Americans eat a lot of cheese. In 2011, more than 10 billion pounds of cheese were produced. The federal government recommends that people eat milk and dairy products for health. The question is whether eating cheese is the right thing to do. Although cheese offers some healthy properties, the kind of cheese and the amount matters.
Why is cheese bad?
1. High Fat Content
Cheese, especially processed American cheese, has a lot of saturated fats. These fats are not healthy. By eating one slice of Domino’s Pizza, Americans get two-thirds the daily fat intake just from the cheese.
2. High Salt Content
Much of the cheese available in stores has a lot of sodium, which is bad for your heart. Some cheeses are low in sodium, but many are not.
3. Too Many Calories
Cheese has too many calories that are difficult to eliminate when you exercise. To combat the cheese, you would have to exercise double the amount of time. Calories from fat also aren’t the calories you want in your body.
4. Animal Enzymes
Manufacturers like to use rennet in their cheeses. This is an enzyme that comes from calves’ stomachs. To get this enzyme, manufacturers have to kill newborn calves. If you are an animal lover, you might not want to eat this. If you prefer vegetarian cheese, it’s made from bacteria, which is not healthy to ingest.
5. Unhealthy Processes
Often, manufacturers process the cheese using unhealthy practices. The cows are given hormones to produce more milk. These hormones are passed to humans when they consume dairy. The machines also could put infections into the cheese.
6. Leads to Diseases
When you eat the fat, salt and calories, you pack on the pounds. When you become overweight, you have a higher risk of heart disease and diabetes.
Brie-makers spray on mold to make the white rind. Others have mold included in the cheese. This is not very healthy to consume.
8. High Cholesterol
Cheese has a large amount of the bad cholesterol. This also can lead to diseases.
Why is cheese good?
There is conflicting research when it comes to whether or not cheese is good for you. Some studies have pointed out reasons for cheese being considered unhealthy. However, many have shown just the opposite.
1. Bone-Building Properties
Cheese has a lot of naturally occurring calcium and is fortified with vitamin D. Eating one ounce of cheese can give you one-fourth of your recommended calcium intake. Go for the low-fat or nonfat cheeses to get the same benefits as those filled with saturated fats.
2. Cavity Prevention
Besides the calcium that is good for bones, cheese has properties that eliminate acid on your teeth enamel. Without the acid, bacteria can’t attack your teeth’s enamel. Therefore, eating cheese can prevent cavities. The protein in cheese also helps to prevent cavities.
3. Weight Loss
While this property is being debated, several studies have found a link to eating cheese and losing weight. Other studies have shown that eating too much cheese has led to weight gain. Eating cheese as a complement instead of a meal, such as with apples or salad, can help you lose weight.
4. Not Addictive
Some people believe that cheese is like alcohol or cigarettes—addictive unhealthy habit. However, research has found that cheese is not addictive. People just eat too much because they like it.
5. High in Proteins
Besides helping bones, cheese can help the muscles too. Cheese has a lot of protein, which is good for your muscles. The proteins help the teeth and circulation system. But, like the bone-building properties, you don’t want to eat too much or the ones with fats.
6. The French eat tons of cheese, and they’re really healthy!
The French eat more saturated fat than any other country in the world. They also eat a lot of cheese, which is high in saturated fat. Usually, saturated fat intake is linked to deaths by heart disease. You would think the French have a high coronary death rate. However, in reality, France lists the lowest rates of coronary deaths. This is called the French paradox. It suggests that eating unhealthy cheese, fats and salt have no effect on them.
Although many scientists believe the wine intake offsets the harmful effects, a recent study found that eating the cheese has led to the paradox. According to the study, people who ate saturated fats from milk and cheese did not have high blood cholesterol as the group that got the fats from butter. The people in the study who ate cheese had lower levels of the compound that is linked to cardiovascular disease. They also had molecule called butyrate, which might stop bad cholesterol from forming and showing a lower cholesterol.
As you can see cheese is both good for you and bad for you. Here is more info about why cheese is bad.
Featured photo credit: Eating Cheese via huffingtonpost.com