Cheese – Health benefits vs Health Hazards



– one of the best things in life has to offer.

What is cheese?

One of the most popular dairy products in the world is cheese. We can hardly find a person who doesn’t know what cheese is. Cheese is produced in a variety of flavours and textures. Cheese has proteins and fat in it. Cheese is usually made from the milk of animals like cows, goats, buffalo, or sheep.

There are hundreds of varieties of cheese that are produced in various countries. The flavour and the texture of the cheese depend on the milk in which it is made of.

What are the types of cheese?

Cheese is used as a complimenting food to enhance the taste of pizzas, burgers, and many other dishes.

Cheese alone is consumed as a snack. In many restaurants across the globe, it is served as an appetizer.

Over a thousand varieties of cheese can be classified broadly into:

Whole milk cheese is the cheese that is made out of milk contains around 10g of fat per serving.

Low-fat cheese is made with only 2 per cent milk. Either fat-free milk or skimmed milk is used to make this cheese.

Fresh cheese is those which are not matured. This means that they have high moisture and a soft texture.

Aged cheese is also called mature cheese that has a firm texture. Usually, it is aged for a time frame of 6 months. The age of the cheese determines the taste.

Processed cheese is the cheese that is produced in factories. All the cheese flavoured food, cheese spreads that cannot be categorized as naturally made come under this category. These products are stored. They contain artificial flavour.

Non-dairy cheese is a type of cheese that is not made from milk. Usually, soy is used as the base ingredient to produce this type of cheese. These cheeses are suitable for people who do not go well with dairy products. Producing this cheese requires a lot of processing.

Cheese is termed as a bad guy by the diet culture. Is cheese that bad?  

The answer is no. Cheese has numerous health benefits. Some of them are:

  • Cheese serves as a good source of calcium which is essential for growing healthy bones and teeth. Apart from being rich in calcium, cheese is loaded with vitamins A, D, and K. All these vitamins contribute to great bone health.
  •  Much statistical data tells that people who consume cheese have lower blood pressure despite cheese being a good source of fat and sodium. Because of the calcium content, cheese can potentially lower the blood pressure
  • Few variants of cheese are packed with the antioxidant glutathione. This antioxidant is beneficial for brain health.
  • As cheese is a fermented food, they promote gut health. The cheese is fermented. This means that cheese has a lot of gut bacteria. This could have a positive impact on the cholesterol level.
  • Protein plays an important role in building and repairing tissues. Few varieties of cheese like the cheddar cheese can offer up to 7g of protein per serving.
  • Cheese can also be beneficial to the skin as it is packed with antioxidants. Consuming the right amount of cheese can improve hair health and can even bring a glow to the skin.
  • Consuming cheese varieties like the mozzarella having a relatively low-fat content can offer all the benefits cheese has to offer without spiking up the calorie content. Thus, mozzarella becomes a healthier option of cheese.

What are the risks involved in consuming cheese?

Consuming cheese may involve certain risks. They are:

  • Any food that has high sodium content and saturated fats would increase the chances of cerebrovascular diseases. Cheese has high amounts of sodium content and saturated fat.
  • People who are lactose intolerant cannot consume cheese that is made out of milk. They may consume the non-dairy cheese to enjoy the flavour without disturbing their intolerance.
  • People who are sensitive to casein should avoid cheese. This allergy can trigger inflammation and can also cause rashes and migraines.
  • Consuming high calcium can increase the chances of getting prostate cancer.

Cheese can offer a wide range of health benefits. People who have type 2 diabetes need to limit their consumption of cheese.

The processed cheese would contain additional flavour enhancers and salt. Therefore, people with cardiovascular problems should also limit their cheese consumption.

Cheese is a great source of calcium. If consumed moderately, cheese can provide various health benefits. On a general scale, around 40 to 50 grams of cheese can be consumed for availing the health benefits of cheese without gaining too much weight.

Cheese is an excellent source of protein and calcium.

Consuming cheese in moderation is important. Consuming more cheese can increase cholesterol levels and increase blood pressure.

Thus, getting advice from a dietitian on what type of dairy products and how much dairy products to consume is important.

Scroll to Top