How many calories is one small mozzarella ball?

Mozzarella cheese is a popular cheese used on pizzas, in lasagnas, caprese salads and more. With its mild flavor and soft, creamy texture, it’s easy to see why mozzarella is such a beloved cheese. But like most cheeses, mozzarella does contain a significant amount of calories and fat. So how many calories are actually in one small mozzarella ball?

Calories in Mozzarella Cheese

First, let’s look at the calorie count for mozzarella cheese in general. According to the USDA, one ounce of whole milk mozzarella cheese contains approximately:

  • 98 calories
  • 6 grams of fat
  • 6 grams of protein

Low moisture, part skim mozzarella contains slightly fewer calories and fat per ounce:

  • 85 calories
  • 5 grams of fat
  • 7 grams of protein

When comparing mozzarella cheese to other popular cheeses like cheddar, Swiss and feta, it lands somewhere in the middle calorie-wise. Cheddar and Swiss contain 114 calories per ounce, while feta has only 74. So an ounce of mozzarella could be considered moderate in calories compared to other cheeses.

Calories in a Small Mozzarella Ball

Now that we know how many calories are in an ounce of mozzarella, how does that compare to a small mozzarella ball? To determine the calorie count, we’ll need to figure out the typical weight of a small mozzarella ball.

There is quite a bit of variability when it comes to mozzarella ball sizes. However, here are some general guidelines on weights:

  • Small: 1 oz
  • Medium: 1.5-2 oz
  • Large: 3-4 oz

Based on this, we can estimate that one small mozzarella ball weighs approximately 1 ounce. Referring back to the nutrition info above, this means a small mozzarella ball has around:

  • 98 calories if made with whole milk
  • 85 calories if part skim low moisture

So in summary, a small mozzarella ball has 85-98 calories, depending on the type of mozzarella cheese used.

The Calorie Difference in Fresh vs. Low Moisture Mozzarella

You may be wondering – what’s the difference between fresh mozzarella and low moisture mozzarella? And does it impact the calorie amount?

Fresh mozzarella, also called burrata or buffalo mozzarella, contains more moisture than low moisture mozzarella. It has a softer, more delicate texture and milky flavor.

Low moisture mozzarella is firmer in texture with a more pronounced cheese flavor. It contains less water and is often what is used on pizza or for shredding.

The main nutritional difference between the two types is that fresh mozzarella contains more fat and calories:

  • Fresh mozzarella: 100 calories, 8g fat per ounce
  • Low moisture: 85 calories, 5g fat per ounce

So if comparing a small 1 oz ball, fresh mozzarella would have about 15 more calories than low moisture mozzarella.

Fat Content Differences

Another factor that impacts the calories in mozzarella cheese is the fat content. Regular whole milk mozzarella is higher in fat and calories than part-skim or low fat options.

Here’s a comparison of a 1 ounce serving of whole milk vs part skim mozzarella:

  • Whole milk mozzarella: 98 calories, 6g fat
  • Part skim mozzarella: 85 calories, 5g fat

As you can see, choosing part skim mozzarella over regular whole milk mozzarella saves you about 13 calories and 1 gram of fat per ounce.

There are also low fat mozzarella options that contain around 45-60 calories per ounce. However, the taste and texture is often not as good as regular or part skim varieties.

Calories in Fresh vs. Shredded Mozzarella

In addition to fat content, the form of the mozzarella can also impact its calories and fat. For example, shredded mozzarella often has added ingredients like potato starch that bump up the calories.

Here is the nutrition comparison for fresh vs shredded part skim mozzarella:

  • 1 oz fresh mozzarella: 85 calories, 5g fat
  • 1 oz shredded mozzarella: 100 calories, 8g fat

As you can see, shredded mozzarella contains significantly more fat and calories than fresh mozzarella per ounce. So if you’re looking to save some calories, fresh mozzarella is the better choice.

Calories in Mini Mozzarella Balls

Mini mozzarella balls, also called ciliegine, are smaller than a ping pong ball in size. On average, about 8-12 mini mozzarella balls make up one ounce.

So if we take a 1 ounce serving of mozzarella and divide it into 10 mini balls, each mini ball would contain approximately:

  • Regular whole milk: 10 calories, 0.6g fat per mini ball
  • Part skim: 8-9 calories, 0.5g fat per mini ball

As you can see, one mini mozzarella ball is very low in calories and fat. So snacking on these petite bites of cheese is a smart way to get the delicious mozzarella flavor without going overboard on calories.

Calories in Organic vs Regular Mozzarella

With organic foods becoming increasingly popular, you may be wondering if organic mozzarella is any different calorie-wise than regular mozzarella.

The main nutritional differences between organic and regular mozzarella are:

  • Organic mozzarella is made from milk that comes from cows that have not been treated with growth hormones or antibiotics.
  • It also has to come from cows that eat organic feed and graze on pasture for at least 30% of the year.

However, when it comes to calories and fat content, organic mozzarella is very similar to regular mozzarella. Both contain around 85-98 calories and 5-8g of fat, depending on the variety.

So choosing organic will not save you any calories, but it ensures your cheese comes from cows raised more humanely without hormones or antibiotics.

How Mozzarella Compares to Other Cheeses

Now that we know how many calories are in mozzarella cheese, how does it compare calorie-wise to other popular cheese choices?

Here is a calories per ounce comparison of mozzarella and other common cheeses:

Cheese Calories Fat
Mozzarella (part skim) 85 5g
Cheddar 114 9g
Provolone 98 8g
Swiss 108 9g
Parmesan 111 7g
Feta 75 6g

As you can see, mozzarella is lower in calories than many other popular cheese choices like cheddar, provolone, Swiss and Parmesan.

The only cheese that is noticeably lower in calories than mozzarella is feta. But keep in mind that feta has a very different flavor profile and texture than mozzarella.

Overall, mozzarella can be considered one of the more relatively low-calorie cheese options.

Tips for Enjoying Mozzarella as Part of a Healthy Diet

Mozzarella can certainly be enjoyed as part of a healthy diet when consumed in moderation. Here are some tips for keeping your mozzarella calories in check:

  • Stick to part skim or low moisture varieties to save some fat and calories over whole milk mozzarella.
  • Buy fresh mozzarella balls rather than pre-shredded to avoid added starches and fat.
  • Measure your portion sizes with a food scale or measuring cups to keep calories in check.
  • Use mini mozzarella balls rather than large balls to minimize calories per bite.
  • Pair mozzarella with vegetables like tomatoes or basil instead of pairing it with high-calorie crackers or garlic bread.
  • Skip the deep frying. Breaded deep fried mozzarella contains significantly more fat and calories than fresh mozzarella.

By following these tips, it’s definitely possible to enjoy mozzarella cheese as part of a healthy diet without going overboard on calories.

Health Benefits of Mozzarella

In addition to being relatively low in calories, mozzarella cheese also offers some valuable nutrients. Here are some of the top health benefits of mozzarella cheese:

  • High in protein – Mozzarella contains about 6 grams of filling protein per ounce, which can help keep you feeling full.
  • Rich in calcium – One ounce provides about 15-20% of the recommended daily calcium, which is important for bone health.
  • Source of phosphorus – Mozzarella provides about 15% of your daily phosphorus needs, supporting bone health.
  • Contains probiotics – Some varieties are made with live cultures like thermophilus and bulgaricus that promote gut health.
  • Fortified with vitamin D – Many commercial mozzarella cheeses contain added vitamin D.

When consumed as part of a healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables, lean proteins and whole grains, the nutrients in mozzarella cheese can be an asset to your diet.

Common Questions

Does mozzarella cheese melt?

Yes, mozzarella is known for being one of the best melting cheeses. The low moisture content and stretchy texture of fresh mozzarella makes it the perfect melting cheese for pizza, lasagna, grilled cheese and more.

Is mozzarella cheese healthy?

Mozzarella can be part of a healthy diet when consumed in moderation. While it does contain a decent amount of fat and calories, the protein, calcium, phosphorus and probiotics make it more nutritious than many other cheese choices.

Is mozzarella high in cholesterol?

Mozzarella does contain cholesterol, with about 23mg per ounce. However, studies show that dietary cholesterol has a modest impact on blood cholesterol for most people. Saturated fat intake appears to be more directly linked to raising cholesterol.

Does mozzarella cheese go bad?

Fresh mozzarella balls last 1-2 weeks past the sell-by date if refrigerated. Sealed shredded mozzarella lasts about 2-3 months refrigerated. Once opened, an opened package should be eaten within 5-7 days. Signs that mozzarella has gone bad are mold, sour smell, dry texture or orange tinge.

Can you freeze mozzarella cheese?

You can freeze mozzarella cheese for up to 3 months for best quality. To freeze, wrap tightly in plastic wrap first, then place in a freezer bag removing as much air as possible. Thaw refrigerated overnight before using.

The Bottom Line

In summary, a small 1 ounce mozzarella ball contains 85-98 calories and 5-8 grams of fat, depending on the variety. So snacking on one mozzarella ball makes for a tasty, reasonably light snack or addition to a meal when enjoyed in moderation.

Pairing fresh mozzarella with vegetables or salad instead of high calorie crackers or bread can help keep calories in check. And opting for part-skim, low moisture or mini mozzarella balls can further minimize the calories and fat per serving.

While mozzarella is higher in calories and fat than some cheeses, the protein, calcium and nutrition it provides still makes it a better choice than many other cheeses. So enjoy mozzarella in moderation as part of an overall healthy diet.

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