bluebg_le

Articles on nutrition

bluebg_ri

Answers on nutritional issues we should know…

What is the nutritional value of cheese?

We all know cheese comes from milk, some would say a magical product. It’s a balanced foodstuff, containing protein, fat, vitamins, water and salts, all absolutely necessary for the human body. However, this precious foodstuff cannot be preserved for longer than a few days in its original form, whether its pasteurized or not, kept in the refrigerator or elsewhere. Thus, man found various ways to preserve its precious ingredients for as long as possible; one of these ways is the making of cheese. If one wanted to simplify the definition of cheese-making, one would say it’s the separation of the solids of milk from the milk serum, to form a new product, with a different texture, taste and smell, which retains, however, all the good qualities of milk, without altering them in the slightest. Cheese, like milk, contains protein, fats, vitamins A,B,D,E,K, as well as series of salts and traces.

gidotyri-250feta-250

So cheese, along with the rest of the dairy products, including milk, should be definitely consumed 2-3 times daily, because of their high nutritional value.

The nutritional value of sheep’s and goat’s milk

Milk and dairy are an important part of a balanced diet. They are a source of nutrients that contribute to the healthy development and maintenance of the human body. For many years popular nutrition included mainly cow dairy. In the past few years however, the global dairy industry has turned to alternative, equally important sources of nutrients, such as sheep’s and goat’s milk and the cheeses produced from these. This change is due not only to increased demand for the specific products but also to the fact that scientific research, in the last decade, has highlighted their beneficial traits that often surpass those of cow’s milk. This holds particularly true for Feta and GOAT CHEESE cheeses that are both part of Greeks’ daily diet.

Both sheep’s and goat’s milk are an important source of basic nutrients, protein, carbohydrates, fats, calcium, vitamins, minerals and traces, at levels that cover a significant percentage of the body’s daily requirements.

How are vitamins I get from dairy helpful?

Vitamin Α: It enhances your vision, helps your body’s immune system, it contributes to development, as well as to strong bones, healthy skin, hair, teeth and gums.

Vitamin Β2: It helps development and reproduction. It contributes to the development of healthy skin, nails and hair. It helps vision and reduces tiredness in the eyes. It collaborates with other ingredients for the metabolizing of carbohydrates, fats and protein.

Vitamin Β12: It forms and revives red blood cells, preventing anemia. It assists development and encourages children’s appetites. It increases energy levels, keeps the nervous system healthy and helps the body make better use of fats, carbohydrates and protein. Finally, it helps improve your memory, concentration and balance.

Vitamin D: It activates calcium and phosphorus (necessary for the smooth operation of the heart and kidneys as well as for healthy teeth and bones). It assists the absorption of vitamin A and helps prevent common colds (in combination with vitamins A and C).

Vitamin Ε: It slows down the aging of cells that is caused by oxidization. It supplies the body with oxygen and improves its stamina. Combined with vitamin A it protects the lungs from atmospheric pollution. During pregnancy it helps prevent abortion.

Vitamin Κ: It helps the correct coagulation of our blood and the prevention of internal bleeding.

What is the role of calcium in my diet?

Calcium: It keeps your bones and teeth healthy and strong, helps your heart work properly, maintains the balance of your nervous system and assists the metabolizing of iron in your body. It also prevents insomnia. Calcium in cheese is better absorbed than that found in other foods.

Is cheese a rich source of protein?

Cheese is a great source of protein that is necessary for the dietary needs of humans. Protein is created by a total of 22 amino-acids, of which 8 are essential. If one of the amino-acids is missing from the human body or its levels are very low, then the remaining amino-acids do not function properly. Cheese is a source of the type of protein (complete protein) that retains the balance of the 8 essential amino-acids, which means it should be an integral part of every diet.

4 reasons to eat cheese

1. You can eat it instead of meat
Cheese is an important source of high-value protein, the same as the protein found in meat. This is why it is often used in vegetarian diets in order to cover the body’s need for protein; it is also often consumed in Mediterranean countries, replacing meat in vegetable dishes.

2. A source of calcium
Cheese is high in calcium, phosphorus and magnesium, nutrients that contribute to the smooth development and maintenance of a healthy bone structure. The calcium content varies from cheese to cheese. So cheese supplements with calcium the diet of children, of adults with a hectic lifestyle as well as of those suffering from lactose intolerance, as it’s a dairy product that contains almost no lactose.

3. There is a light version!
Low fat dairy products offer the nutritional value of cheese with reduced saturated fats and calories. There is in fact research that shows that the consumption of low fat dairy is related to the reduction of fat accumulation indices, such as the waistline and the percentage of body fat. Meanwhile low fat cheese retains its minerals and vitamins while, with the right recipe and maturing process, it has the taste and aroma of regular cheese.

4. It is one more way to consume dairy
Cheese can be served with vegetables and fruit in tasty combinations. This means it becomes a useful ally of those who do not normally enjoy eating these foods.

The nutritional value of cheese in our daily lives

Cheese is an integral part of a Greek’s diet. Its taste and nutritional value along with the age-old involvement of Greeks in livestock farming and cheese-making, has given it a prominent position on our tables. Today, cheese is an essential ingredient of our diet because:


• It is an important source of nutrients such as calcium and animal protein, especially for those individuals who do not consume other dairy products or meat.


• It adds taste to our food and is easily digested.


• It is an essential part of Greek productivity.


• It is an alternative way of preserving milk.

How does cheese contribute to our daily diet?

Cheese retains most of the nutrients of the milk it is produced from.

It is a source of protein, especially casein, b-lacto-globulin and a-lacto-albumin. In other words, it “inherits” 4/5 of the protein from which it has been produced. This protein has high biological value, similar to that found in meat, and this is why cheese is often used as a substitute for meat. There are studies that show that the structural ingredients of casein, cheese’s main protein, are very active in our body, controlling our blood pressure, fortifying our immune system, protecting our bones and teeth etc. (L. Ebringer et al., 2008, Meisel, 2001).

Milk may be an excellent source of carbohydrates, mainly lactose, cheese, however, contains very little lactose. This occurs because, during the production and maturing of cheese, lactose becomes diluted by micro-organisms and various enzymes.

flag flag flag flag flag flag