What to Eat: The Healthiest Soft Cheeses at Your Grocery Store

There’s more to the dairy aisle than milk, cheddar and Swiss cheeses, and yogurt. Softer cheeses (from feta to goat and from cottage to ricotta), sour cream, crème fraîche, and quark also take up real estate in the supermarket (and in our fridges). Your goal: to keep them from setting up shop in your arteries. Here’s how.

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Best Bite (✔✔) criteria vary by type of cheese. Cottage cheese: no added sugars and no more than 1½ grams of saturated fat and 300 mg sodium in ½ cup. Ricotta cheese: no added sugars or trans fat and no more than 3 grams saturated fat and 120 mg sodium in 2 Tbs. Sour cream: No trans fat and no more than 2 grams saturated fat and 50 mg sodium in 2 Tbs. Crème Fraîche, Mascarpone, Quark: no more than 1 gram saturated fat and 50 mg sodium in 2 Tbs. Spreadable cheese: no more than 3 grams saturated fat and 170 mg sodium in 2 Tbs. Feta: no more than 3 grams saturated fat and 300 mg sodium in 1 oz. Goat cheese: no added sugars and no more than 3 grams saturated fat and 170 mg. sodium in 1 oz. Numbers in purple are for nutrients you want to maximize. Cheeses are ranked from least to most sat fat, then sodium, then calories, then most to least calcium, then protein.

Best Bites Soft Cheeses Chart

Other relevant links:

• Our recommendations for the healthiest soups. See: What to Eat: The Best Soups You Can Buy

• Our top popcorn picks. See: What to Eat: The Healthiest Popcorns You Can Buy

• The best non-dairy milks. See: What to Eat: What to Sip and What to Skip in the Non-Dairy Aisle

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