My clients give me surprised looks when I tell them that cheese is allowed in their diets. Cheese has been in the news for causing weight gain, acne, heart disease etc. All this is not true.
If you have read the book by Dr. Spencer Johnson “who moved my cheese”, which is a book on change, so it is time for us to look at cheese from a different perspective. It is alright for many to eat fried food, drink alcohol but cheese has been a taboo and avoid it like the plague.
Yes, it is completely safe to eat cheese. Cheese has been our diets from centuries. But lets look at the goodness of cheese.
Benefits of Cheese
* It is high in calcium, hence is a great choice to increase calcium intake.
* Cheese prevents osteoporosis by improving bone health.
* It is a good source of protein for vegetarians giving about 5-7 grams per cube.
* Low in carbohydrates compared to other dairy products as the milk sugar(lactose) is broken down due to the aging process, hence a good snack for diabetics.
* Cheese helps in “fat burning”. Yes, it does by decreasing the parathyroid hormone levels in our blood. The primary function of parathyroid hormone is to maintain normal levels of calcium in the body. When calcium levels drop too low, parathyroid hormone is secreted to instruct bone cells to release calcium into the bloodstream. Hence higher levels of calcium in the blood reduces the level of this hormone, thereby preventing loss of calcium from bones. Wow!!!
* It Improves insulin resistance.
* Helpful for those who are lactose intolerant due to the less or no lactose content. Cheeses such as Swiss, cheddar can be had to reap the benefits of calcium without lactose.
* Helps to reduce migraine headaches. If you have repeated attacks, increase calcium intake.
* Ideal to add to diets for children and adolescents who love variations in diets.
* Helps to lower your blood pressure.
* It prevents tooth decay by reducing plaque acids.
* It is rich in fat soluble vitamins such as A and D, and also rich in vitamin B groups as well as zinc, phosphorous, iodine and selenium. Hence it does not cause acne.
How can you enjoy Cheese?
* Grate it over salads and soups.
* Add a slice in your whole wheat sandwich with veggies.
* My favorite snack – Melted cheese over steamed broccoli.
* Cheese with fruits are great appetizers.
* Eat alone as a snack.
If you are worried about the fat content, opt for low fat cheese. If you exercise regularly and follow a healthy diet, then it is safe to add about one ounce or 30grams of cheese in your diet daily.
BDST: 1025 HRS, June 7, 2012,
Edited by: Sharmina Islam, Lifestyle Editor