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Home arrow Nutrition arrow Healthy Eating arrow The Nutritional Breakdown of Gouda Cheese: Is It a Healthy Choice?

The Nutritional Breakdown of Gouda Cheese: Is It a Healthy Choice?

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Written by Edibel Quintero, RD
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Fact checked by Rosmy Barrios, MD
Last update: September 13, 2023
8 min read 1030 Views 0 Comments
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Gouda cheese is a popular food among cheese lovers, but is it actually healthy? Learning about nutrition facts can help you determine whether it’s suitable for your diet. We explain the health benefits and potential downsides of consuming Gouda cheese.

is gouda cheese healthy

Gouda is a sweet and creamy cheese made from cow’s milk. 

People love eating it with dried fruit and crackers. There are many food combinations you can try, but it’s worth learning about the nutritional profile before you buy some. 

Cheese naturally holds plenty of vitamins and minerals. Selenium is there to boost your immune system, while calcium strengthens bones and teeth. All of this is true for Gouda, except there are other hidden ingredients to be aware of on a diet, like saturated fat and sodium. 

Just keep reading to determine whether Gouda cheese is actually healthy.

Is Gouda Cheese Healthy?

Gouda cheese is only healthy when eaten in moderation. There are plenty of vitamins and minerals in this cheese, but the fat content is still high. Eating too much fat can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and high blood pressure.

People on a diet might compare the best cheeses for their health. Gouda could be on that list since it contains high-quality protein and has a sweet but nutty flavor. One thing to remember about Gouda cheese is that it holds many bad ingredients derived from whole cow’s milk.

One study found that consuming dairy fat increases your cholesterol. Too much LDL “bad” cholesterol clogs your arteries and damages the heart. Of course, this is only true when people eat saturated fat excessively, but it’s something to be aware of when buying Gouda cheese. 

On the other hand, Gouda cheese holds nutrients like calcium, protein, vitamin B12, and phosphorus. Protein is essential for building muscle, and phosphorus supports the normal growth and development of bones, which is great for people who want to get strong. 

You don’t need to avoid Gouda cheese but just consume it moderately. Aim to have one ounce of Gouda with fresh fruit or cooked vegetables. If you want to reduce how much fat you eat, find vegan smoked Gouda recipes that are made with coconut milk and dairy-free flavorings. 

5 Health Benefits of Gouda Cheese

People can agree that most cheeses are great for your health. They are both delicious and nutrient-dense, making them perfect for anyone’s diet. Learning about the potential benefits of Gouda cheese can help you determine whether it’s worth buying during your weekly shopping.

Here are some health benefits of eating Gouda cheese: 

#1 Good for bone health

Calcium is one of the most prominent nutrients in Gouda cheese. This mineral maintains strong bone health by supporting your skeletal strength and structure. You also need calcium to prevent medical conditions like osteoporosis, fibrous dysplasia, rheumatoid arthritis, and gout.

#2 Can support digestion 

Gouda contains minimal carbohydrates, meaning it has a small amount of lactose. People who are lactose intolerant can enjoy it moderately without the fear of painful constipation. Just remember to monitor how much you have to avoid stomach cramps and bloating. 

#3 Strengthens muscles 

The high protein content in Gouda will support muscle growth. Protein has amino acids that repair and maintain muscle tissue after strength training exercises. Not getting enough of this nutrient might slow down your progress, so it’s important to get more on your current diet. 

#4 Suits many diets 

Gouda cheese can suit a range of dietary preferences. One of these includes the ketogenic diet due to the low number of carbohydrates. Reducing how many carbs you eat pushes your body into ketosis – a metabolic state that burns hidden fat for energy instead of glycogen stores. 

#5 Prevents oxidative stress

Just eating one ounce of Gouda is enough to fuel your body with antioxidants. These natural molecules support strong immune function and prevent oxidative stress. Gouda is essentially an antioxidant-promoting food that stops free radicals from damaging cells in your body. 

3 Possible Downsides of Gouda Cheese 

Gouda cheese might taste delicious, but it won’t do your body any good when eaten in large amounts. You need to be aware of the saturated fat, sugar, and calorie content beforehand. Remember that certain processed cheese can quickly exceed your daily sodium intake. 

Below are the potential downsides of consuming this cheese: 

#1 May cause high blood pressure

Gouda cheese contains a huge amount of sodium. This mineral may cause blood pressure spikes because it retains excess water in your bloodstream. It’s recommended that people get no more than 2.300mg of sodium a day to avoid heart conditions in the future. 

#2 Contributes to weight gain

The saturated fat in Gouda cheese is a contributing factor to weight gain. Your body has no choice but to store this stubborn fat around your face, stomach, legs, and arms. If you want to lose weight, opt for more foods like pork tenderloin, feta cheese, chicken, and sea bass

#3 Could trigger potential migraines 

Gouda contains tyramine – a natural substance that presents itself when the proteins in cheese start breaking down. One study found that tyramine can trigger migraines in some people. This is because it stimulates nerve cells that encourage norepinephrine to increase blood pressure. 

Nutrition Facts of Gouda Cheese

You should learn more about Gouda cheese before buying it at the grocery store. People who want to lose stubborn weight or build a nutrient-dense diet should be aware of the ingredients.

Here is the nutritional information for 100g of Gouda cheese

Nutritional value per 100g

Gouda
Dairy
Is gouda keto-friendly
Keto Friendly
Key nutritional facts (per 100g):
Net carbs
2.22g
Total carbs
2.22g
Fats
27.4g
Protein
24.9g
Calories
356
Glycemic Index
27
Fiber
Sugars
2.22g

Source: https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/171241/nutrients 

High in calories 

Gouda cheese is a high-calorie food that won’t support weight loss. Consuming this cheese might slow down your results and even contribute to fat gain. Remember to monitor your daily calorie intake and aim to have 50g of Gouda if you wish to maintain a calorie deficit. 

High in proteins 

Protein is one of the best nutrients for losing weight and building muscle. You need at least 50–80g of it a day to keep your energy levels high. Fortunately, Gouda cheese is a high-protein food, so you can enjoy it with other nutritious foods like chicken or lean beef. 

High in fats 

This cheese contains lots of saturated fats that are bad for your health. Eating too much could increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and weight gain. Instead, reduce how much cheese you have when following a diet to prevent future health complications. 

Low in carbs 

People on the ketogenic diet can enjoy this type of cheese. Of course, you should still be aware of the calories, but eating fewer carbohydrates pushes your body into ketosis. This metabolic state encourages the body to burn stored fat and not glucose, leading to more weight loss. 

Rich in vitamins and minerals 

Getting more vitamins and minerals provides many health benefits. Gouda cheese contains vitamin B12, calcium, phosphorus, zinc, magnesium, and copper. One great thing about B12 is that it supports bone health and increases your energy during the day.

Gouda Cheese vs. Edam Cheese

Here is a comparison between Gouda cheese and edam cheese: 

ProductGouda cheeseEdam cheese
BenefitsGouda cheese is a high-calcium food that helps maintain bones and teeth

Contains other important minerals like phosphorus, vitamin B12, and selenium 
Edam cheese is a good source of protein for those who are growing their muscle mass

Some other nutrients comprise copper, manganese, iron, magnesium, and phosphorus 
ProsGood for your bones

Can support digestion

High protein content

Prevents cell damage

Low in carbohydrates

Suitable for the keto diet 
Good for the metabolism

High protein content

Supports brain function

Strong bones and joints

Source of potassium

Provides energy

Doesn’t have sugars 
Cons High cholesterol food

Can cause high blood pressure

Not good for weight loss

May trigger headaches 
High in sodium

May cause bloating

Contains lots of calories

Possible weight gain 

Healthy/Homemade Gouda Cheese Recipe 

You can make a healthy Gouda cheese recipe at home using natural ingredients. The intense flavor can compliment any vegetable that you decide to pair with the cheese. 

Here is the recipe for a Gouda cheese cauliflower bake: 

Ingredients

  • 1 cauliflower head, cut into pieces 
  • 1½ cup Gouda cheese, grated
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 1 green onion, chopped
  • 1¾ cup whole milk
  • 1 tsp mustard
  • Salt 
  • Pepper 

Directions 

  1. Preheat the oven to around 350ºF.
  2. Boil the cauliflower for 3 minutes until tender or soft. 
  3. Drain those cauliflower pieces and set them aside for a moment.
  4. In a frying pan over medium heat, melt the 2 tablespoons of butter and slowly stir in the flour. Cook this mixture for around 1 minute. 
  5. Slowly add the whole milk and whisk until it becomes thick. This should only take 4–5 minutes. 
  6. During this time, season it with your desired amount of pepper, salt, and mustard.
  7. Next, pour in the grated cheese and wait for it to melt. 
  8. Put the cauliflower pieces in a baking dish and pour the cooked sauce on top.
  9. You can also add more freshly grated Gouda cheese if you wish. 
  10. Bake that for 40–45 minutes. 
  11. Before serving this meal, stir the baked mixture for a good 30 seconds.
  12. Simply add the green onion as a garnish and serve it to family and friends.

Check out some nutrition apps if you want to learn more about healthy recipes. You can discover a range of meal plans that suit your dietary preferences and goals. Just remember to follow recipes that are low in calories and fats but high in important vitamins and minerals. 

FAQs 

Is Gouda cheese fattening?

Yes, Gouda cheese can be fattening when you eat too much on your diet. This is because it contains a high number of calories and saturated fats. Of course, there are still health benefits, but people following a weight loss plan should eat cottage cheese or string cheese instead.

Can Gouda cheese be made dairy-free?

People can eat vegan smoked Gouda cheese to avoid dairy ingredients. It is made with coconut milk, hot water, garlic powder, and nutritional yeast. If you’re on a vegan diet but still want to eat Gouda cheese, opt for this vegan-friendly version that contains fewer calories and saturated fats.

Is Gouda cheese good or bad for weight loss?

Gouda cheese is not the best option for your weight loss journey. The high saturated fat content could slow down your results and even boost fat production in the body. You can still enjoy cheese while losing weight, so stick to cottage cheese, feta, ricotta, parmesan, or blue cheese.

Is Gouda cheese good for diabetes?

Those with diabetes can eat Gouda cheese in moderation. Studies prove that foods with a high fat content increase the risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Some of the best cheeses for diabetes management comprise goat cheese, cheddar, feta, mozzarella, and cream cheese.

A Word from a Nutritionist

Gouda cheese contains high-quality protein and essential amino acids for normal growth and development. There are many minerals that contribute to your long-term health. This might sound great, but foods high in calories and fats should be eaten moderately on a diet.

Aim to have one ounce of Dutch Gouda to stay healthy. Just remember that it is made with cow’s milk and other ingredients like sodium and cornstarch. Those who are more aware of their daily macro intake can reduce how much fat they have and even lose weight on a balanced diet.

You can pair Gouda cheese with other healthy foods like pumpernickel bread or fresh apple slices. People who are building muscle can also add it to high-protein meals. Some great meal ideas include cheese-grilled chicken or a low-carb stir fry containing cooked vegetables.

Conclusion

Gouda cheese can be healthy in moderation, but you have to be aware of the calorie and saturated fat content. Too much fat may increase the risk of heart disease and weight gain. However, the vitamins and minerals will definitely strengthen your bones and muscles.

Written by Edibel Quintero, RD
Edibel Quintero is a medical doctor who graduated in 2013 from the University of Zulia and has been working in her profession since then. She specializes in obesity and nutrition, physical rehabilitation, sports massage and post-operative rehabilitation. Edibel’s goal is to help people live healthier lives by educating them about food, exercise, mental wellness and other lifestyle choices that can improve their quality of life.
The article was fact checked by Rosmy Barrios, MD
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HR_author_photo_Edibel
Written by Edibel Quintero, RD
HR_author_photo_Rosmy
Fact checked by Rosmy Barrios, MD
Last update: September 13, 2023
8 min read 1030 Views 0 Comments
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