Fresh, melted, tender, cured... of sheep and goat, of ball or Emmental, with bubbles, like Gruyere. The cheese has innumerable forms and flavors, and all of them triumph in some corner of the gastronomy, either with the pasta, hidden between the vegetables or in the belly of the sandwiches. But it is also the first sacrifice of the shopping list when we decide to put on a diet, and that is not fair.
Its high fat content and the high amount of salt it contains have been sufficient reasons to remove it from the diet of hypertensive people or cardiovascular problems, but there is no reason to exclude it from the table if you want to lose weight. "Without confusing it with dairy products, such as spreading cheeses, cheese, as a fermented product, is a quality food that can be consumed daily," explains the nutritionist Oihana Monasterio of the specialization group in Clinical Nutrition and Dietetics of the Spanish Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. "There's no reason to cling to a cool guy," he adds.
And, although the tasty product is rich in cholesterol, there are several studies that have shown that its consumption does not alter blood levels. That is, the organism does not assimilate the cholesterol that the cheese strains in its bowels. What's more, "research points out that consumption of 50 grams a day is associated with lower risk of excess triglycerides in the blood and low HDL cholesterol – the good one. " It seems that the effect is due to the interaction of the fat with other nutrients of the food (minerals such as calcium and proteins like casein), or with its own matrix ", he emphasizes monastery.
Taking into account that, according to government data, each Spaniard consumed half 7.66 kilos of cheese in 2017, the idea that it is not necessary to put aside this food to lose weight will cause widespread relief. But be careful, it's not that there is free bar.
Choose the type and eat up to 100 grams a day
one can enjoy the fermented product as long as it follows a healthy and tidy diet. It may even be a suitable complement to the Mediterranean diet, in which it does not have a prominent presence. At least, this is what a small study by the University of Southern Australia, recently published in the journal The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition , points out.
The researchers observed that a group of middle-aged people, who followed for 8 weeks a Mediterranean diet supplemented with food from milk, such as cheese, improved health indicators such as blood pressure and cholesterol. In the eyes of the scientists, they seemed healthier than the volunteers who were assigned to another group, in which fat consumption was reduced.
However, the abundance of lipids in the diet is not recommended. It is necessary to take into account the properties that define each one of the infinite types of cheese that exist if we do not want to repent when we get on the scale. The cured and the most fatty, like blue and brie, have between 25% and 30% of fat. Can be consumed between 40 and 70 grams per day... Not to lose weight; Two slices cut like the havarti that you find in any supermarket, where less than 5 euros are enough to make the cheese lovers happy, enough to reach the figure.
It's not much to eat, but it's not the only option. "in the case of mozzarella or ricotta, are allowed between 80 and 100 grams, the equivalent of something more than a small single terrine, for a dessert or a toast of bread," says Monasterio. But his stance when it comes to pricing how much cheese we can eat collides with that of nutritionist Daniel Ursúa, who believes that "no specific recommendation can be established." In what does coincide is that you have to limit the pleasure for cheese, and not cut into it.
A World food under the magnifying glass of Harvard
"You can't eat cheese every day. Even in the vegetable and fruit you have to bet on the variety, "says the nutritionist. in the case of this product, the nutrient to be balanced is the protein, and it cannot be determined exactly how much to admit on the plate because that depends on the rest of the diet and on the habits of each person, he explains.
The expert supports his position in the Harvard University dish, one of the references to develop a healthy daily menu that has more consensus in the world. The icon created to replace the famous food pyramid recommends that a quarter of the nutrients we eat daily are healthy proteins. "The reference groups of the protein part of the dish are legumes, fish and white meat. in the food to be limited in this range are the red meat and cheese, " explains Ursúa.
Other guides, such as the nutritional triangle that the Flemish Institute directs to the Flemish Community of Belgium, consider the cheese among the food apart. It is in the group of red meat and alcohol, out of fresh products and food welcome on a successful daily diet. In any case, Ursúa agrees with the nutritionist Oihana monastery in which fresh cheeses and less fatty are those that must have preference... Probably eradicate them completely is exaggerated. On the other hand, whether you decide to leave the cheese or choose to eat just a little, it is almost certain that the food will continue to tempting her.
Why it costs so much to resist this tasty bite
The cheese always has a hole in the kitchen. At least one can find you a place on a plate as long as you guess with the right variety. But what is its omnipresence? One reason could be that it creates some addiction, or at least that was one of the conclusions reached by a study of the University of Michigan published, in 2015, in the journal PLOS ONE.
After experimenting with 500 students, scientists related a protein called casein with opiate-like effects, which are supposed to occur during digestion. According to the work, the substances release Casomorfinas in the organism, which generate a sense of well-being... like the one that produces a good pizza. And the more processed and fatty, the more so-called addiction that cheese generates in people.
Let not the cheese-makers tremble, that no one will seize their production. As the nutritionist Oihana monastery remembers, it is not right to think that one can get caught. "You can't talk about addiction, but it can be related to the high salt content," he clarifies. What there is no doubt is that the food raises passions, and that something will be. At the end of the day, why shouldn't we get the Parmesan cheese in a good mood?