Cheese has a high-protein content and is a good source of calcium, riboflavin, zinc, phosphorus, and some amounts of vitamin A, and B12. However, if eating a double-cheese burger, or a cheese-burst pizza is part of your regular diet, then there are reasons for concern. According to the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), the cheese consumption by Americans has almost tripled since the 1970s. Adding too much cheese to your food can definitely do more harm than good. Here is how.
1. Increases Saturated Fats Intake
Cheese is a natural source of saturated fats. As recommended by the American Heart Association (AHA), saturated fats can contribute to 5-6% of the daily calorie intake1. For instance, if your daily calorie intake is 2000 calories, the saturated fats should not make more than 120 calories. Too much of saturated fats can increase the LDL cholesterol, increasing the risk of heart diseases and stroke. To cut down on saturated fat replace cheese with monosaturated and/or polyunsaturated fats. Eat foods made in liquid vegetable oil but, not tropical oil. Include fish and nuts in your diet as an alternative.
2. Builds Up Cholesterol Levels
It is a known fact that high cholesterol can accumulate in the arteries leading to stroke. The recommended daily amount of cholesterol for adults is 300 milligrams or lesser. An ounce of cheddar cheese contains 30 milligrams of cholesterol, and the same quantity of mozzarella contains 22 milligrams. A tablespoon of Parmesan cheese contains 4 milligrams of cholesterol. Make sure your diet is within the margin, and if you already have high cholesterol, restrict yourself below 200 milligrams per day. One way to lower the bad cholesterol is to replace it with good fats – Omega-3 fatty acids. Foods rich in Omega-3 include flax-seed oil, fish oil, chia seeds, walnuts, fish roe (eggs), fatty fish, seafood, soybeans, and spinach.
3. Heightens Sodium Content
High sodium content in cheese is due to the salt added to the milk during the fermentation process. Even a small quantity of cheese contains a high amount of sodium. 1 ounce of American cheese contains 406 milligrams of sodium, whereas the same quantity of cheddar cheese has 176 milligrams; mozzarella has 178 milligrams of sodium. The daily intake quantity, as advised by experts, is 1500-2300 milligrams of salt. You can risk having high blood pressure or hypertension, kidney disease, and osteoporosis with too much sodium content in your diet. As an alternative, there are low-sodium versions of cheese available like low sodium cheddar cheese, brie, and gouda cheese.
4. Risks Trigger Of Lactose Intolerance
Cheese has a lesser quantity of lactose as compared to other dairy items, still, it is an obvious source. Some people don’t realize they have lactose intolerance, and attribute its symptoms like abdominal bloating and gas, to over-eating, or junk-eating. Researchers say that people with lactose intolerance can eat or drink 12 grams of lactose ( as much as 1 cup of milk ), with minor or no symptoms. Since lactose is a sugar found in milk/milk products, cheese with high-level sugar can lead to lactose malabsorption symptoms. Processed cheese and cheese spreads contain a considerable amount of lactose that can trigger such symptoms. However, natural and aged cheese such as cheddar (30 grams of cheddar has approximately 20 milligrams of lactose), parmesan, and swiss cheese can be digested by many people with lactose intolerance.
People who include cheese as a part of their regular diet, seem to get hooked on it. This is because as cheese digests, it produces an opiate called casomorphins. The addiction is associated with foods rich in fats and sucrose2, and cheese is one such delicious invention that is highly addictive. Few alternatives to cheese are soy, rice, almond-based cheese, or nutritional yeast.