Celebrate National Cheese Day by learning more about cheese!
Just as there are no two people alike, there are no two cheeses alike. But one thing they all contain is protein. The majority of protein in cheese belong to a family of milk proteins called casein. One of casein protein’s main benefits is its digestion speed. Casein is a slow-digesting protein and can take up to seven hours to digest, thus helping you to stay full longer and may aid in weight loss. Casein-containing dairy foods like milk and low-fat cheese also contain high amounts of vitamin D, calcium and potassium. This combination may improve bone health, cut your chances of developing osteoporosis and diabetes and help manage blood pressure.
Most of the fat that cheese contains is saturated fat. Usually this is a type of fat that we encourage you to minimize in your diet due to heart disease from a high saturated fat diet. But I’m here to tell you that need fat in your diet in order to absorb vitamins A, D, E, and K. Why is that important? Because you need Vitamin D in order to Calcium, one of the major minerals that we get from dairy products like cheese.
Did you know?
Harder cheeses have a lactose content that is lower than other forms of dairy, so people with mild lactose intolerance can still enjoy cheese in moderation. Hard cheeses would include: asiago, cheddar, cotija, romano, or parmesan.
So what counts as a serving?
Serving size: 1 ounce = 3 dice size cubes = 1 slice of cheese = 8oz glass of milk = ½ cup cottage cheese
Choose natural cheese that does not have artificial flavoring or colorings. The amount of chemicals and preservatives in processed cheese is shocking.
Here are some tips for storing cheese:
- Fresh cheeses should be kept in the refrigerator.
- Many fresh cheeses can last for a few weeks if properly stored, so note the freshness date on the package before you buy.
- If you plan to use a soft-ripened cheese (such as Brie) within a few days, store it in the refrigerator in its original plastic wrap.
- Semi-hard and hard cheeses can remain enjoyable for four to eight weeks if properly stored. If you do not plan to consume these cheeses within a few days after the original package is first opened, rewrap in wax paper, which allows the cheese to breathe. Store in a covered plastic container.
Cheese is one of those foods where the policy of moderation applies due to the high fat content. So remember: do not drenching your food in cheese, ordering extra cheese, or eating high calorie foods with cheese such as nachos. As long as you remember this you will be able to enjoy the flavor without any negative effects from this high calorie food.
Celebrate National Cheese day by finding cheese recipes in our 3-day free meal planner.