Gouda Cheese – Nutrition, Health Benefits, and Side Effects

Mehak Shah

December 6, 2023

Gouda cheese is one of the most famous types of cheese globally. It originated in the Netherlands and was named after a master of Gouda. Manufacturers use cow’s milk to manufacture Gouda cheese. It is sweet and has a creamy texture. The outer coat of the cheese is dark yellow, whereas the inside colour is pale milky yellow.

In ancient days (during the 12th century), Dutch women prepared gouda cheese using traditional techniques. Hence, it is considered the oldest cheese prepared even today. South Holland, a place in the city of Gouda, arranges a traditional gouda cheese market in the summer months.

Today, Gouda cheese is available in various flavours in the market. Multiple types of goudas are produced based on the maturity or ageing period of the cheese. The young-aged Gouda tastes a bit sweet, fudgy, and mild. In contrast, the aged Gouda (aged for more than a year) tastes tangy and increases the nuttiness and caramel taste.

The preparation of gouda cheese includes seven steps: 

  • Standardising 
  • Renneting 
  • Cutting 
  • Scalding 
  • Draining 
  • Pressing 
  • Brining

Types of Gouda Cheese

The basis of classifying Gouda cheese is its age. Based on the age of maturity, the dutch classified the cheese into six types:

  1. Young Gouda: 4 weeks
  2. Matured young Gouda: 8-10 weeks
  3. Matured Gouda: 16-18 weeks
  4. More matured Gouda: 7-8 months
  5. Completely matured Gouda: 10-12 months
  6. Aged Gouda: over 12 months

Smoked Gouda Cheese

Smoked Gouda is famous for its classic combination of smokey flavour and springy texture. Cheese is generally smoked by putting entire squares or pieces in a smokehouse, protecting the cheese. An easy strategy is to add natural smoke flavours to cheese curds before pressing. The process makes the taste more uniform.

Nutritional Properties of Gouda Cheese

The USDA provides the following nutrition value for one hundred grams of Gouda cheese.

  • Water: 41.5g
  • Energy: 356 kcal
  • Protein: 24.9g
  • Fat: 27.4g
  • Carbohydrate: 2.22g
  • Sugar: 2.22g
  • Calcium: 700 mg
  • Magnesium: 29 mg
  • Phosphorus: 546 mg
  • Potassium: 121 mg
  • Sodium: 819 mg
  • Folate: 21 μg
  • Vitamin A: 563 IU

Health Benefits of Gouda Cheese

Here are some of the top health benefits of gouda cheese:

Rich Nutrient Profile

  • Like many other forms of cheese, Gouda cheese is low in carbohydrates. Most of these carbs come from lactose, a natural sugar in cow’s milk. 
  • Gouda cheese has 27.4 grams of total fat per 100g. Most of the fat in Gouda cheese is saturated fat (17.6g), which comes from whole cow’s milk.
  • Gouda cheese contains all of the essential amino acids. These amino acids are the simplest form of protein and are responsible for the structure and function of tissues and organs. They work as enzymes, antibodies, and messengers while also giving you energy.
  • Calcium in gouda cheese helps develop, maintain, and strengthen bones. In addition, calcium promotes muscular contractions, blood clotting prevention, and blood pressure regulation. It may also help support cellular communication and nerve transmission and prevent cardiovascular diseases and cancer.
  • Gouda cheese is a good source of phosphorus and zinc. Phosphorus is an essential component of metabolic activities that generate energy, store genetic information, and activate enzymes. In addition, it also acts as a buffer that helps maintain an average acid-base balance. Zinc is essential for normal growth and development to regulate enzyme activity, immune function, and protein synthesis.
  • Gouda cheese is also high in B-12. Vitamin B-12 promotes gene methylation, which is necessary for regulating gene function. It also helps synthesise haemoglobin, creates new cells, and develops nerve cells. Moreover, Gouda offers smaller amounts of other B-complex vitamins, which support your metabolism and help you produce energy.

Good for Bone Health

Calcium is an essential mineral for maintaining bone health. Since Gouda cheese is rich in calcium, it helps strengthen and develop the bones. According to studies, bone health in lactose-intolerant individuals decreases due to a lack of calcium and vitamin D. 

Another research suggests that consuming low-fat dairy products helps provide calcium and vitamin D that helps strengthen the bones and prevent osteoporosis. Gouda cheese also provides enough calcium and helps support the teeth’ health.

Healthy for Your Heart

The association between dairy products and heart health has always been controversial. Since dairy products contain saturated fats, they may not be healthy. However, according to a study, dairy products have a limited positive effect on heart health due to their micro-macro nutrients.

Similarly, gouda cheese also contains saturated fats, but the presence of calcium, vitamin D and protein makes it a heart-healthy food. Furthermore, a 2021 study shows a positive relationship between consuming dairy fat and a lower risk of cardiovascular disease.

Aids Digestion

Most lactose-intolerant people avoid dairy products for fear of digestive consequences. However, since Gouda cheese has minimal carbohydrates, it contains very little lactose. As a result, it can be relatively easier to digest for such people.


Based on a study on gouda cheese antioxidant activity with the fortification of mango kernel fat, it is evident that the fortified gouda cheese has positive results in exhibiting antioxidant activity, sensory characteristics, and better oxidation stability.

Weight Management

Gouda cheese is generally suitable for low-carb diets. It is a full-fat dairy product which helps keep you satiated, preventing further eating and managing weight. In addition, protein intake is crucial for weight loss because protein digests slowly, making you feel satiated for more extended periods and allowing you to consume fewer calories.

The HealthifyMe Note

Gouda cheese tastes better than most of the available cheese variants. It is known for its creamy, sweet taste with crunchy nature in the Dutch country. Along with the best flavour, gouda cheese provides the essential nutrients required for the body. As a result, it is the best and one of the healthiest cheese compared to many other cheese types. Most of its benefits are due to its rich nutritional profile. However, you should consume it in moderation to reap maximum benefits.

Best Ways to Use Gouda Cheese

You can eat Gouda cheese with bread and fruits. In addition, you can use it in sandwiches and cooked vegetables and melt it in a few recipes. Some of the healthy recipes using Gouda cheese are:

Smoky Gouda and Chicken Sandwich

  • Yield: 4 Servings
  • Total preparation time: 20 minutes
  • 1 cup = 250 ml


  • Garlic herb mayonnaise: ¼ cup
  • White bread: 8 slices
  • Shredded chicken: 2 cups
  • Salt: ¼ tsp
  • Pepper: A pinch
  • Smoked gouda cheese: 4 slices (30 g)
  • Peaches: 2 small

Nutrition Value per Sandwich

  • Energy: 352 kcal
  • Fat: 17g
  • Cholesterol: 100 mg
  • Sodium: 678 mg
  • Carbohydrate: 18g
  • Protein: 30g

Preparation Method

  1. Heat the broiler first. On four slices of bread, spread 2 tbsp of mayonnaise. 
  2. Place them on the baking sheet. 
  3. Place the shredded chicken on top and spread them evenly by sprinkling salt and pepper. 
  4. On top of that, add peaches and gouda cheese. 
  5. Broil for 2-3 minutes until the whole cheese melts. 
  6. Take them out and spread more mayonnaise to serve.

Lentils and Rice Bake Topped with Gouda Cheese

  • Yield: 2 Servings
  • Preparation time: 20 minutes
  • Cooking time: 30 minutes
  • 1 cup = 250 ml


  • Onions: 2 (chopped finely)
  • Garlic: 2-3 cloves (chopped finely)
  • Tomato puree: 3-4 tbsp
  • Carrot: 1 (diced finely)
  • Green peas: 1 cup
  • Rice: 2 cup
  • Red lentils: 1 cup
  • Paprika: 1 tbsp
  • Ground cumin: 1 tsp
  • Gouda cheese: 100 g (grated)
  • Black pepper: 1 tsp
  • Salt: As per taste

Preparation Method

  1. Sizzle the chopped garlic in hot oil for a minute. 
  2. Add onions and fry to translucent, then add tomato puree. Mix well and cook for 5 minutes after adding ground cumin and paprika. 
  3. Add the rice and lentils after washing them thoroughly. 
  4. Add green peas and carrots. Add 3 cups of water and salt and leave it to cook on a slow flame until the water is absorbed completely. 
  5. After cooking, the rice and lentil transfer it into another bowl coated with olive oil. 
  6. Add the grated gouda cheese on top, cover it with aluminium foil and place the bowl in a preheated oven of 180 degrees. 
  7. Bake the dish for about 30 minutes and serve hot.

The HealthifyMe Note

Gouda cheese is a versatile ingredient that you can use with various dishes. However, you should remember that even a small serving size of Gouda cheese has a lot of calories, making it easy to overeat and substantially increase your daily caloric intake. Furthermore, it has a lot of sodium (819 milligrams per 100g). Therefore, use a food scale to measure your servings, and pair Gouda with naturally low-sodium foodstuffs to reduce sodium intake.

Allergies and Side Effects

Individuals who suffer from milk allergies are at risk if they consume gouda cheese. According to studies, cow’s milk is one of the common milk allergens. Research has proven that the IgE (F241) is a causative agent in Gouda cheese to cause allergic diseases. Blood in stools, hives, and stomach upset are common symptoms of cow’s milk allergy.

Gouda cheese is high in sodium, with 232 milligrams per gram, offering 10% of everyday use. The body needs sodium to keep up with water equilibrium, yet most people get more sodium in their eating foods than they need. As per research, high sodium intake causes heart issues. Therefore, the AHA prescribes restricting daily sodium intake to 2,300 milligrams. Limiting gouda cheese consumption is better in case of hypertension or constant kidney issues.

People who suffer from migraines, diarrhoea, inflammation, high blood pressure, improper pH levels, prostate cancer, obesity, skin problems, and eczema should avoid Gouda cheese, as it can worsen the condition.

Storage and Food Safety

Cheese is one of the most loved ingredients worldwide. Hence, it is essential to know the correct storage methods. It is not healthy to store your cheese in plastic containers. Instead, wrap the Gouda with butter paper, then freely cover it with plastic. Place it in the normal temperature area of the fridge, like a vegetable drawer close to the base. Gouda can last up to 2 to 3 weeks. Freezing changes the texture of the cheese, so it is better not to freeze it unless necessary.


Gouda is one of the most well-known forms of cheese on the planet. It came into existence long back in the Netherlands, where people know it as “Howda. This cheese comes in many forms. If searching for smooth and rich, choose a young Gouda. If searching for hard and brittle, go for one that has matured over two years. It can develop a sweet caramel flavour and even crunchy nutty flavour.

Since a versatile Gouda cheese goes well with a wide range of flavours, search for Gouda cheese with hot peppers, bacon, pesto, or one of the top picks is cumin. Based on the appearance Goudas have a light yellow shade, and some develop tiny holes known as “eyes,” giving a nuttier flavour. Some have layers, and some don’t.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q. What are the benefits of eating gouda cheese?

A. Gouda cheese has various health benefits as it contains various nutrients. For example, Gouda cheese has calcium that helps maintain and build good bone and teeth health. Calcium also helps in lowering cancer, cardiovascular diseases, and blood pressure. In addition, Gouda cheese helps prevent blood clots due to the presence of vitamin K. It also contains high-quality protein and amino acids in reasonable amounts, which are responsible for the structure and function of tissues and organs. 

Q. Is gouda cheese a healthy fat?

A. Gouda cheese is a well-known full-fat dairy product that contains saturated fats, which are not that healthy. But according to studies, it has been shown that gouda cheese has various beneficial nutrients that help maintain a healthy self. However, Gouda cheese as a healthy fat is still debatable.

Q. Is Gouda or Cheddar healthier?

A. There is not much difference between cheddar and Gouda; both have their benefits, nutritional properties, and side effects. However, Gouda contains large portions of carbohydrates and is protein-rich, whereas calories and fat are high in cheddar.

Q. Is Gouda cheese a probiotic?

A. Most cheese forms that age or mature for years have probiotic properties. Cheese forms like soft, hard Provolone, Swiss, Edam, Cheddar, Cottage, and Gouda are known for their probiotic properties and contain good bacteria that help maintain better gut health.

Q. Is Gouda cheese high in protein?

A. Compared to other cheese types, Gouda does not contain high protein. As per nutritional composition, Parmesan cheese is high in protein. One hundred grams of gouda cheese offers 26.2g of protein. The protein is responsible for maintaining muscle and bone health in the body.

Q. Is gouda cheese good for weight loss?

A. Gouda cheese is generally suitable for low-carb diets, aiding weight loss and management. In addition, it contains protein, which is crucial for weight loss because protein digests slowly, making you feel full for more extended periods without eating and allowing you to consume fewer calories. However, Gouda cheese has high calories. Hence, it is essential to consume it in moderation.

Q. Is gouda cheese high in carbs?

A. According to nutritional value, 28g of gouda cheese provides 1g of carbs useful in a keto-based diet. Due to low carbs, it helps lower the weight moderately. Hence, it is suitable for keto diets. Along with low carbs, it has 7 gm of protein and 8 gm of fat which is beneficial.

Q. Is gouda cheese High in fat?

A. Gouda cheese contains high saturated fat that is not always healthy. However, it contains other nutrients like vitamin D, calcium, and protein, that positively affect health. One hundred grams of Gouda cheese offers 27g (42%) fat. Saturated fat is around 88%, whereas cholesterol is about 38%.

Q. Is Gouda cheese bad for cholesterol?

A. 27 mg of cholesterol is available in gouda cheese. However, based on several studies, Gouda cheese does not adversely affect cholesterol levels if you eat it in moderation.

About the Author

Mehak holds masters in foods and nutrition from Amity university, Noida. She has a keen interest in public health and nutrition and has been in charge of various projects with milestone NGO. She has worked with people over the globe to bring out the changes in their lives and has always been working towards lifestyle modifications via good dietary practices. According to her a healthy lifestyle is not about the destination but all about the journey.

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