Healthy Diets and Cheese

Cheese can be high in cholesterol, sodium and saturated fat, but eaten in moderation cheese can be a healthy part of your diet because it provides calcium.

If you need to watch your sodium or cholesterol intake than when you select your cheese and are looking at hard cheeses than check the label for “fat free”, “low fat” and purchase those. If you are looking at soft cheese than chose those that are labeled as low fat (1%), part-skim or light products. Some grocery stores even carry low fat, low cholesterol cheese products for you to select from.

Cooking with Cheese

If you are cooking, do not use fat-free cheeses because they will not melt. Use a low-fat brand or reduce the amount you add to the recipe of a regular cheese by half.

Cheese does tend to have high sodium content so read labels of cheese packages to determine how much sodium is listed.

As in most foods, eating cheese should be in moderation. You can eat whole mild cheeses on holidays and special occasions and eat fat-free or low-fat cheeses daily.

Pregnant women need to be careful of soft cheeses because they can contain the bacterium Listeria. When pregnant, eat hard cheeses, or eat soft cheeses that have been boiled in cooking.

Soft cheeses include:

    Feta

    Goat cheese

    Brie

    Camembert

    Blue-veined cheeses such as Roquefort

    Mexican style cheeses such as queso blanco, queso, fresco, queso de hoja, queso de crema asadero

Those individuals who are lactose intolerant can consume dairy products including cheese in smaller amounts without feeling any discomfort. As cheese ages the lactose is transformed into lactic acid, and lactic acid causes no distress in those who are lactose intolerant. So if lactose intolerant individuals eat aged cheeses they are not likely to experience any difficulty.

Aged cheeses include:

    Asiago

    Cheddar

    Gruyere

    Parmesan

    Reggiano

    Romano

What is Soy Cheese?

Soy cheese is a new cheese alternative, which is made primarily from soymilk. You can find soy cheese in a variety of flavors. Look for soy cheese in the produce department of most grocery stores. Read the labels of soy cheese because they can contain some milk.

Individuals who suffer from milk allergy especially need to read labels and not assume that just because a product says, “soy” that it doesn’t contain some milk too. Milk protein is sometimes used to make soy cheese products.