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Cutting down cheese intake sharply

Submitted by Serena Mason on April 19, 2010

Cutting down cheese intake sharply

Cheese is a concentrated source of a whole bunch of essential nutrients naturally found in milk. Cheese was one of types of food high on the ‘to avoid’ list in the past because of its high calories factor.

Cheese, however, is nutritionally dense when compared to other milk products, and so helps in absorption of various nutrients.

You must not cut down completely on cheese as it offers several benefits to the body. There are certain nutritional values associated with cheese, and hence, its value should not be underscored.

You must consume cheese in moderation. You can start by grating a small piece of cheese instead of slicing a bigger piece; this itself will make a big difference.

If you want to cut back on saturated fats and cholesterol, replace your full-fat natural cheese with the lower-fat cheese.

You may also switch to a stronger tasting cheese like extra sharp cheddar, Parmesan, blue, or Gorgonzola, which will help you eat less and still be satisfied.

Cheese plays a delicious role in a well-balanced diet with portion-control and serving size in mind.

Here are a few reasons for indulging yourself in those cheese cravings:

•    Weight control: Cheese helps in weight reduction as it burns abdominal fat. It is nutritionally rich; the calcium content helps in the fat burning process.

•    Osteoporosis prevention: Cheese is a good source of calcium that reduces the chances of osteoporosis. It is also an excellent way to boost the calcium content in prepared food.

•    Cavity fighter: Cheese such as Swiss or aged cheddar prevents tooth decay and help fight cavities. This is due to its high concentration of calcium, protein, and phosphorus which keep the demineralization of the plaque under control. Eating cheese also increases the amount of saliva flow in your mouth, which then washes away the bacteria causing dental cavities.

•    Provides nutrients: You must include cheese like cottage cheese which is low in carbohydrates and high in proteins to provide your body with the required nutrients, especially if you are on a strict diet.

•    Keeps you satisfied: It is recommended to eat cheese for breakfast with fruit or whole-grain toast.

It provides you with the energy required until lunch time and keeps you from munching on rich snacks.

•    Solution for lactose intolerance: Cheese has particularly low lactose content compared to other dairy foods. Therefore, it is well tolerated by those suffering from lactose intolerance (reduced ability to digest milk sugar, lactose) and provides them with the nutrients in dairy foods.

•    High quality food: Cheese contains a high concentration of essential nutrients such as vitamin B12 which helps prevent pernicious anemia; also, the zinc content in cheese prevents acne.

•    During pregnancy: It is important for pregnant women to eat cheese as it is a rich source of protein and calcium. However, they must not indulge in soft, mould-ripened cheese and blue-veined cheese as they are more inclined to allow the growth of bacteria which can harm the unborn child.

•    Health benefits: Cheese is a source of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) and sphingolipids which are milk fat components that have anti-cancer, weight-reducing, and heart-protective effects. Cheese also helps in maintaining normal blood pressure.

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