Eat Real Cheese, it is Good for You
The Big Q: Lactose intolerant?
Not to worry, there are many cheeses lactose intolerant people can tolerate as most of the lactose is removed during the cheese making process.
There is a major difference between natural cheese and processed “Cheese Food” however.
Natural cheese is a simple fermented dairy product made with just a few basic ingredients: milk, starter culture, salt and an enzyme called rennet. Salt is a crucial ingredient for flavor, ripening and preservation.
You can tell a natural cheese by its label, which will state the name of the cheese variety, such as “cheddar cheese,” “blue cheese” or “brie.”
Real cheese requires refrigeration.
Processed cheese are typically pasteurized and otherwise adulterated with a variety of additives that detract from their nutritional value.
The indicator on the label is the word Pasteurized.
A lengthier list of ingredients is another way to distinguish processed cheese from the real thing. Velveeta is an example, with additives like sodium phosphate, sodium citronate and various coloring agents.
A final clue is that most processed cheeses do not require refrigeration.
Velveeta, Cheese Whiz, squeeze cheese, spray cheese or some others are not real cheeses and have no food value.
Taking real cheese a step further, opt for cheese made from raw grass-fed milk, meaning milk from cows raised on pasture, rather than grain-fed or soy-fed animals confined to feedlots.
The biologically appropriate diet for cows is grass, but 90% of standard grocery store cheeses are made from the milk of cows raised in CAFOs (concentrated animal feeding operations), which must then be pasteurized before it can be made into cheese.
CAFO milk cannot be safely consumed without pasteurization due to the increased likelihood of contamination with harmful bacteria, which are prevalent in these crowded, unsanitary settings.
Not only does raw cheese have a richer flavor than cheese made from pasteurized milk, as heat destroys enzymes and good bacteria that add flavor to the cheese, grass-fed dairy products are also nutritionally superior: Real cheese is made from the milk of grass-fed cows has the ideal omega-6 to omega-3 fat ratio of 2-to-1.
By contrast, the omega-6 to omega-3 ratio of grain-fed milk is heavily weighted on the side of omega-6 fats (25-to-1), which are already excessive in the standard American diet.
Grass-fed dairy combats inflammation in your body, whereas grain-fed dairy contributes to it.
- The milk from grass-fed cows contains up to 5X more CLA than that from grain-fed animals.Grass-fed cheese will therefore contain far higher amounts of this potent anti-cancer compound as well.
- Because raw cheese is not pasteurized, natural enzymes in the milk are preserved, increasing its nutritional punch.
- Grass-fed real cheese is considerably higher in calcium, magnesium, beta-carotene, and Vitamins A, C, D and E.
- Organic grass-fed real cheese is free of antibiotics and growth hormones.
Focusing your diet on raw, whole and ideally Organic, foods rather than processed fare is one of the easiest ways to sidestep dietary pitfalls like excess sugar/fructose, harmful trans fats, GMOs (genetically modified organisms) and other harmful additives, while getting plenty of healthy nutrients. The rest is a matter of tweaking the ratios of fat, net carbs and protein to suit your individual situation.
Remember, just like fructose, trans fats interfere with your insulin receptors, thereby increasing your risk for diabetes and related health problems.
Healthy saturated fats do not have this effect.
For optimal health, you may need anywhere from 50 to 80%of your daily calories in the form of healthy fats. Full-fat real cheese, yogurt or kefir and raw milk from Organic grass-fed cows all contain healthy fats, along with beneficial microbes that promote gut health and robust immune function.
Eat healthy, Be healthy, Live lively