Is cheese good for you?

Protein bomb cheese: how healthy is it really?

You cannot imagine a life without cheese? It doesn't have to be, because cheese is not only delicious, but also healthy when eaten in moderation. We show why cheese is the perfect fitness food.

What makes the cheese healthy?

Cheese has a reputation for being a calorie and fat bomb that should be avoided. And yes, cheese is low in calories and fat. But cheese is not just cheese and so there are even varieties that can help you lose weight and that should definitely be part of a balanced diet. “The great thing about cheese is that it contains many important minerals, vitamins and protein,” explains expert Mauro Nucaro, the founder of okäse. And cheese can do a lot more.

1. Cheese makes muscles grow

“Most cheeses are high in protein and low in carbohydrates,” says Mauro. "The front runner is the Parmigiano with around 35 grams of protein per 100 grams." Closely followed by Harz cheese and mountain cheese with 30 grams of protein.

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These cheeses also convince with their high biological value. This describes how much protein your body can use from the protein in your diet. 75 percent of the protein from cheese can be converted into the body's own proteins (i.e. muscles). With one portion (28 grams) of parmesan you get 10 grams of protein and thus have a good alternative to often bland protein shakes.

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2. Cheese strengthens the bones

Due to its high calcium content, cheese should not be missing in a balanced diet. Calcium is not only important for healthy teeth and muscles, it also protects your joints from osteoporosis. In osteoporosis, bone density decreases, which increases the risk of fractures dramatically. After all, 99 percent of calcium is in your bones. “Compared to other foods, cheese contains a lot of calcium,” says Mauro. Parmesan, for example, is a top supplier of this vital mineral with 1,400 milligrams per 100 grams.

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3. Cheese is a real vitamin bomb

Cheese provides a lot of vitamin A, which is important for healthy skin and resilient mucous membranes. Especially in winter you can put viruses and bacteria to flight with it. The German Nutrition Society (DGE) recommends men a daily intake of 1 milligram of vitamin A. Cheeses such as mascarpone, blue cheese or camembert cover half of your daily requirement with 100 grams.

4. Cheese strengthens your heart and brain

Good cheese contains healthy omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential for your metabolism. In addition, your brain, which consists mainly of fat, needs this nutrient to function properly.

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In addition to the healthy unsaturated fatty acids, cheese also contains a lot of saturated fatty acids. These are known to shoot the “bad” LDL cholesterol through the roof, which promotes vascular diseases like atherosclerosis. Which in turn increases the risk of a stroke or heart attack. However, a study by the University of Dublin showed that people who consume very high amounts of cheese do not have higher cholesterol levels than people who eat little or no cheese.

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Important: As with all foods, it all comes down to the dosage. Nucaro recommends a rough guideline of around 50 grams of cheese per day, depending on how many other dairy products you consume.

5. Cheese helps you lose weight

However, this depends on the type of cheese you choose. "If you are looking for a cheese with few calories, you are well advised with mozzarella, Gouda or even with Brie", says the expert. 100 grams of mozzarella with 40 percent fat contains 255 calories, 19 grams of protein and no carbohydrates - perfect if you are on a low-carb diet.

Which cheese helps you lose weight?

“Cheese tastes very intense, so you don't need much of it” explains the expert. Parmesan with 40 percent fat has just under 400 calories per 100 grams, but you will rarely use that much per serving due to the strong taste. At the same time, cheese quickly fills you up. So you don't have to go without cheese on a diet, you should just keep an eye on the amount consumed.

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By the way: Lactic acid bacteria from fermented foods such as cheese support a healthy immune system in the intestines, as a study by the University of Leipzig shows.

How do I recognize a high quality cheese?

The quality of the cheese depends mainly on the milk used. “Depending on how the animals are fed, for example whether they are on the pasture and eat fresh grass and wild herbs, or are mainly kept in the barn and receive concentrated feed, the nutritional composition of the milk and cheese also changes,” explains Mauro. A study by Newcastle University and a study by Greenpeace found that organically produced dairy products contain more healthy omega-3 fatty acids than conventionally produced dairy products.

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When buying, make sure the cheese is of good quality

Good milk quality is also reflected in the taste: the cheese tastes more intense. When buying, it is therefore worth looking for a trustworthy shop that can tell you exactly how the cheese is made and which milk was used.

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Which ingredients should I look out for when buying cheese?

“There are only a few ingredients in a good cheese, mainly the milk and maybe a few herbs or mushrooms,” emphasizes Mauro.

In addition to the milk, however, rennet must be added so that the milk curdles and thickens. Rennet is a mixture of different enzymes obtained from the stomach lining of young calves. For this purpose, the stomachs of slaughtered calves are placed in a solution until the enzyme separates from the mucous membrane, which is then added to the milk for cheese production.

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By the way: Vegetarian foods only include products for which no animal has to be killed. However, since calves have to be slaughtered for their rennet for cheese production, cheese is not considered a vegetarian food. This is especially difficult for vegetarians, as the rennet does not have to be labeled as an ingredient and is therefore not on the packaging. However, there are also some manufacturers who do not use animal rennet, but microbial rennet, which is produced in the laboratory. However, the vegetarian rennet is not suitable for all types of cheese - Parmesan, for example, requires animal rennet due to its long maturity.

Are light or lactose-free cheese products healthier than regular cheeses?

“Light products have a lower fat content and fewer calories, but also less taste. You should therefore consider whether you want to accept the loss of taste or simply eat less, ”suggests our cheese expert. In addition, light products are no healthier than the original. On the contrary: Sugar or additives are often added to these products, which can have a negative effect on your blood sugar level and the intestinal flora.

By the way: Even people who are lactose intolerant can enjoy most types of cheese - during the ripening process, the lactose is converted into lactic acid. Basically, the longer the cheese ripens, the less lactose it contains. These include cheeses such as mountain cheese, cheddar and gouda.

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By the way, you should avoid analog cheese, an imitation cheese made from water, protein, vegetable fat and flavor enhancers that no longer has anything in common with cheese. In the supermarket it is often sold as a “pizza mix” or “gratin mix”.

Cheese provides a lot of calcium and high quality protein. However, since the milk product also contains a lot of fat and calories, you should consume it in moderation. Important: Make sure that the quality of organic milk is good and leave cheese with additives, as well as light and analog cheese, on the left.

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Training plan: build muscle in 12 weeks
Are you already a customer? Then log in here.After successful payment you will receive an email with a download link. If you have any questions, send a message to [email protected]
Coaching ZoneYour fitness goal within reach

Do you want to lose weight, build muscle or get fitter all around? Then you are exactly right with us. Our top trainers will pick you up exactly where you are and write you a tailor-made one Training and / or nutrition plan - Including motivation and questions.