Cheeses at Christmas!
Cheese is produced from milk, generally cow, goat and sheep and is high in fat, protein, calcium and phosphorus. The essential nutrients help keep the body healthy, important for growth, muscles and energy.
There are so many varieties of cheese, which are categorised by their moisture content (hard to soft), age, milk source and fat content (double cream, triple cream etc.), the presence of mould (blue vein) and added preservatives for processing.
Some varieties of cheese we are all familiar with are, cheddar, brie, camembert, pecorino, gouda, swiss, parmesan, cottage, feta, ricotta, mozzarella, bocconcini, gorgonzola, gruyere, blue vein, halloumi and jarlsberg, just to name a few.
So are they good or bad?
We all know that cheese is a great source for calcium; essential for healthy teeth and bones and that it should be included in our daily diet. The Australian Dietary Guidelines (http://www.nhmrc.gov.au/_files_nhmrc/publications/attachments/n55_australian_dietary_guidelines_130530.pdf) recommend that adults should consume 2½ serves of milk, cheese and yoghurt (or alternatives to those who are lactose intolerant) and mostly reduced fat, per day.
For those who watch their weight, you would be familiar with the variety of cottage and ricotta cheese. Great on crackers as a snack.
So what about the full fat kind of cheese?
Especially at this time of year with Christmas gatherings and parties?
Well the answer is simple! It’s okay in moderation! Eat some of the lovely cheeses on offer when you’re out and about, but don’t overdo it. Have some beautiful yoghurt with your fruit salad for dessert. You don’t need to deny yourself at this time of year, but just keep consumption in check and in moderation. Along with the alcohol and fruitcake!