Is string cheese healthy for weight loss?

String cheese is a popular snack food that is made from mozzarella cheese. It is a stretchy, chewy snack that many people enjoy because of its unique texture. But is string cheese actually good for you, especially if you are trying to lose weight? Here is a quick overview of whether string cheese can be part of a healthy weight loss diet.

Quick Answer

String cheese can be a healthy part of a diet geared towards weight loss, but it should be eaten in moderation. String cheese is a good source of protein, calcium, and other nutrients. However, it is still a high-fat dairy product that is high in calories. Eating too much could lead to weight gain instead of loss. One or two sticks of string cheese as a snack a few times a week is an amount that can fit into a reduced calorie diet.

Nutritional Profile of String Cheese

To understand if string cheese is healthy for weight loss, it is important to look at its nutritional makeup:

Calories and Fat

One stick of low-moisture, part-skim mozzarella string cheese contains about 80 calories. Of those calories, 45 come from fat. This equals about 50% of the calories coming from fat.

That amount of fat and calories is not insignificant, especially if you eat multiple sticks at one time. Eating 5 sticks would provide 400 calories and a full day’s worth of saturated fat.


On the positive side, string cheese provides a good amount of protein. One stick has at least 7 grams. Protein helps you feel fuller for longer, which can prevent overeating. Getting enough protein is important when trying to build muscle and lose fat.


String cheese is also high in calcium, with about 15-20% of your daily needs. Calcium supports bone health. When you are in a calorie deficit to lose weight, you want to make sure you still get adequate nutrients.

Vitamin B12

Finally, string cheese contains vitamin B12. Vitamin B12 helps with energy levels and focus, which can help with workouts. Getting B12 is also important on vegetarian and vegan diets.

Lactose and Cholesterol

On the negative side, string cheese contains lactose, cholesterol, and sodium. Those with dairy sensitivities or on low-sodium diets should take note.

Benefits of String Cheese for Weight Loss

Based on its nutrition facts, here are some of the possible benefits of adding string cheese to a diet for weight loss:

Convenient, Portable Snack

One of the best things about string cheese for weight loss is its convenience. Individually wrapped sticks are perfectly portioned. String cheese is self-contained, doesn’t require refrigeration, and is very portable. It requires no prep or cleanup. This makes it an easy grab-and-go snack at home, work, or on the go. Convenience can help with sticking to a diet plan.

Provides Satiety

The protein in string cheese will help you feel fuller longer after eating it. Protein is one of the most satiating nutrients. This can prevent overeating at later meals and decrease excessive snacking. Protein takes longer to digest, so string cheese can also help manage hunger between meals.

Low in Carbs

String cheese contains almost no carbohydrates, with less than 1 gram per stick. This makes it suitable for low-carb or keto diets that restrict carb intake for weight loss. Even if you are not on a special diet, limiting carb-heavy snacks can help manage blood sugar and hunger levels.

Naturally Low in Sugar

With no added sugar and lactose as its only natural sugar, string cheese is low in sugar too. Limiting sugar intake from snacks is important for blood sugar control and reducing empty calories.

Good Source of Calcium

The calcium in string cheese is another advantage for dieting. Getting enough calcium ensures your body is not leaching it from bones to keep blood calcium levels normal. Maintaining strong bones is especially important when cutting calories.

Potential Downsides of String Cheese for Weight Loss

However, there are also some potential downsides of relying too heavily on string cheese when trying to lose weight:

High in Calories and Fat for the Size

While convenient, string cheese is very energy dense for its small size. Just one stick packs 80 calories and 8 grams of fat. It would be easy to overdo your calories and saturated fat without feeling very full or satiated. One must be mindful of portion sizes.

High in Sodium

String cheese is high in sodium, with 180mg per stick. Too much sodium can lead to fluid retention. Those with high blood pressure or on a doctor-prescribed low-sodium diet should use caution.

Low in Fiber

With less than 1 gram of fiber per stick, string cheese lacks the fiber content of many other healthy snacks. Getting enough fiber promotes fullness and healthy digestion.

Lacks Essential Nutrients

On its own, string cheese is not a great source of important micronutrients and antioxidants like vitamins A, C, E and polyphenols. While convenient, relying solely on string cheese would create nutritional deficiencies.

Processed Snack Food

String cheese is a highly processed food, often with additives and preservatives. It is not a natural, whole food. For health, it’s ideal to focus on mostly unprocessed snacks.

Ideal Portion Size and Frequency

To incorporate string cheese healthfully into a weight loss diet, be mindful of portion size and how often you eat it. Here are some guidelines:

Stick to 1-2 Sticks Per Sitting

One or two sticks of string cheese make a sensible snack portion. This provides 80-160 calories and 7-14 grams of protein. More than that may be excessive. Measure portions instead of eating straight from the package.

Aim for 2-4 Times Per Week

Making string cheese an occasional snack 2-4 times per week is better than having it daily. Use it in rotation with other healthy snacks like fruit, veggies and nuts. Variety ensures you get an array of nutrients.

Avoid Eating Right Before Meals

It’s best to avoid string cheese right before main meals. You want to come to meals feeling lightly hungry, not already full or satiated. Snack at least an hour before meals.

Pair with Fruit or Veggies

For more nutrition and fiber, pair string cheese with raw veggies, fruit, or whole grain crackers. Combining it with something fibrous can balance out the texture and nutrition.

Measure and Track Your Portions

Tracking your string cheese servings can help ensure you stick to the recommended 1-2 stick portion. Overdoing high-fat foods is easy without awareness.

Healthier Alternatives to String Cheese

For more nutrition, you can swap string cheese for some healthier snack options including:

Greek Yogurt

Plain Greek yogurt has a similar protein content to string cheese but more calcium and less fat. It also offers probiotics for gut health. Add fruit for more nutrients.

Cottage Cheese

Cottage cheese provides protein, calcium and a texture similar to string cheese without the high fat and sodium. Have it on its own or with fruit.


Shelled edamame makes for an excellent high-protein, high-fiber snack that is plant-based. You can season them however you like.

Nut Butter Toast

Nut butter on whole grain toast offers filling protein, healthy fats and fiber. Opt for natural nut butters without added sugars.

Chickpea Snack Packs

Chickpea snacks like roasted chickpeas or crunchy chickpea snacks offer plant-based protein and fiber.

Lower-Fat Cheese Slices

Cheeses like part-skim mozzarella or Swiss provide protein with less fat than string cheese. Have them with crackers or an apple.

Healthy Eating Tips for Weight Loss

Here are some other evidence-based healthy eating tips to support weight loss beyond just string cheese:

Focus on Whole, Minimally Processed Foods

Eat mostly whole foods like fruits, vegetables, beans, lentils, whole grains, nuts, seeds and lean proteins. Limit processed items like snacks, sweets and refined grains.

Read Labels and Watch Portion Sizes

Be aware of calories, fat, added sugars and sodium by reading labels. Follow suggested portion sizes or use measuring cups and scales.

Eat More Fiber and Protein

Aim for at least 25-30 grams of fiber daily from foods like vegetables, fruits, beans and whole grains. Get protein at each meal from foods like dairy, eggs, seafood, poultry, legumes and nuts.

Hydrate with Water

Drink water instead of high-calorie beverages. Proper hydration supports metabolism and reduces overeating caused by confusing thirst with hunger.

Manage Stress

Find ways to manage stress rather than emotional eating. Stress and lack of sleep raise cortisol which can drive weight gain.

Get Plenty of Sleep

Aim for 7-9 hours of quality sleep each night. Lack of sufficient sleep alters hormones that control appetite and metabolism.

Track Calories In vs. Calories Out

Burn more calories through activity than you consume from food to create a calorie deficit required for weight loss. Tracking can help with awareness.

Move Your Body

Do both cardiovascular exercise like brisk walking and strength training to build metabolism-boosting muscle and burn calories.

Sample Meal Plan Including String Cheese

Here is a sample one day meal plan incorporating string cheese as a snack option within a healthy, balanced, reduced-calorie diet for weight loss:


– 1 cup Greek yogurt
– 1/2 cup blueberries
– 2 tablespoons slivered almonds
– 1 cup brewed green tea

Morning Snack

– 1 stick part-skim mozzarella string cheese
– 1 small apple


– Tuna salad sandwich on whole grain bread: 3 oz tuna, 2 Tbsp light mayo, lettuce, tomato
– Carrot sticks
– 1 cup vegetable soup

Afternoon Snack

– 1 stick part-skim mozzarella string cheese
– 12 whole grain crackers


– 3 oz baked salmon
– 1 cup roasted Brussels sprouts
– 1/2 cup brown rice
– Salad with 2 cups greens, 1/4 cup chickpeas, 1 Tbsp olive oil vinaigrette


– 1 cup sliced strawberries
– 2 squares 70% dark chocolate


String cheese can be included as part of a healthy diet geared towards weight loss. One or two sticks makes a nutritious, convenient snack that provides protein, calcium and other nutrients. However, string cheese is high in fat and calories for its small size. Eating too much could lead to excess calorie intake. Portion control is key. For the best nutrition and weight loss results, string cheese is best eaten in moderation along with a variety of other healthy, whole food choices like fruits, vegetables, fiber-rich grains and lean proteins. An overall balanced, calorie-controlled diet that gives your body the right fuel and nutrients is the healthiest approach for sustainable weight loss over time.

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