White American cheese, sometimes referred to as American cheese singles, is a processed cheese product made from a blend of milk, milkfat, whey, milk protein concentrate, whey protein concentrate, and salt. It is the most popular type of cheese in the United States.
White American cheese is known for its mild flavor and texture, as well as its ability to melt smoothly, making it a popular choice for grilled cheese sandwiches, burgers, and other hot sandwiches. Despite its ubiquity, many people are unaware of the nutritional content of white American cheese, especially when it comes to calories.
How Many Calories Are In One Slice of White American Cheese?
The number of calories in a single slice of white American cheese depends on the brand and thickness of the slice. According to the USDA, one slice (1 ounce or 28g) of white American processed cheese contains:
So a single slice of white American cheese contains about 104 calories. However, the exact calories can vary between brands. Some popular brands of white American cheese slices include:
|Land O’Lakes American Cheese:
|Sargento Ultra Thin Slices:
|Kraft Deli Deluxe:
|Great Value (Walmart):
As you can see, calories range from 60-110 per slice depending on brand and slice thickness. Kraft Singles and Sargento Ultra Thin Slices are on the lower end at 90 and 60 calories per slice respectively. Meanwhile, Kraft Deli Deluxe and Great Value brand have 110 calories per slice.
Calories in 2, 3, and 4 Slices of White American Cheese
Now that we know there are approximately 100 calories in one slice of white American cheese, we can estimate the calories for larger portion sizes:
|2 slices white American cheese:
|3 slices white American cheese:
|4 slices white American cheese:
Of course, the precise calorie counts will vary slightly depending on brand. But in general, two slices will have about 200 calories, three slices about 300 calories, and four slices 400 calories.
So if you’re making a sandwich with multiple slices of cheese, or stacking up your burgers with extra cheese, keep these calorie estimates in mind.
Calories in One Ounce of White American Cheese
Instead of counting slices, you may want to know the calories per ounce of white American cheese. As mentioned earlier, one slice is typically about 1 ounce or 28 grams.
Here are the calories in varying serving sizes by weight:
|1 oz white American cheese:
|2 oz white American cheese:
|3 oz white American cheese:
|4 oz white American cheese:
|5 oz white American cheese:
As you increase the serving size, the calories scale accordingly. Good to keep in mind if you are portioning out cheese per ounce or gram weight.
Calories in Melted vs. Unmelted White American Cheese
You might be wondering – does melting white American cheese change the calorie content?
The answer is no. Melting cheese does not significantly alter its calorie density. Whether melted on top of a burger or unmelted in a sandwich, one ounce of white American cheese still contains about 104 calories.
The reason is that melting cheese only changes its shape and texture, but does not actually change the chemical composition. The ratios of fat, protein, carbohydrates and calories remain largely the same whether the cheese is solid or melted.
So rest assured that melted cheese on pizza or nachos will have the same calories as unmelted cheese per ounce. The calories are dependent on the amount of cheese used, not the melted state.
Comparing Calories to Other Cheeses
How does white American cheese compare calorie-wise to other popular cheese varieties?
Here is a calorie comparison of 1 ounce servings of different cheeses:
|White American cheese:
|Monterey Jack cheese:
As you can see, white American cheese is moderate in calories compared to other popular cheese choices. Cheddar and Swiss contain slightly more calories per ounce, while mozzarella and feta contain fewer calories than white American cheese.
So replacing white American slices with other varieties may somewhat alter the calories in your recipe or meal. But overall, most cheese types have a similar caloric density.
Low-Calorie Cheese Options
If you’re looking to lower the calories from cheese, here are some tips:
– Choose reduced-fat or part-skim cheese varieties. They have 25-50% less fat and calories than full-fat cheese.
– Limit portion sizes to 1 ounce servings or less. Measure portions carefully with a food scale or measuring cups.
– Try low-moisture, part-skim mozzarella which has only 45-75 calories per ounce.
– Use strong-flavored cheeses like Parmesan, feta or blue cheese to get more flavor with fewer calories.
– Substitute vegetables like zucchini, eggplant or mushrooms for some of the cheese in recipes.
– Top foods with a sprinkle of shredded cheese rather than thick, dense slices.
– Compare nutrition labels and choose brands with less fat and calories per serving.
Making simple substitutions and reducing portion sizes can allow you to enjoy cheese while keeping calories under control.
Health Impact of White American Cheese
Now that we’ve covered the calories in white American cheese, how does it stack up health-wise?
Here is a quick rundown of some of the potential health considerations with processed cheeses like white American:
– White American cheese is high in saturated fat, with about 5g per slice. High intakes of saturated fat may raise unhealthy LDL cholesterol levels.
– With over 300mg sodium per slice, white American cheese is high in salt content. This could negatively impact blood pressure for salt-sensitive individuals.
– Natural cheeses have more calcium and protein than processed white American cheese. However, white American is fortified with vitamins A and D.
– Many brands contain food colorings, emulsifiers, preservatives and other artificial ingredients to create the desired texture and appearance.
– The high saturated fat and sodium content may negatively impact gut microbiome health compared to natural cheeses.
Overall, white American cheese is moderate to high in calories, sodium, and saturated fat compared to natural cheeses. Those with high blood pressure, cholesterol or gut health concerns may want to limit intake. However, it can be enjoyed in moderation as part of an overall balanced diet.
Tips for Enjoying White American Cheese
Here are some tips for enjoying white American cheese in a healthier way:
– Use thin slices or shredded cheese to maximize flavor while controlling calories and portions.
– Combine with vegetables in sandwiches, wraps, and burgers to add nutrients.
– Choose low-sodium varieties to help limit sodium intake.
– Use sparingly in moderation rather than making it the main protein source in meals.
– Pair with high fiber foods like whole grains to help slow digestion and balance nutrients.
– Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated and reduce fluid retention from excess sodium.
– Limit other high sodium foods in your diet to account for American cheese’s salt content.
With some mindfulness towards portion sizes and preparation methods, you can still enjoy convenient, melty white American cheese as part of a healthy lifestyle.
White American cheese is a popular processed cheese product with distinct meltability and mild flavor. A single slice contains approximately 104 calories, while two to four slices provide 200-400 calories depending on brand. An ounce of white American cheese has 104 calories, whether melted or unmelted. It is moderate in calories compared to natural cheese varieties. To reduce calories, opt for part-skim varieties, measure portion sizes carefully, or substitute with stronger-flavored cheeses. Enjoy white American cheese in moderation along with plenty of fruits, vegetables and whole foods for a balanced diet. Be mindful of limiting saturated fat and sodium intake from processed cheeses like white American. With some adjustments to how it is used, white American cheese can still be included as part of an overall nutritious eating pattern.