Think before you say cheese

Think before you say cheese

Processed cheese, with its delectable varieties, easy availability and ability to add tasty dimensions to food, is here to stay. The high protein and calcium content of cheese makes it a nutritious option. Does that mean one can eat as much cheese as one wants? Maybe not.

According to the American Heart Association, cheese contains considerable amount of saturated fat, which has been linked with high blood cholesterol levels and risk for heart
disease. Cheese is an energy dense food with negligible fibre, which makes it unhealthy, if consumed mindlessly.

Large helpings and overconsumption of cheesy foods, coupled with poor lifestyle practices, are the chief offenders in the constantly escalating prevalence of heart disease and other lifestyle diseases. During weekends, people tend to splurge on high-calorie foods, often loaded with cheese, which upsets the calorie intake balance of the entire week, making way for health issues in the long run.

Restraining oneself from binge eating during weekends and holidays is important, and so is watching what you eat. In fact, a small step like opting for a burger without extra cheese or opting for a vegetable sandwich, instead of a cheese sandwich, can go a long way in preventing unnecessary calories from putting a pressure on your heart.

As for cheese itself, going for low-fat options like cottage cheese, ricotta cheese and extra light soft cheese will do the trick. So, eat your cheese, but don’t go overboard. Have a heart for your heart; eat nutritious food and be active, to enjoy a healthy life for years.

(The author is senior consultant,interventional cardiology, Sakra World Hospital, Bengaluru)

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