Nutritionally, aren’t all cheeses created equal? Most people do not know that there is a big nutritional difference among various types of cheese found on the market. When people think of cheese, Kraft and Sargento single slice packets mostly come to mind. But, we do not allow this type of cheese to be consumed by our Protein Pantry dieters. Why? Isn’t this cheese low carb and doesn’t it have a good amount of fat in it? Let’s take a quick look at the difference in this mainstream cheese and the cheese Protein Pantry allows.
The most popular brands of cheese are made from pasteurized milk which is missing the important, beneficial enzymes and probiotics. Yes, these cheeses add back enzymes and cultures but it’s not as concentrated and does not work the same with the body. These brands have preservatives and coloring added to enhance the look. Some of these popular brands use low fat or no fat milk which totally negates any health benefit you might receive from the cheese.
Our Protein Pantry system allows certain cheeses like aged cheddar, aged Gouda, aged Manchego & aged Gruyere. These aged cheeses contain a high concentration of essential nutrients: calcium, zinc, phosphorus and vitamins A, D, B2, B12 and K2 which is very important to cardiovascular health. They contain a good concentration of CLA (conjugated linoleic acid), a powerful cancer-fighter and metabolism booster.
Pasteurization is not necessary for aged cheese because the lactic acid formed during aging destroys pathogenic bacteria. But, the high concentration of probiotics in the cheese remain unharmed. Eight beneficial enzymes in raw milk are kept intact during the aging process, enzymes that increase iron absorption and assist in the breakdown of fat for metabolism. As well, those that are lactose intolerant often have no issues with aged cheese due to the lactose content being little to none. If a brand does use pasteurized milk for their aged cheese, the aging process helps to restore the beneficial compounds that were destroyed during pasteurization.
As a cheese ages, microbes and enzymes transform texture and intensify flavor. This transformation is a result of the breakdown of casein proteins and milkfat into a complex mix of amino acids and fatty acids that are extremely beneficial to health. The major fatty acid transformed from this breakdown in the aging process is butyrate. Butyrate has a myriad of health benefits that is well documented. It improves insulin sensitivity in cells, increase energy expenditure (essentially speeding up metabolism), and reduces inflammation especially in the colon. Butyrate curbs hunger and cravings and curbs the body from catabolizing your lean muscle.
We have very good reasons for allowing certain aged cheeses on the Protein Pantry system. The aged cheese is a great addition to our arsenal of items that supports our dieters in reaching their ultimate health goals. The aged cheese tastes great, is very satisfying and makes a great snack when you feel you need a little something in-between meals.
Source: Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry; Morten R. Clausen, PhD
Thrive – Style; Lisa Beach, PhD