Cheese has been the target of a slander campaign over the last few decades, mainly due to the vilification of fat. You may have grown up eating low fat or no fat cheese varieties, with their grainy textures and complete lack of melt-ability.
Despite what’s been said in the past, current dietary research shows that full fat cultured dairy products are far from a villain. In fact, they can be an important part of a healthy diet and can even help with weight loss. Read on to find out why cheese is worth indulging in and discover how we can help you meet your daily allowances here at Sardella’s Pizza!
Dairy products like mozzarella and Parmesan offer a healthy balance of fat and protein in a tasty and compact package. Protein is crucial for building muscle, and your brain and organs can’t function without a source of fat. Full-fat mozzarella is 28% protein per ounce with only 280 calories. That’s eight grams of protein in each ounce. Add a lean meat topping like chicken to one of our pizzas and you’re getting a big boost of protein, making it the perfect post-workout snack. The protein digests slowly to keep you feeling full for longer, too.
It is true that cheese packs some high levels of saturated fat and cholesterol. However, the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans have lifted the previous limits on both of these types of fat. Unless your doctor has recommended that you limit either cholesterol or saturated fat to practically none, you can enjoy a few ounces of cheese here and there without worrying about long-term ill effects. A one-ounce serving of cheese makes for a healthy snack practically anytime.
Minerals and Vitamins Your Body Needs
Cheese has more than just protein and fat in it. With every bite of Feta or Ricotta, you’re getting part of your daily allowance of:
- Calcium, for strong bones, healthy teeth, and a balanced blood pH level
- Biotin, for shiny hair and strong nails
- Zinc, for energy and a thriving immune system.
There is research that shows that the minerals and vitamins in dairy products are better absorbed than their supplement counterparts. Instead of taking a daily calcium tablet, consider drinking more milk and consuming milk-based foods. You can always try low or no-fat varieties if you’re on a strict diet for heart health, or just keep your portion sizes small. A light sprinkling of mozzarella or flavorful Parmesan on one of our pizzas still adds a lot of flavor and chewy texture.
Some cheeses can add a lot of sodium to the diet, so consider exactly what varieties you are eating before consuming too much of any type in one setting. The saltiest types of cheese include:
- Processed American slices and melting blocks, which rely on salt as both a preservative and flavoring
- Feta and similar aged goat and sheep cheeses
- Blue varieties, especially if it wasn’t aged very long
- Some cheddar products, depending on the manufacturer
Mozzarella falls in the middle of the sodium scale. Be sure to drink plenty of water when enjoying your favorite dairy products since increasing your fluid intake buffers the effects of extra salt.
If all this talk about the health benefits of cheese has made you hungry, drop in to enjoy it on top of one of our delicious pies here at Sardella’s Pizza. We’ve also got plenty of it stuffed into our calzones and you can even sprinkle it over the tops of our pasta dishes.