When it comes to cheese, people often say they love it so much they can’t live without it but hate that it can make you fat and causes heart disease. The truth is that cheese is what you call a whole food. Whole foods are generally good for you, as long as you don’t eat too much of one thing. Here you will learn all the information you need to make healthy choices about eating cheese.
Cheese is a great source of calcium, fat, and protein. It also contains high amounts of vitamins A and B-12, along with zinc, phosphorus, and riboflavin. Cheese made from the milk of 100 percentgrass-fed animals is the highest in nutrients and also containsomega-3 fatty acids andvitamin K-2. According to several studies, cheese — and dairy products in general — could work to protect your teeth from cavities. In aDanish study from 2015, more children with an above-average dairy intake were cavity-free after three years than those with a below-average intake. High-fat cheeses like blue cheese, Brie, and cheddar contain small amounts ofconjugated linoleic acid (CLA). <hl-trusted-source source="PubMed Central" rationale="Highly respected database from the National Institutes of Health" class="css-12hs4c5" style="font-size: large; color: #000000; font-family: Georgia;">ResearchTrusted Source</hl-trusted-source> has suggested that CLA may help prevent obesity, heart disease, and reduce inflammation. Cheese (and other high-fat dairy products, like whole milk and butter) from 100-percent grass-fed animals contains more CLA. Not only does dairy fat include CLA, according to a<hl-trusted-source source="PubMed Central" rationale="Highly respected database from the National Institutes of Health" class="css-12hs4c5">research reviewTrusted Source</hl-trusted-source> that looked at dairy consumption and heart health, full-fat dairy products appear to provide greater nutrition and have anti-inflammatory properties. Fermented dairy products, such as yogurt and cheese, may have an even clearer positive effect on cardiovascular health. Unfortunately, when dairy is pasteurized with high heat, some beneficial compounds — such asgood bacteria and enzymes — are significantly reduced.
Some people are sensitive to cheese. Cheese contains lactose, a sugar that can’t be digested by lactose intolerant people because their bodies lack the enzyme that breaks it down. In these cases, too much lactose can lead to digestive problems including gas and bloating. Fortunately, some cheeses are verylow in lactose, such as Parmesan. People with lactose intolerance may be able to tolerate these. People can also beallergic to casein, one of the main proteins found in milk, in which case a low-lactose cheese wouldn’t help.
Cheese is also a calorie-dense food. Depending on the variety of cheese you eat, you’re getting about 100 calories per ounce. It’s also usually loaded with sodium, which makes it easy to overeat and can be an issue for people withhigh blood pressure. Cheese is also high in fat, and some experts,though not all, still advise limiting your intake of saturated fat. Finally, cheese contains no fiber, and excessive intake of pasteurized dairy may cause constipation.
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