Midwest Dairy Association

Cheese

When you consider the entire nutrient package of cheese and the vast array of cheeses available in the grocery store, including lower-fat and lower-sodium options, it is easy to see why cheese can be a nutritious choice in almost any meal plan, including DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension), diabetic, plant-based, vegetarian, gluten-free and low-lactose. 

The 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend three daily servings of low-fat or fat-free dairy products every day for people nine and older, yet it is estimated that 85 percent of Americans don’t meet these recommendations. Cheese can be an important part of daily dairy intake and help shorten the nutrient gap.

Although cheese contributes only about 5% of the calories to the U.S. diet, the amount of nutrient contributions it makes is significant.  It is the number two source of bone-building calcium in the diet, as well as an excellent source of high quality protein, a nutrient necessary for maintaining healthy muscles and linked to helping weight management.  It also can improve total diet quality because a person may be more likely to eat fruits, vegetables and whole grains when these foods are paired with cheese.

Cheese accounts for only 9% of total fat, 16% of saturated fat and 8% of sodium in the U.S. diet. Scientists have found a component of fat in dairy that may reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.  When it comes to salt, this ingredient is required for the cheese-making process and can’t be completely eliminated, however some cheeses require less than others.




Additional Resources

The Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy ® has spearheaded an industry best practices task force of more than 18 cheese companies working to address public health as well as people’s needs and lifestyles. Cheese makers continue to lead process control and product innovations as part of the solution to help lower sodium — while maintaining expectations for food safety and taste.


Cheese: A Healthy Eating Plan

Cheese can fit into almost any eating plan. These seven handouts provide statistics, facts and nutrition information on cheese and how it can help meet health and wellness needs.

Cheese: A Valuable Source of Nutrients for the Calories

Although it only contributes about 5% of the calories to the U.S. diet, cheese makes significant nutrient contributions, including 21% of the calcium, 11% of the phosphorus, 9% of the protein, 9% of the vitamin A and 8% of the zinc.

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Cheese and Healthy Eating

Cheese can fit into almost any eating plan. This brochure provides statistics, facts and nutrition information on cheese and how it can help meet health and wellness needs.

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Cheese and Nutrition

Cheese can fit into almost any eating plan. This brochure provides statistics, facts, nutrition information and public health considerations related to cheese and how it can help meet health and wellness needs.

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