Is Cheese Good or Bad for Your Health?
Are you trying to lose weight? Control your blood sugar? Eat healthy? Is cheese your friend or your enemy?
Here’s some good news for cheese lovers, cheese can be a part of a healthy diet. It depends largely on the type of cheese, the amount of cheese and what foods you pair with your cheese.
Obviously it’s best to eat cheese in moderation. Below we’ll look at different types of cheese for guidance on what to eat and what to avoid. But also pay close attention to which foods you pair with your cheese.
Cheese has a low glycemic index (GI), meaning that it releases glucose slowly and will not trigger significant blood sugar spikes. But beware, many of us love to pair cheese with crackers, fruit, honey and other foods that can add extra carbs and sugar. So skip the crackers and fruit and eat your cheese on its own or add it to your eggs or other entrees.
It’s recommended that you avoid single-slice packaged cheeses and cheese sprays. These cheeses are very high in salt and might also contain other, potentially risky ingredients.
As well as looking at the salt and saturated fat content, you may want to check out nutritional value. Cheese can be high in protein, calcium or other minerals that are particularly healthful.
Here are some suggestions when choosing what kind of cheese to avoid or add to your meal plan.
- Imported blue
- Single slice packaged processed cheese
- Cottage cheese
- Cream cheese
- Feta (though it contains a high salt content)
If you love cheese, consider the following:
- Mozzarella is a great low-sodium cheese option for people who have diabetes.
- An ounce of provolone offers a full daily value of calcium.
- Fermented cheeses, such as some cottage cheeses, ricotta cheese, Gouda, and Cheddar, provide probiotics.
Cheese can be your friend, but in moderation. And do your homework on fat content, sodium content and cholesterol content to find which type of cheese is best for you.
Check out the Personal Trainer Food meal plan to see how we incorporate cheese into a healthy weight loss diet.