An excellent source of casein protein, cheese health benefits are many. Even then, the very word “cheese” scares a lot of people, especially, the ones who are on weight loss or weight maintenance program(s). Why do you have this wrong notion that cheese is bad for you? In fact, rich in vitamins and minerals, cheese is known to have many nutrition benefits.
Here I present its nutrition information and leave it to you to decide whether eating cheese is beneficial for health.
Cheese Health Benefits #1: Carbs
Carbs content varies with different types of cheese, its brands and maturation stage. Lactose is the main carb in milk; when cheese is made, some lactose breaks into galactose and glucose. In cottage cheese and cream cheese, lactose is higher because they are fresh; in aged cheese, lactose is comparatively lower.
Cheese Health Benefits #2:Vitamins & Minerals
From the chart given below, you can very well make out that it is very rich in vitamins and minerals. As such, it has great nutrition benefits that help your health.
Cheese Health Benefits #3: Nutrition Facts
A typical 100 g of cheese has:
Calories 406 kcal
Carbs 1.8 g
Protein 24.0 g
Fiber 0.0 g
Sugar 0.3 g
Fat 33.8 g
Vitamin A 29.2%
Vitamin C 0.0%
Vitamin D 12.0%
Vitamin E 5.2%
Vitamin B2 (thiamin) 2.3%
Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) 33.4%
Vitamin B3 (niacin) 0.2%
Vitamin B6 3.8%
Vitamin B12 36.7%
Vitamin K 2.4%
Cheese Health Benefits #4: Fat
Fat content in cheese is highly complex and is quite variable; it all depends on the type you will eat. For example, if 1 bowl of cottage cheese would have 1 to 1.5% fat, it will be about 33 to 34% fat in 1 bowl of cream cheese.
Containing hundreds of fatty acids, it has 70% is saturated fat and some monounsaturated fat. It also contains “ruminant” (a family of trans fats) trans fats—Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) and Vaccenic Acid—that have quite a number of health benefits.CLA is known to promote weight loss; at the same time, its overdose can cause severe metabolic imbalances.
The types of cheese easily available in the market are:
- Cottage: Made from milk, especially pasteurized skim milk, it has low fat content with a mild flavor. It is never ripened and as such, it is eaten fresh. In other words, the more fresh you eat it, the more you will derive health benefits.
- Feta: crumbly, soft, salty and tangy, it is made traditionally from goat’s or sheep’s milk in Greece and is mostly used in various types of salads.
- Cream: Made in the US, it is soft, fresh, has mild taste,and contains about 32 to 34% fat. It is mostly used as spread.
- Swiss: A common name used for many types of cheese made in Switzerland, it is formed by trapping gas at the time of ripening. The generic version has eyes or holes as seen in Emmental.
- Emmental/Emmentaler: A type of Swiss cheese, it has eyes or holes. With a characteristic flavor, it contains high level of propionic acid.
- Cheddar: Most popular in England, the US and Canada, its origin goes back to England. Pale orange in color, it is hard.
- Parmesan cheese: Originating in Italy, it is aged, hard and has a pleasant savory taste; mostly used as seasoning.
- Mozzarella: Originating in Italy, this unripened cheese is made from cow’s milk. Earlier, it used to be made from buffalo’s milk. It is mostly used in pastas and pizzas.
- Gouda: Originating in the Netherlands, it is one of the most popular and common cheese that is used in making sandwiches.
- Edam: Originating in the Netherlands, this mild flavored, semi-hard cheese is spherical in shape. Red paraffin wax is used to coat it.
- Blue: With blue spots or blue veins inside, the name is commonly used for cheese in which blue-green mold has been used to ripen it. Gorgonzola (Italian origin), Roquefort (French origin) and Stilton are three types of blue cheese.
- Cambert: It is ripened cheese that is soft and covered with white mold. But if it is over-ripened, it gives out strong smell of ammonia. When ripe, it has sharp taste—something like butter, sulfur and mushroom.
- Brie: Same as Cambert cheese but with a rind of white mold. Its origin goes back to France.
Cheese Health Benefits #5: On Overall Health
Cheese is beneficial for your health in the following ways:
- Bone health (especially osteoporosis): Increased fracture risk and reduced bone density are the two characteristics of the degenerative disease that we know as osteoporosis. Eating cheese actually helps protect against daily symptoms of osteoporosis, especially in elder women who are suffering from this disease.
- Heart health: The unique combo of magnesium, potassium and calcium found in this milk product actually helps protect you against cardiovascular disease as it helps in reducing hypertension or its risk.
Cheese and Adverse Effects
It can produce adverse effects on your health if:
- you are allergic to milk.
So, what do you think? Are cheese health benefits so scary that you don’t want to eat it? Always remember that eating cheese in moderation will not cause any health problem.