Le Fromage! Ahh one of our favourites from the dairy family but the question is, is this product something that is beneficial or detrimental to our health?
This has been the question of many as we dive deeper into our quest of living better and healthier lives.
Here at Tupperware we believe small changes make a massive difference, so you don’t need to go mad and cut out every hint of unhealthy food in your life, but you can make small adjustments in the right direction. Ignorance unfortunately is not bliss, it means we make the wrong decision because we don’t see or understand the very choices we are making.
We are here to spill the details on all things cheese and to hopefully give you some insight into the cheese we are indulging in.
‘Not all cheeses are made equal’
Fresh cheeses such as mozzarella, ricotta, goats cheese, cottage cheese or feta are typically not fermented but instead coagulated* using heat or acid treatments (*coagulation is the processing of turning milk into cheese). The are the leanest of the cheese family as they’re usually lower in sodium and have a lower fat and cholesterol content.
Hard cheeses (Swiss, parmesan & cheddar) are known to pack more of a flavourful punch, and a longer shelf-life. Why? because they have been fermented and aged longer. Our good friends, the Swiss and Parmesan cheese have some great health benefits, holding important vitamins and minerals such as vitamin A and calcium.
For all of our lactose problematic friends out there, hard cheeses have less lactose, as the whey is removed during the processing period, which means if you’re not willing to cut cheese completely, hard cheeses are the way (not whey 😉 to go (or alternatively you can look into no-lactose cheese).
The beloved soft cheese category, think your Camembert, Triple-Creme and Brie; usually the mouth-watering ones that you would have on your cheese platter. Now we hate to be the bearer of bad news, but these fall into the “less healthy” of cheese categories. Due to the creamy, deliciousness, they are on the higher end when it comes to their saturated fat content – and far too easy to over-indulge on in our opinion! All things in moderation we say.
You are either for or against this category; our poor blue friends can get a bit of a bad rep for their intense flavour from some, but by others, they are greatly loved.
The taste in your Blue cheese can vary significantly based on where the cheese comes from and how long it’s ages for. Now you can look up the details of this another time, but on our health scale, it falls somewhere in the middle. Blue cheeses are high is calories, fats & saturated fats; however it is also one of the highest in calcium.
High Processed Cheeses
Processed cheese in it’s gooey, pull-apart goodness has it’s place (a cheeseburger, or in a greasy but yet delicious toasted sandwich). But if we are being honest with ourselves, it has no place on the healthy scale of things.
Processed cheese is a portion of natural cheese melted, emulsified and held together with preservatives, artificial ingredients and double the amount of salt used in that of natural cheese.
Historical Fact: Processed cheese was invented by Swiss citizens Walter Gerber and Fritz Stettler in 1911, and American James L. Kraft was granted a patent for it in 1916. Kraft introduced the pre-sliced form in 1950.
We recommend you keep your processed cheeses to a minimum.
As lactose free and dairy free generates a higher demand, companies are coming out with a lot more alternative products, cheese being one of them. So with that we pose the same question; are these Dairy free, Vegan & lactose free cheese alternatives a healthy swap?
With the alternatives can also come the additives of preservatives, refined oils, sodium, colour additives & artificial ingredients. But on the flip side if that, there are some vegan cheese’s that are primarily made up with whole foods, such as cooked vegetables, ground nuts & seeds, and spices that help bring the cheese flavour.
We recommend doing a little bit of research into the brands before-hand, choosing the ones that are leaning away from the processed ingredients and into the whole ingredients. These offer you a higher nutritional content including fibre, important micronutrients and healthy fats.