each nutrient. So, always check the nutrition facts and consult your doctor or dietitian to know what and how much you can eat based on what your body needs.