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Cheddar Cheese vs Feta Cheese - Health impact and Nutrition Comparison

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Article author photo Jack  Yacoubian by Jack Yacoubian | Last updated on May 21, 2024
Medically reviewed by Arpi Gasparyan Article author photo Arpi Gasparyan
Cheddar Cheese
vs
Feta

Summary

Considering the nutritional difference, cheddar cheese is higher in calories, total fats, and saturated fats. It has a lower glycemic index and is richer in proteins, zinc, phosphorus, calcium, and vitamin A. Feta cheese is richer in B complex vitamins and contains higher sodium.

When it comes to health, they are similarly healthy cheeses to eat. However, when it comes to cardiovascular health, there is an increase in the risks of hypertension and atherosclerosis. Higher risks of hypertension in feta. Higher risks of atherosclerosis in cheddar. Both should be eaten in moderation.

Introduction

In this article, we will compare feta cheese to cheddar cheese. They are both kinds of cheese; however, a difference exists between them. We will discuss their general difference, their nutritional differences, and their health impacts.

At the end of this article, we will understand from these two kinds of cheese which one is healthier and the differences between them.

General differences

In short, feta and cheddar are cheese, but different aspects exist between them.

The first difference is that cheddar cheese is an aged cheese that, to make it flavored, solid, and matured, usually requires 15 months. In contrast, feta is a fresh cheese.

This brings us to the shelf life of each cheese. Cheddar cheese has a longer shelf life before cutting the cheese wheel, which, as we mentioned above, requires 15 months. In contrast, feta cheese has a shorter shelf life which, when opened and refrigerated, turns bad after about seven days.

It is also important to mention that cheddar cheese is prepared with cow milk. In contrast, feta is mainly prepared with sheep and goat's milk. However, nowadays, feta available in the market can be from cow's milk.

Nutrional content comparison

Calories

Cheddar contains 1.5 times more calories than feta.

Cheddar contains nearly 400 calories per 100g.

Glycemic index

Feta has a higher glycemic index compared to cheddar. The glycemic index of feta is categorized as low.

Carbs

They have nearly similar amounts of carbs, and they are classified as low carbs.

Proteins

Cheddar is richer in proteins than feta.

Fats

Cheddar contains higher amounts of fats. The difference is 1.5 times higher. This section will discuss the types of fats present in both kinds of cheese.

Saturated fats

They are both high in saturated fats. However, cheddar cheese contains higher amounts of saturated fats.

Cholesterol

The cholesterol content in both foods is nearly similar.

Minerals

Cheddar is richer in all minerals compared to feta. It is richer in zinc, phosphorus, and calcium.

It is essential to highlight that feta is rich in these minerals. However, relatively cheddar contains higher amounts.

Sodium

Both cheddar and feta are high in sodium. Feta cheese contains higher amounts of sodium.

Below is the diagram that displays the distribution of the minerals.

Mineral Comparison

Mineral comparison score is based on the number of minerals by which one or the other food is richer. The "coverage" charts below show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of the food.
Contains more Calcium +44%
Contains more Magnesium +42.1%
Contains more Phosphorus +35%
Contains more Potassium +22.6%
Contains less Sodium -28.8%
Contains more Zinc +26.4%
Contains more Selenium +90%
Contains more Iron +364.3%
Equal in Copper - 0.032
Equal in Manganese - 0.028
Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Zinc Copper Manganese Selenium 213% 6% 20% 195% 7% 86% 100% 10% 4% 156%
Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Zinc Copper Manganese Selenium 148% 25% 14% 145% 6% 120% 79% 11% 4% 82%
Contains more Calcium +44%
Contains more Magnesium +42.1%
Contains more Phosphorus +35%
Contains more Potassium +22.6%
Contains less Sodium -28.8%
Contains more Zinc +26.4%
Contains more Selenium +90%
Contains more Iron +364.3%
Equal in Copper - 0.032
Equal in Manganese - 0.028

Vitamins

Feta cheese is richer in B complex vitamins, whereas cheddar is richer in vitamin A.

Below is the diagram that displays the distribution of the vitamins.

Vitamin Comparison

Vitamin comparison score is based on the number of vitamins by which one or the other food is richer. The "coverage" charts below show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of the food.
:
7
Feta
Contains more Vitamin A +194.3%
Contains more Vitamin E +294.4%
Contains more Vitamin D +50%
Contains more Vitamin K +33.3%
Contains more Vitamin B1 +431%
Contains more Vitamin B2 +97.2%
Contains more Vitamin B3 +1579.7%
Contains more Vitamin B5 +135.9%
Contains more Vitamin B6 +542.4%
Contains more Folate +18.5%
Contains more Vitamin B12 +53.6%
Equal in Choline - 15.4
Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin C Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Folate Vitamin B12 Choline Vitamin K 75% 15% 18% 0% 8% 99% 2% 25% 16% 21% 138% 9% 6%
Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin C Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Folate Vitamin B12 Choline Vitamin K 26% 4% 12% 0% 39% 195% 19% 59% 98% 24% 212% 9% 5%
Contains more Vitamin A +194.3%
Contains more Vitamin E +294.4%
Contains more Vitamin D +50%
Contains more Vitamin K +33.3%
Contains more Vitamin B1 +431%
Contains more Vitamin B2 +97.2%
Contains more Vitamin B3 +1579.7%
Contains more Vitamin B5 +135.9%
Contains more Vitamin B6 +542.4%
Contains more Folate +18.5%
Contains more Vitamin B12 +53.6%
Equal in Choline - 15.4

Health impacts

Bone health

Cheddar and feta cheese are rich in calcium and positively impact bones, especially osteoporosis. (1) (2)

Gastrointestinal health

Section reviewed by gastroenterologist Arpi Gasparyan Article author photo Arpi Gasparyan

They contain lactobacilli and other probiotics that may promote overall gut health and improve digestion. (3)

In addition, when the gut microbiome is healthy, overall inflammation in the gastrointestinal system is maintained at reduced levels. (4) (5)

Both feta and cheddar cheeses contain lactose which can cause bloating, nausea, and diarrhea in lactose-intolerant individuals.

Cancer

Cheddar cheese and feta reduce the risks of developing colorectal cancer. (6)

Whereas when it comes to prostate cancer, there is an increased risk of developing prostate cancer associated with calcium-rich foods. (7)

Cardiovascular health

Section reviewed by cardiologist Astghik Grigoryan Article author photo Astghik Grigoryan

When comparing cheddar cheese and feta cheese in terms of cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk, several factors come into play:

Saturated Fat Content: Cheddar cheese typically contains higher levels of saturated fat compared to feta cheese. A high intake of saturated fat is associated with an increased cardiovascular risk as it can raise levels of LDL cholesterol, often referred to as "bad" cholesterol (8).

Salt Content: Feta cheese tends to be higher in sodium compared to cheddar cheese. Excessive sodium intake can contribute to hypertension, a risk factor for CVD (9).

Cheddar cheese and feta, along with other aged or fermented foods, contain high levels of tyramine. Tyramine is a substance that can cause a dangerous rise in blood pressure when combined with MAO inhibitor drugs (a class of medications used primarily to treat depression and anxiety disorders). Consuming these foods while taking MAO inhibitors can potentially lead to a hypertensive crisis, which is a severe and potentially life-threatening increase in blood pressure (10).

In general, moderation is key when consuming cheese as part of a heart-healthy diet. Choosing lower-fat options, such as reduced-fat cheddar or lower-sodium feta, can help mitigate some of the potential risks associated with cheese consumption. Additionally, incorporating a variety of foods, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins, is important for overall cardiovascular health.

Diabetes

There are decreased risks of developing type 2 diabetes with cheddar cheese and feta intake. (11) (12)

Article author photo Jack  Yacoubian
Education: Haigazian Medical University
Last updated: May 21, 2024
Medically reviewed by Arpi Gasparyan

Infographic

Cheddar Cheese vs Feta infographic
Infographic link

Macronutrient Comparison

Macronutrient breakdown side-by-side comparison
Contains more Protein +60.9%
Contains more Fats +56.5%
Contains more Carbs +32.4%
Contains more Water +49.2%
Contains more Other +40.2%
23% 33% 3% 37% 4%
Protein: 22.87 g
Fats: 33.31 g
Carbs: 3.09 g
Water: 37.02 g
Other: 3.71 g
14% 21% 4% 55% 5%
Protein: 14.21 g
Fats: 21.28 g
Carbs: 4.09 g
Water: 55.22 g
Other: 5.2 g
Contains more Protein +60.9%
Contains more Fats +56.5%
Contains more Carbs +32.4%
Contains more Water +49.2%
Contains more Other +40.2%

Fat Type Comparison

Fat type breakdown side-by-side comparison
Contains more Monounsaturated Fat +100%
Contains more Polyunsaturated fat +140.4%
Contains less Saturated Fat -20.8%
64% 31% 5%
Saturated Fat: 18.867 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 9.246 g
Polyunsaturated fat: 1.421 g
74% 23% 3%
Saturated Fat: 14.946 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 4.623 g
Polyunsaturated fat: 0.591 g
Contains more Monounsaturated Fat +100%
Contains more Polyunsaturated fat +140.4%
Contains less Saturated Fat -20.8%

Comparison summary table

Pay attention to the rightmost column. It displays the amounts side by side, giving a clearer understanding of the difference.
Cheddar Cheese Feta
Lower in Cholesterol ok
Lower in Saturated Fat ok
Lower in Sugar ok
Lower in Sodium ok
Lower in Glycemic Index ok
Lower in price ok
Rich in minerals Equal
Rich in vitamins Equal

All nutrients comparison - raw data values

Nutrient Cheddar Cheese Feta Opinion
Net carbs 3.09g 4.09g Feta
Protein 22.87g 14.21g Cheddar Cheese
Fats 33.31g 21.28g Cheddar Cheese
Carbs 3.09g 4.09g Feta
Calories 404kcal 264kcal Cheddar Cheese
Sugar 0.48g 4.09g Cheddar Cheese
Calcium 710mg 493mg Cheddar Cheese
Iron 0.14mg 0.65mg Feta
Magnesium 27mg 19mg Cheddar Cheese
Phosphorus 455mg 337mg Cheddar Cheese
Potassium 76mg 62mg Cheddar Cheese
Sodium 653mg 917mg Cheddar Cheese
Zinc 3.64mg 2.88mg Cheddar Cheese
Copper 0.03mg 0.032mg Feta
Manganese 0.027mg 0.028mg Feta
Selenium 28.5µg 15µg Cheddar Cheese
Vitamin A 1242IU 422IU Cheddar Cheese
Vitamin A RAE 330µg 125µg Cheddar Cheese
Vitamin E 0.71mg 0.18mg Cheddar Cheese
Vitamin D 24IU 16IU Cheddar Cheese
Vitamin D 0.6µg 0.4µg Cheddar Cheese
Vitamin B1 0.029mg 0.154mg Feta
Vitamin B2 0.428mg 0.844mg Feta
Vitamin B3 0.059mg 0.991mg Feta
Vitamin B5 0.41mg 0.967mg Feta
Vitamin B6 0.066mg 0.424mg Feta
Folate 27µg 32µg Feta
Vitamin B12 1.1µg 1.69µg Feta
Choline 16.5mg 15.4mg Cheddar Cheese
Vitamin K 2.4µg 1.8µg Cheddar Cheese
Tryptophan 0.547mg 0.2mg Cheddar Cheese
Threonine 1.044mg 0.637mg Cheddar Cheese
Isoleucine 1.206mg 0.803mg Cheddar Cheese
Leucine 1.939mg 1.395mg Cheddar Cheese
Lysine 1.025mg 1.219mg Feta
Methionine 0.547mg 0.368mg Cheddar Cheese
Phenylalanine 1.074mg 0.675mg Cheddar Cheese
Valine 1.404mg 1.065mg Cheddar Cheese
Histidine 0.547mg 0.397mg Cheddar Cheese
Cholesterol 99mg 89mg Feta
Trans Fat 0.917g Feta
Saturated Fat 18.867g 14.946g Feta
Omega-3 - DHA 0.001g 0g Cheddar Cheese
Omega-3 - EPA 0.01g 0g Cheddar Cheese
Omega-3 - DPA 0.017g 0g Cheddar Cheese
Monounsaturated Fat 9.246g 4.623g Cheddar Cheese
Polyunsaturated fat 1.421g 0.591g Cheddar Cheese
Omega-6 - Eicosadienoic acid 0.007g Cheddar Cheese

Which food is preferable for your diet?

ok
ok
is better in case of low diet
Cheddar Cheese Feta
Low Fats diet ok
Low Carbs diet ok
Low Calories diet ok
Low Glycemic Index diet ok

People also compare

Vitamins & Minerals Daily Need Coverage Score

The summary scores indicate the extent to which this food can fulfill your daily vitamin and mineral requirements if you consume 3 servings, consisting of 100 grams of each (an approximation of 3 serving sizes).
Vitamins Daily Need Coverage Score
33%
Cheddar Cheese
54%
Feta
Minerals Daily Need Coverage Score
79%
Cheddar Cheese
63%
Feta

Comparison summary

Which food is lower in Cholesterol?
Feta
Feta is lower in Cholesterol (difference - 10mg)
Which food is lower in Saturated Fat?
Feta
Feta is lower in Saturated Fat (difference - 3.921g)
Which food is lower in Sugar?
Cheddar Cheese
Cheddar Cheese is lower in Sugar (difference - 3.61g)
Which food contains less Sodium?
Cheddar Cheese
Cheddar Cheese contains less Sodium (difference - 264mg)
Which food is lower in glycemic index?
Cheddar Cheese
Cheddar Cheese is lower in glycemic index (difference - 27)
Which food is cheaper?
Cheddar Cheese
Cheddar Cheese is cheaper (difference - $0.5)
Which food is richer in minerals?
?
It cannot be stated which food is richer in vitamins. See the charts below for detailed information. See the charts below for detailed information. See the charts below for detailed information.
Which food is richer in vitamins?
?
It cannot be stated which food is richer in vitamins. See the charts below for detailed information. See the charts below for detailed information. See the charts below for detailed information.

References

All the values for which the sources are not specified explicitly are taken from FDA’s Food Central. The exact link to the food presented on this page can be found below.

  1. Cheddar Cheese - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/173414/nutrients
  2. Feta - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/173420/nutrients

All the Daily Values are presented for males aged 31-50, for 2000-calorie diets.

Data provided by FoodStruct.com should be considered and used as information only. Please consult your physician before beginning any diet.