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Is feta cheese healthy or not?

  1. A few decades ago, feta was still an unknown product in the Netherlands, but it is now one of the most consumed types of cheese. Not for nothing, because this Greek cheese has a lot of spice, and it always tastes slightly different. Delicious in a fresh tzatziki, for example, but also in other salads, casseroles and pasta.

  1. But is feta cheese healthy, in addition to that indisputably delicious taste? There is still much discussion going on about this question in the diet and health world. We will first list all important factors today. This way you can immediately see whether feta cheese is healthy or not.

What is feta cheese?

  1. Real feta, as we mentioned above, comes from Greece. It is traditionally made there from sheep or goat's milk. There are also variations of cow's milk, but they are certainly not seen as the â € frealâ € ™ feta! After curdling the milk, feta is placed in a salt bath, which consists of water or whey.

  1. It remains there for about two months, so that it can ripen properly. The cheese is then removed from the salt solution, after which it dries quickly. The result is then sliced, and so you get the well-known product from the supermarket. Feta can have a spicy or mild flavor, especially depending on the ingredients used.

Feta and â € white cheeseâ € ™

  1. Within the European Union, feta is now a protected product name. This means that only feta made from goat or sheep cheese from Greece can officially bear that name. However, not all feta you find in stores actually comes from Greece. Likewise, Apetina is a well-known producer of the cheese - and it is based in Denmark.

  1. In that case the products are simply sold under a different name. â € ˜White cheeseâ € ™ is the most common alternative to feta from countries other than Greece. â € blokMediterranean cheese cubesâ € ™ is also sometimes used. Ultimately, it does not make much difference to the product itself what it is called. Only in case of allergies can it be relevant: â € ˜white cheeseâ € ™ can also contain cow's milk.

Minerals in feta

  1. Good, but what about the health of feta and white cheese? To begin with, let's take a look at the micronutrients contained in the product. To begin with, there are of course the necessary minerals. The most important, of course, is calcium. Sheep and goat cheese contain slightly less calcium than cow's milk cheese, but of course it remains a dairy product.

  1. That means that a slice of feta does contribute to your daily intake of calcium, and thus to strong bones and teeth. It also contains potassium, magnesium and a little iron. Relatively much sodium, but we'll get to that in a moment.

Vitamins in feta

  1. Also with the vitamins you could say that feta is a fairly standard dairy product. Like all animal products, it contains various vitamins from the B complex. Vitamin B12 in particular is important for many people. Especially those who eat little meat quickly find themselves short of it. Feta also contains a relatively large amount of vitamin D.

  1. Most of it is produced under the influence of sunlight, but especially the elderly and people with dark skin can often use a little extra. Finally, you will also find some vitamin A in feta. Sheep's and goat's milk even contains a little more of this than cow's milk!

Salt in feta

  1. And then there's that salt - or sodium, of course, if you want to call it by the mineral itself. Because feta is so long in a salt bath during production, it will come as no surprise that the end product is also quite salty. And since many Dutch people eat much more salt than is healthy, that can be a problem.

  1. On the other hand, many people who eat healthy, also immediately consume less salt. Especially if you usually cook yourself, this will usually be fine.

Fat in feta

  1. Another factor in determining whether feta cheese is healthy is the amount of fat in feta. Of course, fat does not immediately make you fat (as loyal readers of this blog will know by now). On the other hand, it does contain a relatively large number of calories. It is therefore wise not to eat too much of it.

  1. Feta has a fat percentage of about 45% in the dry ingredients. That sounds dramatic, but a lot of feta is also made up of moisture. On balance, the fat percentage thus amounts to approximately 20%. Still a fair amount, but fine if you eat it in moderate amounts.

Feta and allergies

  1. Finally, it is still relevant to consider allergies. People who cannot tolerate cow's milk sometimes benefit from choosing products from sheep or goats. However, keep in mind that this does not always work! Allergies to cow's milk are usually caused by one of the amino acids found in cow's milk.

  1. Some of these are only in cow's milk, but others are just found in all dairy products. It will therefore depend on your personal allergy whether you can tolerate feta better. You can of course consult your doctor about this.

Is feta cheese healthy

  1. Well, now that we've covered all of that, it's time to answer our opening question. Is feta cheese healthy? And as almost always applies here: yes, but in moderation, and only within a healthy diet. If you actually consume too much salt and calories throughout the day, a mountain of feta is not the best choice.

  1. Do you eat well and varied, however, with lots of fresh - and salt-free - products? Then it really doesn't hurt to use feta now and then as a tasty seasoning! Just don't get rid of whole kilos right away, then you're probably fine.

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