Say Cheese!

Health experts finally admit this delicious food may not be bad for us

In our ongoing quest for a healthy weight, healthy heart, and slim waistline, we’ve been told to avoid certain foods because they’re not exactly good for us. Among them — cheese.

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Yet dozens if not hundreds of varieties of the delicacy have tempted us at grocery stores and specialty cheese shops, and in 2015 alone some 5.3 million metric tons of cheese were manufactured in the U.S.

Now, health experts, doctors, dietitians and nutritionists are bringing us back toward a diet full of real whole foods, less sugar, and healthier fats. And cheese is among the products increasingly considered a snack that may be good for us (in moderation, of course).

“Fat is a must-have food for many reasons,” said one wellness advocate.

Cheese is high in protein, calcium and hard-to-get B12, as Time magazine recently outlined based on the research of Arne Astrup, head of the department of nutrition, exercise and sports at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark. Astrup said cheese contains almost as much protein as it does fat, which helps our bodies build cell structures. The calcium in cheese builds bone, and vitamin B12 supports neurological function. Cheese is also one of the few foods to naturally contain vitamin D.

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“If there is something I have learned from my entire 2016 year where I ‘repaired my metabolism’ and learned how to eat — without massive calorie constriction — and what to eat, fat is a must-have part of a diet for many reasons,” said Jennifer Aube, a wellness advocate and founder of the websites Crave It and Do You Bake?

Aube sticks with an 80/20 diet. Eighty percent of what she eats is “the super healthy stuff,” while the remaining 20 percent is “a girl’s-gotta-enjoy-a-little-yummy-in-her-life” stuff. Under this plan, she went from a very unhealthy 245 pounds to what she says is a current smaller, healthier and stronger version of herself. She lost 120 pounds and has kept the weight off.

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“During my transformation, one thing I learned about and now practice daily is healthy nutrition,” Aube told LifeZette.

Her go-to’s:

High quality protein
This is necessary for muscle maintenance and development. Chicken, cottage cheese and fish are favorite sources.

Healthy carbohydrates
Important for muscle development. Good choices are oatmeal, sweet potatoes, quinoa — and black beans.

The good fats
“Anytime someone tells me they are on a crazy low-fat diet, I cringe,” said Aube. “Fat is necessary. I love avocado oil in cooking and I often use coconut oil as an alternative fat source during baking.”

She added, “Sneak in a little treat each day. I never deprive myself of something I want. You never feel like you are on a diet when you allow yourself the little things.”

This once again includes cheese.

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