Is Mozzarella Cheese good for diet?

Mozzarella cheese is a soft, white cheese with high moisture content that is commonly used on pizzas and in Italian dishes. With its mild flavor and smooth, creamy texture, mozzarella is a popular choice for adding flavor without too much fat or calories. But is mozzarella cheese actually a healthy option if you’re trying to lose weight or eat healthier? Here’s a comprehensive look at the nutritional profile of mozzarella cheese and whether it can be part of a healthy diet.

Nutritional Profile of Mozzarella Cheese

Mozzarella cheese is lower in fat and calories compared to many other cheeses. Here is the nutrition breakdown for a 1-ounce (28g) serving of whole milk mozzarella cheese (1,2):

  • Calories: 85
  • Fat: 6g
  • Saturated fat: 4g
  • Protein: 6g
  • Carbohydrates: 1g
  • Sodium: 135mg
  • Calcium: 207mg

As you can see, mozzarella is a good source of protein and calcium, providing about 12% and 20% of the recommended daily value respectively in a 1-ounce serving. It’s relatively low in calories and fat compared to cheeses like cheddar, which contains 114 calories and 9g of fat per ounce (3).

Mozzarella also contains conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), a type of heart-healthy fat found in dairy that may help reduce body fat and prevent obesity (4, 5).

However, mozzarella is still a full-fat cheese. The majority of its calories come from fat, including a significant amount of saturated fat. It also contains a high amount of sodium.

So while mozzarella is lower in fat and calories than some cheeses, it is still a high fat, high sodium food.

Low Moisture vs Fresh Mozzarella

There are two main varieties of mozzarella cheese:

  • Low moisture mozzarella – This is the most common variety used for shredding and melting. It has a firm texture and flaky appearance when grated.
  • Fresh mozzarella – Also called buffalo mozzarella, this is a soft, moist cheese with high water content. It has a very mild flavor and is commonly served in salads or appetizers.

Nutritionally, fresh mozzarella contains more fat and calories than low moisture varieties. Per ounce:

  • Low moisture mozzarella: 70 calories, 5g fat
  • Fresh mozzarella: 85 calories, 6g fat

So if you’re limiting fat and calories, low moisture mozzarella is a better choice. However, the differences are fairly small. Both varieties can be enjoyed in moderation on a healthy diet.

Mozzarella Cheese and Weight Loss

Can you eat mozzarella cheese if you are trying to lose weight? Here are some key factors to consider:

  • Portion size – While mozzarella is lower in calories than some cheeses, it’s still high in calories and fat compared to many other foods. Sticking to 1-2 ounce portions will help keep calories in check.
  • Protein content – The protein in mozzarella may help you feel fuller for longer, supporting appetite control and muscle maintenance during weight loss (6).
  • CLA content – The conjugated linoleic acid in mozzarella may provide a slight metabolism and fat burning boost (4). However, research is mixed (7).
  • Less sodium – Choose lower sodium varieties of mozzarella whenever possible.

Overall, mozzarella cheese can be part of a diet for weight loss. But calories and portions still matter, so it’s best to enjoy mozzarella cheese in moderation along with an overall healthy diet and active lifestyle.

Health Benefits

Here are some of the top health benefits associated with mozzarella cheese:

  • High in protein – Provides 6g of filling protein per 1-ounce serving to support energy, muscle building, and appetite control (6).
  • Calcium for bones – Excellent source of calcium, delivering 207mg or 20% DV per ounce. Calcium supports bone health and strength (8).
  • Probiotics – Mozzarella made from goat or sheep milk may provide probiotics that support digestive and immune health (9). However, probiotic levels may vary.
  • Nutritious fats – Contains conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) from dairy and omega-3 fatty acids, healthy fats that provide benefits for heart health, inflammation, brain function, and more (4, 10).

The protein, calcium, probiotics, and nutritious fats in mozzarella cheese all contribute to its potential health benefits. Just be sure to enjoy it in moderation.

Downsides and Health Risks

Despite some nutritious qualities, there are also some potential downsides to consider:

  • High in calories and fat – Mozzarella cheese is a high calorie, high fat food. This makes it easy to overeat and consume excess calories.
  • High in saturated fat – Mozzarella contains 4g of saturated fat per ounce, which is about 20% of the daily value. High intake of saturated fat raises LDL (bad) cholesterol levels.
  • High in sodium – With 135mg of sodium per ounce, mozzarella contributes significantly to sodium intake. Excess sodium intakes can increase blood pressure.
  • Low in vitamins and minerals – Aside from its calcium content, mozzarella is relatively low in other vitamins and minerals. It shouldn’t be relied on as your sole source of nutrition.

Research on the health impact of cheese consumption also provides mixed results. Some studies link high intakes of cheese and dairy to increased risk of cardiovascular disease, prostate cancer, and mortality (11, 12, 13). However others show neutral or beneficial effects (14).

More research is still needed on the effects of cheese specifically. But for optimal health, cheese is likely best enjoyed in moderation as part of an overall healthy diet, not in large amounts.

How Does Mozzarella Fit Into a Healthy Diet?

Mozzarella cheese can be part of a healthy diet, but here are some tips for making sure it contributes to your health goals:

  • Enjoy in moderation – Stick to 1-2 ounce portions to keep calories, fat, sodium and saturated fat intake reasonable.
  • Choose lower sodium varieties – Seek out low moisture mozzarella or fresh mozzarella lower in sodium whenever possible.
  • Eat with veggies and whole grains – Pair mozzarella with antioxidant and fiber-rich vegetables, whole grains, beans or lentils to balance your meal.
  • Watch total dairy intake – Don’t overdo dairy products in general. Enjoy a variety of proteins like beans, fish, eggs, and nuts.
  • Stay active – Balance out the extra calories from cheese with regular physical activity and exercise.

Mozzarella cheese can be a great addition to dishes like fresh salads, whole grain pizzas, pasta with veggies, and more. Just be mindful of portions and enjoy as a part of an overall varied, nutrient-dense diet along with plenty of exercise. This healthy balance allows you to gain benefits from mozzarella cheese while minimizing any downsides.

Healthy Mozzarella Recipes

Here are some healthy recipe ideas for enjoying mozzarella cheese:

Caprese Chicken with Mozzarella

  • Chicken breasts topped with fresh mozzarella, tomato, basil and balsamic vinegar
  • Serves protein, calcium, and antioxidants

Mediterranean Tuna Salad

  • Tuna mixed with mozzarella, peppers, onion, olives, and Italian dressing
  • Rich in protein, fiber and heart-healthy fats

Quinoa Veggie Bowls with Mozzarella

  • Quinoa bowls with sauteed veggies, chickpeas, fresh mozzarella and pesto
  • Provides balanced nutrition including protein, complex carbs, fiber and nutrients

Mozzarella, Tomato & Avocado Toast

  • Whole grain or seed bread topped with mozzarella, tomatoes, avocado and basil
  • Good source of fiber, healthy fats, and antioxidants

Baked Zucchini Fries with Mozzarella

  • Baked zucchini wedges breaded in almond flour and topped with mozzarella
  • Vegetable-focused side dish with filling protein from cheese

There are many possibilities for healthy and delicious recipes using fresh mozzarella cheese. Be creative and enjoy mozzarella as part of nutritious meals.


Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about mozzarella cheese:

Is mozzarella cheese healthy?

Mozzarella can be part of a healthy diet in moderation but is high in fat, saturated fat and sodium so portions must be controlled. It provides protein, calcium, and some beneficial fats when consumed in moderation.

Is mozzarella good for weight loss?

Mozzarella can be included as part of a weight loss diet since it is lower in calories than many cheeses. But portion control is important. The high protein may also help with appetite regulation.

Is fresh mozzarella healthier than regular mozzarella?

Fresh mozzarella is slightly higher in fat and calories than low moisture mozzarella. The differences are small, so both can be included in moderation as part of a healthy diet.

Does mozzarella cheese have carbs?

Mozzarella contains about 1g of carbohydrate per ounce. So it is low in carbs, with almost all of its calories coming from fat and protein.

Is buffalo mozzarella the same as fresh mozzarella?

Yes, buffalo mozzarella and fresh mozzarella refer to the same Italian soft cheese made from cow or buffalo milk. The names are used interchangeably.

The Bottom Line

Mozzarella cheese can be enjoyed as part of a healthy diet in moderation. It provides protein, calcium, and some beneficial fatty acids. However, mozzarella is still high in fat, sodium and calories, so portions should be limited. Enjoy mozzarella cheese in recipes along with plenty of vegetables, fiber-rich whole grains, beans, lentils, nuts, seeds and lean proteins. Pair it with an overall healthy lifestyle that includes regular physical activity. This allows you to gain benefits from mozzarella’s nutrition without excess calories, saturated fat and sodium.

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