Cheddar Cheese vs. Feta Cheese

Cheddar and feta are two popular types of cheese with distinct tastes, textures, and nutritional profiles.

Cheddar is a hard, off-white or orange cheese that originated in the village of Cheddar in England. It has a creamy, smooth texture that ranges from mild to sharp depending on how long it has been aged. Cheddar is made from cow's milk and it typically contains high amounts of calcium, protein, vitamins A and B12.

Cheddar Cheese vs. Feta Cheese

Feta is a soft, white cheese with a tangy flavor that originated in Greece. It is made from a mixture of sheep's milk and goat's milk. Feta has a crumbly texture and is stored in brine during the aging process. It is naturally lower in calories and fat than many cheeses, but it contains a high amount of sodium due to the brining.

Nutritional Profile: Calories, Fat, and More

Cheddar and feta have distinctly different nutritional profiles:

Calories403 kcal264 kcal
Fat33.8 g21.5 g
Saturated Fat21 g14 g
Protein24.3 g14.2 g
Carbohydrates2.1 g3.9 g
Sodium653 mg917 mg
Calcium710 mg493 mg

As the table shows, cheddar cheese is higher in calories, fat, protein and calcium compared to feta. The extra calories in cheddar cheese come mostly from its higher fat content. Cheddar gets over 70% of its calories from fat, while about 73% of feta's calories come from fat.

Feta cheese is lower in calories and fat overall, but it contains more carbohydrates and a significantly higher level of sodium than cheddar. This is due to the salty brine that feta ages and is stored in.

Cheddar cheese also has more calcium and protein per serving compared to feta, making it more nutritious in those areas. But feta contains more B vitamins.

Key Takeaway: Cheddar cheese is higher in calories, total fat, saturated fat, protein and calcium. Feta cheese has more carbs, and much higher sodium levels but more B vitamins.

Additional Differences

Beyond basic nutrition, cheddar and feta cheeses differ in several other ways:

  • Texture: Cheddar has a smooth, creamy texture that ranges from soft to very hard. Feta's texture is crumbly, moist and slightly grainy - it easily crumbles when cut or bitten into.
  • Taste: Cheddar flavors range from mild to sharp, becoming tangier and more intense with longer aging times. Feta has a salty, tangy and somewhat lemony flavor.
  • Aging Process: Cheddar cheese is aged using a cheddaring technique that involves cutting, heating, pressing and stacking the curds to remove whey and develop flavor. Feta ages while fully submerged in a salty brine solution for at least two months.
  • Shelf Life: Properly stored cheddar cheese lasts from 3-5 weeks after being opened, depending on variety. Feta lasts only 1-2 weeks after opening when properly stored in brine solution.
  • Uses: Due to its smooth melting ability, cheddar is commonly used in burgers, sandwiches, casseroles and cheese sauces. The crumbly texture of feta makes it suitable for salads, pastas, pizzas and vegetable dishes.
  • Production Regions: Cheddar originated in Cheddar, England but is now produced around the world. Feta is protected by EU law and considered a traditional Greek product that can only be made in certain approved regions of Greece.
  • Milk Source: Cheddar cheese is made from cow's milk. Authentic feta cheese is produced using mostly sheep's milk or a mixture of sheep and goat's milk. Feta made from 100% goat or cow milk cannot be sold as "feta" under EU regulations.

Key Takeaway: Key differences beyond nutrition include texture, taste, how the cheeses age, shelf life, common uses, approved production regions, and sources of milk used.

Health Benefits

Both feta and cheddar offer some health benefits, but also potential downsides:

Benefits of Feta Cheese

  • High amounts of calcium and phosphorus help strengthen bones and teeth
  • Contains probiotics that support digestive and immune health
  • Protein supports lean muscle mass
  • Lower in saturated fat than many cheeses

Potential Issues with Feta

  • Very high sodium content
  • Contains lactose which may cause issues for lactose intolerant individuals
  • Unpasteurized versions could potentially harbor harmful bacteria

Benefits of Cheddar Cheese

  • Also high in bone-strengthening calcium
  • Contains protein, vitamins A, B12 for immune function and energy
  • Aged cheddar contains some anti-inflammatory CLA fatty acids
  • Harder textures help clean teeth more effectively

Potential Issues with Cheddar

  • High amounts of saturated fat may increase heart disease risks
  • Sodium and calories can be high in some varieties
  • Has been linked to increased prostate cancer risk

Consumed in moderation as part of balanced diet, both cheeses can offer health perks. But those with high blood pressure, heart issues or lactose intolerance need to be cautious regarding sodium, saturated fat and lactose levels.

How to Select and Store Cheddar vs. Feta

Selecting Cheddar Cheese

Look for cheddar cheese with a label indicating it is "reduced-fat" or made from 2% milk. This will ensure lower amounts of fat and saturated fat. Opting for mild rather than extra sharp cheddar will also mean less sodium.

Storing Cheddar Cheese

Keep opened cheddar cheese blocks tightly wrapped in parchment paper inside a zip top plastic bag. Press out excess air and store in the vegetable crisper drawer of the refrigerator for 3-4 weeks. Grated cheddar will only last 1-2 weeks.

Selecting Feta Cheese

Seeking out a feta cheese labeled as "reduced-fat" will ensure lower fat and saturated fat intake.Greek-imported feta or feta made with sheep or goat's milk will have more robust flavor, but cow's milk feta is still tasty.

Storing Feta Cheese

Feta cheese requires storage in a brine solution after opening, using the original packing liquid. Place opened block of feta cheese in an airtight container and completely cover with the brine solution. Refrigerate for up to two weeks, changing the brine every few days.

Key Takeaway: Tips for selecting lower fat versions of each cheese. Cheddar requires wrapping and chilling in fridge for 3-4 weeks after opening while feta cheeses need storage in a brine solution for up to 2 weeks.

Feta Cheese vs. Cheddar Cheese: Which is Healthier?

The healthiest cheese choice involves a number of factors:

  • Calorie, sodium and saturated fat intake needs to fit personal nutritional requirements
  • Lactose tolerance levels must be considered
  • Preference for tastier aged or fresher varieties

Those limiting fats or salt may benefit more from feta cheese in small amounts, while others looking to increase calcium or protein could obtain more from measured cheddar cheese servings. Overall both feta and cheddar can play a role in a balanced diet when calories, fat and sodium intake is properly regulated.


Is feta or cheddar better if you are lactose intolerant?

People who are lactose intolerant may tolerate aged, harder cheeses like cheddar better than softer fresh cheeses like feta. The lactose content tends to reduce as cheese ages and firms up. Start with a small serving of either cheese initially to see if any gastric discomfort arises when adding either one back into the diet.

Does cheddar or feta contain more probiotics?

Feta cheese undergoes less heating and processing during production, helping it retain more probiotic bacteria strains. These probiotics in feta may be slightly more beneficial for digestive and immune health. But aged cheddar also provides some probiotic content.

Which cheese tastes saltier: feta or cheddar?

Feta cheese has a markedly saltier taste compared to cheddar cheeses. This pronounced saltiness comes from the brine solution that feta cheese gets stored in during the aging process. Even reduced sodium feta varieties will tend to taste much saltier than regular cheddar cheese.

What cheese has more calcium: feta or cheddar?

While both cheeses provide plenty of bone-friendly calcium, cheddar cheese has significantly higher amounts of calcium per serving. There is 711mg of calcium per 100g of cheddar cheese compared to just 493mg per 100g of feta cheese.


Cheddar and feta offer their own distinct flavors, textures and nutritional assets.

Feta cheese brings fewer calories and less fat to the table but needs to be consumed cautiously due to high sodium content.

Cheddar cheese can provide more protein, calcium and vitamin amounts but intake should be regulated owing to higher fat, saturated fat and calorie totals.

Cheese Lover Chloe 🧀
Cheese Lover Chloe 🧀

I'm a total cheese fanatic! When I'm not busy studying to be a cheesemaker, you can find me scouring local farmers markets and specialty shops for new and exciting cheeses to try. Brie is my all-time fave, but I also love exploring aged goudas, funky blues, and rich creamy camemberts. Looking forward to sharing lots of melty, gooey cheese pics and reviews!