Cheddar cheese is one of the most popular cheese forms in the world. It is produced worldwide, especially in countries like the UK, USA, Australia, Argentina, Belgium, Germany, Netherlands, New Zealand, Finland, Sweden, South Africa, Canada, etc. This cheese originates from the village of Cheddar in Somerset, England, and has existed since the 12th century. It is a natural cheese that is off-white orangish in colour and slightly sharp in taste.
Cheddar is one of the most loved cheese forms worldwide, and the most significant association with cheddar cheese is its presence in your favourite cheese-burst pizzas, cheesy burgers, or sizzling grilled cheese sandwiches. Cheddar cheese is always associated with taste bud satisfying foods. However, little do people know about its health benefits.
Process of Making Cheddar Cheese
Cheddar is a natural cheese. It is manufactured by separating curds and whey (liquid remaining after strained milk). The next stage is ‘cheddaring,’ which involves heating the curd with salt. Finally, they drain the whey and cut the curd into cubes. Cheddar cheese already gives us an advantage since it’s a natural cheese. Processed cheese contains extra fats, fattening agents, colouring agents, emulsifiers, and preservatives, which can harm health.
Types of Cheddar Cheese
The sharpness of cheddar cheese refers to how long you age the cheese: the longer it has been, the sharper (or more intense and flavorful) the cheese becomes. And also develop a grainy, crystalline texture. The following are some of the most popular types of aged cheddar cheese:
- Mild Cheddar: 2 to 3 months maturity
- Semi-mature Cheddar: 6 to 9 months maturity
- Extra Matured: 9 to 12 months maturity
- Vintage Cheddar: 12 to 24 months maturity
Nutritional Value of Cheddar Cheese
Cheddar cheese has a decent amount of protein. Therefore, it can be an excellent option for vegetarians combined with other sources. Moreover, cheddar cheese has a lot of calcium and is high in crucial fatty acids. Other components include vitamin A, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, vitamin B-12, vitamin K, and selenium.
As per USDA, 100 grams of cheddar cheese contains:
- Calories: 409 kCal
- Protein: 23.3 g
- Carbohydrates: 2.44 g
- Fat: 29 g
Vitamins and Minerals
- Calcium: 707 mg
- Sodium: 654 mg
- Magnesium: 26.8 mg
- Phosphorus: 458 mg
- Potassium: 77 mg
- Zinc: 3.67 mg
- Selenium: 28.3 µg
- Vitamin B-6: 0.069 mg
- Vitamin B-12: 1.06 µg
- Vitamin A: 316 µg
- Vitamin K1: 2.4 µg
- Vitamin K2: 9.3 µg
Whole milk cheddar has a high total fat content (29 g/100 g) and a high saturated fat content (19.2 g/100 g). Both of these negatively affect blood cholesterol levels and increase the risk of heart disease. Traditional nutrition advice has recommended eating a low-saturated-fat diet to lower the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Cheddar cheese is high in protein, with 23.3 g per 100 grams. As a result, more than a third of the calories in cheddar come from protein, which can drastically increase your daily consumption.
Cheddar has 707 mg of calcium per 100g, making it a vital micronutrient. However, calcium isn’t the only nutrient found in cheddar. In 100g of cheddar, you’ll find vitamin A, vitamin K, especially vitamin K2, vitamin B12, phosphorus, and low amounts of zinc, selenium, and riboflavin. Furthermore, cheddar contains a lot of sodium (654 mg per 100g).
The HealthifyMe Note
Cheddar cheese, a dairy product, obviously has a lot of protein and healthy fats. In addition, it is an excellent source of calcium, iron, and vitamin K. Cheddar cheese can also be a significant component of the modern-day ketogenic diet. It can also be helpful in intermittent fasting. Cheddar has a low carbohydrate content like many other kinds of cheese, with only 2.44 g per 100 grams; this also indicates it’s low in fibre and sugar.
Health Benefits of Cheddar Cheese
Some of the health benefits include:
Increase Bone Density
Studies have consistently proven how a high calcium diet can increase bone density and mineralisation. Cheddar cheese is an excellent source of calcium and is easily available. Just one serving (25 grams) can quickly provide us with 170 mg of calcium, making it easy for an adult to achieve the daily recommended dose of 1000 mg.
Osteoporosis is a condition in which the bones become brittle and weak. Studies have proven calcium is also a contributing factor in preventing osteoporosis. Unfortunately, osteoporosis is more common among people over 50, where the daily recommended dose is up to 1200 mg. This can solve this issue. Along with calcium, it also has other constituents like vitamin B-12, vitamin B-6, and manganese, which help bone health.
Helps Prevent Anaemia
Cheddar cheese is an excellent source of vitamin B12. It is well established by many studies that vitamin B12 is essential for the production of red blood cells and helps synthesise our DNA and fatty acids. Moreover, vitamin B12 is a significant vitamin present mostly in animal products. Therefore, cheddar cheese can be a good vitamin B12 for vegetarians. However, the deficiency of vitamin B12 can lead to various conditions like anaemia, headache, fatigue, etc.
Helps in Muscle/Weight Gain
Many people have a fast metabolism; they don’t gain weight quickly. However, that can sometimes backfire, leading to improper muscle development, lack of muscle density, compromised immune system, low BMI, etc. Cheddar cheese, being a caloric dense food, can solve this issue. Just one serving (25 grams) provides around 100 calories (up to two apples). The feasibility and versatility factor comes into the picture as well. Cheddar cheese can be added to any meal or snack easily, thus increasing the overall calories in the meal.
Helps in Weight Loss
It might sound contradictory, but it isn’t! Cheddar cheese is proven to have a high amount of leucine (a branched-chain amino acid). Hence, it is considered a protein-dense food. Furthermore, a study has demonstrated that cheddar cheese provides a slow and sustained supply of amino acids. As a result, this cheese helps an individual build muscle and stay full for a long time leading to overall less consumption of food. In addition, cheddar cheese can aid weight loss when consumed as a ketogenic or intermittent fasting diet. As cheese will be high in fats and sodium, consult your diet expert to rip off benefits properly.
Compatible with the Ketogenic Diet
The ketogenic diet or keto diet has been a game-changer in the world of fitness and health. Studies have proven that a ketogenic diet is helpful for fat loss. A ketogenic diet is a high-fat, adequate-protein, and low-carbohydrate diet for fat loss and general health. Protein and fats keep a person satiated for a long time. Due to the absence of carbohydrates, the body uses fat as an energy source.
A study also proved that cheddar cheese has a lower glycemic index than milk. Therefore, it does not increase blood sugar levels, making it a perfect keto food. However, it’s important to remember that keto is only a type of diet; one does not necessarily need to do a keto diet to lose weight.
Compatible with Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting is not a diet like the ketogenic diet but is an eating protocol. The individual voluntarily fasts for 10-16 hours and eats his meals in the day’s remaining hours. Cheddar cheese naturally allows a person to eat less than he would, usually leading to weight loss. Studies have proven it to be a good tool for fat loss. Due to the number of meals per day being less, adding something satiating like cheddar cheese would be a good choice.
Perfect for Lactose-Intolerant People
Lactose is a sugar that is naturally present in milk and milk products. However, some people cannot digest the sugar, leading to diarrhoea, gas, and bloating. Cheddar cheese has an extremely low lactose content that everybody can enjoy.
The HealthifyMe Note
Cheddar cheese has a nutritional value that can have many health benefits. It also brings versatility to the equation and an array of nutritional benefits. You can also use cheddar cheese in a ketogenic diet and intermittent fasting. The high amount of protein and calcium brings a whole lot of benefits. Not only can it solve the lack of protein consumption, but it can also help strengthen bones and manage weight.
Delicious Cheddar Cheese Recipes to Include in Your Diet
Keto Cheddar Cheese Chips
- Number of servings: 2 people
- Preparation time: 20 minutes
- Cheddar cheese: 50 grams, shredded
- Oil: 1 tsp
- Pepper: 1 tsp
- Non-stick pan or baking sheet
- Start by greasing the non-stick pan or baking sheet with oil. Use a generous amount of oil.
- Arrange circles of shredded cheese on the pan or baking sheet.
- Heat them on a low flame until they are golden brown. If you have an oven, bake them for 8-10 minutes.
- Let them cool for at least 10 minutes.
- Carefully remove them, and sprinkle with salt and pepper to serve.
Power-Packed Garlic Cheddar Cheese Pasta
- Number of servings: 2 people
- Preparation time: 30 minutes
- Whole Wheat Pasta: 500 g pasta of choice (Penne, Macaroni, Spaghetti, etc.)
- Cheddar Cheese: 50 g
- Milk: 100 ml
- Oil: 1 tbsp
- Garlic: 4 cloves, crushed
- Oats Flour: 1 tbsp
- Salt: 2 tsp
- Pepper: 2 tsp
- Add pasta to a saucepan and add water to boil on a high flame. Stir the pasta until it becomes soft; this should take around 10-12 minutes.
- Add oil to the pan at high flame. Add garlic and fry until fragrant and then add the flour.
- Then add milk and whisk until a smooth sauce forms. Turn down the heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
- Turn the heat off, then add the cheese, salt, and pepper to taste.
- Add cooked pasta, add a bit of pasta cooking water, and stir well to serve.
Precautions while Eating Cheddar Cheese
- Milk allergy: Milk allergy is different from lactose intolerance. It is an abnormal response by one’s immune system to milk and products containing milk. Symptoms include rash, hives, wheezing, digestive problems, etc.
- People suffering from heart disease or high cholesterol: One of the biggest myths was that dietary cholesterol increases the risk of heart disease. However, studies have proven that there is no evidence to prove so. However, saturated and trans fats can cause heart disease and hypertension. Therefore, such people should avoid cheese.
Storage and Food Safety
Cheddar cheese does not necessarily require refrigeration; storing it in the fridge will help it last longer. According to USDA, opened cheddar can last up to three to four weeks, while unopened cheddar can last six months.
Cheddar cheese contains all the macronutrients and micronutrients required to sustain a balanced lifestyle. As a result, it has many health benefits, including increased bone density, reducing weight, gaining weight, and preventing osteoporosis and anaemia.
Cheddar cheese is compatible with both the ketogenic diet and intermittent fasting. It contains protein, healthy fats, calcium, vitamin B12, and vitamin K. However; you need to contraindicate its high-fat content if you have heart disease, hypertension, or obesity. The saturated fat content might increase the risk of heart disease. However, moderation is the key.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q. What is special about cheddar cheese?
A. Cheddar cheese is natural cheese. Therefore, it lacks extra fats, fattening agents, colouring agents, emulsifiers, and preservatives. In addition, the high amount of protein and calcium brings a whole lot of benefits. Just one serving (25 grams) can easily provide us with 170 mg of calcium, making it easy for an adult to achieve the daily recommended dose of 1000 mg. Moreover, it has many other benefits like vitamin B12, vitamin B6, selenium, phosphorus, etc.
Q. Is cheddar cheese good for weight gain?
A. Cheddar cheese, being a caloric dense food, can solve this issue. Just one serving (25 grams) provides around 100 calories. However, gaining weight does not mean eating a bag of chips with canned soda. The rule of eating nutrient-dense food remains. It is necessary to consume cheese in moderation, or it can lead to many complications.
Q. Is cheddar cheese good for weight loss?
A. Cheddar cheese is proven to have a high amount of leucine (a branched-chain amino acid) and, therefore, is considered a protein-dense food. As a result, cheddar helps an individual build muscle and stay full for a long time leading to overall less consumption of food. Furthermore, cheddar cheese can aid weight loss when consumed as a ketogenic or intermittent fasting diet.
Q. Is cheddar cheese good to eat every day?
A. It depends upon portion control and the individual. For example, eating cheddar cheese daily in moderation as part of a balanced diet won’t be an issue for healthy physically active young adults. However, eating cheddar cheese daily is inappropriate for older adults or people with hypertension and heart disease.
Q. Is cheddar cheese good for belly fat?
A. It again depends on portion control. Small portions in moderation can help to facilitate weight loss. People following keto also lose weight despite eating cheese almost every day. The person should also exercise regularly.
Q. Is cheddar cheese harmful?
A. It can be harmful if consumed in larger quantities. Saturated and trans fats can lead to increased blood pressure and heart disease, and it can also lead to dairy allergy, including irritation, hives, etc.
Q. What happens when you eat too much cheddar cheese?
A. Too much of anything is wrong. For example, cheddar cheese is high in fats and overall calories. Too much consumption can lead to weight gain, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, etc.
Q. Does cheddar cheese cause inflammation?
A. When consumed in higher amounts or when the person has a dairy allergy, it can lead to inflammation. That is because the immune system gives an abnormal response leading to inflammation.
Q. Does cheddar cheese cause bloating?
A. When consumed in higher amounts or when the patient has a dairy allergy, it can lead to bloating. Due to its high caloric value, it can also be challenging to digest when someone has an allergy.
Q. Can cheddar cause diarrhoea?
A. When consumed in higher amounts or when the patient has a dairy allergy, it can lead to diarrhoea. Due to its high caloric value, it can also be challenging to digest when someone has an allergy. Overeating dishes with cheddar cheese can also cause diarrhoea.