Cheesy facts

Did you know that cheese can add protein to your diet?

It is generally known that cheese adds much needed calcium into our diet, but did you know that it also can add protein to your diet? 

Some cheeses that provide more protein are swiss, cottage, ricotta, mozzarella, Montery Jack, Cheddar, Gouda, Colby, Port de Salut, provolone, Mexican blend or Muenster. 

Michigan State University Extension reminds that this just gives us an added benefit to an already healthy product. A recent study referenced by the National Dairy Council indicates that children may be more likely to eat more fruits, vegetables and whole grains if they are paired with cheese. It is likely that many adults would also increase a variety of food groups if they paired their food with cheese. The next time you are eating an apple try a slice of cheddar cheese with it to tantalize your taste buds. 

The recommended daily serving for dairy is three servings a day for adults. This equals five cubes, the size of diced or hard cheese.  Eating the recommended daily serving, making lifestyle changes and quality of diet can show evidence of improved bone health, reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, Type 2 diabetes and lower blood pressure in adults. Cheese also provides phosphorous, vitamin A and zinc to our diet.

It is important to look for the amount of sodium contained in cheese. Many types of cheese are considered high in sodium, although according to National Dairy Council cheese manufacturers are actively working to reduce sodium in cheese. Lower sodium cheeses include Swiss, Monterey Jack, Ricotta, Port de Salut and Parmesan. A tip from the National Dairy Council that may help you choose which cheese to serve with dinner that is lower in sodium is to choose a cheese based on firmness and age. Softer, less-aged cheeses contain lower amounts of sodium because they require less salt than aged, harder varieties. Manufacturers also provide other varieties of low-fat and reduced sodium cheeses.

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