More Cheese? Yes, Please

Whether you’re looking for a convenient snack or a recipe ingredient that will steal the show, look no further. Cheese not only tastes good, it is made of simple ingredients and packed with nutrients. You and your family can feel good saying “yes, please” to cheese.

Smile and Say “Cheese”

Cheese gives everyone something to smile about! Cheese benefits the body from head to toe. It impacts dental health, as well as bone, muscle and heart health. The calcium and phosphorous in cheese help strengthen bones, the protein supports healthy muscles, and the potassium can protect the heart by regulating blood pressure. It also provides other essential nutrients including vitamins A and B12, riboflavin, phosphorus and magnesium that help us function at our best. Cheese also can help you reach three daily servings of dairy, as outlined in the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. One serving of cheese is 1.5 ounces of natural cheese or two ounces of processed cheese. A visual reminder of a serving of cheese is four cubes the size of playing dice. Cheese not only tastes great, it’s a convenient, portable and versatile food. When paired with fruits, vegetables and whole grains, it may help people eat more of these recommended food groups, as well as dairy. And because it is a complete source of natural, high quality protein, it can help curb your hunger.

Try some of our favorite cheesy recipes:

Cheese Fits Your Lifestyle

Cheese is versatile, convenient and nutritious! With more than 300 American varieties of cheese to choose from and packed with a powerful package of nutrients, it easily fits into almost any eating plan, including the DASH (Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension) diet, diabetes-friendly, Mediterranean, plant-based, vegetarian, gluten-free and low-lactose. Many types of cheeses also are offered in reduced sodium or reduced fat varieties. Some cheeses are naturally low in sodium, such as Swiss, Monterey Jack and ricotta. People with lactose intolerance may find natural cheeses, such as Cheddar, Colby, Monterey Jack, mozzarella and Swiss, to be more agreeable, as they contain minimal amounts of lactose because of how they are made.

Bringing It to Life

Cheese undergoes simple processing before finding its way to supermarket shelves, and quality milk is the starting point. To make cheese, a “starter culture” (also known as “good bacteria”) and an enzyme are added to milk. These two ingredients help the milk form a more solid mass. The remaining liquid (whey protein) is then separated from the solids (curd) when a desired consistency is reached. The cheese is then cut, stirred and molded. The final step is adding salt, which helps enhance flavor and keeps the cheese safe from “bad bacteria.” Like wine, cheese also can be aged so flavors can develop more fully. While it takes significant knowledge, skill and craftsmanship to produce cheese, the limited number of processing steps and ingredients tell us that it is a real, simple and fresh food that we can feel good about including in our daily eating habits.