The short answer is yes, cheese can be part of a healthy diet. There are many different types of cheese with various health benefits.
Here’s a closer look at the benefits of cheese and some recipes that include different types of cheese.
What is cheese?
At the most basic level, cheese is a solid dairy product made from milk. Ancient cultures discovered cheese when they left milk in the sun and it curdled, according to the Harvard Health Bulletin. Salt and other additives can change the flavor of the cheese.
The art of cheese making has been around for thousands of years across different cultures. Ancient Egyptian tomb murals depict cheese and cheesemaking, according to the National Cheesemaking Historical Center. There is no agreed upon origin story for making cheese, but it is believed that sheep’s milk was used to make cheese early on.
Is cheese healthy?
Cheese can be healthy in moderation.
It is a calorie-dense food, which means it contains a lot of calories in small portions. They are also high in fat (saturated fat), which means it is important to watch portions. Cheese contains a high percentage of vitamin K2, according to a study published in the journal Frontiers in Nutrition. The researchers said it is a “neutral food that fits into a healthy diet.”
Cheese also has health benefits like protein, vitamin B12, zinc, calcium and vitamin D, according to WebMD. What the nutrients in cheese could mean for you is better bone and muscle health, reduced inflammation (and may also be beneficial for preventing heart disease and obesity), lower blood pressure, and protected blood vessels and gut health.
It has been found that moderate consumption of some types of cheese with fruits, vegetables, milk and bread contributes to longevity. A study published in the journal Nature that followed residents of three French regions for about 15 years found that “moderate consumption of yogurt, cottage cheese, and other cheeses” was associated with a lower risk of death.
What type of cheese is healthy?
Here are nine of the healthiest cheeses you can eat, according to Healthline.
- Blue cheese.
- Goat cheese.
Some principles for choosing healthy cheese are:
- Look for cheese that is low in fat and sodium. Mozzarella is an example of a cheese that is lower in sodium and fat than other types of cheese, and due to its mild flavor, it can be used in a variety of different dishes.
- When eating hard cheeses like Parmesan, remember their high sodium content and pay attention to the serving size. The good news is that Parmesan has a distinct flavour, so a little bit can add a lot of flavor to a dish.
- If you choose cheddar cheese or another cheese rich in protein and fat, it is important to watch the portion size, because there is usually a large amount of saturated fat.
- While all types of cheese are processed (processed from milk to cheese), some types of cheese are more processed than others, according to today’s report. Limiting processed cheeses such as American cheese or packaged cheese may be a healthy choice.
What are healthy ways to eat cheese?
- Sprinkle some grated feta or mozzarella cheese over a vegetable-filled salad. You can use olive oil and vinegar for a simple dressing that allows the cheese’s flavor to stand out.
- Think of cheese as an accent to help boost your vegetable intake. Melting a little cheese with some broccoli or asparagus can be a good way to increase your vegetable intake.
- Pair an ounce of cheese with berries for dessert. Although cheese is not always thought of as a dessert food, brie or mascarpone cheese goes well with berries and can be part of a filling dessert that may make the berries more satisfying.
- Chop some cheese into scrambled eggs with vegetables for a healthy breakfast.
- If you’re craving a cheesy pizza, try cutting the amount of cheese you normally put on your pizza in half and adding vegetables and lean protein for a filling slice.
- Replace high-calorie cheese with lower-calorie cheese in the dish. Instead of eating baked ziti with high-fat cheese, try using cottage cheese or another low-calorie cheese. You can still use high-fat cheese in the dish by sprinkling it on top.
8 healthy recipes with cheese
- The best caprese salad from Bon Appétit.
- How to Eat a Roasted Broccoli Caesar Salad from Sweet Eats.
- Taste pumpkin macaroni and cheese at home.
- Food Network Figs with Ricotta, Pistachios and Honey.
- Mediterranean Chickpea Salad with Love and Lemon.
- BBC Good Food Pesto and Goat Cheese Risotto.
- Healthy Mediterranean Flatbread Pizza from Epicurean Restaurant.
- All recipes for Spinach and Turkey Feta Burgers.