Timeless Nutrition Tips...
National Cheese Lover’s Day is January 20.
The Federal Government reports the typical American eats 30 pounds of cheese a year. This is triple the amount Americans consumed in 1970.
The Center for Science in the Public Interest (a Washington D.C. based group sometimes known as the "Food Police") states that cheese is doing more damage to our hearts than beef or butter. They also state cheese is "a dangerous trap". The danger, they claim, comes in the form of the saturated fat found in cheese. The "bad" fat.
What About That Fat?The fat in cheese gives it the smooth texture we prefer. Cheeses that are the exceptions, like ricotta, Camembert and brie have higher water content and less fat. However, when too much fat is removed from cheese, it can give it an unpleasant, rubbery texture. Low fat cheeses do not have a long shelf life due to their increased water content. In truth, you are just paying for more water.
But still, never mind those "food police"! There is good news for cheese lovers and yes, you can eat your cheese. First of all, cheese is an excellent source of calcium. More importantly, cheese makers are now offering low-fat and light cheeses in addition to non-fat. By incorporating these into your cooking and baking, you can decrease the "bad" fat consumption from cheese by 50 percent or more.
- It takes eight pounds of milk to make one pound of cheese.
- One ounce equals as much fat and protein as one cup of milk. It is a concentrated source of cholesterol and saturated fat. One ounce is one standard serving size.
- Cheese in its natural state is the best for our health.
- Chemicals are used to alter cheeses. These chemicals are also used for making cement, bleaching clothes, producing cosmetics and rust-proofing metals.
- Prevent mold from forming on cheeses: Store cheeses in a sealed container with two lumps of sugar.
Reduced Fat Guidelines for Cheese Lovers
- Limit yourself to two ounces of full-fat cheese per week. One serving is 1-1/2 slices of American cheese or Swiss cheese, or the cheese on one slice of a large pizza.
- At fast-food outlets, skip the cheese on sandwiches. You'll get used to it! If you can put this into practice, you will save yourself five grams of saturated fat every time you indulge in a fast-food burger.
- When you indulge in pizza, order it not with the double cheese, but with half the cheese. If a pizza place you frequent is very generous with the cheese they put atop their pizza's, you could even reduce this to one quarter the amount. If this advice has you groaning, there is another alternative. Buy low-fat or non-fat shredded cheeses and keep them on hand. It freezes well, too.
- When you know you will be ordering a pizza to your home, remove the cheese from the freezer or fridge to bring to room temperature and when the pizza arrives sprinkle it on and re-warm the pizza in a 400 degree oven for about 5 to 7 minutes or until the cheese is melted. This way you can have your cheese on the pizza without the guilt. You can apply this to burgers, also. Buy slices of two percent or fat-free American cheese. Bring your burgers home, remove a half of the bun and place a slice of cheese on the top, microwave for 10 to 15 seconds.
Nutty Fruit and Cheese Salad. Combine one-diced peach, 1-cup blueberries, one small diced apple, 2-ounces low fat Swiss cheese cubes and 1/2-ounce walnuts halves, chopped.
Quick Cheesy Breakfast Idea. Melt a slice of one of your favorite cheeses over a toasted bagel or English muffin for a quick, portable breakfast
Trimming Tip. Replacing mild Cheddar with sharp boosts the flavor enough so that you can cut the amount of full fat cheese called for in a recipe without losing flavor.
Grab and Go Cheese and Crackers. Mix 1/2 cup fat free cottage cheese with 1 cup chopped red bell pepper and ten sliced large black olives. Serve with six small whole wheat crackers and 1 medium apple. Total calories equal 378.
A Bite of Cheese History
Cheeses are mankind’s first and best fast food. Over time, they have been called a food of the gods.