String Cheese Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits

Two hands peeling string cheese

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Whether you prefer to bite your string cheese or separate it into thin pieces, string cheese in its purest form is a satisfying and portable snack that is chock full of nutrients and flavor. As a nutrient-dense food, one 28-gram serving of string cheese contains 85 calories that comes primarily from protein and dietary fat. Here's what you need to know about this snack-time favorite.

String Cheese Nutrition Facts

String cheese is a great source of vitamins, minerals, protein and fat. Here's a breakdown of the nutrition content of one serving of string cheese. The nutrition information for one (28-gram) stick serving of part-skim mozzarella string cheese is provided by the USDA.

  • Calories: 85
  • Fat: 5.8g
  • Sodium: 198mg
  • Carbohydrates: 1.3g
  • Fiber: 0g
  • Sugars: 0.5g
  • Protein: 6.7g
  • Calcium: 196mg
  • Selenium: 7.6ug
  • B12: 0.47ug

Carbs

One serving of string cheese contains only 1.3 grams of carbohydrates. These carbs are most likely coming from the sugar that is found naturally in dairy. String cheese and cheese in general is considered a very-low carbohydrate food.

Fats

Dietary fats are commonly found in cheese and other dairy products including string cheese unless you've chosen a non-fat variety. One serving of part-skim string cheese contains 5.8 grams of fat; of those 5.8 grams, 3.3 grams are saturated fat, 1.3 grams are monounsaturated fats, and 0.2 grams are from polyunsaturated fatty acids.

Protein

One (28-gram) serving of string cheese contains just over 6 grams of dairy protein. Milk proteins include casein and whey. During the cheese making process, the whey is removed leaving casein to remain. Casein protein digests more slowly than whey proteins and provide all nine essential amino acids.

Vitamins and Minerals

Mozzarella string cheese is an excellent source of vitamins and minerals including calcium, vitamin B12, and selenium. One serving of string cheese provides 20% of the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for calcium, 14% of the essential mineral selenium, and 20% of the RDA for vitamin B12.

Calories

String cheese is considered a nutrient-dense food. One serving of string cheese contains 85 calories primarily coming from protein and dietary fat. Protein makes up about 26 calories, while dietary fat contributes 52 of the 85 total calories in a single serving of string cheese. The remaining 7 calories are provided by carbohydrates.

Health Benefits

String cheese is a nutritious, portable snack that offers a host of potential health benefits. Here is what you need to know about how you may benefit from including string cheese in your meal plan.

May Support Bone Health and Prevent Osteoporosis

Dairy products contain essential vitamins and minerals that promote bone health. String cheese, specifically, is an excellent source of vitamin B12 and calcium, both of which have been shown to support bone health and prevent osteoporosis.

Evidence suggests that people deficient in vitamin B12 have an increased risk of hip fracture compared to those with normal ranges. Scientists concluded that hip fracture risk is associated with the effect of vitamin B12 on bone mineral density suggesting that maintaining optimal B12 levels promotes healthy bones.

Calcium is widely known for its benefits on bone health and building strong bones. In fact, calcium's role is to provide hard tissue with its strength. Over 99% of calcium is found in bone and teeth where it's stored for use in tissues throughout the body. String cheese is an excellent source of both calcium and vitamin B12.

May Prevent Anemia and Promote Red Blood Cell Formation

When you are deficient in vitamin B12, you are at risk for developing anemia, a condition where you body cannot make enough healthy red blood cells. Your body can't produce vitamin B12 on its own, so you must get it from the food you eat. Vegans are most susceptible to a vitamin B12 deficiency because B12 is most commonly found in animal proteins.

A vitamin B12 deficiency without being addressed can lead to serious complications including bleeding, infections, and problems with your brain or nerves that may be permanent. String cheese provides 20% of the RDA for vitamin B12. Ensuring you have enough vitamin B12 in your diet means you are less likely to develop anemia and your body can efficiently create healthy red blood cells.

May Curb Hunger and Promote Satiety

Macronutrients play a role in appetite control. If your meal is primarily made up of protein, your level of fullness and satiety will be greater than if your meal was primarily made up of carbohydrates.

This is because carbohydrates digest rapidly and promote a quick glucose and insulin response. On the other hand, protein takes longer to digest and stimulates appetite hormones that improve feelings of satiety after a meal.

Similar to protein, dietary fat can promote satiety and reduce hunger. You would think high-fat meals will only make you want to eat more since dietary fat is so palatable. However, the opposite is true.

Meals with high-fat content tend to produce greater levels of satiety because they take longer to digest and they stimulate the release of fullness hormones. String cheese contains both fat and protein making it the perfect travel-friendly snack that will keep you satisfied until your next meal.

May Support Immune System Health

A robust immune system is important to staying healthy. Nourishing your immune system by incorporating nutrient-rich foods into your diet is a great way to maximize your ability to avoid getting sick.

String cheese is packed with the trace mineral selenium and vitamin B12—both of which are involved in the health of your immune system. Selenium is an antioxidant that can exert antiviral, anticancer, and anti-aging properties. Both supplemental and whole food sources of selenium provide immune system support.

Vitamin B12 plays a critical role in the functioning of the immune system. Without adequate B12 the health of your cells is at risk. Vitamin B12 is responsible for producing healthy red blood cells. When red blood cells aren't healthy, they're more susceptible to free radical damage and oxidative stress.

Plus, red blood cells are part of your body's immune response attacking invaders and preventing unwanted infections. For that reason, it is important that they are performing and functioning effectively.

Allergies

String cheese is made with cow's milk. If you're allergic to dairy you will want to stay avoid string 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 or an allergist about what you are experiencing. They can evaluate your symptoms and perform testing to determine if you have a food allergy.

On the other hand, one serving of string cheese contains less than 1 gram of lactose making it a safe option for some people with lactose intolerance. It also is typically safe for those with Celiac or a gluten sensitivity. But you should still read the label to determine if it is right for you.

Adverse Effects

String cheese and other cheese products are high in sodium. Talk with a healthcare provider if you have high blood pressure or if you are limiting your salt intake before eating string cheese. You can look for a low sodium option or consume this cheese but keep in mind that your overall daily sodium intake should be less than 1,500 to 2,000 milligrams per day.

Varieties

Mozzarella cheese is the only cheese that's capable of being stringy. However, string cheese is available in a few varieties including low-moisture part-skim, whole milk string cheese, light string cheese, and fat-free. You also can get other flavors of string cheese including cheddar and colby.

The difference between each kind of string cheese is primarily found in the amount of fat and calories per serving with whole milk string cheese being the highest in both and fat-free the lowest. Reduced sodium string cheese contains the same amount of calories, fat, and protein, but contains less sodium per serving than regular string cheese.

Storage and Food Safety

String cheese (mozzarella cheese) should be stored in the refrigerator or can be frozen. Remember to use the cheese by the expiration date or discard it if it is showing signs of mold including discoloration and a sour odor. Do not use it if it has been kept at room temperature for longer than 2 hours.

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