Gorgonzola Cheese Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits

gorgonzola cheese

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When people think of cheese, the word nutritious may not be the first thing that comes to mind. Truth is, though, all cheeses including gorgonzola, have a myriad of health benefits and can be a part of a nutritious meal plan.

Gorgonzola cheese is a type of blue cheese originating in the town of Gorgonzola in northern Italy. Its blue veins are reminiscent of marble and are the result of bacterial growth during the aging process. Its texture can either be creamy or crumbly and the longer it ages the more of a tangy bite you will experience at the end.

Though cheese sometimes gets a bad rap for its fat content, it is the fat that provides the majority of the health benefits found in gorgonzola. And because this cheese contains 100% cow’s milk, it is chock full of essential minerals, including calcium and vitamin D.

Gorgonzola Cheese Nutrition Facts

The following nutrition data for 1-ounce of gorgonzola cheese is provided by the USDA.

  • Calories: 100
  • Fat: 8.14g
  • Sodium: 326mg
  • Carbohydrates: 0g
  • Fiber: 0g
  • Sugars: 0g
  • Protein: 6g

Carbs

Gorgonzola cheese does not have any carbohydrates.

Fats

A 1-ounce serving of Gorgonzola cheese has 8.14 grams of total fat. Of those 8 grams, less than 1 gram is coming from polyunsaturated fatty acids, and 2.21 grams are coming from monounsaturated fats. That leaves just over 5 grams of saturated fats per 1-ounce serving. Saturated fats should make up about 10% of your total daily fat intake.

Protein

Gorgonzola cheese has 6 grams of protein in a 1-ounce serving.

Vitamins and Minerals

Dairy foods are excellent sources of vitamin D and calcium. Gorgonzola cheese also has notable amounts of essential vitamins and minerals including phosphorous, potassium, magnesium, selenium, folate, and vitamin A.

Vitamin D and K play a role in the absorption of calcium and are important for bone and cardiovascular health. Meanwhile, phosphorous is responsible for several body functions including how the body processes sugar and carbohydrates, as well as synthesizes protein.

Calories

Gorgonzola cheese is a nutrient-dense food and contains 100 calories per 1-ounce portion. That means the portion size is small in comparison to the number of calories provided. Fat makes up about 72% of the calories, and protein makes up the remaining.

Health Benefits

Gorgonzola cheese offers several health benefits, primarily due to its protein, fat, vitamin, and mineral content. Here is an overview of the potential health benefits of gorgonzola cheese.

Supports Bone Health

Dairy products, including gorgonzola cheese, are notable for their calcium content. Calcium is an essential mineral that is responsible for the density and strength of bones. If there’s not enough calcium in our diet, the body will take calcium from bones making them weak and more susceptible to fractures.

Most people get enough calcium from calcium-rich foods. But if they’re lacking vitamin D, it could be going to waste. While calcium is great, it is only beneficial if vitamin D is present (vitamin D is required for calcium absorption). Inadequate vitamin D that leads to decreased absorption will later lead to brittle bones. Unfortunately, gorgonzola contains less than 1% of the recommended vitamin D intake per day. Consider pairing gorgonzola with mushroom, eggs, or beef. A positive is that gorgonzola contains 12% of your daily calcium needs.

Suitable Plant-Based Protein Source

Hitting protein requirements can be challenging for those on a vegetarian-style diet. Incorporating dairy products is an easy way to increase daily protein intake. A 1-ounce portion of gorgonzola cheese contains 6 grams of protein, coming from high-quality milk proteins. Milk proteins (casein and whey) contain all nine essential amino acids, which cannot be produced by the body and must be in the diet.

Helps with Vitamin Absorption

Fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K require dietary fat for optimal transport and absorption in the body. Without sufficient fat in your diet, you could be at risk for a fat-soluble vitamin deficiency. It is possible that adding gorgonzola to your meal plan could help with the absorption of essential vitamins.

Promotes Heart Health

Penicillium roqueforti is the fungi responsible for gorgonzola’s blue veining and flavor. Scientists hypothesize that penicillium roqueforti’s ability to prevent cholesterol formation is favorable for cardiovascular health and contributes to the “French Paradox.” This phenomenon is an observation of low coronary heart disease death rates despite intake of dietary cholesterol and saturated fat.

In 2017 a review of 15 prospective studies observing people who consumed cheese for at least 10 years showed an inverse relationship with cardiovascular disease.

Allergies

If you are a lactose-intolerant cheese lover, you may be excited to learn that gorgonzola cheese is shown to be virtually lactose-free. Plus, Gorgonzola cheese is naturally gluten-free, making it a great option for those on a gluten-free diet. As always, be sure to read the label on whatever product you buy because ingredients and manufacturing facilities may vary.

That said, if you have a milk allergy, you will not be able to eat gorgonzola cheese unless you find a dairy-free option. If you suspect you have a milk allergy, see a healthcare provider. They can perform a blood test or a skin test to determine if you have a true milk allergy.

Adverse Effects

Gorgonzola cheese is high in potassium, phosphorus, and sodium. If you have kidney disease, consult a kidney specialist before eating high potassium and phosphorus foods. Meanwhile, those with high blood pressure should choose lower sodium options. Or if plan to consume this cheese consider that your overall daily sodium intake should be less than 1,500 to 2,000 milligrams per day. Talk to your healthcare provider or registered dietitian nutritionist to determine if gorgonzola cheese is right for you.

Varieties

There are two types of gorgonzola cheese—Dolce and Piccante—both of which are based on age. Gorgonzola Dolce is aged for as little as 90 days and is typically creamier and milder. Piccante versions are aged longer and become sharper, saltier, and firmer, as it loses moisture.

Storage and Food Safety

Gorgonzola cheese will last 3 to 4 weeks if wrapped tightly and stored in the refrigerator. If you notice a hard exterior texture, darker color, the appearance of mold, or a strong smell, it is likely the cheese has gone bad and should be disposed of.

Recipes

Healthy Gorgonzola Recipes to Try

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