Cheese Nutrition Facts
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. These cheese facts will have you and your family feeling good and saying “yes, please” to cheese.
Cheese gives everyone something to smile about! Nutrients from cheese benefit the body from head to toe. Cheese impacts dental health, as well as bone, muscle and heart health. The calcium and phosphorous in cheese help strengthen bones, cheese protein supports healthy muscles and the potassium can protect the heart by regulating blood pressure. Cheese also includes 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 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. One serving of cheese is 1.5 ounces of natural cheese or 2 ounces of processed cheese. A visual reminder of a serving of cheese is four cubes the size of playing dice. Next time you purchase cheese at the store, go ahead and take a look at the cheese nutrition facts to see how this dairy food is a healthy choice.
Cheese not only tastes great, it’s a convenient, portable and versatile food. And processed cheese, which combines several natural cheeses together, offers another nutritious option in the dairy aisle. When paired with fruits, vegetables and whole grains, cheese – natural or processed – may help people eat more of these recommended food groups, as well as dairy. And because cheese is a complete source of natural, high quality protein, it can help curb your hunger. What’s more, cheese is perfect for transforming leftover ingredients into a creative new meal idea, which can help reduce food waste.
- Sprinkle cheese on top of dishes, like this BBQ Chicken and Cheddar Foil Packets
- Use it to make a cheesy sauce. You will enjoy our Golden Potatoes with Cheddar Sauce
- Mix it into your favorite recipes, such as this Baked Zucchini Ziti
Regardless of how you choose to enjoy your cheese, be sure to keep it safe and delicious with proper storage methods.
Try some of our favorite cheesy recipes:
More Facts About Cheese
Cheese is versatile, convenient and nutritious! There are more than 300 American types of cheese to choose from. Cheese is packed with a powerful package of nutrients, including calcium and protein. Cheese protein, a high quality protein, benefits muscle health as well as fills us up. This makes cheese a smart snack choice!
Cheese is packed with a powerful package of nutrients, and 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 cheese 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 types of cheese, such as Cheddar, Colby, Monterey Jack, mozzarella and Swiss, to be more agreeable. This is because these types of cheese 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.