Is cheese bad for you?

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.

For example:

  • 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.

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  1. There are so many other sources of calcium other than dairy that are way healthier for you!

  2. Cheese may taste good and make you feel but all the bad far outweighs the good. You can get all the protein and calcium from plant based foods without being addicted to a food loaded with saturated fat, cholesterol, hormones, sodium. NO PLACE FOR CHEESE in a healthy diet.

    Studies show people that consume dairy/cheese actually have a higher risk of fracture bones. It may have calcium but its doing us no good.

  3. Are you sure that “ softer cheeses are lower in calories than harder cheeses”? I actually thought it is the opposite? And your stats seem to prove it

  4. Dr. Tony Hampton
    Tony Hampton, MD, MBA June 27, 2018 at 7:08 am · Reply

    Most of the concerns related to saturated fat are myths, and the new science suggests that there is no correlation between moderate consumption of saturated fat and heart disease. In fact, breast milk is filled with saturated fat and the primary component of our newborn’s diet. Many meta-analysis studies have confirmed that natural saturated fats like coconut oil and even lard are okay but artificial man-made fats like hydrogenated trans fat are not okay. I, therefore, feel that eating cheese in moderation is completely okay and safe.

  5. Ice cream is another form of “cheese!” It is frozen “cheese.“ (smile) “Everything in moderation“ is the best councel I have ever heard on this matter. However, if you are lactose intolerant, then cheese would be a no-no.

  6. Perhaps many just do not want to have an exclusive plant-based diet. No problem if you, but do not find fault for those who do not or chastise those who do not. Besides some plant foods should not be consumed by everyone and others in moderation (PKU should steer clear of certain veggies or moderate them just as others need to address high vitamin K foods with caution). An exclusively plant-based diet is wonderful but it’s is not without its issues as well. It would be more appropriate to maintain a healthy lifestyle for you and that’s it. Asking the question of whether cheese can be incorporated into a healthy diet is a good question and the info in this article suggests that it is in moderation.

    • We didn’t start consuming dairy until 10,000 years ago. Before we had milk from our mothers as babies then ween off of it. Now we are in a constant state of consuming dairy which we don’t really need, do we? how did human’s survive without dairy…? they ate whole foods, mostly plants and on rare occasion meat. Dairy has the same affect on our brains as narcotics, just in a milder form.

      other thoughts:
      1. Milk doesn’t reduce fractures.(i) Contrary to popular belief, eating dairy products has never been shown to reduce fracture risk. In fact, according to the Nurses’ Health Study dairy may increase risk of fractures by 50 percent!

      2. Less dairy, better bones. Countries with lowest rates of dairy and calcium consumption (like those in Africa and Asia) have the lowest rates of osteoporosis.

      3. Calcium isn’t as bone-protective as we thought.(ii) Studies of calcium supplementation have shown no benefit in reducing fracture risk. Vitamin D appears to be much more important than calcium in preventing fractures.

      4. Calcium may raise cancer risk. Research shows that higher intakes of both calcium and dairy products may increase a man’s risk of prostate cancer by 30 to 50 percent.(iii) Plus, dairy consumption increases the body’s level of insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) — a known cancer promoter.

      5. Calcium has benefits that dairy doesn’t. Calcium supplements, but not dairy products, may reduce the risk of colon cancer.(iv)

      6. Not everyone can stomach dairy.(v) About 75 percent of the world’s population is genetically unable to properly digest milk and other dairy products — a problem called lactose intolerance.

      and what about the cow. a dairy how suffers immensely. Constantly in-pregnanted, constantly being milked, constantly getting there baby taken from them and then kills around 5 year because they are so sick they can’t produce any more milk and they become meat. (cows in the wild would live over 25 years)

      and then there is the environment: Dairy industry is HORRIBLE for the environment:

      So if you are for good health, compassion and saving the environment avoid milk and animal flesh (meat).

      going to a whole food plant based lifestyle your health with improve, and you will enjoy food SO much more. I used to be a meat and dairy junky but I didn’t “enjoy” my food like I do now. and I cut my cholesterol in half 290 down to 150. and lost 30lbs.

  7. Cheese is very bad for you, it has grease, many people are allergic to dairy and provokes insuline resistance.

About the Author

Brittany Hunter
Brittany Hunter

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.