It’s Cheese Day. Celebrate!

cheeses

June 4th is Cheese Day, a good opportunity to review the good and possibly not-so-good things about cheese.

What’s good about cheese?

  • So many kinds!  So many flavors!  So many ways to enjoy!
  • Versatile uses: sandwiches, burgers, wraps, salads, pasta, sauces, appetizers, snacks and even desserts
  • High protein
  • High calcium
  • Cheese is satisfying.  You don’t need huge portions.

Concerns about cheese

  • Calories: It’s delicious — easy to eat a lot.
  • High fat, particularly saturated fat
  • High sodium
  • Portion distortion: who needs stuffed crust pizza or extra cheese on pizza or burgers?

Here’s another concern of mine: fake cheese.  There are a lot of cheese-like products out there now, masquerading as cheese that aren’t real cheese at all.  Nacho cheese, American cheese, cheese dip, reduced fat cheese, low sodium cheese.  Some of them may contain actual cheese as an ingredient, but none of them have the taste or texture of real cheese.  There are probably people who think “cheese” tastes like nacho cheese sauce.  Sad.

If I could make one recommendation about cheese it would be this: don’t over-do it.  Cheese is flavorful and rich; you don’t need a giant slab of cheese on your food to appreciate the flavor and texture.

You can read some more fun facts about cheese here.  According to the article, the French eat almost twice as much cheese as Americans every year.  They’re also thinner and healthier in general.  Coincidence?

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