Is Cheese Healthy?
By Sara Butler
Dairy products such as cheese have a bit of a bad reputation as unhealthy. While there are many circumstances in which too much of a good thing can absolutely be unhealthy, cheese in and of itself isn't as bad as you may think. In fact, cheese can be a part of a healthy diet. Here's what you need to know to make cheese a part of your balanced diet.
The Nutritional Benefits of Cheese
Cheese is a great source of calcium, playing a vital role in helping you to maintain healthy and strong bones. It also happens to be an amazing source of important vitamins, such as B12 and A, as well as minerals like magnesium and zinc. Plus, there are healthy fats and protein in cheese that makes you feel fuller for longer when you eat it, helping to keep your blood sugar stable along the way.
The only caveat with cheese is that some varieties tend to be higher in saturated fat and sodium in others. So if you struggle with high cholesterol or high blood pressure, then you need to be conscious of the types of cheese you eat.
If you're lactose intolerant, then cheese can be a real downer too. It may produce uncomfortable gastrointestinal symptoms. But the good news is that there is less lactose in hard cheeses such as Parmesan and cheddar, making them easier to tolerate.
Portion Sizes of Cheese
To enjoy cheese as a part of a healthy diet, it's all about portion control. Too much of anything is unhealthy, so you have to make sure that you have the recommended serving size when you enjoy it.
To get the ounce of cheese recommended in one serving, you can have:
- Brie - A one-ounce serving is about the size of two dominoes
- Cheddar - Cheese cubes about the size of four dice is what you want for one ounce
- Mozzarella - A fat marker is a great comparison for one ounce of this cheese
- Shredded Parmesan - A scoop the size of a golf ball will provide you with one ounce
There seems to be an idea that some foods are off limits while other foods are not if you want to be healthy. Cheese often gets lumped into the off-limits category, but it doesn't have to be. Instead, reach for nutrient-dense foods that help you to feel fuller for longer and you'll be in good shape.
To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Fontana, Calif.