If you feel worried about being unhealthy when you indulge your cheesy cravings, you’re not alone. The perception that our yummy creamy snacks are bad for our bodies is widespread, but is it true?
Well, nope. Not even a little bit, actually.
In reality, cheese is a healthy and natural addition to your balanced diet, and we’re going to give you 10 facts about the delicious stuff to explain why.
1. It helps you maintain a healthy weight.
While eating some dairy products – like brie or vintage cheddar, for example – might feel naughty, they’re actually high in protein meaning that when you eat them you stay fuller for longer.
If you snack on cheese across the day, you’ll be less likely to snack on junk food. In the long term, cheese can be very beneficial in maintaining a healthy weight.
Bet you didn’t expect that, did you?
2. It helps fight the nasties off.
Cheese doesn’t just keep you fuller for longer – it can help prevent disease, too!
"Cheese doesn't just keep you fuller for longer - it fights disease for you, too!" Image: iStock.
The Australian Dietary Guidelines say that consumption of cheese is linked to a reduced risk of heart disease, stroke, hypertension, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome and colorectal cancer – some of the main causes of death here in Australia.
What a lil' champion.
3. A standard serving size is probably different to what you first thought.
Serving sizes can be confusing - so let's clear that all up.
One serving equals two slices - roughly 40 grams - of hard cheeses like cheddar, parmesan or Swiss-style cheese. Otherwise, a serve of ricotta or cottage cheese is closer to ½ a cup.
Got it? Too simple!
4. You're not eating enough.
While portion sizes sound very small, when it comes to cheese products (and all dairy foods for that matter), we're just not eating enough.
"The Australian Dietary Guidelines recommend that women aged between 19 and 50 eat two-and-a-half servings from the dairy food group every single day, and women over 50 to eat four servings a day, but the vast majority of us don’t even come close. The good news is - cheese definitely counts towards those recommendations.”
A measly one in 10 Aussies consume an adequate amount of dairy - and our health is suffering because of it.
Women aged between 19 and 50 should eat two-and-a-half servings of cheese every single day. Image: iStock.
5. Neither are your little ones.
When it comes to your kids, aim to provide two serves of dairy (if they're below the age of eight), or up to three-and-a-half serves if they're a touch older.
A great way to do this can be adding cheese slices to their school lunchbox, or grating it over pasta for dinner.