What are the 3 Shocking Facts About Cheese & Your Health?

If you are anything like me, I am a cheese connoisseur.

If I had the chance, I would eat cheese with everything. In my burrito bowl. With my wine.  Even sprinkled on top of a salad.

But as cheese is melting in your mouth, it also may be melting away at your health – no pun intended.

With so much research out, it’s no wonder why many have stopped to say cheese – and started to say goodbye.

Having said that, here are 3 shocking facts about cheese and your health…

Cheese is really, REALLY high in fat.

 

In a quote from a book called, The Cheese Trap by Neal. D Barnard, he writes,  “Cheese is loaded with calories, high in sodium, packing more cholesterol than steak, and sprinkled with hormones — if the cheese were any worse, it would be Vaseline.”

 

In many ways, Neal Barnard is right. Most processed cheeses are 70% high in fat – and I am not talking about the good fat. We’re talking the bad guys here called saturated fats. In fact, Americans consume about 33 pounds of cheese a year.

Harvard & Cheese

While we may assume cheese is unhealthy – Harvard thinks otherwise. From a study in the August 2016 American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the study observed over 22,000 participants.

What they found was that dairy fat was not linked with a higher risk of cardiovascular disease when compared with the same amount of calories from carbohydrates. There is a catch though.

In a nutshell, the recommendations are still the same. The current dietary recommendation is to consume mostly unsaturated dairy fats rather than processed saturated fats.

Cheese is not created equal

Most cheeses these days aren’t really cheese. If have haven’t checked the food label on cheese – you should do so.

Most often, you will look at a label and read “pasteurized process cheese product,” which simply means it is 51 % cheese. The rest of the ingredients usually include emulsifiers, additives and vegetable oils.

When purchasing healthier options, look out for “pasteurized process cheese, which is a good thing. This means that the cheese is 100% cheese, not garbage. The food labeling is very subtle – look out for the word product at the end of pasteurized process cheese when shopping. If it says product, stay away.

Healthier cheeses include Parmesan, cottage cheese, ricotta, and other organic cheeses.

In conclusion, cheese can be dangerous to our health – especially the more processed. However, cheese can be a good source of essential nutrients and minerals for the body. Don’t worry about saying goodbye all  to cheese. Once in a while, it’s okay – say cheese!

 

Chris Maslowski, L.Ac.
SOPHIA Natural Health Center

 

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