The Truth about Cheese

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 02, 2007 4:51 PM GMT
    I work at a Deli and until recently, cheese was nothing more than a topping, for better or worse. But now, I've gone from wanting only a slice a day to a whole brick. I've always heard the fastest way to gaining fat is spreading cheese onto every meal, so now my guilt is catching up with me.

    So what's the truth with cheese? When will cheese work for me and not against me? When is there too much cheese in a day?
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    Sep 02, 2007 5:30 PM GMT
    I've lost 61 pounds and I eat cheese. It's how I get my calcium since I'm not a big milk fan.
  • MSUBioNerd

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    Sep 02, 2007 5:48 PM GMT
    I eat quite a lot of cheese myself. It may prevent me from getting that 6 pack, but enjoying myself has to be balanced against the vanity.

    On the whole, I'd say it makes less sense to worry about what individual foods you eat and more about the total amount that you do.
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    Sep 02, 2007 5:55 PM GMT
    I love cheese and avocados. You don't look like you are bursting at the seams there so I am not sure what you you are worrying about. Unless you have some sort of health condition to cut back on fats and cholesterol, just be moderate.

    Your body does need fats and there are lots of tasty and healthy ones out there like different oils (olive, etc) and avocados (mono-saturated fat), nuts like almonds too.

    If I eat too much fats in general, my skin gets noticeably oilier and I know to cut back.

    Even though cheese is mostly fat, there are leaner ones like skim mozzarella, etc. One more suggestion I use cause I am a cheese freak. Try the especially strong chesses like extra extra sharp cheddar or Parmesan; Because these cheeses taste so strong you don't have to use as much for the taste effect so you get more bang for your buck.
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    Sep 02, 2007 6:07 PM GMT
    Well, a brick a day will definitely put on some love handles, but a slice shouldn't be any problem. Cheese has a relatively large amount of fat - 10 to 65% by weight, and about half of it is saturated fat. But there's no reason not to have a moderate amount in your diet.

    Instead of going for quantity, try cultivating a taste for quality cheeses. Many are quite strong-flavored and a tiny sliver will satisfy the palate. Many cheap cheeses have hardly any flavor - you can dump on a pound and it just tastes greasy.

    I once took a 5 credit dairy microbiology class, in which we isolated and studied the microorganisms in about fifty kinds of cheeses. It only takes a tenth of a gram to culture the microbes... the rest of the sample... ahhhh!
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    Sep 02, 2007 6:12 PM GMT
    mindgarden said: "...Instead of going for quantity, try cultivating a taste for quality cheeses..."

    An excellent point...and something that relates to some things OW and I said on a different thread. First, cheese is wonderful, but watch the cholesterol issues....

    Apart from that, consider this. Say you love salami (no, the kind you eat...no, the FOOD kind) but you know it's laden with fat. Well, instead of having an eighth of a pound of salami in a sandwich, have only 4 or 5 slices. Salami is very flavorful...you don't need a lot to get the taste.

    Same with cheese...a couple of slices or a generous smear. That's enough.

    And, you know, those sandwiches will have less fat and calories than a turkey sandiwch with mayonnaise.
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    Sep 02, 2007 6:22 PM GMT
    From what I've read, foods that are primarily fat and protein sate the appetite and are therefore not likely to be binged upon to fattening excess. And, my body certainly attests to that. For me, the fastest way to pack on fat is lots of carbs.
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    Sep 02, 2007 7:41 PM GMT
    "Many are quite strong-flavored and a tiny sliver will satisfy the palate."

    Yeah, a spoonful of ripe Epoisses might curb his craving quickly.

    I've been buying Drunken Goat from Spain lately -- love it.
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    Sep 02, 2007 8:11 PM GMT
    A couple of years ago, I attended market day in Bern. I was quite annoyed by the loud diesel noises outside my hotel all night, which I attributed to the train depot. When I went out in the morning, the city was transformed into a giant farmer's market!

    Amid all the chaos, you could zero-in on the cheese-wagons, because you could smell them from a block away. Alas, I still had three weeks of travel ahead, and couldn't take any away with me.
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    Sep 02, 2007 9:43 PM GMT
    Ah cheese! Probably one of my favorite foods, and there are many fine cheeses where I could probably binge to excess, so alas I don't try to eat it too often, but definately one of life's pleasures :)
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    Sep 02, 2007 10:21 PM GMT
    cheese is very low in carbohydrates.
  • DiverScience

    Posts: 1426

    Sep 02, 2007 11:01 PM GMT
    Cheese is like every other food. It has good points and bad points.

    Moderate how much you eat, of everything. If you want to eat more cheese take the extra fat and cholesterol out of other places in your diet.

    People are far too intent on finding silver bullets for their diets like, "Don't eat bread." That doesn't work and never will. Look not only at WHAT you're eating but HOW MUCH.

    If you balance out the calories, fat, and cholesterol from your added cheese, then you won't gain (or lose) any weight compared to your current diet.
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    Sep 02, 2007 11:26 PM GMT
    Cool, so if I give up my bowl of oatmeal in the morning, I can have a bowl of chevre instead?
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    Sep 02, 2007 11:36 PM GMT
    "Instead of going for quantity, try cultivating a taste for quality cheeses. Many are quite strong-flavored and a tiny sliver will satisfy the palate."

    If only this were true for me - I'm a total cheese snob and yet I can binge on the sharpest, strongest, most pungent cheeses. If I'm feeling compulsive, I'm liable to go to a fine cheese store buy a thick wedge and then gobble the whole thing down in one sitting. Luckily, I have a fast metabolism but I have to say I feel a lot guiltier about it now that I am putting a lot of time into my body and fitness. Some Achilles' Heels are built to last.
  • DiverScience

    Posts: 1426

    Sep 02, 2007 11:46 PM GMT
    "Cool, so if I give up my bowl of oatmeal in the morning, I can have a bowl of chevre instead?"

    Sure, if your bowl of oatmeal contains all the fat and cholesterol of your bowl of chevre...
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    Sep 03, 2007 12:11 AM GMT
    "I can binge on the sharpest, strongest, most pungent cheeses."

    Ditto, and the cost of imported cheeses since the collapse of the dollar makes this an expensive binge food.

    Every time I go to Paris, I take an empty piece of luggage and literally fill it with cheese I have vacuum-packed at a shop there. It used to be a way to get some rare cheeses; now it saves a lot of money.
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    Sep 03, 2007 12:57 AM GMT
    Cheese is a weird food. Your body does not process it like other fats. REad about that in the Atkins diet theory. I don't get fat on it. And I don't see veggies that eat cheese getting fat either.
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    Sep 03, 2007 1:10 AM GMT
    YOU CAN'T HANDLE THE TRUTH! (about cheese)

    -I really dig brie, feta, mild cheddar, apple smoked gruyere, real deli-style American, etc. but my Doctor says I need to be careful and not over-consume 'cuz hitting the dairy too much can contribute to elevated cholesterol levels.

    Doctor to Bill: "Right...yeah you might want to eat less of the dairy each week and perhaps putting chunk/grated/shredded/sliced cheese on everything while eating ice cream and yogurt the same day then having glasses of vitamin D whole milk isn't such a great idea either".

    Most everything in moderation, I suppose.

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    Sep 03, 2007 2:40 AM GMT
    i eat cheese.
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    Sep 03, 2007 2:58 AM GMT
    Bill007 said:
    "...I really dig brie, feta, mild cheddar, apple smoked gruyere..."


    Yum. How about Fontina? It's really superb on its own, or with steamed ham, sauerkraut and dijon?

    (by the way, steamed ham is surprisingly low in fat....)

    John
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    Sep 03, 2007 3:19 AM GMT
    by the way, fresh goat cheese is a wonderfully heathly and guilt-free food when eaten in reasonable portions.

    so let's not lump all cheeses together -- it ain't no triple-creme!

    (god dammit i love cheese.)

    CHEEEEEEEESE!!!!
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    Sep 03, 2007 5:23 AM GMT
    Italians actually use a type of cheese (Mascarpone) in desserts...actually, ricotta too.

    I think the danger, besides the calories is the amount of saturated fat and cholesterol.

    In moderation, OK, though.
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    Sep 03, 2007 6:03 AM GMT
    It's beginning to sound like a Wallace & Grommit episode in here.
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    Sep 03, 2007 6:50 AM GMT
    i live in wisconsin...
    i eat cheese every meal
    and thats not what keeping me from having a six pack haha
    its most likely the lazyness.
    so dont worry about cheese, because i eat tons of it.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 03, 2007 12:23 PM GMT
    eatin too many calories gets ya fat it just means you have to scarfice calories/nutrition elsewhere.

    If calories and fat intake is an issue go for strength of flavour to satiate your need as opposed to volume