Do you try to cut cheese out of your diet in an attempt to get, or stay, in good health? Is it your belief that cheese is “the enemy”, meant to be avoided at all costs? If so, you may not be doing yourself as many favors as you would think.
Although it certainly isn’t something you can eat without complete abandon (the way you could vegetables, for instance), you don’t have to swear cheese off forever in the name of health. In fact, you shouldn’t because there are some great health benefits to be had in enjoying a piece of its smooth creaminess from time to time.
Cheese is high in protein, making it a great muscle enhancing food that satisfies your hunger as much as it does your body. It also has a lot of calcium to keep your bones strong and carries some amino acids, like tryptophan (which is a mood enhancer), which your body can’t manufacture itself.
Of course, the downside of cheese is that tends to be high in sodium and fat – two substances you don’t need too much of. But, not all cheeses are created the same. Some are healthier options than others.
So, when buying cheese, you’re going to want it to keep the following in mind:
- Choose organic. Natural cheeses are much better for you than their highly processed counterparts. The ingredients are more pure and they contain fewer of the unnatural ingredients that will likely cause you more harm than good.
- Go with real milk. Some cheeses are made with milk protein as opposed to real milk. However, real milk is better for you from a health standpoint so try to avoid the others when selecting a good, healthful option for you.
- Choose goat’s milk. Cheese that is made from goat’s milk is higher in body healthy nutrients than cheese made from cow’s milk. For instance, it has more tryptophan (which can help put you in a good mood).
- Buy low sodium and, preferably, low fat. If you have a choice to cut out one or both of these things, then you should certainly take it as your health will thank you in the long run.
Now that you know what you’re looking for, what are some cheeses that you can eat without all of the guilt? If you’re looking for a cream cheese, Neufchatel is a great alternative. Gouda is also good, and if you’re looking for cheddar, sharp is better than mild if you want a lot of taste with just a little cheese. Feta and ricotta are two more options that are on the healthier side of the fence.
You can eat cheese and still keep your health intact. That’s great news worth celebrating; maybe with a piece of cheese perhaps?