The Diet Detective: Food Fight

Which Food Should you Choose?

Why do I bother pointing out the calorie cost of something like a bite or sip of food or drinks?

First, while calories are not the be-all and end-all, they certainly matter. And while the mix of protein, fat and carbohydrates does matter, just knowing how many calories there are in a particular quantity of a particular food can be a quick and useful reference point once you know that an individual's average caloric intake should be about 2,000 per day.

Most people underestimate the number of calories they eat. To test your acumen, let's compare the calorie content in the smallest amount of one food with that of another.

1 Bite of Brie vs. Mozzarella vs. Gruyere vs. Feta Cheese

Obviously, everyone's bite is different, so we are assuming that a bite-size piece of cheese is about a ? ounce. A thin slice of cheese is about 1 ounce, but if the cheese is in cube form, a bite would be about a ? ounce. That said, most cheeses are similar in calories: A bite of brie is 48 calories, mozzarella 45 calories and Gruyere 58.5 calories. Feta comes in as the lowest at 37 calories per bite or ? ounce.

Cheese is an excellent source of calcium and protein, but it can also be a source of excess calories and fat&mdash:primarily saturated fat. Even low-fat cheese should more than likely be considered a splurge food.

In addition, a recent article in Nature Medicine has found a link between l-carnitine, a nutrient found in red meat and milk products (such as cheese) and an increased risk of heart disease.

More: 5 Calcium Sources Better Than Milk

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