This article has been Fact-Checked by Kendall Kennedy MS, RD, RYT
There are many different diet foods, not all of them are actually good. What about mozzarella cheese, is it good for weight loss or is it fattening?
Mozzarella is a cheese with Italian origin that’s a bit different from other cheeses. It goes really well with certain dishes but how healthy is it?
How is mozzarella cheese different?
Mozzarella cheese was traditionally made with Italian buffalo’s milk but you can make it with any kind of milk. That means mozzarella is not vegan but it is vegetarian friendly.
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 on how good mozzarella cheese is for weight loss.
Normally mozzarella cheese is gluten-free. Depending on the brand some can sneak in anyway so it’s smart to read the nutrition label anyway.
Micronutrients in mozzarella cheese
The first thing to look at is the amount of micronutrients in mozzarella cheese.
Micronutrients are a group of nutrients your body absolutely needs to survive and thrive. Micronutrients include vitamins and minerals. These are involved in basically every aspect of your health, including weight loss.
100 grams of mozzarella cheese provides you with approximately (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. There is a good amount of vitamins and minerals in mozzarella cheese. By adding mozzarella cheese to your diet you can greatly increase your intake of certain important nutrients.
Protein in mozzarella cheese for weight loss
Another part of food that can help you on your weight loss journey is the amount of protein in it.
Mozzarella cheese contains about 27.5 grams of protein per 100 grams. To compare, there are about 25.4 grams per 100 grams in salmon (2).
That means mozzarella cheese is a very good source of protein, even one of the cheeses highest in protein.
Eating enough protein will also help you prevent muscle loss. Since muscle helps you burn extra calories throughout the day this is a big plus for protein and mozzarella cheese for weight loss.
Do keep in mind that overdoing it with protein isn’t good either.
Will mozzarella cheese help you lose weight?
You still need a final fact about mozzarella cheese. The amount of calories in it.
Mozzarella cheese contains about 280 calories per 100 gram. 16.1 of these calories come from carbohydrates (3.1 g per 100 grams).
There are certainly foods lower in calories. On the other hand, most of these calories come from protein which will help you feel full. Mozzarella cheese is also a good source of certain vitamins and minerals.
Adding some mozzarella cheese will basically help you fuller and reach your protein goals. You do have to keep in mind that you can overdo it with this food too.
What about mozzarella sticks?
Mozzarella sticks are basically fried mozzarella cheese with breadcrumbs around it.
This makes for a higher calorie, lower protein, unhealthier due to the frying, food (3). If you want to lose weight you generally want to stay away from mozzarella sticks.
Comparison with other cheeses
The next question is how good mozzarella is for weight loss compared to other cheeses. Below you can find a comparison chart with gouda (4), feta cheese (5), cheddar (6) for some of the most important nutrients for weight loss.
The amount of vitamins and minerals in the foods does matter for weight loss and health but you can’t simplify that in one number.
|Values per 100g||Mozzarella||Gouda||Feta||Cheddar|
|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|
Out of the compared cheeses mozzarella looks like the best cheese for weight loss.
Healthy mozzarella cheese combinations
Another benefit of mozzarella cheese is that it combines well taste-wise with other foods. Here are some examples of weight loss friendly mozzarella cheese combinations:
- Chicken with mozzarella cheese
- Asparagus with mozzarella cheese
- Mozzarella cheese, basil, and tomato
- Ground beef patty with pieces of mozzarella inside
You don’t have to limit yourself to these suggestions. Mozzarella cheese goes well with a lot of foods.