In this final blog post on comfort foods, Nutritional therapist, Lisa Borg answers the common question “What Cheese Should I Avoid?”
I personally do not advocate vegan cheeses unless one has chosen strict veganism and in such cases, I think the vegan community should invent their own word for the product because it’s not really cheese if it’s not made from animal milk!
The base ingredient used to make cheese is what makes the difference in its nutritional and health-promoting potential. The best options are cheeses made from organically raised, grass-fed animals and preferably raw since pasteurization reduces vitamin, protein, and enzyme levels in the milk. Sheep and goat-milk cheeses are easier on digestion, are less problematic for allergy or intolerance, and they tend to be lower in fat. Feta, halloumi, and pecorino romano are a few examples. For those who tolerate cow’s milk well, cottage cheese, and ricotta are the healthier options.
The worse cheeses, nutritionally speaking, are pasteurized, processed, low fat or fat-free cheeses, or cheeses that are sweetened; these are not healthy options at all. Lowering the fat content of naturally high-fat foods changes any benefit they provided and increases the craving for sugar which is often just a result of reducing fat intake.