According to the National Osteoporosis Society, one fifth of you have severely restricted your intake of milk and cheese. Considering the benefits healthy cheese can offer, that’s a lot.
Aside from the obvious – it’s a strong source of calcium and protein, needed for healthy bones and muscles – cheese has been shown to lower blood glucose and blood pressure, protect against teeth cavities and a Canadian study also found dairy to be an essential player in your metabolic health. Which means? It could help you avoid diseases such as type 2 diabetes and obesity.
Yes, that’s right, eating cheese could keep you slim. Read this for more on how you can lose weight by eating cheese.
When it comes to how much dairy you should be getting each day, the British Dietetic Association recommends 700mg. As a rough guide, the below foods all contain approximately 200mg per serving:
• 120g yoghurt
• 200ml calcium-enriched milk alternative
• 60g tin sardines
And, of course…
• 30g cheese
Obviously, not all cheeses are made equal and some are higher in fat – and not the good kind – than others. But don’t let that cause you to write cheese off completely. Pick wisely and your fromage fix could actually come with additional benefits above simply satisfying your calcium and protein requirements. Ready to meet your healthy cheese board? Read on.
YOUR HEALTHY CHEESE BOARD
THE GUT-FRIENDLY HEALTHY CHEESE
Combining bio-live Kefir and high-protein Quark, this healthy cheese promises to satisfy hunger cravings and support digestion. With 18g protein per portion, billions of gut-friendly bacteria plus calcium and vitamins B2 and B12, among others, a tub of this ticks a lot of boxes. Oh, and it’s gluten-free. Enjoy as a savoury snack or, thanks to its clean taste, with fruit and seeds for breakfast.
Bio-tiful Dairy Kefir-Quark, £1.35, Waitrose
THE SUPERFOOD HEALTHY CHEESE
Looking for something with a bit more substance? This award-winning Gouda-style cheese is packed with Welsh superfood seaweed. Seaweed is more nutrient-dense than any other land vegetable and a solid source of iodine. Which matters, because? It helps digestion and protects against chronic illnesses,
Caws Teifi (Seaweed Cheese), £4, Teifi Cheese
THE VEGAN HEALTHY CHEESE
Looking for a multi-tasking cheese that will keep everyone happy? Enter this dairy-, soya-, gluten-, lactose- and nut-free option. Despite being made from coconut oil, it tastes like Cheddar and acts like Cheddar – ie. it makes great cheese on toast. Grate it, slice it and, at 81 cals per serving, enjoy it.
Violife Cheddar, £2.75, Planet Organic
THE WAIST-FRIENDLY HEALTHY CHEESE
Small, simple and snack-friendly; don’t relegate these cheese triangles to memories of childhood packed lunches. Containing a mere 20 calories per portion and 0.4g fat – but 2.4g protein, spread them on oatcakes to fight off hunger-pangs or warm them through pasta for a creamy healthy cheese sauce. Suitable for vegetarians and during pregnancy.
The Laughing Cow Extra Light, £1.40, Tesco
THE IMMUNE-BOOSTING HEALTHY CHEESE
Known as a semi-fat cheese – which basically means it uses skimmed milk as well as whole, reducing the overall fat content – one 30g serving of this contains more calcium than half a pint of milk and almost half your RDA of the fatigue-fighting vitamin B12. But the best bit? This healthy cheese is naturally lactose-free so even those of you with intolerances can have your cheese and eat it.
Grana Padano, £2.50, Sainsbury’s
So, what are you waiting for? Cook up this cauliflower cheese recipe for a healthy cheese dinner, tonight.
And why not crack open a bottle of Merlot? Here’s how to increase your fat burn by drinking wine.