People with hypertension, or high blood pressure should eat foods lower in fat, salt and calories, which can be a particularly tall order for cheese lovers because most cheeses have high salt and fat contents. Low-fat and low-sodium cheeses are recommended for people with hypertension, according to the Cleveland Clinic.
There are no- or low-sodium, as well as low-fat and fat-free, varieties of most of the four types of cheeses: soft, semi-soft, semi-hard and hard. However, there are not low-salt options for bleu, Gorgonzola, Roquefort and Stilton cheeses, according to lowsaltfoods.com. No- or low-sodium cheeses contain 140 mg or less of salt. The American Heart Association recommends people with high blood pressure consume no more than 1,500 mg of sodium per day.
Low-sodium and fat-free versions of mozzarella, cottage cheese and Muenster are available. Mozzarella Co. offers several unsalted versions of mozzarella and ricotta cheeses, with the ricotta containing about 36 mg of sodium. They are available online. Other brands of low-sodium soft cheeses include Sargento Light (55 mg) and Sorento Fat Free (65 mg) ricottas, Lucerne NSA cottage cheese (40 mg), Boar's Head Low-Salt Muenster (75 mg) and Formagia Fresh Unsalted mozzarella (60 mg).
Colby and mild and hot versions of Monterey Jack also are available with lower fat or salt . These offerings include Pearl Valley Reduced Fat, Low-Sodium Colby (95 mg) and Organic Valley Reduced Fat Jack (80 mg). Mozzarella Co. offers lightly salted queso fresco.
This includes Cheddar cheese, one of the most popular types, and there are a number of brands that offer low-sodium Cheddar. Heluva Good Low-Sodium Cheddar, available online, contains 5 mg of sodium. Other brands include Tillamook Medium Cheddar, which is available online and in many grocery stores, with 130 mg.
Parmesan, Romano and Swiss cheese all fall into this category. Parmesan and Romano often are found grated or in powder form. Low-sodium and low-fat options include Buitoni Fresh Shredded Romano (50 mg sodium) and Parmesan (60 mg) and Kraft Reduced Fat Romano/Parmesan, which contains 75 mg per tablespoon. Most brands of shredded Swiss cheese contain about 60 mg per serving, and Boar's Head NSA and Lucerne (Safeway) NSA Swiss each contain 10 mg.
Because sodium, fat and caloric content are based on serving size, be sure to read the nutrition label on the package of cheese to ensure you don't overdo your recommended intakes.