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5 Low-sodium Cheeses

Not all cheeses are loaded with sodium. See more pictures of classic snacks.
©iStockphoto.com/Professor25

To some, "low-sodium" means "cheese-free." Salt, after all, plays a critical role in cheese making, preventing both quick bacteria growth and an overly acidic product.

You'll find low-sodium versions of lots of cheeses at the supermarket (the U.S. Food and Drug Administration defines "low sodium" as less than 140 milligrams per serving), but sometimes, even people with high blood pressure want a straight-up piece of unmodified, tastes-like-it's-supposed-to-taste cheese.

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Luckily, there are options. Here, five cheeses that fall on the lower end of the sodium spectrum, each one easy to find and full of traditional cheesy goodness.

No. 5 on the list isn't technically "low-sodium," but as far as popular, versatile cheeses go, it's a very solid choice.

It's mild, light-colored and a little bit soft so it melts like a dream. Brick cheese (named thus either because it's packaged in brick form or because clay-fired bricks are used in making it, pressing the curds into a block) has just 150 milligrams of sodium per serving. That's not half bad, as far as cheese goes. Similarly textured Gouda has 230 milligrams.

Try it in your next grilled cheese for a lower-sodium sandwich.

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Up next: Creamy. Heavenly. Very low in salt …

Goat cheese tastes so rich and delicious, you'd never guess it was also low in sodium.
Goat cheese tastes so rich and delicious, you'd never guess it was also low in sodium.
©iStockphoto.com/MarkGillow

For cheese lovers, it's hard to beat goat. From salads to sandwiches to straight off a spoon (oh, indulgence!), this soft, spreadable, crumbly cheese is a favorite among foodies.

It's also darned low in sodium for such a tasty treat: Just over 100 milligrams per serving. So sprinkle some on a salad and toss in some strawberries; the combination is great.

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Up next, a house-made favorite with surprisingly little salt …

For a low-salt, extra-mild and soft cheese, try mozzarella. The whole-milk variety is lower in sodium -- with 105 milligrams -- than the part-skim type (150 milligrams). You'll find the former more often in "house-made" form at restaurants, and the latter more often in supermarkets.

Try a Caprese salad made of mozzarella, tomatoes, basil and a low-sodium vinaigrette. It's a great lunch or light dinner.

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Up next: It makes a great carrot cake icing.

Cream cheese makes a decadent frosting, a delicious bagel topper and even a tasty sandwich spread.
Cream cheese makes a decadent frosting, a delicious bagel topper and even a tasty sandwich spread.
iStockphoto/Thinkstock

It's not what some consider "cheese," but you can put it on a cracker. Cream cheese is simply made from cream instead of milk. And at 85 milligrams of sodium per 1-ounce serving, it's a great cheese to put on a (low-sodium) cracker.

It's thick, creamy and, in moderation (it's full of saturated fat), a fine cheese for those looking to go low-salt.

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Finally, a low-sodium cheese you can take a bite out of.

It's famous for its air bubbles, most people have tried it, and it's critical to a Reuben: Swiss cheese is one of the more popular dairy products.

And, who would guess, it's also one of the lowest-sodium options out there.

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So while the Reuben may be off-limits (corned beef is loaded with sodium), feel free to pull the Swiss off the sandwich and go to town.

As usual, though, go to town in moderation. Cheese, even in low-sodium form, is not the healthiest food out there because of its saturated fat. But, oh, what a worthwhile splurge.

For more information on cheese, sodium and related topics, look over the links on the next page.

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More Great Links

Sources

  • Food Data Chart: Sodium. Healthy Eating Club. (Oct. 27, 2010)http://www.healthyeatingclub.org/info/books-phds/books/foodfacts/html/data/data5a.html
  • Sodium in Cheese 1. Anne Collins. (Oct. 27, 2010)http://www.annecollins.com/sodium_diet/sodium-cheese.htm
  • Sodium in Cheese 2. Anne Collins. (Oct. 27, 2010)http://www.annecollins.com/sodium_diet/sodium-in-cheese.htm
  • Sodium Content in Foods. Also Salt. (Oct. 28, 2010)http://www.alsosalt.com/sodiumcontent.html
  • Sodium in Dairy Products. Diet Bites. (Oct. 27, 2010)http://www.dietbites.com/Sodium-In-Foods/sodium-in-cheese.html
  • Sodium Reduction in Cheese Using Nu-Tek's Modified Potassium Chloride. April 14, 2010. SEO Press Releases. (Oct. 27, 2010)http://www.seopressreleases.com/sodium-reduction-cheese-nuteks-modified-potassium-chloride/7846
  • Where to Find Low Sodium Ingredients. Low Sodium Cooking. (Oct. 27, 2010)http://www.lowsodiumcooking.com/free/IngredientSources.htm

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