Are Cheese Sticks Healthy?

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High quality cheese sticks are not a processed cheese food, but the real thing. Made from mozzarella cheese, individual sticks can be peeled into long stringy fibers, which make them fun to eat. Found in the cheese case of your grocery, you can eat them plain, or bread and deep fry them.

Considerations

Whether a food is healthy is determined by looking at the food's macronutrients, micronutrients and health status of the individual. Macronutrients include proteins, carbohydrates, fats and other large molecules. Micronutrients include minerals, vitamins and other small molecules. Other considerations include the health status of the individual and the totality of his diet. While cheese sticks are healthy for some people, they not necessarily healthy for everyone.

Calories and Fat

One cheese stick has 80 calories and 6 g of fat. Four of these fat grams are from saturated fats. While these numbers suggest that an occasional cheese stick won't put pounds on someone who is already a healthy weight, this food might not be the wisest choice for people who are trying to lose weight, or those who are keeping a close eye on their saturated fats. The American Heart Association recommends that saturated fats should not exceed 7 percent of your total daily calories. This is equivalent to approximately 16 g of saturated fat per day, based on a 2,000-calorie diet.

Protein

One cheese stick provides 7 g of protein. The USDA recommends that people consume 0.8 g of protein for every kg body weight. This means that a 140 lb. woman needs roughly 51 g of protein per day. One cheese stick provides almost 14 percent of this recommended amount.

Vitamins and Minerals

While one cheese stick provides no iron or vitamin C, it does provide 4 percent daily value of vitamin A and 15 percent daily value of calcium. Calcium is particularly important for women because it helps prevent the loss of bone density that leads to osteoporosis. if you are female, this is an important consideration, particularly as you get older.

Preparation

Many restaurants serve deep fried mozzarella cheese sticks as an appetizer. Most recipes call for the cheese to be dipped in panko crumbs, fried until crispy and served with a small dish of seasoned tomato sauce. This preparation is unhealthy for almost everyone because it adds additional fat to a dish that is already high in fat.

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