How healthy is cheese?
Cheese has been regarded as a healthy food since time immemorial. Just like fruit, vegetables and other dairy products, cheese forms the basis of a healthy, balanced diet. Its well-established place on the daily menu is certainly no accident. Cheese has countless – often underestimated – benefits!
Great source of important nutrients
- Promotes growthCheese contains a lot of protein, which helps to develop cells, repair muscle tissue and skin, and strengthen the immune system. Protein is particularly important for the development and growth of children and adolescents.
- Strengthens bones and teethThe calcium content of cheese is also very high. Calcium is very important for bone growth in children and adolescents, it helps to reduce the risk of osteoporosis in older people and promotes healthy teeth.
- Boosts energy and supports the immune systemCheese is extremely rich in B vitamins, which have a positive impact on energy resources and the immune system, and play an important role in keeping the nervous system healthy. Vitamin B12 is responsible for helping the body to create new red blood cells.
- Revitalizes and purifiesCheese also provides the body with lots of important minerals such as zinc and selenium, which help to build muscle mass, reduce tiredness and act as antioxidants.
Anything but fatty
Despite what you may have heard, cheese is not especially fatty and will not, in itself, make you fat. On the contrary, cheese is one of the best sources of conjugated linoleic acid, which is believed to reduce body fat and thus help with weight loss.
Contrary to popular belief, cheese is easy for the body to digest. Cheese contains amino acids, which stimulate the healthy bacteria in your gut.
Many types of cheese – for example Parmesan and Appenzeller – are naturally lactose-free. The longer cheese is left to mature, the less lactose it contains. This is because the lactose, or milk sugar, is converted to lactic acid during the ageing process. Types of cheese that do not mature – e.g. fresh cheese – are not lactose-free and should not be consumed by anyone with a lactose intolerance. If in doubt, check the label on the packaging.
Most types of cheese, including Emmentaler, Tilsiter, Parmesan, fresh cheese, etc. are gluten-free and therefore perfectly safe to eat. To be sure that the product in question has been made without gluten, check the label on the packaging.
Many types of cheese are also safe to eat during pregnancy. This applies to hard and semi-hard cheeses made from pasteurized milk, fresh cheese and commercially manufactured/packaged dishes containing fresh cheese, as well as processed cheeses. Please note that the cheese rind must be removed from all types of cheese. The following types of cheese should be avoided: raw-milk cheese, mould-ripened cheese, soft cheese, preserved cheese and fresh cheese in open containers (sheep's cheese, feta, herb quark, mozzarella, etc.).
Cheese is a healthy, natural product, particularly for children and adolescents who are still growing, as well as for athletes who require a lot of energy, and older people who need to look after their bones and immune system. As such, cheese should be eaten regularly – and, of course, in moderation – as part of a balanced diet.