Feta and goat cheese might be two common alternatives to traditional cheddar and mozzarella, but the similarities between the two are few and far between. Feta, a staple in Mediterranean cuisine, is made from sheep's milk and features a salty taste and a crumbly texture.
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On the other hand, goat cheese is made from — you might have guessed it — goat's milk and is creamy and tangy. Nutritionally speaking, though, goat cheese and feta are rather similar.
A serving of feta and goat cheese aren't just similar, they're downright identical. Each provides 75 calories per one-ounce cut, according to LIVESTRONG's food database MyPlate. However, not too many people stop at just one ounce of the good stuff.
Consuming more calories than you expend every day can lead to weight gain. To limit your calorie intake when consuming cheese, monitor your serving sizes and eat your cheese with lower-calorie foods. Try a watermelon and feta salad or roasted eggplant topped with goat cheese.
A Look at Fat
Again, the amount of fat in feta and goat cheese ring the same. An ounce of feta cheese contains 6 grams of fat, including 4.2 grams of saturated fat, while an ounce of soft goat cheese has 6 grams of total fat and 4.1 grams of saturated fat.
Cheese is one of the main dietary sources of saturated fat, which raises levels of unhealthy LDL cholesterol in your blood and can increase your risk for heart disease.
You should get no more than 10 percent of your total daily calories from saturated fat, which is 22 grams of saturated fat on a 2,000-calorie diet. Have your feta cheese with low-fat foods, such as lean ground turkey, or pair your goat cheese with healthy fats, such as walnuts.
Read more: Is Feta Cheese Healthy?
A Note About Sodium
The sodium content of feta and goat cheese are where there's a slight difference. Feta cheese has 260 milligrams of sodium in a 1-ounce serving, while an ounce of soft goat cheese has 130 milligrams of sodium. Too much sodium in your diet can lead to high blood pressure and an increased risk for heart disease, kidney disease and stroke.
Healthy adults should limit daily intake of sodium to a maximum of 2,300 milligrams; certain groups should limit their daily intake to 1,500 milligrams. To limit your sodium intake when you have feta or goat cheese, eat your cheese with low-sodium foods, such as cherry tomatoes with goat cheese, or feta in a salad with romaine lettuce and grapes.
Getting Your Minerals
If you need a calcium boost, feta's your pick. An ounce of feta cheese has 140 milligrams of calcium, or 14 percent of the daily value for calcium. An ounce of soft goat cheese has only 40 milligrams. Calcium is an essential nutrient for building and maintaining strong bones and reducing the risk of osteoporosis and bone fractures.
On the other hand, goat cheese has more than double the amount of vitamin A than feta. The former contains 293 IUs, while the latter has just 120 IUs.
More About MyPlate
The free LIVESTRONG MyPlate calorie tracker app for iPhone and Android has helped millions of people lose weight the healthy way — by getting support from an active community as they track their eating and exercise. Consistently a top-rated app, MyPlate offers the latest technology in an easy-to-use tool that includes millions of foods and recipes, 5-minute in-app workouts and a robust support community.
- Dairy Research and Information Center, UC Davis: General Characteristics of Goat Cheeses
- USDA National Nutrient Database: Basic Report: 01019, Cheese, feta
- Food and Drug Administration: Guidance for Industry: A Food Labeling Guide (14. Appendix F: Calculate the Percent Daily Value for the Appropriate Nutrients)
- Linus Pauling Institute: Calcium
- University of North Carolina: Milk Intolerance vs. Milk Allergy
- USDA National Nutrient Database: Basic Report: 01159, Cheese, goat, soft type
- 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans