Is cheese bad for you?
It’s in some of our most favorite foods, but its nutritional value is often up for discussion. So what’s the real deal with cheese?
“Cheese is not bad for you,” says Noreen Sheridan, a registered dietitian at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center in Chicago. “In fact, it contains essential nutrients like calcium, which is a key nutrient for healthy bones and teeth. It also provides Vitamin B12 and protein.”
However, the news isn’t all good.
“Cheese is typically high in saturated fat and calories, so eating too much can pose health problems in addition to weight gain,” says Sheridan.
She says the recommended daily intake for calcium is 1,000 milligrams per day for people between 19 and 50 years old and 1,200 milligrams per day for those 51 years and older. To put this in perspective, one slice of American cheese can provide approximately 300 milligrams of calcium, thus meeting 25 to 33 percent of daily needs.
“Generally, ‘softer’ cheeses are lower in calories than ‘harder’ cheeses,” says Sheridan.
- Parmesan cheese contains about 20 calories per tablespoon
- Neufchatel cheese contains about 70 calories per ounce
- Mozzarella, goat and feta cheese contain about 75 calories per ounce
- Camembert cheese contains about 85 calories per ounce
- Cheddar, swiss and hard cheeses contain more than 100 calories per ounce
“Cheese can fit into a healthy, well-balanced diet and make a healthful addition to most diets when consumed in moderation,” says Sheridan.
About the Author
Brittany Hunter, health enews contributor, is a specialist of public affairs and marketing at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center in Chicago. She has a degree in Journalism from Ohio University and experience in communications, marketing and public strategies. She loves going to concerts, reading and exploring the city.