This article has been Fact-Checked by Kendall Kennedy MS, RD, RYT
Putting a weight loss diet together can feel challenging with all the options. Find out whether mozzarella cheese is good for losing weight or fattening.
Mozzarella cheese is above-average in calories but these calories mainly come from protein and fats which tend to be filling. Additionally, consuming enough protein is important for building and preserving muscle mass.
This makes mozzarella cheese decent to good for weight loss. Especially if you have trouble reaching your protein goals.
By consuming more of this food you will likely consume less of foods that are worse for weight loss.
At the same time, you can definitely also overdo it with mozzarella cheese. If you just add it on top of your regular diet, mozzarella cheese can be fattening.
Additionally, there are foods that are more helpful for losing weight.
How is mozzarella cheese different?
Mozzarella cheese was traditionally made with Italian buffalo milk but you can make it with any kind of milk. That means mozzarella is vegetarian-friendly but not vegan.
If you’ve ever had mozzarella cheese, you have probably noticed that it’s a lot softer than most other cheeses. This is because of the extra reheating and kneading step.
Mozzarella cheese also has a shorter ripening process compared to for example gouda cheese.
All of these differences lead to slightly different nutrition profiles that can make a difference in how good mozzarella cheese is for weight loss compared to other cheeses.
Lastly, mozzarella cheese typically is gluten-free. You do want to keep in mind that some brands still contain gluten. If this is important to you, it is smart to read the nutrition label anyway.
Micronutrients in mozzarella cheese
What macronutrients mozzarella cheese contains is definitely important when it comes to weight loss. At the same time, looking at the micronutrients like vitamins and minerals in it can sometimes be helpful too.
Vitamins and minerals are not only important for general health but play certain roles in losing weight too.
100 grams of mozzarella cheese contains the following vitamins and minerals (1):
- Calcium: 73% of the DV (Daily Value)
- Phosphorus: 52%
- Selenium: 22%
- Zinc: 21%
- Riboflavin: 20%
- Vitamin B12: 15%
- Magnesium: 6%
And a few other vitamins and minerals in smaller amounts.
These amounts of micronutrients in mozzarella cheese are relatively high compared to many other foods.
You will likely need to consume other nutritious foods to get to your daily vitamin and mineral goals but mozzarella cheese can help a good amount with this.
Even if it turns out that mozzarella is not the most optimal in terms of macronutrients, you could consider adding it to your weight loss diet for its vitamins and minerals anyway.
Protein in mozzarella cheese for weight loss
The amount of protein in mozzarella cheese is important for losing weight for a few different reasons.
First of all, protein is a relatively filling category of macronutrients.
Many people fail to stick to a good weight loss diet because the hunger and cravings become too much. Eating more protein can help you avoid this.
Additionally, consuming enough protein is important for building and preserving muscle mass.
How much you weigh plays a big role in how many calories you burn throughout the day. By helping you build and keep muscle, protein helps with this goal.
Weight loss benefits aside, mozzarella cheese contains about 27.5 grams of protein per 100 grams (1).
To put this into perspective, even a relatively high-protein food like salmon contains around 25.4 grams per 100 grams in salmon (2).
And even when it comes to the cheeses highest in protein, mozzarella cheese has one of the higher spots.
In short, a lot of the calories in mozzarella cheese come from protein. This nutrient is often helpful when trying to lose weight.
Will mozzarella cheese help you lose weight?
To figure out whether mozzarella cheese will help you lose weight you still need to know about the total number of calories in it.
As becomes clear from the protein section, not all calories are equal when it comes to losing weight. However, this number still offers helpful information.
100 grams of Mozzarella cheese contains about 280 calories (1).
There are definitely foods that contain more but it is fair to say that Mozzarella cheese contains an above-average number of calories.
16.1 of the calories come from carbohydrates (3.1 g per 100 grams). This makes Mozzarella cheese relatively keto-friendly and good for other low-carb diets.
That aside, on the one hand, Mozzarella cheese contains a good number of calories.
On the other hand, many of these calories come from proteins and fats which are relatively filling and offer other benefits when it comes to weight loss. This cheese also offers valuable vitamins and minerals.
The combination of these details makes it so you can say that mozzarella cheese is decent to good for weight loss.
Eating more of it will likely help you consume less of other foods that are less helpful for losing weight.
Additionally, consuming enough protein is important for health and building and preserving muscle mass.
At the same time, you can not just add mozzarella cheese to your regular diet without making other changes and expect to lose weight. This would likely lead to a small amount of weight gain.
What about mozzarella sticks?
There are many ways to implement mozzarella into your diet. Some of these will be better than others for losing weight.
Mozzarella sticks are a popular option which basically comes down to fried mozzarella cheese with breadcrumbs around it.
This makes the cheese higher in calories per 100 grams, lower in protein per 100 grams, and unhealthier due to the frying (3).
If you want to lose weight, you generally want to stay away from mozzarella sticks.
Comparison with other cheeses
Something else to keep in mind is that mozzarella is not the only option for people who love cheese and want to get in shape.
There are many other cheeses that can be good for weight loss. In the table below, you can find a comparison between gouda (4), feta cheese (5), and cheddar (6) in some of the most important nutrients for weight loss.
It should become clear that mozzarella is one of the cheeses that is more helpful for losing weight.
|Calories||280 calories||356 calories||264 calories||403 calories|
|Fat||17.1 g||27.4 g||21.3 g||33.1 g|
|Protein||27.5 g||24.9 g||14.2 g||24.9 g|
|Carbohydrates||3.1 g||2.2 g||4.1 g||1.3 g|
Healthy mozzarella cheese combinations
As mentioned, you can eat mozzarella cheese in many ways, recipes, and dishes. Some of the more weight-loss-friendly combinations include:
- Chicken with mozzarella cheese
- Asparagus with mozzarella cheese
- Mozzarella cheese, basil, and tomatoes
- Ground beef patty with pieces of mozzarella inside
You definitely don’t have to limit yourself to these suggestions.
Mozzarella cheese is very flexible when it comes to what weight-loss-friendly dishes you can combine it with.