Five Fantastic Reasons to Love Cheese!

By Shannon Crocker RD  www.shannoncrocker.ca @shancrockerRD

Creamy. Crumbly. Firm. Gooey. Whatever way you slice it, cheese tastes great!

You’ll always find several kinds of cheese in my fridge; yes, it tastes great, but also, cheese offers amazing versatility when it comes to creating scrumptious meals and snacks. And, it’s a powerhouse of nutrients.

Here are my five fantastic reasons to love cheese:

  1. Cheese is super for snacking. The quality protein in cheese helps build and maintain healthy muscles and helps you feel energized and satisfied. Eating protein at your snack can help you fend off the munchies so you won’t be tempted to nibble on treats.
    Tasty tip: Hiking, biking, or just looking for a nutritious snack that’s easy to pack? Try Nothing But Cheese – it’s portable, shelf-stable, high in protein (7g), low in carbs (3g) and only 100 calories per package.
  2. The “eyes” have it. The vitamin A found in cheese is especially good for your eyes, and plays a key role in night vision. It also helps keep your skin and immune system healthy.
  3. Vitamin B12, naturally. This essential B vitamin is important to keeping your nervous system – the body’s electrical wiring – working well. It also helps form healthy red blood cells. Cheese is one of the best natural sources vitamin B12.
  4. Bone-loving nutrients. A healthy diet with enough calcium and other bone-boosting nutrients, like those found in cheese (e.g. phosphorous, protein, magnesium), can help keep your bones strong. For growing kids and older adults alike, healthy bones are key for living an active, vibrant life.
  5. Teeth-friendly. The Canadian Dental Association recommends cheese as an ideal snack food. Why? The minerals in cheese, such as calcium and phosphorus, may help re-mineralize the enamel in your teeth and prevent erosion.
    Tasty tip: enjoy a small satisfying piece of aged cheddar cheese with fresh fruit after a meal instead of sugary sweets.

One final word…cheese can be higher in fat. But it’s important to know that a healthy food is more than its fat content. Cheese is packed with health-promoting nutrients, so go ahead, enjoy it in moderation (about 50 grams is a serving) as part of a healthy diet.

Sources:

Canadian Nutrient File 2015

Institute of Medicine. Dietary reference intakes for thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin b6, folate, vitamin B12, pantothenic acid, biotin and choline. Chapter 9: Vitamin B12. Washington, DC: National Academies Press. 2000.

https://www.dairynutrition.ca/scientific-evidence/roles-on-certain-health-conditions/milk-products-in-dental-health-summary-of-evidence

http://www.dietitians.ca/Your-Health/Nutrition-A-Z/Vitamins/Food-Sources-of-Vitamin-B12.aspx

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