Choosing fat-free or low-fat dairy products will help to reduce the saturated fat intake of the dairy products that you may regularly consume.
Cheese is a big part of American’s diet’s today, known for its versatility, you could find a way to add it into nearly any meal! But can we eat too much of it? Let’s discuss a few pro’s and con’s about cheese.
Pros: Cheese contains protein, fat, and numerous vitamins and minerals, such as calcium, vitamin A, and B vitamins. The calcium in cheese can help support our bone health, which is important at any age. Due to the protein and fat content, it can aid in satiety, which is the feeling of fullness and satisfaction after a meal.
Cons: Cheese is also known to be high in saturated fat, sodium, and calories which is why we should consume cheese in moderate amounts and why we wouldn’t want to overdo it on a regular basis. Too much saturated fat has been shown to increase cholesterol levels, too much sodium could increase the risk for high blood pressure, and excess calories could contribute to weight gain.
Your current health conditions could impact recommendations for how much cheese you should eat in a day, but as a general rule of thumb, the American Heart Association recommends consuming 2-3 servings of fat-free or low-fat dairy products per day. One serving of cheese is noted to be “1.5 oz of natural cheese such as cheddar cheese, or 2 oz processed cheese.” As an example, 1 packaged string cheese stick is 1 oz of cheese. Another way to picture this when you’re cooking is to visualize a pair of dice, as this equals around 1 ounce.
Choosing fat-free or low-fat dairy products will help to reduce the saturated fat intake of the dairy products that you may regularly consume. Overall, it really depends on what your overall diet consists of when it comes to how much you should include in your diet. For example, if you’re someone that consumes a diet that is generally low in saturated fat and sodium, you could likely consume a few more servings of cheese throughout the week without much concern, especially if you’re choosing fat-free or low-fat varieties.
Written By: Summer Lippert MS, RDN, LD / Implementation Manager
No content in this post, should ever be used as a substitute for medical advice from your doctor.