Talk with the Doc

Cheese - a nutritional review reveals much

Dr. Jim Surrell, Journal columnist

Cheese is reported to be one of the most popular foods consumed in the United States every year. The following was recently reported by our United States Department of Agriculture.

They recently reported that the average annual cheese consumption in the U.S. was nearly 42 pounds per person per year. This certainly applies to me as I truly enjoy eating multiple varieties of healthy cheese products on a daily basis.

Let us now review some of the reported health benefits of cheese. Cheese can prevent osteoporosis and cheese can also have a positive effect on your dental health. Cheese is an excellent dietary source of calcium and is also an excellent source of protein. Cheese is high in vitamin B12 and cheese is an abundant source for us to get our needed vitamin K2.

Cheese is also noted to be plentiful with the healthy fats we need to maintain proper nutrition. Cheese is reported to offer benefits to support our immune system, and also helps us to maintain good thyroid health.

Cheese has a positive effect on our bone and muscle health. The calcium and protein in cheese are great for building strong bones and muscle. Whey protein, the same type of protein used in many powdered muscle building supplements, is plentiful in cheese. Since cheese is made from milk, it is also packed with the calcium we need. Calcium helps developing bones grow stronger and prevents osteoporosis as we age. Vitamins A, D, K, and zinc in cheese also contribute to our bone health.

Cheese is also reported to help our body reduce inflammation. Dairy fats in cheese contain conjugated linoleic acid, which may help ease inflammation and may even help prevent heart disease. Reducing inflammation is clearly an important additional health benefit of having cheese in our diet.

Cheese is reported to help treat hypertension by lowering our blood pressure. It is reported that the high levels of calcium in dairy products like cheese can help us to reduce our blood pressure.

Cheese can also help us with blood vessel protection. Research shows cheese could be a good source of glutathione, an antioxidant that helps maintain brain health. This antioxidant property may also help our blood vessels work better. A recent dietary study showed that the blood vessels of participants who ate cheese were healthier than those who did not consume much cheese.

Of course, as with many various foods, there are some potential health risks of consuming cheese in some people. Some people are allergic to a protein in cheese called casein. An allergic reaction to this substance can cause inflammation throughout the body, rashes, acne, headaches, and sinus congestion.

Further, if a person has a known lactose intolerance, they should not consume any cheese at all. Lactose is the sugar that is naturally found in cheese. Symptoms of lactose intolerance can include abdominal bloating, flatulence, and diarrhea.

If you have ever had any reaction at all to any cheese products, be sure to avoid all cheese and promptly review this with your health care provider to determine if this is a true cheese allergy or lactose intolerance.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Dr. Jim Surrell is the author of the best-selling SOS (Stop Only Sugar) Diet book and his new Joke Book, entitled “Laughter Is Good Medicine”. Dr. Jim’s website is sosdietbook.com.


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