One of the most popular cheeses worldwide, gouda cheese tastes great. People use gouda cheese in many ways, such as topping it on sandwiches and crackers and melting it in pasta. You can also choose from different types of gouda cheese depending on your taste preference. But is gouda cheese healthy?
What is Gouda Cheese?
Gouda cheese originally came from the Netherlands but is now being produced in many countries. To manufacture gouda, cheesemakers use cow’s milk. When it comes to gouda’s taste, people describe it as mild, buttery, and slightly sweet — although the flavor can vary from one gouda to another based on its age and other ingredients added to the cheese, such as black truffles and fenugreek seeds.
Types of Gouda Cheese
Dutch people classify gouda according to its age of maturity. As a general rule, the younger the gouda cheese, the milder the flavor. In contrast, goudas that have been aged for years have deeper flavors.
- Young or new gouda – 4 weeks
- Matured gouda – 16 to 18 weeks
- Old gouda – 10 to 12 months
- Very aged gouda – more than 12 months
Additionally, gouda may come in different varieties, which affects its flavor. Gouda cheese can be flavored with anything, such as bacon bits, fenugreek seeds, truffles, and cumin.
Is Gouda Cheese Healthy?
Like other foods in the dairy food group, gouda cheese offers plenty of health benefits because of its nutrients and the fact that it’s low in carbs and rich in protein. If you’re someone who loves cheese, you’ll be glad to know that gouda helps with weight loss, immune function, and more.
Gouda Cheese Nutrition Facts
Before we dive into the specific health benefits of gouda, here are important gouda cheese nutrition facts:
Carbs in Gouda Cheese
Fats in Gouda Cheese
A 1-ounce serving of gouda cheese provides 7.8 grams of fat [*]. This includes 5 grams of saturated fatty acids, which are a great source of energy. Consuming saturated fat as part of a low-carbohydrate diet can offer protection against type 2 diabetes and metabolic disease [*].
Protein in Gouda Cheese
A 1-ounce serving of gouda cheese provides 7.06 grams of protein [*]. If you’re looking for the best cheese snacks, gouda can help meet your protein intake. Eating a high-protein snack will effectively curb hunger and keep you full until your next meal time.
Calories in Gouda Cheese
Gouda cheese has a high number of calories due to its fat content. A 1-ounce serving provides 101 calories [*]. While gouda can aid weight loss, it’s still important to remember that consuming more calories than your body needs may contribute to weight gain.
Vitamins and Minerals in Gouda Cheese
A 1-ounce serving of gouda cheese provides the following vitamins and minerals [*]:
- 198 milligrams of calcium
- 0.068 milligrams of iron
- 8.22 milligrams of magnesium
- 155 milligrams of phosphorus
- 34.3 milligrams of potassium
Health Benefits of Gouda Cheese
If you enjoy gouda cheese a lot and would like to include it in your eating plan, the good news is, gouda is a healthy option. Check out gouda cheese benefits below:
Is gouda cheese good for weight loss? Since gouda is very low in carbohydrates, it helps deplete your stored glycogen, which stimulates fat-burning [*]. A 2019 study noted that whole-fat dairy foods do not contribute to weight gain and that they help boost lean body mass or fat-free mass [*].
Gouda’s rich nutrient profile makes it beneficial for bone health. It’s particularly high in calcium, which increases bone density and reduces your risk of fractures [*]. People need to get at least 700 milligrams of calcium from their diet. 1 ounce of gouda cheese already provides 198 milligrams of calcium [*][*].
A source of probiotics
One of the best reasons cheese may be good for you is because they contain probiotics. Gouda cheese, along with others like cheddar and edam, is a good source of probiotics. These are live microorganisms that offer health benefits, such as [*]:
- Boosting your immune system
- Improving intestinal health
- Lowering your risk for some cancers
Muscle protein synthesis
A 2022 study found that eating cheese increases muscle protein synthesis at rest and during recovery from exercise [*]. Gouda cheese is an excellent source of protein, and consuming it helps preserve and build muscle, especially when combining it with resistance training [*].
Fends off diabetes
Is gouda cheese good for you if you’re at risk for diabetes? The answer is yes — gouda cheese can be part of a diet that maintains blood sugar balance since it contains nearly zero carbohydrates. It also has a low glycemic index, meaning that it releases glucose slowly.
May help prevent heart disease
Vitamin K2 or menaquinone is found in animal foods, such as egg yolks, butter, and cheese. Research shows that 13-week-old gouda cheeses have higher vitamin K2 content than very young gouda cheeses [*]. Getting this important vitamin can reduce arterial stiffness and slows the progression of plaque development [*].
Allergies and Side Effects
Since gouda isn’t dairy-free, people who are allergic to cow’s milk may experience symptoms like stomach pain, diarrhea, itching, hives, nausea, and vomiting [*]. Therefore, it’s best for people to avoid getting these reactions by not eating milk products (such as cheese) in the first place.
Below are common questions and answers on gouda cheese and its impact on your health:
Is gouda better than cheddar cheese?
This depends on your goals. For instance, if you’re prioritizing protein, gouda cheese offers slightly more protein (7 grams per 1 ounce serving) than cheddar cheese (6 grams per 1 ounce serving).
When it comes to taste, cheddar can be better for you if you prefer something sharper and tangier. As for whether cheddar is keto-friendly, the answer is yes. Cheddar and gouda are equally low in carbs and both options are great for those controlling their carb intake.
Is gouda cheese natural or processed?
Gouda is a natural cheese that’s made from fresh milk and bacteria. Note that cheese can also be “processed” if it contains plenty of other ingredients, such as vegetable oils and butter oil [*].
Should gouda cheese be refrigerated?
Refrigeration is necessary for gouda to maximize its freshness. To do that, wrap gouda cheese in cheese paper or parchment paper. This will also prevent gouda from absorbing odors from other foods in your fridge.
Is gouda cheese okay for diabetics?
Yes, gouda is perfectly fine for people with diabetes. In fact, you can eat gouda to help control your blood sugar levels — thanks to its high protein and low carbohydrate content.
Is gouda cheese hard to digest?
Cheeses with low levels of lactose include gouda. This means that gouda cheese is easier to digest compared with feta cheese and ricotta, which contain more lactose.
Is gouda cheese good for weight loss?
Yes. Any food that contains little to no carbohydrates supports weight loss. This includes gouda and other natural cheeses.
In the context of a low-carb diet for weight loss, it’s important to remember that the amount of cheese you eat also matters. That said, eating too much cheese may cause weight loss stalls.
The Bottom Line
If you want to improve your health, choose gouda. Whether young or very aged gouda, this cheese has plenty to offer! Not only does it help you lose weight, but it keeps your blood sugar and gut health in check, among other benefits.
Snack on gouda before bedtime to help you sleep, mix it with nuts, or use it to make any recipe taste even better. Why not try our gouda cheese bites at Käze? We’ve created them in such a way that they end up crunchy and portable.