Is Babybel Cheese Healthy? [+Alternatives]

Nutrition is an evolving science, so it can be confusing when nutrition advice changes over the years.

You might be questioning if certain foods are healthy or not – and you’re not alone! Cheese is a perfect example of a food that has gotten a bad rap but has been touted as a healthy snack later on.

One of the types of cheese you’ve probably seen at the grocery store is Babybel cheese. So what is Babybel cheese, and is it healthy?

Babybel cheese is considered a healthy snack option due to its nutritional composition. It is a good source of protein and calcium, which are essential for bone health and muscle function. Additionally, Babybel cheese contains healthy fats that are important for brain development and overall health. However, it’s important to consume it in moderation due to its sodium and saturated fat content, and it’s best paired with fruits, vegetables, or whole grains for a balanced snack.

DISCLAIMER: While this information was prepared by a certified dietitian, it is NOT a medical advice. Please consult your own medical professional before altering your diet. The information is strictly for educational purposes.

What is Babybel Cheese?

Babybel is a brand that makes cheese products.

Babybel cheese usually comes in individually-sealed round wedges in a red wax layer, which is one thing that sets it apart from other brands of cheese and makes it easy to identify.

Babybel is a semi-hard cheese made from pasteurized milk.

The original kind of Babybel is considered a type of Edam cheese, which is described as having “gentle notes of sweet grassiness and a bit of mild nuttiness.”

Babybel cheese originated in France and was introduced to the United States in 1979.

You can find Babybel cheese at most grocery stores – it’s usually sold in a mesh bag with 6, 12, 14, or 20 pieces each.

Types of Babybel cheese

  1. Original Mini Babybel Cheese

Original Babybel cheese comes in a red wrapper.

Ingredients:

  • Pasteurized cultured microfiltered milk
  • Water
  • Salt
  • Oil
  • Microbial enzymes

Nutrition facts (per 21-gram piece):

  • Calories: 70
  • Fat: 5 g
  • Saturated Fat: 3.5 g
  • Sodium: 160 mg
  • Total Carbohydrates: 0 g
  • Fiber: 0 g
  • Protein: 5 g
  1. Mini Babybel Light Cheese

This cheese has around half the fat of the original Babybel cheese and comes in a blue wrapper.

Ingredients:

  • Pasteurized cultured microfiltered milk
  • Salt
  • Microbial enzymes

Nutrition facts (per 21-gram piece):

  • Calories: 50
  • Fat: 3 g
  • Saturated Fat: 2 g
  • Sodium: 160 mg
  • Total Carbohydrates: 0 g
  • Fiber: 0 g
  • Protein: 6 g
  1. Babybel White Cheddar Cheese

Ingredients:

  • Pasteurized cultured microfiltered milk
  • Salt
  • Microbial enzymes

Nutrition facts (per 21-gram piece):

  • Calories: 70
  • Fat: 6 g
  • Saturated Fat: 4 g
  • Sodium: 135 mg
  • Total Carbohydrates: 0 g
  • Fiber: 0 g
  • Protein: 4 g
  1. Babybel Gouda Cheese

Ingredients:

  • Pasteurized cultured microfiltered milk
  • Salt
  • Microbial enzymes

Nutrition facts (per 21-gram piece):

  • Calories: 70
  • Fat: 6 g
  • Saturated Fat: 4 g
  • Sodium: 160 mg
  • Total Carbohydrates: 0 g
  • Fiber: 0 g
  • Protein: 5 g
  1. Babybel Mozzarella-Style Cheese

Ingredients:

  • Pasteurized cultured microfiltered milk
  • Salt
  • Microbial enzymes

Nutrition facts (per 21-gram piece):

  • Calories: 50
  • Fat: 3.5 g
  • Saturated Fat: 2.5 g
  • Sodium: 160 mg
  • Total Carbohydrates: 0 g
  • Fiber: 0 g
  • Protein: 6 g
  1. Babybel Sharp Original

Ingredients:

  • Pasteurized cultured part-skim milk
  • Salt
  • Microbial enzymes

Nutrition facts (per 21-gram piece):

  • Calories: 60
  • Fat: 5 g
  • Saturated Fat: 3 g
  • Sodium: 140 mg
  • Total Carbohydrates: 0 g
  • Fiber: 0 g
  • Protein: 4 g
  1. Babybel Plus+ Vitamins A & B12

Ingredients:

  • Pasteurized part-skim milk and microfiltered skim milk
  • Salt
  • Cultures
  • Enzymes
  • Vitamin A acetate
  • Cyanocobalamin (vitamin B12)

Nutrition facts (per 20-gram piece):

  • Calories: 50
  • Fat: 3 g
  • Saturated Fat: 2 g
  • Sodium: 150 mg
  • Total Carbohydrates: 0 g
  • Fiber: 0 g
  • Protein: 5 g
  • Vitamin A: 10% DV
  • Vitamin B12: 15% DV
  1. Babybel Plus+ Probiotic

Ingredients:

  • Pasteurized part-skim milk and microfiltered skim milk
  • Salt
  • Cultures (includes lactobacillus rhamnosus)
  • Enzymes

Nutrition facts (per 20-gram piece):

  • Calories: 50
  • Fat: 3 g
  • Saturated Fat: 2 g
  • Sodium: 150 mg
  • Total Carbohydrates: 0 g
  • Fiber: 0 g
  • Protein: 5 g
  1. Babybel Plant-Based

This plant-based cheese is suitable for vegans or those with milk allergies. It’s not a source of protein, though, which is one of the nutritional perks of regular cheese.

Ingredients:

  • Water
  • Modified food starch
  • Coconut oil
  • Calcium citrate
  • No more than 2% of each: salt, natural flavor, citric acid, beta-carotene (color), cyanocobalamin (Vitamin B12)

Nutrition facts (per 20-gram piece):

  • Calories: 50
  • Fat: 3.5 g
  • Saturated Fat: 3 g
  • Sodium: 150 mg
  • Total Carbohydrates: 4 g
  • Fiber: 0 g
  • Protein: 0 g
  • Iron: 4% DV
  • Calcium: 10% DV
  • Vitamin B12: 15% DV
Babybel:Calories:Fat:Protein:
Original705 g5 g
Light503 g6 g
White Cheddar706 g4 g
Gouda706 g5 g
Mozarella503.5 g6 g
Sharp Original605 g4 g
Plus+ Vitamins A & B12503 g5 g
Plus+ Probiotic503 g5 g
Plant-Based503.5 g0 g

Is Babybel Cheese Healthy?

Babybel cheese is a healthy snack choice, especially in place of more processed foods like chips, sugar-sweetened nutrition bars, and many others.

Babybel Cheese

Babybel cheese contains milk (except for the plant-based version) so it’s not suitable for those with a milk allergy. It’s a good source of natural protein and calcium.

Protein-based foods like Babybel cheese can help make you feel full for longer, which can help reduce cravings and may even help you with your weight loss efforts.

Calcium

Cheese is naturally rich in calcium, an important nutrient for healthy bone growth. Children need adequate calcium for proper bone growth, which is why cheese is a great snack choice for kids.

Calcium is also important during pregnancy, especially during the third trimester when the baby’s skeletal system is developing quickly.

One serving of Babybel cheese provides around 10% of the daily value for calcium, which classifies it as a “good source” of calcium.

Fat Content

You might be wondering how cheese can be considered healthy since it’s high in saturated fat.

Tip

Eating saturated fat in large amounts, along with other lifestyle habits, can contribute to high cholesterol levels in some people.

However, a study from 2018 concluded that we shouldn’t vilify saturated fat, but instead focus on a balanced diet and work on reducing added sugar and processed foods. 

In fact, saturated fat intake has been inversely related to obesity and type 2 diabetes in some instances!

Is Babybel Cheese Healthy for Pregnant Women?

Babybel cheese is a good and healthy choice for pregnant women.

Babybel cheese is made with pasteurized milk, which means it’s been heated to kill any bacteria that might make you sick.

This means it’s safe for pregnant women, unlike unpasteurized cheese.

Is Babybel Cheese Healthy for Babies?

Babybel cheese contains milk, which is a common food allergen. Many pediatricians recommend introducing solids to babies between 4-6 months of age. 

It’s recommended to introduce foods that contain common allergens to babies during this time to help reduce the risk of food allergies. 

You should avoid introducing cow’s milk-based products to babies if they have a history of cow’s milk intolerance or a family history of severe food allergies.

Be sure to cut Babybel cheese into small pieces to minimize the choking risk.

You should only feed solid foods to babies who are showing readiness to eat and consult with your child’s pediatrician or dietitian if you have feeding concerns.

Is Babybel Cheese Safe for Toddlers?

Babybel cheese is a safe and healthy choice for toddlers.

You’ll probably need to remove the outer plastic wrapping and inner wax layer for little ones, which shouldn’t be eaten.

Pair Babybel cheese with whole-grain crackers, fruit, and age-appropriate vegetables for a healthy snack for toddlers.

Is Babybel Cheese Real or Processed Cheese?

Babybel cheese is 100% real cheese, unlike some processed cheese products that contain added emulsifiers, thickeners, or other ingredients to mimic cheese’s texture.

Babybel Cheese in a glass cup

Though the inner red wax layer is made with food-grade wax, it’s not meant to be eaten. Babybel advises against eating the wax. 

Eating large amounts of food-grade wax may lead to stomach upset and can even cause an intestinal blockage, which can be life-threatening.

Is Babybel Cheese Good for Weight Loss?

It’s impossible to say if just one food is good for weight loss because there are so many factors that influence your weight.

In general, naturally protein-rich foods that are free of added sugar and are moderate in fat might help you lose weight.

Low-carbohydrate diets, insulin resistance, and weight loss

Some people do better with lower-carbohydrate diets to lose weight. Cheese is free of carbohydrates, a type of nutrient that breaks down into sugar in your bloodstream. 

Insulin is a hormone that helps lower your blood sugar after you eat, especially in carbohydrate-based foods like grains, fruit, and foods with added sugar

Insulin is a fat-storage hormone, so having high levels of insulin can make it more challenging to lose weight since your body is trying to store fat.

Insulin resistance is a condition that is becoming more prevalent.

Insulin resistance is when your body doesn’t respond to insulin the way it should, which causes high levels of insulin. Weight gain can be a symptom of insulin resistance.

Alternatives to Babybel Cheese

Let’s look at some other alternatives to Babybel cheese below:

1. Montchevre Goat Milk Cheddar

While it’s higher in saturated fat, goat’s cheese is naturally richer in certain nutrients compared to cow’s milk-based cheese.

It’s also lower in lactose, which makes it more suitable for people with lactose intolerance or who are intolerant to cow’s milk.

Ingredients:

  • Pasteurized Goat Milk
  • Cheese Culture
  • Rennet
  • Salt

Nutrition facts (per 28-gram piece):

  • Calories: 110
  • Fat: 8 g
  • Saturated Fat: 5 g
  • Sodium: 120 mg
  • Total Carbohydrates: 1 g
  • Fiber: 0 g
  • Protein: 7 g
  • Calcium: 25% DV

2. Simple Truth Organic Mozzarella String Cheese

If you don’t like the taste of Babybel cheese, mozzarella can be a good alternative with a milder taste. It’s also moderate in fat like Babybel cheese.

Ingredients:

  • Cultured Pasteurized Part-Skim Organic Milk
  • Salt
  • Enzymes

Nutrition facts (per 28-gram piece):

  • Calories: 80
  • Fat: 6 g
  • Saturated Fat: 3.5 g
  • Sodium: 190 mg
  • Total Carbohydrates: 0 g
  • Fiber: 0 g
  • Protein: 7 g

3. Tillamook Medium Cheddar Cheese Snacks

This cheddar cheese comes in individually-wrapped portions similar to Babybel cheese but might be a bigger hit with kids and toddlers compared to Babybel.

Ingredients:

  • Cultured milk
  • Salt
  • Enzymes
  • Annatto [color]

Nutrition facts (per 21-gram piece):

  • Calories: 90
  • Fat: 7 g
  • Saturated Fat: 4.5 g
  • Sodium: 190 mg
  • Total Carbohydrates: 1 g
  • Fiber: 0 g
  • Protein: 5 g

Final Considerations

Babybel cheese is a healthy snack choice for people of all ages, including young children and pregnant women.

Babybel cheese is naturally rich in protein and calcium and is free of carbohydrates and sugar, which might appeal to you if you’re wanting to cut down on carbohydrates.

Babybel cheese might even help you lose weight because it’s naturally filling.

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