Thanks to more pizza, Tex-Mex favorites, and ubiquitous mac and cheese, Americans are eating three times as much cheese compared to 50 years ago.
It’s a lot of saturated fat and calories, which can lead to a lot of guilt. But you don’t need to feel that way or steer clear of cheese entirely – you just need to be more judicious in your selections.
With dairy fat in cheese, as well as whole-fat milk and yogurt, being less slandered these days, eating small amounts is still okay for you. But don’t depend on cheese alone to get to that recommended three servings a day, especially if weight is an issue. Cheese does have a high fat-content, so a lot of calories can be consumed in a few bites. Remember that a one-ounce serving is about the size of a pair of die, so portion accordingly.
Some cheeses have less fat and therefore fewer calories, meaning you can eat a bit more of them. Feta, goat, and mozzarella cheeses all have between 70 to 75 calories per ounce compared to Brie, manchego and Swiss, to name just a few, which average between 100 and 120. If cheese is your preferred source of calcium, remember that hard cheeses have two or more times the amount than soft cheeses – roughly 240 milligrams per ounce.
If you can control yourself once the cheese board’s out, try to limit your usage to flavour-enhancer status. Sprinkle small amounts of stronger cheeses onto dishes, like feta, blue, or Parmesan.
Lastly, don’t be fooled by ‘low-fat cheeses’. Read the labels carefully, being wary of cheeses that replace dairy fat with oil – that’s just another processed food in disguise.
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