Americans consume a lot of mozzarella -- more than11 pounds per person annually, according to the International Dairy Foods Association. Mozzarella is either fresh or aged, but cookbook author and chef Sara Moulton says they cannot be used interchangeably because the properties and textures differ. They also differ nutritionally: Aged mozzarella comes in low- and nonfat varieties, whereas fresh mozzarella is prepared from whole milk. The U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends low- and nonfat dairy products instead of full-fat items, so consume fresh mozzarella only occasionally and in moderation.
High in Fat
A typical 1-ounce serving of fresh mozzarella contains 4.5 grams of total fat, with approximately 3 grams supplied by saturated fat. The American Heart Association states that an individual on a 2,000-calorie diet should have 15 grams or less of saturated fat each day; eating an ounce of fresh mozzarella would provide 20 percent of this recommendation. Fresh mozzarella is also high in cholesterol with 15 milligrams per ounce, or 5 percent of the amount a healthy adult should limit himself to daily.
Rich in Protein
While fresh mozzarella contains only a trace amount of carbohydrates and is not a good source of most vitamins, it is rich in protein -- each ounce provides about 5 grams. For a man, this amount is nearly 9 percent of his required daily intake of protein; for a woman, it fulfills almost 11 percent of her requirement per day. It's better to obtain more of your protein from seafood, poultry or plant-based foods and fewer from animal products like whole-milk dairy, states the Harvard School of Public Health.
Dense with Calcium
Healthy adults need 3 servings of calcium-rich foods each day, advises the USDA, and fresh mozzarella is one way to reach this requirement. Men and women need 1,000 milligrams of calcium daily, and an ounce of fresh mozzarella fulfills 10 percent of this amount with 100 milligrams per serving. Your body needs adequate vitamin D in order to use calcium properly. Unlike many other dairy products such as milk, fresh mozzarella is not fortified with vitamin D. Be sure to include plenty of vitamin D-rich foods in your diet: Fortified foods and fatty fish like salmon or herring are good choices.
Potentially High in Sodium
If you're on a sodium-restricted diet, you may need to limit your intake of fresh mozzarella. Salt is one of the ingredients used in making mozzarella, and a 1-ounce serving may contain as much as 130 milligrams of sodium. For a person limiting herself to 1,500 milligrams of sodium per day, this would supply nearly 9 percent. Choose low-sodium brands of fresh mozzarella whenever possible, which contain approximately 50 milligrams of sodium per ounce.
- Lioni Mozzarella: Nutrition Facts
- International Dairy Foods Association: Cheese Sales & Trends
- San Jose Mercury News: Taste-Off - The Best Fresh Mozzarella
- Sara Moulton: Cheese - Fresh or Processed Mozzarella?
- Food.com: Kitchen Dictionary - Mozzarella
- ChooseMyPlate.gov: Dairy - What Foods are Included in the Dairy Group?
- American Heart Association: Know Your Fats
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Protein
- Harvard School of Public Health: Protein
- Sorrento: Fresh Mozzarella
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Vitamin A (Retinol)
- ChooseMyPlate.gov: Dairy - How Much Food From the Dairy Group Is Needed Daily?
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Calcium
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Where's the Sodium? There's Too Much in Many Common Foods
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Vitamin D