Cheese: good or bad for your health?

Cheese: good or bad for your health?

Some people are still doubting whether cheese is really good for you. Although it is a good source of calcium and other minerals, it also contains high levels of salt and saturated fat. The question is, does the nutritional value it provides outweighs the bad stuff?

According to the Australian Dietary Guidelines, adults are recommended to eat about 2.5 servings of dairy per day this includes cheese, milk, and yogurt. Furthermore, Australians eat about 13.6kg of cheese per person per year based on the available sales data. But what if it’s bad for you?

Fat

Despite suggestions of consuming low-fat cheese, the dietary survey show that about 99% of cheese products consumed are full-fat and only 29% accounts for the reduced-fat cheese products. Consequently, cheese products containing full-fat have high levels of saturated fats which everyone knows raises the risk of suffering heart diseases.

Salt

Another component to consider about cheese products is the sodium level. A portion of cheese can have a range of 74mg to 1,160mg of sodium. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO)  the recommended daily intake of sodium that is good for heart health for adults is less than 5000mg. Hence, if you eat a lot of cheese, there’s a possibility that you’ll consume more than the recommended amount of salt. 

Processed cheese

Heated and melted cheese products obtained from milk added with (or without) emulsifying salts forming a homogenous mass yields to ‘processed cheese’. This dairy products consists of as much as twice the regular amount of sodium of unprocessed cheese. Unfortunately, this type of cheese is what is usually found in households as it is cheaper, more convenient to use, and usually last longer.

Even though cheese has accompanying downsides, various studies show that moderate cheese consumption regardless of whether it is full or reduced fat, is associated with reduced heart disease risk. Therefore, it means that the nutritional benefits of cheese outweighs its cons.

Additionally, it is much recommended that cheese consumption should be limited to two (2) to three (3) servings per week.

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