Not that most of us are thinking about dieting while we’re enjoying our cheese, it is interesting to note that the “cheese diet” is one that can yield a surprising number of nutritional benefits beyond the pure gastronomic pleasure.
Years ago I recall wondering why I was not putting on excess weight, when it became a big part of my job to eat cheese every day, not just a nibble here and there, but several ounces of various cheese types day after day, every day of the year. As I began to study it, the more I realized that cheese was in fact helping me to keep fit by giving me all the essential nutrients offered in milk (our first food) in a relatively efficient (as well as delicious) form. Without the excess calories that would accompany all the other sources for those nutrients, I was getting what I needed in a compact form. In short, I was sated while consuming fewer other less imminently digestible and less complete foods.
The concerns about the bad effects of consuming cheese, or in consuming any dairy products, were frequently voiced, often times and still to this day, from within the â€œhealthâ€ community. At times I heard these concerns from within the cheese industry itself, as though our beloved food was in some way a little less than ideal!
Fortunately the tide is changing on that, however gradually. The elemental scientific evidence supporting the nutritional benefits of cheese, coupled with the growing awareness of the phenomena surrounding the Mediterranean Diet and the “French Paradox,” all this is causing people to rethink cheese. And for all that, we should keep in mind that the more artisanal the cheese is, the more likely it is to offer pretty much all the nutrients we require. Very efficient, very tasty, as well as romantic, coupled with fruits and vegetables, cheese delivers a lot of bang for your food buck.