Experts generally believe cheese was first made around 8000 BC when the first domesticated sheep existed. Today there are thousands of cheeses that exist in up to 10 different categories. But what are the healthiest types of cheese to pick?
Cheese is certainly healthy and contains many nutrients like protein, healthy fat, and vitamins/minerals. In fact, it’s one of the “complete proteins” that contains 9 food-based amino acids. However, as with other foods, it’s important to know the possible health risks of eating too much cheese. Another possible issue is health risks involved with highly-processed “cheese” that doesn’t require refrigeration.
The healthiest cheese includes some well-known and niche options. For example, many people are familiar with mozzarella, Swiss, and Parmesan varieties. However, there is also some surprisingly healthy cheese that is less popular including goat cheese. There are also some possible risks when consuming cheese. They include food allergies related to lactose sugars and casein proteins. In fact, dairy is one of the most common food allergies, which also includes wheat, soy, and nuts/peanuts. So it’s important to know the possible health risks that might be possible when eating the dairy product. This can allow you to take steps to minimize such issues.
What Is Cheese Really All About?
Real cheese can provide several health benefits. That’s because it’s milk-based. For example, cheese is a “complete protein.” It contains all 9 essential amino acids (EAAs) that humans must consume from food and supplements. The healthiest types of cheese include:
There are actually thousands of different kinds of cheese to pick from. When searching for a healthy option it’s important to go with the real deal. This generally includes full-fat cheese. The reason is when fat is removed from cheese it’s often replaced with unhealthy ingredients like salt.
While there are several kinds of cheese the general method used to make them is basically the same. The first step is collecting milk at dairy farms. Then after the cow’s milk is brought to the cheese plant the cheese is tested to make sure the quality is high enough for cheese-making
The milk is then processed, which can include protein, cream, or fat added to the milk. This helps to make the cheese uniform, which is an important part of the process. After the cheese is “standardized” it’s then pasteurized. This is done to kill dangerous bacteria in the milk.
The next step involves adding cultures to milk. This turns the natural sugars (lactose) into something called lactic acid. The result is a cheese with a particular taste/texture. Different cultures are used for different cheeses. This process helps to explain why cheddar cheese is orange, for example.
The next step causes milk to gel. This involves separating the solids (curds) and liquids (whey). This is another process that results in different kinds of cheeses. Next, the cut is then cut. The process is related to the amount of moisture in the cheese. It’s another factor that affects different types of cheese.
Healthiest Types Of Cheese And Their Benefits
This cheese is best known for its iconic holes. It’s a good option for consumers looking for low fat/sodium varieties. Keep in mind that “low” sodium includes under 150mg of salt per sodium. That’s about 10% of the daily sodium recommended by the American Heart Association (AHA).
Another plus of this cheese is it’s high in Vitamin B12, which can benefit cell, nerve, and muscle function. Another plus is this cheese also offers about one-fifth of daily calcium.
Grated “Parm ” is a popular option for spaghetti and other pasta dishes. This cheese is very high in phosphorus and calcium in particular. These nutrients are critical for good bone health. This cheese is often high-protein and low-fat. So it’s a good option if you’re on a weight loss program.
This one is very high-calcium even compared to other cheeses. It’s an effective way to add some flavor to soups, salads, and appetizers. One of the possible drawbacks of this cheese is the high sodium content. So you should probably think twice if you have high blood pressure, for example.
In some ways, this cheese is the Greatest Of All Time in terms of nutrition. That’s because it’s lower-lactose versus cow’s milk and thus easier to digest. The reason is the type of milk proteins found in goat milk. You can use this cheese for spreads, wraps, and salads.
This option is high-protein, low-calorie, which makes it a good option for people trying to cut calories. It’s a good option for snacks and meals. Another benefit of cottage cheese is it’s high in selenium, which can help to reduce the risk of inflammation.
The famous pizza cheese is soft and has less salt versus hard cheeses. In fact, there’s less than 10% of the daily value of sodium and 200mg of calcium in one serving.
Top Risks of Cheese
This is a possible cause of digestion problems when consuming dairy like cheese. In fact, this is one of the main milk proteins along with whey. In this situation, it wouldn’t help to pick a low-lactose cheese variety.
Fun Fact: Fat has about 2x more calories versus carbs and proteins. Cheese is generally high-calorie. Each ounce has about 100 calories, or 5% of a 2,000-calorie diet.
There are a few caveats to consider. The fat in cheese is healthy fat versus microwave popcorn, for example. It’s also high in various nutrients, which makes it generally healthy.
Another issue is it’s important to watch your serving sizes. If you’re on a low-calorie diet you probably should avoid eating an entire cheese block during snack time.
If you’re lactose intolerance you should consider picking low-lactose (sugar) options like Parmesan. People with lactose intolerance will be less likely to experience symptoms when picking such an option.
It’s also critical to note that lactose affects people differently. For example, some people with this condition might not have problems with certain dairy products like cheese.
There are also supplements you can take to help deal with lactose intolerance. The effectiveness varies so you should try out different ones to find a product that’s effective for making cheese digestible for you.
This is actually one of the reasons to avoid low-fat cheese and other dairy products. When manufacturers remove fat from dairy products they often replace it with unhealthy stuff like salt. Besides that, there are several health benefits from full-fat milk due to the healthy fatty acids.
However, you should also watch out for certain types of cheese that are typically made with more sodium. Watch the amount of sodium per serving. Your daily total should be under 1500mg when picking products with high-cheesiness.