American Cheese Vs. Cheddar: Which Type Is Best For Health?

American Cheese Vs. Cheddar

For years, a debate has waged in the cheese world regarding American cheese vs. Cheddar cheese. While you will be hard pressed to find an argument in favor of “American” cheese, it does have its place in the food industry. In fact, many restaurants and a few fast-food chains began switching from real cheddar to processed American in the early 1980s.

What is American Cheese?

American cheese is a type of processed cheese. It is made from cheese and other additives, such as salt, coloring, vegetable oil and milk protein concentrate. The main difference between this product and other types of cheese is that American cheese is not aged.

What is American Cheese?

It is typically used to make grilled cheese sandwiches and paninis, but it can also be used in other recipes that call for melted cheese.

The most common varieties of American cheese include:

Processed American Cheese:

This type of cheese has been pasteurized, homogenized and contains about 50 percent moisture. It does not require refrigeration until opened, but should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator after opening to prevent spoilage and mold growth.

Whole Milk Processed American Cheese:

This variety contains more fat than regular processed American cheese because whole milk was used during its production process. The extra fat gives it a richer flavor than its low-fat counterpart when melted on sandwiches or used in other recipes that call for melted cheeses such as lasagna casseroles or macaroni and cheese dishes.

What is Cheddar Cheese?

Cheddar cheese is a hard, mild and sharp-tasting natural cheese. It is named after the village of Cheddar in Somerset, England. Cheddar cheese was first produced in North West England during the 12th century. Since 1993, Cheddar has been protected against imitation by a European Union PGI status.

What is Cheddar Cheese?

Cheddar is a semisoft to hard textured natural cheese and it has a sharp taste with hints of nutmeg and fruitiness. The colour and texture of Cheddar depend on how long it has been matured for; young Cheddar is pale yellow and firm with a granular texture, while old Cheddar is darker yellow or orange, crumbly, and has a much stronger taste. The longer cheddars are matured for, the stronger their flavour becomes due to lactic acid production from bacteria which causes a chain reaction that transforms milk into cheese.

Cheddar is produced from cow’s milk (usually pasteurised), although some may be made from sheep’s milk. The milk used may be pasteurised or unpasteurised but not sterilised as it gives off ammonia during the ripening process which contributes to its unique flavour profile.

American Cheese Vs. Cheddar: History, Texture, Taste and Aging

The American Cheese vs. Cheddar debate is one that has been raging for over a century. It all started with a cheese maker named James Kraft, who developed his own version of cheddar in 1911 and called it “American cheese.” Since then, the two types have been compared in many different ways, but here are some of the most important differences between them:


  • American Cheese: The history of American cheese is a long one. The first recorded instance of this cheese was in the late 1700s. It was made from cow’s milk, but it was not until the early 1800s that it began to be mass produced and distributed widely.
  • Cheddar Cheese: Cheddar cheese has been around since at least the 12th century. It originated in the English counties of Somerset and Gloucestershire, but it has become a staple of the cuisine of many countries throughout the world.

American Cheese Vs. Cheddar: History, Texture, Taste and Aging


  • American Cheese: American cheese has a smooth texture, which makes it easy to slice or shred. The texture can vary depending on how long it has been aged and how much moisture is left in the cheese after processing.
  • Cheddar Cheese: Cheddar cheese is a semi-soft cheese with a crumbly texture. It has a mild flavor that gets sharper with age.


  • American Cheese: American cheese has a pale yellow hue when it is fresh, but it will change color over time as it ages. After several weeks of aging, American cheese can become darker in color and have more texture than when it comes out of the mold.
  • Cheddar Cheese: Cheese color is determined by the amount of time it spends aging and the type of bacteria used. The longer a cheese ages, the darker its color becomes. For example, sharp cheddar cheese can range from white to yellowish-orange when young but will become more yellow as it ages.


  • American Cheese: American cheese has a mild flavor that’s often described as “salty” or “sweet.” It melts well and can be used in cooking as well as for sandwiches and snacks.
  • Cheddar Cheese: The flavor profile of cheddar cheese is influenced by its age. Younger cheddar cheeses tend to have a milder flavor with a sharper bite than aged varieties. As they age, they develop a sharper tangy flavor that can be described as pungent or sharp.


  • American Cheese: American cheese is made from pasteurized milk, but it can also include additional ingredients such as water; salt; emulsifiers; coloring agents; and preservatives such as sorbic acid or natamycin as well as spices like paprika or cayenne pepper to give it flavor variations like mild cheddar or hot habanero jack.
  • Cheddar Cheese: Cheddar cheese is made from cow’s milk and is typically aged for 9 months or longer. The curds are cut into cubes before being heated and stirred, which releases whey (the liquid part of milk). After cooling, they’re packed into wooden boxes with cloth-lined interiors. The boxes are stacked on top of each other, creating an environment where bacteria can thrive. As they multiply they eat away at lactose in the curd, turning it into lactic acid that gives cheddar its sharpness and tanginess.


  • American Cheese: American cheese must be aged for at least 60 days before going on the market. During this time, enzymes break down proteins into smaller molecules that give the cheese its texture and flavor. The longer the aging process, the stronger these flavors become.
  • Cheddar Cheese: Cheddar cheese can be aged anywhere from three months to two years or longer to obtain different flavors and textures. The best cheddar cheese takes on an orange-yellow color and develops a rich flavor with a bite that lingers on the palate.

American Cheese Vs. Cheddar: Nutrition Information

Per 100gAmerican CheeseCheddar Cheese
Carbohydrates8.85 g2.13 g
Fat23.06 g33.82 g
Protein16.09 g24.25 g
Water45.07 g36.15 g
Calcium1375 mg711 mg
Iron0.95 mg0.16 mg
Magnessium34 mg27 mg
Potassium295 mg76 mg
Sodium1279 mg644 mg
Vitaminium B1 (Thiamine)0.04 mg0.027 mg
Vitaminium B2 (riboflavin)0.425 mg0.434 mg
Vitaminium B3 (Niacin)0.17 mg0.434 mg
Vitaminium B60.124 mg0.075 mg
Vitaminium B9 (Folic acid)0.018 mg0.027 mg
Vitaminium E0.84 mg0.78 mg
Vitaminium K0.003 mg0.002 mg

What Is The Difference Between Cheddar and American Cheese

American cheese is a processed cheese product made from milk and additives like water, whey, and milkfat. It’s known for its mild flavor and soft consistency.

What Is The Difference Between Cheddar and American Cheese

Cheddar on the other hand is an unpasteurized cow’s milk cheese that’s naturally aged for at least 60 days. It has a sharp taste that becomes more pungent as it gets older and stronger tasting with a harder texture than American cheese.

The main difference between these two types of cheese is that cheddar doesn’t contain any additives while American cheese does contain several ingredients such as water, whey protein concentrate, milk fat, sodium phosphate, and salt among others.

These ingredients help give American cheese its unique flavor but may have adverse health effects such as high blood pressure when consumed regularly over time.


The American Cheese Vs. Cheddar article provides guidelines on the best types of cheese to buy, such as American, Cheddar, and Swiss. The author even provides measurements for those who are not used to dealing in ounces while shopping in the grocery store. This article is both factual, straightforward, and professional.

Joe Ciardullo

Joe Ciardullo

In the year 2012, Joe Ciardullo opened C’est Cheese in Port Jefferson, New York, and has had great success over the past many years by combining all these passions into a trendy modern diner. Is a passionate foodie, especially cheese, beer, and wine.

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