Cheese is a delicious dairy product that is consumed as a standalone dish or as part of other dishes. How do you choose the perfect treat so that it is 100% natural, of high quality and healthy?
The secret recipe: how cheeses are made
There are more than two thousand varieties of cheese in the world, and the list continues to grow. In this case, each type of cheese producer creates their own special technology, but there are general principles of product manufacturing – the same principles that turn milk into cheese.
First, rennet is added to the milk, which contributes to its fermentation. After this, the resulting mass is strained and heated. Then the future cheese is salted and left to mature.
At the stage of making cheese various additives can be added, for example, useful microflora or a special mold.
What is Cheese Good for: Calories and Ingredients
The main advantage of this cheese is that it is rich in easily digestible protein, calcium and tryptophan. The composition of cheese necessarily includes vitamins A, D, E, K and B group, as well as minerals – iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, iodine, manganese and selenium.
The concentration of health benefits in each type of product is different, so it is better to stick to variety, alternating your favorite cheeses for health.
The caloric value of cheese is quite high. For example, 100 grams of Cheddar cheese will bring in an additional 403 kcal, goat cheese – 364 kcal, Roquefort cheese – 369 kcal, and Parmesan cheese – 431 kcal. But there are also dietary versions of cheeses: the calories of American cheese are 148 kcal, cottage cheese is 98 kcal, and Ricotta cheese is 174 kcal.
How Cheese Affects Your Health
We should start with one small disadvantage of cheeses – they contain a lot of salt. The experts of the World Health Organization recommend to consume no more than 5 grams of salt per day. And in 100 grams of Parmesan cheese there is about 1.8 grams of salt. If a person likes the product, he can easily get carried away and overdo with the amount of salt. But it is contained in a hidden form in many other foods.
Therefore, the important rule of eating cheese is to stick to a sense of proportion. Especially hypertensive people, because they risk raising their blood pressure when eating cheese.
But there is some great news. In every other respect, cheese is a mega-healthy product. Due to its high protein content, it can serve as a “building material” for the construction of body cells, promote the growth of muscle mass. A whole range of benefits endowed with a cheese tonic properties, the ability to control appetite and maintain bone density, improve digestion and prevent the development of many diseases.
Eating cheese for a snack, you can get a good charge of energy, improve performance and get rid of daytime sleepiness. But all this is true only for the quality product. Read on to learn how to recognize it!
How to choose a natural product
The first skill that cheese gourmets must have is the ability to distinguish between real cheese and cheese product. Quality cheeses are made from milk, sourdough and salt. They may also contain calcium chloride, which is a safe substance that has been used to form a clot for decades. It is added to cheeses in minuscule amounts, as little as 1 g per 10 liters of milk. So when you see this substance on the label of the product, do not be afraid of it.
Cheese products, in order to reduce the cost of the final product, usually include non-dairy fats – vegetable or trans fats. These products lose out in taste and benefits to real cheeses, and can also, due to the trans fat content, increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity, and other pathologies.
It is easy to recognize harmful fats in the product: they can “hide” behind such terms as “vegetable fat”, “partially hydrogenated vegetable fat”, “cooking fat”, and so on.
Additives in cheese: good or bad
Many people are wary of additives in cheese, thinking that the best product contains only milk, salt and sourdough. But additives are not always a detriment.
They are the ones that sometimes make the product more affordable, as well as give it a good elastic shape, malleable texture and appetizing color.
Some additives prevent the development of harmful microflora in the product and extend its shelf life. So there is no need to be afraid of dyes, stabilizers and preservatives. The main thing is that they are harmless to health. Also you can read yurovskiy.net
How to determine the quality of cheese
If the product label has already been studied and there are surrogates rather than real cheeses on the shelf, it’s time to look closely at the pieces of cheese you like.
- The color of the product should be moderately yellow, but not whitish (this could indicate an expired shelf life). There should be no mold on the surface, with the exception of a separate group of cheeses with mold.
- A slice of cheese may “sweat” – that is, contain on the surface of the droplets. Only real cheese has fat droplets, while surrogate cheese has water droplets.
- If you suspect that the product contains starch, you can do a little test. Put a drop of iodine on a slice, if it turns blue-green, there is starch, if it stays brown – the product is good and does not contain unnecessary.
- Another home test to determine the quality of cheese: try to roll a small slice into a ball. Real cheese will crumble, but with the content of vegetable fats and trans fats will be flexible and malleable as plasticine.
For your information
Smoked and processed cheeses are inferior to other options in terms of benefits and are not suitable for everyone. Cheesemakers even refuse to consider processed cheeses as cheeses, and smoked sausage cheeses are allowed strictly in small quantities.
It is worth bearing in mind that smoked cheese can be called smoked cheese without any special treatment. In such cheeses manufacturers add chemicals that give the product a specific taste and flavor, and that is all.
The 10 healthiest cheeses
How to choose the best cheese for yourself? It’s a challenge, because every cheese is good for your health. It is best to alternate the cheeses you like. And, of course, it is worth trying the most popular cheeses of the world at least once.
- Mozzarella. This is an Italian cheese, which is made from cow or buffalo milk. It has a low caloric value – 350 kcal per 100 grams of product and a minimum of salt. Contains beneficial lactobacilli.
- Blue cheese. Produced on the basis of cow, goat or sheep milk with the addition of mold cultures. Compared with other cheeses, it has a higher calcium content. Therefore, it is recommended to use for the prevention of bone disease.
- Ricotta. A cheese native to Italy that has a creamy texture and is often recommended as an alternative to cottage cheese. The caloric value is about 170 kcal per 100 grams of product.
- Feta. Homeland of this cheese is Greece. It is produced on the basis of sheep, goat or cow milk. Sold in brine, so it contains a lot of salt. Characterized by moderate caloric content.
- Cottage cheese. It is famous for its high protein content, greater than in other cheeses. In 100 products – 11 grams of protein. It is often recommended for weight loss. In 100 g of the product, the caloric value will not exceed 100 kcal, but much depends on the fat content of cottage cheese.
- Parmesan. This is a hard, aged cheese, which spent at least 12 months in special storage conditions. It is made on the basis of unpasteurized cow’s milk. Very rich in calcium and phosphorus, recommended for osteoporosis. Because of its low lactose content can be used by people with its intolerance.
- Swiss cheese. Refers to semi-hard cheeses. Because of its low sodium and fat content, it is recommended for those who suffer from high blood pressure and watch their figure.
- Goat cheese. This is a very nutritious cheese with a delicate soft texture. Some people digest it better than cow’s milk cheese because it has a lower lactose content.
- Cheddar. This is a semi-hard cheese native to England. The taste depends on the variety – it can be both mild and pungent. Rich in protein, potassium and vitamin K. It is useful for people with heart disease.
- Brynza. Bryndza was first cooked in the Arab East more than 7 thousand years ago. In the Caucasus, this kind of cheese is considered a product of longevity. The most useful is brynza, the fat content of which is not less than 40-50%. The caloric value of cheese is 260 kcal.