Are Grilled Cheese Healthy?

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Lauren Zembron
Lauren Zembronhttps://www.healthyfoodforliving.com/
I am a 34 year old living outside of Boston with my wonderful husband, energetic daughter, sweet son, and playful dog. I have degrees in both psychology and guidance counseling, and have worked in a variety of school settings. I strive to find a balance between the two basic food philosophies of “eat to live” and “live to eat“. I believe that food should be (and is!) one of the great pleasures of leading a healthy lifestyle.
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Grilled cheese appears to be the ideal choice for a sandwich. The flavor and elegance of a grilled cheese sandwich are challenging to surpass. The calories and nutrition facts for grilled cheese sandwiches will differ based on the recipe used and how you make them. But are grilled cheese healthy?

Grilled cheese sandwiches contain protein, calcium, minerals, vitamins, and so on. But they are heavy in calories, saturated fat, and salt. So, they’re not very nutritious or healthy. 

You may improve your grilled cheese sandwich by following some healthy preparation techniques. Adding vegetables and spinach might assist in keeping nutritional values in check.

However, if you’re attempting to stick to a healthy diet, this delicious meal might not be the most excellent choice when you make it in the usual manner.

What Is Grilled Cheese?

Grilled cheese is a popular snack that includes a variety of flavors. The taste and nutritional value will differ based on the bread, ingredients, and quantity of cheese used.

You can make grilled cheese by melting cheese inside two slices of bread. The sandwich is fried in a skillet with butter until the bread turns crispy golden brown and the cheese melts. Two pieces of white bread and American cheese with one tablespoon of butter make up a standard grilled cheese sandwich.

Enhanced grilled cheese sandwiches can include a richer slice of bread and unusual cheeses such as mozzarella or cheddar. The healthiness and taste of your grilled cheese sandwich are determined by the choice of bread and cheese you pick, the quantity of ketchup or butter you use, and any extra ingredients you add.

Food Value Of Grilled Cheese

Grilled cheese sandwich calories are a little around 400. With very few possible ingredient substitutions, reducing the calories in a grilled cheese is difficult.

A grilled cheese sandwich will provide you with a significant number of essential nutrients. According to the USDA, one sandwich provides:

  • Calories​:​ 378
  • Total fat​:​ 21.8 g
  • Saturated fat​:​ 10.8 g
  • Trans fat​:​ 0 g
  • Cholesterol​:​ 51 mg
  • ​​Sodium​:​ 923.4 mg
  • Total carbs​:​ 33.4 g
  • Dietary fiber​:​ 1.6 g
  • Sugar​:​ 6 g
  • Protein​:​ 12.1 g
  • Calcium:​ 51% DV
  • ​Phosphorus:​ 31% DV
  • Vitamin B12:​ 26% DV
  • Vitamin A:​ 24% DV
  • Vitamin D:​ 14% DV
  • ​Iron:​ 14% DV
  • Zinc:​ 13% DV

Pros and Cons Of Grilled Cheese

Cheese, which is the main component in a grilled cheese sandwich, could offer certain health benefits along with some disadvantages.

Prevent Muscle Loss

Protein is necessary for muscular development. Obtaining adequate protein could be highly vital for elders. Grilled cheese protein will help to improve muscle mass.

Minimize Vitamin B12 Insufficiency

Cheese contains a lot of vitamins B12 along with vitamin minerals. It is crucial for brain function and preventing pernicious anemia. Cheese can be a valuable source of vitamin B12 for vegans.

Lactose Tolerance

Grilled cheese sandwiches could be a decent dairy choice for someone who is lactose intolerant but still wishes to eat cheese. Many harder kinds of cheese are inherently less in lactose. People can consume them easily.

Reduce Capacity To Lose Weight

Although grilled cheese was not the cause of weight gain, it might sabotage your attempts to lose weight. 

A grilled cheese sandwich can contain 400 calories or more based on how it’s prepared and grilled. Ignoring the fact that grilled cheese is a calorie-dense dish, there are methods to prepare it healthier.

Contains Saturated Fat

Grilled cheese sandwiches contain saturated fat because of the cheddar cheese, butter, and possible additional toppings. 

The consumption of saturated fats has been associated with a rise in LDL (bad) cholesterol levels. In the United States, nutritional standards still advocate reducing saturated calories from fat to fewer than 10% of daily calories.

Contains High Sodium Content

Salt consumption is connected to high blood pressure. But it may not cause cardiovascular disease. 

It has detrimental consequences for the brain, bones, and kidneys. Reading the labeling on bread and reduced-sodium cheeses might help you choose a reduced salt choice.

Contains Low Fiber Content

The standard grilled cheese sandwich components are poor in nutritional fiber. Fiber is essential in your nutrition as it can save you from cancer, decrease cholesterol, and lose weight.

Tips To Make Healthier Grilled Cheese

The classic grilled cheese sandwich is poor in nutrients and heavy in calories. It’s recommended to eat it in limits or cook it healthily. 

Here are a few ideas for improving the nutritional benefits and making grilled cheese healthier.

Choose A Healthy Loaf Of Bread

The traditional white bread used in grilled cheese sandwiches is poor in fiber and flavorless. As a healthy option, go for whole-grain loaves of bread.

Be Selective In Using Cheese

If you choose flavorful cheese like sharp cheddar cheese, part-skim mozzarella, Swiss cheese, and Gouda, your grilled cheese will give you cheesy goodness. They provide a richer taste than those of American cheese, and you could realize yourself requiring less cheese.

Use Plant-Based Ingredients

Add other ingredients like colorful fruits and vegetables to make your grilled cheese sandwich more attractive. Your sandwich’s color and nutritional content will be enhanced by including such plant items.

Zucchini, tomatoes, spinach, onions, and peppers are excellent choices. You can also add herbs like parsley, basil, and chives to make it more exciting.

Switch To More Healthful Fat

Smearing a lump of butter in your skillet or smearing mayonnaise on your toast is a classic way to make grilled cheese. But using a bunch of butter and mayo increases the amount of saturated fat. 

You can use low-fat oil like olive oil in your skillet to decrease saturated fat consumption.

Healthy Grilled Cheese Without Bread

Instead of bread, you can make healthy grilled cheese using sweet potatoes, vegetables, and butternut squash. It will provide low calories and more nutrition. You can also use rice cauliflower to make bread slices.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How many calories are in a grilled cheese sandwich on wheat bread?

The grilled cheese sandwich contains 440 calories if you make it with two slices of cheese, two pieces of white bread, and one spoonful of butter. As opposed to regular English bread, whole wheat bread adds 440 calories.

Is it bad to eat grilled cheese every day?

Cheese is heavy in fat and calories, even though it contains key elements like calcium and vitamin A. While these nutrients may not be the healthiest, eating grilled cheese sandwiches is OK when consumed in moderation (not every day).

Is homemade grilled cheese healthy?

Homemade grilled cheese provides benefits the same as others. But it seems to be healthier as you can make it with proper hygiene. So, you can consider it as your healthy lunch.

Is grilled cheese on wheat bread healthy?

Wheat bread grilled cheese is healthier than the usual one. To prepare your grilled cheese, use whole-grain bread, such as sprouted grain bread. It will offer more nutrition than the food you would get from processed white bread.

Conclusion

Grilled cheese is high in many elements connected to promoting health benefits. The negatives originate from the fact that it has a high calorie and salt content with poor fiber content. Use soft cheeses, nutrient-dense bread, veggies, and a healthier form of fat to make grilled cheese sandwiches healthy.

Hopefully, this passage contains all the information you need about are grilled cheese healthy. Use mentioned tips to make a more nutritious grilled cheese sandwich and have a balanced meal!

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