When you first start a healthy eating plan, giving up your favorite foods might be one of your main concerns. Change is good, especially healthy changes, but none of us like the idea of losing too much of the things we enjoy. Well, for you cheese lovers out there, we have some good news: Yes, cheese can be a part of a healthy diet!
Consider your overall meal plan. Cheese is not inherently “bad”. But because cheese is often paired with high-carb, high-fat foods (like pizza for example) you might simply need to find a healthier way to enjoy your cheese within your overall meal plan.
Cheese promotes feelings of fullness. Because cheese contains both protein and fat, it can help you to feel more satiated. And since you’re satisfied, with more even blood sugar levels, you’re less likely to suffer from cravings for unhealthy snacks between meals.
Portion size is important. A portion of cheese is just one ounce. Keep this in mind as you consider your overall calorie count.
Some varieties are naturally lower in calories. Some cheeses, like goat chevre, feta, and mozzarella, are higher in water. Therefore, they are a bit lower in calories and fat.
Cheese provides certain necessary nutrients. Like all dairy foods, cheese is a good source of calcium which is needed to promote strong bones. Many varieities also contain zinc, magnesium, vitamin A, and vitamin B12.
Cheese isn’t great for everyone. If you’re lactose intolerant, you might or might not have trouble digesting cheese. This problem varies from one person to another, but harder cheeses like cheddar and parmesan tend to be more tolerable for many.
And if you have high blood pressure or high cholesterol, you probably do need to be more cautious with cheese due to the saturated fat it contains. You can still enjoy a bit, every so often, but be careful not to over-indulge.
As always, give us a call to discuss a healthy eating plan or weight loss plan. We can help you understand the foods you should be eating, along with appropriate portion sizes, to drop pounds and avoid chronic disease.