Provolone vs Swiss cheese - Health impact and Nutrition Comparison
History and origin
The first difference between swiss cheese and provolone is their country of origin and which year they started producing these cheeses. Swiss cheese originated in the areas of Emmental, Switzerland in the 15th century. On the other hand, Provolone cheese originated in Vesuvius, Italy at the end of the 19th century.
Difference in cheesemaking
Swiss cheese and provolone are made from cow’s milk. The difference is in their processing, aging among other things.
Swiss cheese preparation is done by fermenting cow’s milk with different types of bacteria. These bacteria produce different types of compounds that give a specific texture and flavoring to the cheese. Acetate and propionic acid are the most important byproducts that these bacteria produce, these compounds give a sweet and nutty flavor to the cheese. In addition to these compounds, CO2 gas is produced by the above-mentioned bacteria. The CO2 gives the “blind cheese” texture to swiss cheese. However, these holes are considered imperfections, and grade A swiss cheese has non or minimal amounts of these holes. Swiss cheese is a medium-hard yellow cheese.
On the other hand, provolone cheese is also made from cow’s milk but it is made by coagulating and heating it with acid. Provolone cheese has a smooth texture and mild flavor.
Provolone cheese is a semi-hard cheese that can have a nutty and salty flavor or can also be Picante.
Swiss cheese is a melting cheese that is suitable to make different types of dishes with. The unaged swiss cheese can be used in sandwiches, pasta, and sauces. The aged swiss cheese can be combined with dried fruits and nuts and served with earthy flavored wines. One of the most common foods that use swiss cheese is mashed potatoes, omelets, shepherd’s pie, and pizza.
Provolone cheese is also a melting cheese. It has similar culinary usage. Provolone can be used in sandwiches, paninis, pizzas, omelets, and mashed potatoes. In addition to those, they can be an alternative to mozzarella or even a combination with mozzarella to increase the flavor and texture.
In short, both kinds of cheese are very good sandwich cheeses when cold, in addition to that, they are melting cheeses that can be used in different types of cooking. The preference comes with the flavor that each one provides.
Provolone cheese is cheaper compared to swiss cheese. The average market price for 1lb of provolone cheese is around 12$ compared to the same amount of swiss cheese which would cost around 18$.
Swiss cheese, after being exposed to air, can stay in the fridge for about three to four weeks if it is refrigerated properly. Whereas, properly stored provolone cheese can stay refrigerated for two to three weeks.
In this article, we are going to be comparing the difference between swiss cheese and provolone cheese based on their nutritional data, health impacts, weight loss and diet usage, and downsides.
Nutritional data comparison
The glycemic index of both kinds of cheese is the same. They are classified as low glycemic index foods. The glycemic index of both is 27.
Swiss cheese and provolone are both high in calories. However, swiss cheese is higher in calories compared to provolone. Swiss cheese has 393 calories compared to provolone which has 351 calories. Both are based on 100g of each cheese.
Provolone contains more carbs than swiss cheese. Although they are not high in carbs.
Swiss cheese and provolone are rich in proteins. Swiss cheese is richer in proteins. In addition to that, their amino acid profile is highly versatile and very rich in essential amino acids. 100g of swiss cheese satisfies nearly 100% of the daily required essential amino acid requirement. When it comes to provolone, a bit more than 100g is needed to satisfy the daily requirements of these essential amino acids.
Swiss cheese is higher in total fats. It is important to note that most of the calories that come with these cheeses are based on their fat content. 100g of swiss cheese satisfies nearly 50% of the daily requirements of fats. Compared to provolone which only provides 40%.
It is important to dissect the different constituents of the fats and understand the fatty acid profile of each.
Both provolone and swiss cheese have the same ratio of saturated fats and unsaturated fats. They are nearly 67% saturated fats.
One of the most important aspects of the fat profile is the cholesterol content. Swiss cheese has a higher cholesterol content than provolone. 100g of swiss cheese contains 50% of the required daily value of cholesterol.
Swiss cheese is richer in zinc, phosphorus, calcium, magnesium, selenium, and copper. On the other hand, provolone cheese is richer in iron and potassium. Provolone is also high in sodium. It is important to note that 100g of provolone is high in sodium and contains 38% of the daily required value.
Swiss cheese is richer in vitamin A, E, and B12. The vitamin B12 content of 100g swiss cheese satisfies 128% of the daily required value. D B2 B5 On the other hand, provolone cheese is richer in vitamins D, B2, and B5. However, none of these satisfy the RDV of their respective vitamins.
Weight loss and diets
Both swiss cheese and provolone are high in calories, high in fats and cholesterol. However, they are also high in proteins. In moderation, these cheeses shouldn’t cause a caloric excess. A sandwich made from swiss cheese or provolone is a better alternative than using processed cheese.
Swiss cheese and provolone are derivatives of cow’s milk, they are not suitable for vegans. Although alternative cheeses can be found which are plant-based however, they are not similar to swiss cheese or provolone.
Swiss cheese and provolone are low in carbs and glycemic index, they can be consumed by people who follow the keto diet. However, they are high in calories and provolone is high in sodium. It is important to take into consideration these 2 factors.
Moderate dairy consumption, especially cheese consumption, has been demonstrated to lower the risk of cardiovascular disease. Swiss cheese and provolone are higher in their fat content, thus it is important to consider that factor. In addition to the fat content, provolone is high in sodium. This should also be a factor to take into consideration for hypertensive patients. (1)
In patients with high blood pressure, moderate consumption of calcium and phosphorus-rich dairy products, such as swiss cheese and provolone, has been shown to reduce hypertension. (2)
Moderate consumption of both swiss cheese and provolone has shown to decrease risks of developing type 2 diabetes. In addition to that, both these cheeses are low in glycemic index, which means that no insulin spikes and fast absorption of glucose will take place. (3) (4)
Dairy consumption has been linked to a lower incidence of colorectal and bladder cancer. (5)
Fermented cheese such as swiss cheese has a positive effect on intestinal health. It promotes the development of healthy microbiomes which in turn affects reducing intestinal inflammation and promotes healthy digestion. (6)
Lactose intolerance prevents people from digesting lactose, which is present in both kinds of cheese. Although, because of medical advancements, this problem can now be overcome by supplying pills containing lactase enzymes, which break down lactose. This, however, does not help all lactose-intolerant individuals.
Overconsumption of cheese with high fat and sodium content may have harmful consequences for cardiovascular health and hypertension. Swiss cheese and provolone cheese, if eaten in excess, increase the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases such as atherosclerosis and hypertension.
The consumption of cheese has been linked to an increased risk of breast and prostate cancer. (7)
The use of dairy products, such as cheese, regularly and in high amounts, has been linked to an increased risk of Parkinson's disease. (8)
Urinary tract health
Individuals who suffer from urinary crystals or stones which are mostly made of calcium oxalate crystals, must take precautions and eat swiss cheese and provolone cheese in moderation or lower amounts. This is due to the high amounts of calcium present in these foods which crystallize in the urinary and cause calcium oxalate crystals or stones. It is important to note that this is the case in dietary hypercalciuria (high calcium in the urine). If the hypercalciuria is not dietetic, this precaution is not necessary. (9)
Swiss cheese is higher in calories, fats, and cholesterol. It is richer in protein, zinc, phosphorus, calcium, magnesium, selenium, copper, vitamins A, E, and B12. Comparatively, provolone is higher in carbs, sodium. It is also richer in iron, potassium, vitamins D, B2, B5. Provolone is cheaper.
Vitamin and Mineral Summary Scores
Comparison summary table
|Lower in Sugar|
|Lower in Sodium|
|Lower in Cholesterol|
|Lower in Saturated Fat|
|Lower in price|
|Rich in vitamins|
|Lower in glycemic index||Equal|
|Rich in minerals||Equal|
Which food is preferable for your diet?
|Low Calories diet|
|Low Fats diet|
|Low Carbs diet|
|Low glycemic index diet||Equal|
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All nutrients comparison - raw data values