The #1 Worst Cheese for Your Heart, Says Dietitian — Eat This Not That

The #1 Worst Cheese for Your Heart, Says Dietitian — Eat This Not That

If you’re at risk of developing heart problems, or if you’re currently looking for ways to lessen the severity of potential heart problems, changing your diet can go a long way. Watching what you eat and drink, as well as engaging in adequate exercise and even taking supplements, are factors that can lower your risk of heart disease.

Like most foods, excessive consumption of cheese can contribute to various problems, including possible heart complications. According to Lauren Manaker, MS, RDN, LDN, CLEC, CPTa registered dietitian on our board member of medical experts and author of The new mom’s pregnancy cookbook, The 7 Ingredient Cookbook for a Healthy PregnancyY Feeding Male Fertility, cream cheese is the worst cheese for your heart.

“Cheese can be part of a heart-healthy diet, as long as proper portion sizes are followed and eaten in conjunction with an overall healthy, balanced diet,” says Manaker. “Among cheese options, cream cheese may be the worst for your heart.”

Manaker goes on to explain that cream cheese is high in saturated fat and not particularly rich in many micronutrients.

On average, in 2 tablespoons, cream cheese contains 87% of its calories from fat. Its total fat is 10 grams, which is 15% of your daily value. Meanwhile, 5.9% is saturated fat, which is 30% of your daily value.

A single serving of cream cheese also contains 29 milligrams of cholesterol. If you already have heart disease, you should limit your cholesterol intake to 300 milligrams per day. Although 2 tablespoons of cream cheese doesn’t seem too bad, be careful when it starts to pile up.

cream cheese and bagel

As an added downside, cream cheese also tends to be eaten alongside other foods that aren’t particularly heart-healthy.

“Since we follow dietary patterns and don’t eat a single food in a vacuum, it’s important to look at the big picture of what it means to eat cream cheese in terms of diet and lifestyle,” says Manaker. “Cream cheese every once in a while is probably fine, but excessive amounts of this food are not going to be the most heart-healthy option.”

If you’re looking for cream cheese to spread on your morning bagel, or if you want to use it for a delicious buffalo sauce, it’s best to choose healthier versions.

Although cream cheese has few or no nutrients, when choosing a tub, it’s worth selecting one that has less fat per serving, but also one that doesn’t add too much sugar. For example, cream cheeses that have added flavors like berries or brown sugar and cinnamon may sound healthy, however they really just add unnecessary sugars. You also want to check the ingredients on the label to see if any other preservatives have been added which would include things like corn syrup. If you see something similar, go ahead!

RELATED: Worst Cheeses for Cholesterol, Dietician Says

Kayla Garritano

Kayla Garritano is a staff writer for Eat This, Not That! She is a graduate of Hofstra University, where she majored in Journalism and double majored in Marketing and Creative Writing. read more

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