What Kind Of Cheese Is Allowed On The Mediterranean Diet? (2022)

When it comes to following the Mediterranean diet, there are a few things that you might be wondering about.

For starters, what kind of cheese is allowed on the Mediterranean diet? And how does cheese fit into a healthy and balanced diet?

Keep reading for the answers!

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Covered In This Article

  • The Mediterranean Diet Allows Dairy In Moderation
  • What Kind Of Cheese Is Allowed On The Mediterranean Diet?
    • Blue cheese
    • Cheddar cheese
    • Cottage cheese
    • Feta cheese
    • Gruyere cheese
    • Goat cheese
    • Mozzarella cheese
    • Parmesan cheese
    • Ricotta cheese
  • Enjoy Your Cheese In Moderation

The Mediterranean Diet Allows Dairy In Moderation

Research has shown that the Mediterranean diet is one of the most heart-healthy diets around. It’s also been linked to longer life expectancy and lower rates of depression, dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and some cancers. The key to this diet’s success? That it allows dairy in moderation.

One reason many people don’t stick with a new lifestyle change like the Mediterranean diet is that they’re worried about giving up foods they love or fear they’ll never be able to eat again once following this type of eating plan.

(Video) Can You Eat Cheese On The Mediterranean Diet?

But you can still enjoy cheese on your favorite dishes — just do so sparingly!

Check out: 13 Steps To Using The Mediterranean Diet For Fat Loss

What Kind Of Cheese Is Allowed On The Mediterranean Diet?

What Kind Of Cheese Is Allowed On The Mediterranean Diet? (1)

There are many different types of cheese that are allowed on the Mediterranean diet. Some of the most popular types of cheese that are allowed include feta, goat cheese, and ricotta. But, there are several more to add to your repertoire, for variety.

Here Are Some Cheeses You Can Enjoy:

Blue cheese

Blue cheese is a type of cheese that is blue-veined and tangy. It is made from cow’s milk and has a crumbly texture. It’s often served on burgers, salads, or as appetizers with crackers.

The texture can vary from creamy to crumbly; the color ranges from white to pale yellow to deep gold; and the flavor can range from mild to sharp, salty, nutty, buttery, fruity (especially when blueberries are used), spicy (e.g., cayenne pepper), earthy (from various types of mold).

Blue cheese is high in protein and calcium, but it also contains a high amount of fat, so keep your portions small.

Fun fact: Blue cheeses are typically aged in cool caves for at least three months or more before they’re released for sale.

Cheddar cheese

Cheddar cheese is one of the most popular types of cheese. Cheddar cheese is a hard, yellow type of cheese that has a sharp and salty taste. Cheddar cheeses can be made from cow or goat milk.

One of the benefits of cheddar cheese is that it is very versatile, meaning you can find ways to use it in your favorite recipes without making too many changes.

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This type of cheese often goes well on salads because it’s creamy and tangy; on sandwiches; with fruit; in soups; with crackers; and more! It’s also very tasty on its own or on top of salads.

Cheddar cheese is high in calcium and contains some protein. Its fat content varies depending on how it’s aged.

Cottage cheese

Cottage cheese is a type of cheese that is often overlooked. It’s a type of cheese that is low in calories and high in protein. Cottage cheese is a good source of calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus. It’s also a good source of B vitamins, including vitamin B12.

One cup of cottage cheese provides around 22 grams of protein, which can help you reach your daily protein goals. If you’re looking for a healthy snack that will help you stay full, cottage cheese is a great option.

You can enjoy it plain or add it to your favorite dishes.

Feta cheese

Feta cheese is salty, crumbly white cheese made of sheep or goat milk. It’s named after the town of Feta in Greece and is the most popular cheese there.

Feta has been produced for many centuries and can be found on tables around Europe as well as North Africa, South America, Australia, and New Zealand.

It goes well with salads, pasta, roasted vegetables, and grilled meats. It also makes an excellent sandwich topping!

Gruyere cheese

Gruyere cheese is a type of cheese that is made from unpasteurized cow’s milk.

It has a sweet, nutty taste and a soft texture. It can be found in different colors, including yellow, white, and orange.

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Grown mainly in the French Alps but also produced elsewhere with traditional methods of production (in Canada for example), Gruyere has been produced since at least the 17th century.

Aged 7 to 12 months or more depending on variety and style, it provides an interesting contrast to most cheeses as it does not have any rind or crust on its surface.

Gruyère cheese is high in calcium and protein but also contains saturated fats.

Goat cheese

Goat cheese is a type of cheese that comes from goats and is often soft and crumbly. It has a tangy taste and can be found in different colors, including yellow, white, and orange.

Goat cheese is delicious, versatile food that can be used in an array of ways. It tastes great on its own or as part of a dish, and it also makes for fantastic spreads to go with crackers. But, don’t stop there!

Goat cheese is also perfect for cheesecakes and other desserts. And chefs love using goat cheese because it has such wonderful qualities when cooking with it. Whether you are looking for something sweet or savory, goat cheese will please your taste buds every time.

If you want to give your dishes that extra special touch without spending too much money on specialty ingredients, try adding some goat cheese!

Goat cheese is high in calcium content but also contains saturated fats which are higher than many other types of cheeses like cheddar.

Mozzarella cheese

Mozzarella cheese is a type of cheese that has been made for centuries in Italy. It can be used as part of the meal or eaten on its own, and it is often served with tomato sauce.

Mozzarella cheeses are soft and stringy when they are fresh, but become solid and formless when they have aged for some time.

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Mozzarella has a mild flavor which goes well with many different foods. If you combine it with tomatoes, basil leaves, garlic cloves, olive oil and salt then the result will be an amazing dish called Caprese salad.

People who enjoy eating mozzarella usually find themselves craving this dish again soon after their first taste because it’s so good!

Parmesan cheese

Parmesan cheese is a hard, granular cheese that’s made primarily from cow’s milk. It has an intensely salty flavor and can be used in cooking or eaten as a snack.

Parmesan cheese originated in Italy, where it was originally called “Parmigiano Reggiano.” The name means “of Parma,” which is the Italian city where the best Parmesan comes from today.

The word “parmesan” came into use because of its popularity in Britain, but it doesn’t mean anything at all. It just sounds fancy!

Ricotta cheese

Ricotta cheese is a fresh, soft cheese made from the whey of cow’s milk. It has a mild flavor and creamy texture. Ricotta can be used in both sweet and savory dishes like lasagna, cannoli, cheesecake, or even oatmeal.

It’s not just the flavor of ricotta that you’ll love. Ricotta cheese is also high in calcium, which helps your body build strong bones and teeth.

It has more protein than whole milk with less fat, but it still provides the same amount of Vitamin A as an orange.

So if you are looking to eat healthier without giving up all your favorite foods, try some ricotta on a whole-wheat English muffin or toast spread with some honey!

You may also want to check out foods not allowed on the Mediterranean diet, and adding exercise to make the Mediterranean diet more effective.

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Enjoy Your Cheese In Moderation

The Mediterranean diet is an amazing way to eat for health and weight loss. You don’t have to give up all of your favorite foods!

It may be a good idea not to overdo it on cheese if you are following this diet strictly, but go ahead and enjoy some in moderation with one or two meals per day.

FAQs

What Kind Of Cheese Is Allowed On The Mediterranean Diet? ›

Dairy products common to the traditional Mediterranean Diet include: brie, chevre, corvo, feta, haloumi, manchego, Parmigiano-Reggiano, pecorino, ricotta, yogurt (including Greek yogurt).

Is mozzarella cheese OK on Mediterranean diet? ›

Ricotta, mozzarella, fetta and haloumi are all vitamin rich dairy options that fit within the Mediterranean diet. Best of all, you can easily incorporate these into breakfast, lunch or dinner.

Can you have cheese on a Mediterranean diet? ›

Compared to the Western diet, the Mediterranean way of eating doesn't include milk, cheese, and yogurt as a major food group. But some guidelines, such as Mayo Clinic's heart-healthy Mediterranean eating plan, say you can "enjoy some dairy," namely low-fat Greek yogurt and a variety of cheeses.

What dairy is allowed on Mediterranean diet? ›

Milk is not traditionally part of a Mediterranean diet. If you're new to this way of eating and are struggling to cut down your dairy, you can substitute it with unsweetened almond or soy milk, since nuts and legumes are staples of the diet.

Can you eat eggs and cheese on the Mediterranean diet? ›

You will eat mostly plant-based foods like fruits and vegetables, potatoes, whole-grains, beans, nuts, seeds and extra virgin olive oil. Meals are planned around these foods. The diet also includes moderate amounts of lean poultry, fish, seafood, dairy and eggs.

Which cheese is unprocessed? ›

A long list of cheeses fall under the category of unprocessed or "all-natural," including Havarti, Swiss, Colby, Gruyere, Manchego and most Cheddars.

Is peanut butter OK on Mediterranean diet? ›

And as plant-based protein sources that are high in good and unsaturated fats, peanuts and peanut butter are a natural fit within Mediterranean and Flexitarian ways of eating.

Is butter OK on Mediterranean diet? ›

The Mediterranean diet is high in plant-based foods such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans, nuts, seeds, and olive oil. Foods not allowed include processed red meats, heavily processed foods, refined grains, alcohol, butter, and refined/processed/hydrogenated oils.

Can you eat mayonnaise on Mediterranean diet? ›

Making your own mayonnaise is a lot easier than you may imagine it to be. This mayonnaise can be used in so many other recipes too. I would try it in my Mediterranean diet ranch dressing for example. Or, you could choose to simply use your mayonnaise on your next sandwich or in your tuna salad.

How many eggs can you eat on the Mediterranean diet? ›

The advisory stated that following a heart-healthy eating pattern, such as the Mediterranean Diet, is more important than adhering to a specific cholesterol number. The advisory also noted that healthy individuals can include one whole egg per day in their heart healthy eating patterns.

Can you eat potatoes on Mediterranean diet? ›

Ideally, you should base your diet on these healthy Mediterranean foods: Vegetables: tomatoes, broccoli, kale, spinach, onions, cauliflower, carrots, Brussels sprouts, cucumbers, potatoes, sweet potatoes, turnips. Fruits: apples, bananas, oranges, pears, strawberries, grapes, dates, figs, melons, peaches.

What kind of coffee creamer can I use on the Mediterranean diet? ›

A Mediterranean diet coffee creamer is usually steamed whole milk. (a good source of calcium) They savor their morning café au lait or cappuccino without artificial ingredients. If you're lactose intolerant, almond or coconut milk are good coffee creamer options if they aren't pre-sweetened.

What is the number 1 vegetable to avoid? ›

Strawberries top the list, followed by spinach. (The full 2019 Dirty Dozen list, ranked from most contaminated to least, include strawberries, spinach, kale, nectarines, apples, grapes, peaches, cherries, pears, tomatoes, celery and potatoes.)

What do they eat for breakfast in the Mediterranean? ›

Top 4 Most Popular, Traditional Mediterranean Breakfasts
  • Caprese Avocado Toast.
  • Mediterranean-Style Pita (Sandwich)
  • Burek sa sirom (Burek with Cheese)
  • Tomato Steak + Eggs + Delicacies.
Jul 13, 2020

What's the worst cheese for you? ›

Unhealthy Cheeses
  • Halloumi Cheese. Be aware of how much of this squeaky cheese you're adding to your morning bagel and salads! ...
  • Goats/ Blue Cheese. 1 oz. ...
  • Roquefort Cheese. Roquefort is a processed blue cheese and is incredibly high in sodium. ...
  • Parmesan. ...
  • Cheddar Cheese.
Apr 20, 2017

What cheese is not inflammatory? ›

Or, consider switching to Swiss cheese; one study found the probiotics in this variety could decrease inflammation.

Is Philadelphia cream cheese healthy? ›

Cream cheese is a great source of vitamin A, low in lactose, and a good source of antioxidants. It may also have probiotic effects.

Is Monterey Jack cheese healthy? ›

Vitamins and minerals

Monterey Jack cheese is an excellent source of calcium—with 200 milligrams per 1-ounce serving—and meets 20% of the daily value. The semi-soft cheese also has some vitamin A, providing 300 international units per serving and meeting 6% of daily recommendations.

Is popcorn on Mediterranean diet? ›

Is popcorn allowed on the Mediterranean diet? Yes, popcorn is a wonderful snack since it's a whole grain. But top it with a drizzle of olive oil instead of butter. And try seasoning it with herbs and spices instead of too much salt.

What kind of butter can you use on Mediterranean diet? ›

Brozek recommends substituting both butter and margarine with olive oil or canola oil whenever possible. This falls more in line with a Mediterranean diet, which is high in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. These fats have been proven to be the best types of fats.

Is pork OK on Mediterranean diet? ›

Mediterranean diet meat

The Mediterranean diet focuses on plant-based protein and fish, but poultry can also be included. Choose skinless white meat most of the time, especially when it's baked, broiled or grilled. Limit eating beef, pork or lamb.

Can you have bacon on Mediterranean diet? ›

On the Mediterranean diet, you should minimize your intake of red meat, such as steak. What about processed red meat, such as hot dogs and bacon? You should avoid these foods or limit them as much as possible.

Can you eat deli meat on Mediterranean diet? ›

When it comes to beefing up your brown bag, deli meats are often the go-to salad topper. But meats like turkey and ham, which tend to be high in sodium, are recommended as occasional fare on the Mediterranean diet.

How often can you eat chicken on the Mediterranean diet? ›

White fish and shellfish are also good lean protein sources, but aren't as high in omega-3s. Red and processed meats are eaten rarely. Chicken, turkey, eggs, cheese and yogurt can be enjoyed weekly or daily but in moderate portions.

Can you eat tortillas on Mediterranean diet? ›

Although the Mediterranean diet is largely wheat-based, you can easily switch it up with other whole grains, such as millet, teff, fonio, brown rice and quinoa, or choose whole grain corn (maize) for tortillas.

How often should you eat red meat while on the Mediterranean diet? ›

Med-Red: 18 ounces a week of lean, unprocessed red meat (beef and pork), along with eggs, poultry, fish/seafood, vegetables, fruit, whole grains and dairy. Med-Control: 7 ounces a week of lean, unprocessed red meat (beef and pork), along with eggs, poultry, fish/seafood, vegetables, fruit, whole grains and dairy.

Is fresh mozzarella healthy? ›

Mozzarella

Mozzarella is relatively low in fat and calories. This makes it a healthier cheese option compared to others. Mozzarella contains probiotics such as the bacteria Lactobacillus casei and Lactobacillus fermentum.

Is pizza on the Mediterranean diet? ›

Meals may include small portions of fish, meat, or eggs. Water and sparkling water are common drink choices, as well as moderate amounts of red wine. People on a Mediterranean diet avoid the following foods: refined grains, such as white bread, white pasta, and pizza dough containing white flour.

Is peanut butter included in the Mediterranean diet? ›

And as plant-based protein sources that are high in good and unsaturated fats, peanuts and peanut butter are a natural fit within Mediterranean and Flexitarian ways of eating.

What foods are not allowed on the Mediterranean diet? ›

While the Mediterranean diet is not a strict diet plan, foods that are generally not allowed on the Mediterranean diet include:
  • Processed red meats. Hot dogs. ...
  • Heavily processed foods. Frozen meals that have a lot of sodium. ...
  • Refined grains. ...
  • Alcohol (other than red wine)
  • Butter.
  • Refined, processed, or hydrogenated oils.
Sep 23, 2021

What's the worst cheese for you? ›

Unhealthy Cheeses
  • Halloumi Cheese. Be aware of how much of this squeaky cheese you're adding to your morning bagel and salads! ...
  • Goats/ Blue Cheese. 1 oz. ...
  • Roquefort Cheese. Roquefort is a processed blue cheese and is incredibly high in sodium. ...
  • Parmesan. ...
  • Cheddar Cheese.
Apr 20, 2017

Which is healthier feta or mozzarella? ›

For nutrition, mozzarella is a healthier and better option than feta. Mozzarella is lower in sodium, lower in fats and cholesterol. Mozzarella is richer in proteins, zinc, phosphorus, calcium, and vitamin A.

Can you have chocolate on the Mediterranean diet? ›

The Mediterranean diet is all about moderation, which means indulging in dark chocolate sometimes is A-OK! In addition to being Mediterranean-approved, dark chocolate is rich in antioxidants and has been linked to better heart health.

Can you eat potatoes on Mediterranean diet? ›

Ideally, you should base your diet on these healthy Mediterranean foods: Vegetables: tomatoes, broccoli, kale, spinach, onions, cauliflower, carrots, Brussels sprouts, cucumbers, potatoes, sweet potatoes, turnips. Fruits: apples, bananas, oranges, pears, strawberries, grapes, dates, figs, melons, peaches.

Can you have mayo on Mediterranean diet? ›

Making your own mayonnaise is a lot easier than you may imagine it to be. This mayonnaise can be used in so many other recipes too. I would try it in my Mediterranean diet ranch dressing for example. Or, you could choose to simply use your mayonnaise on your next sandwich or in your tuna salad.

What is a typical breakfast in the Mediterranean? ›

Spain and Italy: toasted bread + soft cheese + fresh fruit or freshly squeezed fruit juice. Greece: paximadia (bread made from whole wheat, chickpea, and barley flour) + olives + cheese. Syria: tahini yogurt with chickpeas + pickles + sliced radishes. Morocco: fried egg in olive oil + soft cheese + olives + flatbread.

Can you eat popcorn on the Mediterranean diet? ›

Is popcorn allowed on the Mediterranean diet? Yes, popcorn is a wonderful snack since it's a whole grain. But top it with a drizzle of olive oil instead of butter. And try seasoning it with herbs and spices instead of too much salt.

Can you eat bacon on Mediterranean diet? ›

On the Mediterranean diet, you should minimize your intake of red meat, such as steak. What about processed red meat, such as hot dogs and bacon? You should avoid these foods or limit them as much as possible.

Can you eat deli meat on Mediterranean diet? ›

When it comes to beefing up your brown bag, deli meats are often the go-to salad topper. But meats like turkey and ham, which tend to be high in sodium, are recommended as occasional fare on the Mediterranean diet.

Is sausage on Mediterranean diet? ›

What Not to Eat on the Mediterranean Diet: Processed meats. Processed meats include bacon, lunchmeat, and sausage. Red meat includes beef. The Mediterranean Diet does not encourage consumption of red and processed meats.

Videos

1. Stop Struggling To Find Healthy Snacks - What Snacks Can You Have On The Mediterranean Diet?
(Healthy Foundry)
2. Top 10 Mediterranean Foods You Should Be Eating
(Thomas DeLauer)
3. What Foods NOT to Eat on the Mediterranean Diet - Guide for Beginners
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4. Charcuterie Board - Cheese Plate - Mediterranean Diet
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5. What is the real Mediterranean Diet? Part 1
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6. Mediterranean Diet - Dr Chan describes 7 Eating Habits of the Mediterranean Diet.
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