4 things you didn’t know about cheese.

Dairy Australia
Thanks to our brand partner, Dairy Australia

I love to cook. I know lots of people say that, but really I do. Long day at the office, totally exhausted and really stressed? Your solution might be a bubble bath and the latest season of House of Cards. Mine? Cooking something elaborate with lots of chopping, dicing and sautéing involved.

But I don’t love cleaning up. So on the days when I’m a walking zombie and the pile of dishes my cooking therapy would create are just too daunting I often find myself reaching for some strawberries, bread and cheese. It’s quick, it’s easy and it creates no mess whatsoever.

It is also delicious.

I used to feel pretty guilty about this makeshift dinner, and would joke about it by posting pictures on Instagram with captions like “best part of being an adult” or “failing at nutrition”. Years of absorbing dieting “rules” from friends, magazines and advertising had convinced me that cheese was a guilty pleasure, not to be consumed lightly.

cheese facts

"People used to tell me that cheese was a guilty pleasure." Image via iStock.

Turns out that’s not the whole story. Sure, if all I ever ate was cheese, that would not work out so well. But having it as part of a balanced meal is actually really good for you. So, in case you needed more reasons to eat the most delicious of the foods, here are four things you might not know about cheese.

1. It is a really excellent source of protein.

Cheese is packed with protein and that is great for a lot of reasons. Protein fills you up quicker, and keep you going longer than carbs do. Protein helps you concentrate and just generally makes it easier to get through the day.

If you’re a vegetarian, getting the right amount of protein can be challenging, and being able to boost your intake with some cheese is both delicious and convenient.

2. Cheese is also full of all the other things that make dairy so important.

I don’t know what black magic created cheese, but the alchemy is something special. Not only is it a protein punch but cheddar cheese for example, is also full of calcium, zinc, iron, vitamin B12, vitamin A and some other fancy important things I don’t really understand like riboflavin.

cheese facts

"I don't know if it's black magic but all cheese - even cheddar cheese - is full of good things." Image via iStock.

3. So much variety.

I don’t know about you, but I like trying new things. With cheese, you could try a new one every day and probably never try them all. And they all have different, unique and excellent reasons to love them beyond taste.

Even if you are being indulgent you can still get all your protein and calcium needs. Take camembert for example. So delicious, and it actually has all the same nutrients of the “lighter” option, as well as having less fat than a blue cheese or surprisingly to me, cheddar. (Going for the triple cream might not have this benefit though.)


Ricotta is packed with whey protein, which is great for bodies recovering from exercise and a help in building lean muscle, and cottage cheese is one of the lightest cheese options out there but still packed with protein.

cheese facts

"Ricotta can be great for bodies recovering from exercise." Image via iStock.

Not to mention fresh mozzarella, perfect in salads and with half the fat of our old friend cheddar.

4. It’s not the enemy of your diet.

Look, you’ve probably worked out I’m not really into diets, what with all the cooking, and the cheese eating. But I do believe in eating balanced meals and keeping track of things for health reasons. I’m not big on sugary foods, dessert or processed foods. I try to keep a healthy balance of vegetables, fruit, dairy and meats. And I am not a huge fan of drinking a glass of milk, so I include cheese regularly in my meals to meet my calcium and protein targets.

I know calcium is really important for bone health, which is vital for our physical wellbeing throughout our entire lives, not just in childhood. Cheese really helps me get the nutrients I need and for me, it actually makes eating well easier. Letting myself have a bit of cheese feels like an indulgence because it’s my absolute favourite thing, but it is also a part of a proper, healthy, balanced diet.

There is also research that shows people who were trying to lose weight were more successful if they followed diets that didn’t cut cheese out completely.

So there you go, cheese is not the enemy. It is truly your delicious, delicious friend.

Why do you love eating cheese?