Hello, cheese enthusiasts and New Year's resolutioners! Kendall Antonelli here. As you may be considering some healthy resolutions, we hope the following information helps you keep cheese in the diet! First off, I'm not a doctor or a dietitian - I'm just a fellow cheese aficionado (and Certified Cheese Professional), here to guide you through the maze of cheese-related health facts. Let’s decode some scientific jargon together – all in the name of cheese!
Cheese: A Nutritional Powerhouse in the New Year
Here's a little nugget to kick us off: Did you know that cheese has more protein and fewer calories than an egg, ounce for ounce? Yes, you read that right! As we step into the new year with health goals shining bright, let's not overlook cheese. It's almost a complete “perfect” food, brimming with proteins, fats, minerals, and vitamins - all in more potent doses than in milk. Just add veggies (to add in digestion) and you’ve got a complete nutritional meal.
Cheese 101: A Nutritious Treasure Chest
As we embrace healthy eating this year, let’s delve into the nutritional riches of cheese:
- Calcium: Key for robust bones and teeth, and vital for heart health and preventing blood clots.
- Fat: Not just energy-giving but also essential for cell growth, nutrient absorption, and organ protection.
- Protein: The building block for tissues, enzymes, and hormones.
- Vitamins A and B-12: Crucial for vision, immunity, nerve, and blood cell health.
- Zinc, Phosphorus, Riboflavin, Magnesium: These are the unsung heroes for immune function, energy, and overall well-being.
And let's not forget that each cheese variety brings its own set of nutritional benefits to the table:
- Goat’s Milk Cheese: A champion in Vitamin A and D.
- Sheep’s Milk Cheese: Packed with protein, calcium, B2, B12, and a low-sodium profile.
- Cow’s Milk Cheese: A folic acid and zinc powerhouse.
Lactose Intolerance? No Problem!
Busting a common myth as we start 2024: most cheeses, particularly the aged varieties, have minimal to no lactose. The cheese-making magic turns lactose into lactic acid, making cheese a friendly option for those with lactose sensitivities. If your tummy still aches after consuming cheese, it’s likely a protein allergy (not lactose). In that case, goat (or sheep) milk cheeses might just be your new best friends, since their fat globules are smaller and easier to digest than big fluffy cow milk ones.
The Raw Milk Cheese Edge
In our pursuit of wellness, let's not overlook the gems that are raw milk cheeses (aged over 60 days, of course, as per U.S. laws). These cheeses are a goldmine of natural nutrients like Omega-3 fatty acids and Vitamin B3, essential for heart health and managing cholesterol – a perfect fit for your health-conscious diet.
Parmigiano-Reggiano: The Protein Titan
Parmigiano-Reggiano, a name that resonates with cheese lovers, is a true protein powerhouse. Packed with essential amino acids like Tyrosine, Taurine, Valine, Tryptophan, and Lysine, it’s not just about taste – it's about supporting your mood, heart, and muscle repair. A cheese that aligns with your health goals? Yes, please!
Blue Cheese: A Mood Modifier
Ending our cheese tour on a high note with raw milk blue cheese. It’s not just about the bold flavor; it’s about the casein breaking down into casomorphin, an opioid peptide that positively influences mood and stress. Who knew cheese could be a mood booster?
Wrapping Up Our Cheesy Health Journey
So, as we tie up our cheese exploration, which one was your favorite? Any health benefits that caught you by surprise? As we usher in the new year, remember: cheese is more than a culinary delight; it's a bundle of health benefits. Here's to relishing cheese as part of our journey to wellness!