Provolone Cheese Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits

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An Italian, semi-firm cheese, protein-rich provolone contains a mellow flavor and is often included in a variety of recipes, ranging from simple submarine sandwiches to decadent lasagna. You can consume the cheese out of the package, grilled, in a fondue, or melted over your favorite ingredients.

Provolone cheese offers a number of health benefits because of its calcium content; eating moderate amounts of this food provides vital nutrients for bone health, eyesight, and production of red blood cells.

You might want to start adding provolone cheese to your diet. The Dairy Council of California says that calcium intake for men and women falls short of what is necessary, especially for women over 51 and men over 70 years of age.

Provolone Cheese Nutrition Facts

This nutrition information, for one ounce of sliced provolone cheese (28 grams), is provided by the USDA.

  • Calories: 80.1
  • Fat: 5.99g
  • Sodium: 210mg
  • Carbohydrates: 1g
  • Fiber: 0g
  • Sugars: 0g
  • Protein: 7g

Carbs

You will consume one gram of carbs in a serving of provolone cheese. The carb count comes from the pasteurized milk. Different provolone brands will have varied amounts and types of milk, and this will affect the carb count if you are follow a low-carb lifestyle.

Fats

Total lipid fats are a little under 6 grams or 9% of your recommended daily amount (RDA). The total saturated fatty acids are 3.5 grams or 17% of the RDA. You can find cheese with a lower fat content on the market. Most brands will contain some amount, however, as the milk used in the cheese-making process often contains fat.

Protein

Milk products are a good source of protein, and 28 grams of provolone cheese contains 7 grams of whey protein. Whey is a protein found in milk. In cheese preparation, the milk gets separated into curds and whey, which is then pasteurized. Whey contains all the essential amino acids your body needs and can help build and repair muscles.

Vitamins and Minerals

Although a serving is 1 ounce, you will consume additional vitamins and minerals with this high-protein food such as calcium at 200 milligrams per serving, which is 20% of the RDA, and vitamin A.

You should note that provolone cheese contains 15 milligrams of cholesterol (5% of the RDA) and 210 milligrams of sodium (9% of the RDA).

Calories

One ounce of provolone cheese contains 80 calories.

Health Benefits

Although you should limit your consumption of provolone cheese, you will gain health benefits by adding controlled amounts to your diet. Here are some advantages that come from eating cheese.

Builds Bones

Cheese makes a significant contribution to your nutrition with its calcium, phosphorous, and protein content. All three nutrients work together to build strong bones. One serving of provolone cheese provides a healthy dose of calcium or 20% of the RDA.

Contributes to Eye Health

Vitamin A is a fat-soluble retinoid critical for healthy vision. This vitamin is found in animal products, such as cheese, which is considered one of the top food sources of vitamin A in the U.S. The National Institute of Health (NIH) says that vitamin A from cheese gets absorbed into your body as retinol, and this supports the normal functioning of eye membranes and the cornea.

Protects the Heart

Are you trying to lower your sodium intake but cannot give up cheese? Consuming dairy cheese instead of other high-sodium foods could actually protect against sodium’s negative effects on your heart, a study out of Penn State suggests.

For the study, researchers fed participants cheese made from dairy, pretzels, and cheese made with soy on five occasions, three days apart. Researchers then compared the effects of the three foods on the cardiovascular system using a laser-Doppler, a laser that shines light onto the skin.

Results showed that when the participants ate the dairy cheese, they had better blood flow in comparison to when they ate pretzels and soy cheese. 

Aids Red Blood Cell Production

Provolone cheese is a source of Vitamin B12, which is necessary for the proper functioning of the central nervous system and healthy red blood cell formation, according to the NIH.

A lack of vitamin B12 can cause a low blood cell count, pale skin, dementia, unplanned weight loss, infertility, anemia, and numbness and tingling in the upper and lower extremities. Individuals at risk of a low vitamin B12 count include older adults, those with gastrointestinal disorders, and vegetarians.

Keeps Your Body Balanced

One of the biggest health benefits of provolone cheese is its large protein count. Protein can slow down carbohydrate absorption, as protein helps lower the glycemic index of a meal. This allows the body to balance blood-sugar levels and creates a more gradual release of glucose into the blood.

Allergies

If you have a dairy allergy, you should avoid provolone cheese and other milk-based products unless you are able to find dairy-free options. If you think you might have an allergy to milk, talk to a healthcare provider. They can evaluate your symptoms and perform testing to determine if you have a food allergy.

Adverse Effects

Lactose intolerance is a common reason why someone might not be able to consume cheese. Lactose intolerance occurs when your body does not break down or digest lactose (which is a sugar found in milk and milk products). Lactose intolerance symptoms include the following:

  • Stomach pain
  • Bloating
  • Gas
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea

You can determine if you have lactose intolerance through fasting tests and a hydrogen breathalyzer test—a test in which you drink a liquid with a high amount of lactose. Your breath then gets checked for lactose content.

Depending on your sensitivity to lactose, you may be able to eat provolone cheese since it is relatively low in lactose. Talk to a healthcare provider to determine if provolone is right for you.

Provolone cheese, especially if it's aged, also can affect monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), a class of antidepressants. Fermented, cured, and aged cheeses can contain tyramine found in MAOIs, a chemical that causes blood vessels to narrow.

When It’s Best

Provolone cheese, whether sliced or in a block, will last 2 to 3 weeks when refrigerated. You should not leave the cheese out for more than 2 hours or you risk the product spoiling. Bacteria can grow at temperatures between 40 °F and 140 °F, which is a range of most
temperatures outside of a refrigerator.

How to Prepare

You can prepare provolone cheese any number of ways:

  • Cut a block into thin slices to put on a vegetable or lean-protein sandwich.
  • Add chucks or thin slices to Italian dishes and put it in the oven to melt over pasta or bread.
  • Layer slices in lasagna.
  • Use in grilled cheese sandwiches.

Recipes

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12 Sources
Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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