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Feta vs Goat cheese - Health impact and Nutrition Comparison

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Feta
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Goat cheese

Introduction

Feta is a white cheese that originates from Greece. It is usually made with sheep’s milk. It is used as a “refreshing type of cheese”, meaning that it is not melted and not used for baking or cooking. It is famously used as a topping for salads with a dressing of olive oil, it is also used in dips, and as a condiment in sandwiches or pizzas. It is considered a cultural food for Greeks and is highly used in Greek gastronomy. Feta cheesemaking dates back to the 8th century BC. 

Goat cheese, as the name suggests comes from goat milk, and it can be soft, semisolid, and hard. Goat cheese can sometimes have a tart flavor to it due to the nutrients and compounds present in goat’s milk. Goat cheese is most popular in France, as it is part of the French gastronomy, and is famously known as “Fromage de chèvre.” It is usually considered a delicacy, and can be consumed raw, or baked in a pie, added as a topping on pizza, or baked separately.  It is used as a spread on bread and is usually paired with something sweet such as honey. 

In this article, the nutritional content, vitamin content, mineral content, health impacts, and variations and usages of both feta and goat cheese will be discussed. 

Nutritional content comparison

The nutritional content comparison will be covering the amounts of carbohydrates, glycemic index, calories, proteins, fats, including saturated, monounsaturated, polyunsaturated, and cholesterol of both feta and goat cheese, based on 100g.

Carbohydrates

Feta and goat cheese are considered to have low amounts of carbohydrates. Feta has 4.1g of carbohydrates, whereas goat cheese has negligible amounts of carbohydrates which is 0.1g.

Glycemic index

The glycemic index of feta is 27, which is considered low. However, for goat cheese, due to the lack of carbohydrates, the glycemic index is negligible. 

Calories 

Feta has 264 calories, which is lower than the calories in goat cheese which are 364 calories per 100g.

Protein

The protein content of feta is 14.21g compared to goat cheese which is 21.58g. Goat cheese has higher amounts of protein relative to feta.

Fat

Feta contains 21.28g of fat whereas goat cheese contains 29.8g of fat. Meaning that feta has lower amounts of fat.
The fat content of both feta and goat cheese are distributed in the following way:

Saturated fat:

Feta contains 14.9g of saturated fat in comparison to goat cheese which contains 20.6g. Thus, feta contains lower amounts of saturated fat compared to goat cheese. 

Monounsaturated fat and polyunsaturated fat

Both contain similar amounts of monounsaturated fats, for feta 4.6g and for goat cheese 6.8g.
The polyunsaturated fat is similar for both with 0.6g for feta and 0.7g for goat cheese. 
It can be said that goat cheese is richer in unsaturated fats.

Cholesterol

The cholesterol content present in feta is 89mg compared to goat cheese which contains 79mg. The daily recommendation of cholesterol is about 300mg. 

Vitamin content comparison

The vitamin profiles of both feta and goat cheese, taking into consideration the recommended daily value (%RDV), is as follows:

 

Feta

Goat cheese

Vitamin A

422IU 14% RDV

1464IU 45% RDV

Vitamin B2

0.84mg 65% RDV

0.67mg 50% RDV

Vitamin B12

1.65mg 70%RDV

0.22mg 10%RDV

Vitamin B6

0.42mg 25% RDV

0.1mg 4% RDV

Vitamin B5

0.97mg 20% RDV

0.2mg 4%RDV

Folate

32mcg 8% RDV

2mg 1% RDV

As the data shows, feta has a richer vitamin profile compared to goat cheese. Feta is richer in Vitamin B2, B12, B6, B5, folate. However, goat cheese is richer only in vitamin A compared to one feta. 

Mineral content comparison

 

Feta

Goat cheese

Calcium

493 mg 38% RDV

298 mg 23% RDV

Sodium

917 mg 38% RDV

415 mg 17% RDV

Phosphorus

337 mg 27% RDV

375 mg 30% RDV

Copper

0.032 mg 4% RDV

0.564 mg 63% RDV

Magnesium

19 mg 5% RDV

29 mg 7% RDV

Zinc

2.88 mg 26% RDV

0.66 mg 6% RDV

Iron

0.65  4% RDV

1.62 mg 9% RDV

As the data shows, feta is richer in calcium and zinc. However, goat cheese is richer in phosphorus, copper, magnesium, and iron. It is important to note that feta has higher amounts of sodium. 

Weight Loss & Diets

Both feta and goat cheese can be consumed during keto, dash, Atkins, Mediterranean, paleo, vegetarian, pescatarian, intermittent fasting, low carb, and anti-inflammatory diets.

Feta can be consumed during the Dukan diet, however, goat cheese must be avoided.

Feta and goat cheese must be avoided during the vegan diet.

Health impacts

Health Benefits

Cardiovascular Health

Consumption of a moderate amount of dairy cheese, including feta and goat cheese, has proven to reduce the risks of cardiovascular diseases. (1)

Diabetes

Goat cheese has shown a decrease in appetite and hunger after consumption compared to other types of dairy, including feta. This decrease in hunger and appetite would result in an decreased intake of food in individuals who suffer from diabetes, which results in lower blood glucose levels. (2) 

Cancer 

Consumption of dairy, including feta and goat cheese has shown reduction in risks of development of lung cancer. (3)

Emphysema

Both feta and goat cheese contain high amounts of methionine which is an amino acid that has a role in protecting against low to moderate degree of emphysema due to smoking. (4)

Downsides & Risks 

Diabetes

Feta cheese is recommended to be avoided for individuals who suffer from diabetes, this is due to the high amounts of sodium that would affect kidney filtration of excess glucose. (5)

Cancer

An increased risk has been observed in prostate cancer in males, endometrial cancer in females, and breast cancer in both sexes while consuming dairy cheese, including feta and goat cheese. (6)

In addition to that, it is recommended to avoid feta and goat cheese from unpasteurized milk during cancer treatments. This is due to the risk of gastrointestinal infections that might occur due to unpasteurized milk. However, if both feta and goat cheese are made from pasteurized milk, there should be no concern. (7)

Allergy and intolerance

Feta has a higher lactose content compared to goat cheese, it should be avoided for individuals who are lactose intolerant or allergic to lactose.

Goat cheese allergies are also common, however this is due to goat cheese casein and not lactose. 

Both feta and goat cheese have shown allergic and intolerance responses, feta due to lactose intolerance and goat cheese due to goat casein. (8)

Summary

In summary, feta is rich in calcium, zinc, B2, B5, B6, B12, folate. It is lower in calories and fats. Feta has a higher amount of sodium. Goat cheese is rich in phosphorus, copper, magnesium, iron, vitamin A, and proteins, and has a lower glycemic index and carbohydrate content.

References

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5867544/
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5579670/
  3. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26877260/
  4. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12009885/
  5. https://www.journalofdairyscience.org/article/S0022-0302(11)00117-2/abstract
  6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6352799/#R19
  7. https://www.cancer.net/blog/2014-04/foods-avoid-during-cancer-treatment
  8. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/10457109/
Article author photo Jack  Yacoubian
Profession: Haigazian Medical University
Last updated: November 29, 2020

Infographic

Feta vs Goat cheese infographic
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Mineral Comparison

Mineral comparison score is based on the number of minerals by which one or the other food is richer. The "coverage" chart below show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of the food
Feta
2
:
Contains more Calcium +65.4%
Contains more Zinc +336.4%
Contains more Iron +149.2%
Contains more Potassium +154.8%
Contains more Magnesium +52.6%
Contains more Copper +1662.5%
Contains more Phosphorus +11.3%
Contains less Sodium -54.7%
Contains more Calcium +65.4%
Contains more Zinc +336.4%
Contains more Iron +149.2%
Contains more Potassium +154.8%
Contains more Magnesium +52.6%
Contains more Copper +1662.5%
Contains more Phosphorus +11.3%
Contains less Sodium -54.7%

Vitamin Comparison

Vitamin comparison score is based on the number of vitamins by which one or the other food is richer. The "coverage" chart below show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of the food
Feta
6
:
Contains more Vitamin B1 +113.9%
Contains more Vitamin B2 +24.9%
Contains more Vitamin B5 +408.9%
Contains more Vitamin B6 +606.7%
Contains more Vitamin B12 +668.2%
Contains more Folate, total +1500%
Contains more Vitamin A +246.9%
Contains more Vitamin E +44.4%
Contains more Vitamin D +25%
Contains more Vitamin B3 +15.8%
Contains more Vitamin K +38.9%
Contains more Vitamin B1 +113.9%
Contains more Vitamin B2 +24.9%
Contains more Vitamin B5 +408.9%
Contains more Vitamin B6 +606.7%
Contains more Vitamin B12 +668.2%
Contains more Folate, total +1500%
Contains more Vitamin A +246.9%
Contains more Vitamin E +44.4%
Contains more Vitamin D +25%
Contains more Vitamin B3 +15.8%
Contains more Vitamin K +38.9%

Vitamin and Mineral Summary Scores

Summary score is calculated by summing up the daily values contained in 300 grams of the product. Obviously the more the food fulfils human daily needs, the more the summary score is
Vitamin Summary Score
34
Feta
23
Goat cheese
Mineral Summary Score
57
Feta
52
Goat cheese

Macronutrients Comparison

Macronutrient comparison charts compare the amount of protein, total fats and total carbohydrates in 300 grams of the food. The displayed values show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of the food
Protein
85%
Feta
129%
Goat cheese
Carbohydrates
4%
Feta
0%
Goat cheese
Fats
98%
Feta
138%
Goat cheese

Comparison summary table

Pay attention at the most right column. It shows the amounts side by side, making it easier to realize the amount of difference.
Feta Goat cheese
Lower in Cholesterol ok
Lower in Sugars ok
Lower in Sodium ok
Lower in glycemic index ok
Lower in price ok
Lower in Saturated Fat ok
Rich in minerals Equal
Rich in vitamins Equal

Which food is preferable in case of diets?

ok
ok
is better in case of low diet
Feta Goat cheese
Low Calories diet ok
Low Fats diet ok
Low Carbs diet ok
Low glycemic index diet ok

People also compare

Comparison summary

Which food is lower in Cholesterol?
Goat cheese
Goat cheese is lower in Cholesterol (difference - 10mg)
Which food contains less Sugars?
Goat cheese
Goat cheese contains less Sugars (difference - 3.97g)
Which food contains less Sodium?
Goat cheese
Goat cheese contains less Sodium (difference - 502mg)
Which food is lower in glycemic index?
Goat cheese
Goat cheese is lower in glycemic index (difference - 27)
Which food is cheaper?
Goat cheese
Goat cheese is cheaper (difference - $0.5)
Which food is lower in Saturated Fat?
Feta
Feta is lower in Saturated Fat (difference - 5.693g)
Which food is richer in minerals?
?
It cannot be definitely stated which food is richer in minerals. See charts below for detailed information.
Which food is richer in vitamins?
?
It cannot be definitely stated which food is richer in vitamins. See charts below for detailed information.

All nutrients comparison - raw data values

In the column "Opinion" we made some assumptions which could be controversial. For instance we are assuming that less saturated fats is good for you. Please ignore this column if you have your own opinion.We marked the nutrients, comparison of which we considered as not meaningful, as "N/A"
Nutrient Feta Goat cheese Opinion
Calories 264 364 Goat cheese
Protein 14.21 21.58 Goat cheese
Fats 21.28 29.84 Goat cheese
Vitamin C 0 0
Carbs 4.09 0.12 Feta
Cholesterol 89 79 Goat cheese
Vitamin D 16 22 Goat cheese
Iron 0.65 1.62 Goat cheese
Calcium 493 298 Feta
Potassium 62 158 Goat cheese
Magnesium 19 29 Goat cheese
Sugars 4.09 0.12 Feta
Fiber 0 0
Copper 0.032 0.564 Goat cheese
Zinc 2.88 0.66 Feta
Starch
Phosphorus 337 375 Goat cheese
Sodium 917 415 Goat cheese
Vitamin A 422 1464 Goat cheese
Vitamin E 0.18 0.26 Goat cheese
Vitamin D 0.4 0.5 Goat cheese
Vitamin B1 0.154 0.072 Feta
Vitamin B2 0.844 0.676 Feta
Vitamin B3 0.991 1.148 Goat cheese
Vitamin B5 0.967 0.19 Feta
Vitamin B6 0.424 0.06 Feta
Vitamin B12 1.69 0.22 Feta
Vitamin K 1.8 2.5 Goat cheese
Folate, total 32 2 Feta
Folic acid (B9) 0 0
Trans Fat
Saturated Fat 14.946 20.639 Feta
Monounsaturated Fat 4.623 6.808 Goat cheese
Polyunsaturated fat 0.591 0.709 Goat cheese
Tryptophan 0.2 0.227 Goat cheese
Threonine 0.637 0.805 Goat cheese
Isoleucine 0.803 0.893 Goat cheese
Leucine 1.395 1.861 Goat cheese
Lysine 1.219 1.549 Goat cheese
Methionine 0.368 0.575 Goat cheese
Phenylalanine 0.675 0.859 Goat cheese
Valine 1.065 1.485 Goat cheese
Histidine 0.397 0.589 Goat cheese
Fructose

References

The source of all the nutrient values on the page (excluding the main article the sources for which are presented seperately if present) is the USDA's FoodCentral. The exact links of the foods presented on this page can be found below.

  1. Feta - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/173420/nutrients
  2. Goat cheese - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/173433/nutrients

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