Reasons to cut back on cheese
1. Cheese is a calorie bomb.
These seemingly harmless small chunks of cheese contain more calories than most think. At 28 grams, ricotta has 50 calories, feta has 75 and mozzarella has 85. The hard Swiss and cheddar cheese have 108 and 114 calories respectively.
2. It's high in saturated fat
Watch out for cheese if you have high cholesterol, because the high amount of saturated fat in cheese can increase low-density lipoproteins (LDL) cholesterol which is bad for your body. Some research shows that full-fat cheese affects your LDL cholesterol less, but it is best to eat it in moderation.
3. It's not the only source of calcium
Many people eat cheese because of the perceived benefits, such as stronger teeth and bones due to calcium.
However, many calcium-rich foods are actually non-dairy. These healthier alternatives include seeds, beans and lentils.
4. Our bodies might not be suitable for cheese consumption
Studies have shown that about 75 per cent of adults are sensitive to lactose, but because the side effects of lactose intolerance do not come instantly, people might not realise it. Symptoms can include abdominal pain, bloating and gurgling stomach noises.
5. So which cheese should you eat?
If you love your cheese and still want to consume some, a simple tip is to stick to soft cheeses because they usually have fewer calories than hard cheeses.
Do not feel too bad about eating hard cheeses though, because they make you salivate more, which is good for your teeth due to the reduced acidity.
The best way to consume cheese would be to use it as a topping or flavour enhancer instead of having it as a main dish.
This article was first published in Shape (www.shape.com.sg).