Cheese is perhaps one of the most beloved foods in the world. We use this versatile dairy product in many recipes, often times as an accompaniment which enhances the overall flavor of a dish. Yet, perhaps as many of us already know, cheese can be a poor dietary choice if one does not consume it responsibly. Not all of its varieties are equal, with some types being distinctly better than others for the human body. In this post we will go over the nutritional benefits of this delicious dairy product, and explain how one can include it in their diet without running the risk of health problems.
In recent years researchers have speculated that there might be a connection between consuming cheese and a decreased chance of developing diabetes type 2. In general, it is thought that dairy products contain probiotic bacteria and a special form of vitamin K that arise during the fermentation process. These two special properties of cheese are what researchers suspect help prevent the occurrence of diabetes type 2. However, it must be said that although studies have found a strong association between dairy products and a decreased chance of diabetes, nothing yet has yet been established to confirm a direct relationship.
Aside from this, cheese is also a rich source of protein and calcium. Due to this, is can benefit our bodies in two distinctly important manners. The first is that its high protein content slows down the absorption of carbohydrates in the body, thereby balancing one’s blood-sugar levels. The second involves the rich calcium content found in dairy products, which plays a crucial role in strengthening teeth and bones.
However, one needs to be cautious when consuming cheese. It naturally contains high amounts of saturated fat and calories, which can increase a person’s chance of developing health complications such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, arthritis and memory loss. Aged cheese in particular is known to be rich in organic compounds known as amines. Amines are thought to be responsible for sensitive individuals developing frequent migraines and headaches. Anyone who suffers from such problems already should probably stay away from cheese altogether, since a great deal of it is aged for a few weeks before being sold. Many individuals are also allergic to dairy products, and should be cautious when consuming any food belonging to this group.
All this being said, there are a few ways one can responsibly incorporate this delectable dairy product into their diet. To start, there are a few varieties of cheese which are significantly healthier than most of their counterparts. Parmigiano-Reggiano is typically made solely from skim milk, and as a result tends to have low fat content. Any type of goat cheese, such as pure white feta for example, tends to be received better by lactose intolerant individuals while maintaining decent nutritional value. Swiss cheese can be a decent choice, because although it is high in sodium, it is also rich in protein, vitamin B, and calcium while being low in calories. If one is feeling particularly brave and wishes to give up cheese altogether, vegan soy substitutes for dairy products have recently become popular, and are usually healthier alternatives to their animal made counterparts.