MR Note: This is the best news I’ve heard all week!! I’m obsessed with the Under $3 bin at Whole Foods and any soft white cheese that melts in my mouth at room temperature. Umm…did that come out wrong?
Sorry for the cheesy title. And sorry again for the bad pun!
Recently, I got a reader question about this New York Times article. The gist of the article: Americans are eating more cheese. Cheese has saturated fat. Saturated fat = very bad, heart disease, etc. Thus, Americans should eat less cheese. Michelle Obama agrees.
The reader was concerned because she loves cheese and doesn’t want to have to stop eating it. And she shouldn’t — and neither should you! With some exceptions, cheese is a great source of (yes, saturated) fat and protein. Let me break it down for you:
- Yes, cheese has saturated fat. But if you haven’t heard me say it enough times, saturated fat has not been sufficiently linked to heart disease, or any other disease. There is absolutely no reason to avoid a food just for its sat fat content. Saturated fat is filling, and if it doesn’t come from overly processed sources, absolutely fine to eat from both a health and weight loss standpoint. Here‘s a good (if overly cautious) article about it if you’re still skeptical.
- No, processed cheese isn’t a great pick. This is not the post that will legitimize your love of Kraft American cheese. Sorry! Overly processed cheese isn’t good for you in the same way that any other overly processed food isn’t good for you: it’s full of fillers and other nasty chemicals.
- Yes, your best cheese option is raw goat’s cheese. I know, I know. You’re like, “What crazy hippie food is that?!” Here’s why it’s best: raw cheese is less processed and goat’s cheese has less lactose and is easier on your digestive system than other types of cheese. Also, did you know that goat’s milk has a similar nutrient profile to human milk (more similar than cow’s milk)? The more you know!
- No, you don’t need to avoid other cheeses. As long as it’s not Velveeta, I feel good about giving the okay to most cheeses. High quality cheeses are generally going to be better, and they’re also usually more expensive. That’s okay! Spend a little more to get a little more.
- Yes, cheese is high calorie. So? It’s more filling, so you’ll probably eat less of it, and I don’t really subscribe to the calories-in/calories-out paradigm. More on that in another post! I’ve already told you not to fear calories, so don’t do it — as long as they don’t come from processed/fake food sources.
The bottom line on cheese? It’s totally fine. And I’m not even going to add “in moderation.” Cheese that’s not super processed is totally fine to enjoy on a daily basis, as long as it doesn’t upset your stomach — some people are pretty sensitive to lactose.