Study shows cheddar cheese might lower bad cholesterol for middle-aged adults

Mature Cheddar

The French, Italians, and Dutch are reputed to be good cheese makers. But the English? Oh yes! Try the original cheddar cheese and you'll know: the British are absolute masters of cheese making.

There are many types of cheddar cheese: from the traditional British variety to the factory-made slices here in the United States. The former is the most nutritious and has the tastiest flavor. This type of cheddar also has several important nutrients. Still, don't eat too much of it because of its high-fat content.

Lower cholesterol. Despite its saturated fat content, eating cheddar cheese in moderation may help you lower your cholesterol. This is especially true for middle-aged adults. Source: WebMD

Are you a cheese lover? Then read on and find out why you should have this cheese on your cheeseboard. In this article, we tell you all about its origin, its health benefits, and its disadvantages and we share other interesting facts about this cheese.

White Cheddar

 

What is cheddar cheese?

You've probably seen or eaten the packs of cheddar-melting cheese slices. But cheddar is so much more. It is, in fact, originally a delicious cheese with an authentic flavor.

Real cheddar cheese is a semi-hard cheese made from cow's milk. Its texture is both crumbly and creamy, making a piece of cheddar delicious to bite into. The origins of real cheddar cheese are in the southwest of England in the beautiful county of Somerset, in the British town of the same name, Cheddar.

There, the milk from the cows grazing on the neighboring pastures and the present caves form an ideal combination. The caves are an ideal place to ripen the cheeses.

Interesting Fact

Authentic Cheddar is still produced at the Original Cheddar Cheese Company (which was founded in 1870 by William Small).

How is cheddar cheese made?

The making of this cheese is special because of the so-called cheddaring process. In this process, the blocks of curd are piled up, causing the cheese to lose more moisture. Curd is the mass of just-clumped proteins that come out of the milk. This is the first stage of cheese.

To drain the liquid from the cheddar as effectively as possible, the blocks are turned regularly. This process is quite labor-intensive, as it is done by hand.

The cheddar cheeses you end up buying may be white, off-white, or yellow. The flavor varies, depending on how long it has been aged. For example, there are mild cheddars, but there are also varieties that have a very spicy taste.

Tip

Do you want to enjoy cheddar cheese without being tempted to eat too much of it? Then go for the extra spicy variety. This flavor is strong and lingering, so you won't feel the need to grab another piece right away.

Get familiar with the world of cheddar cheeses

When you step into a cheese shop you can buy a delicious piece of old cheddar, which is a real delicacy. On the supermarket shelves, you will find a generous supply of packs of cheddar slices. The flavor and texture of the slices are completely different from that of the piece you buy at the cheese store.

Cheeseburger with cheddar cheese

Cheddar slices have little to do with the real cheddar from Somerset. Often other substances are added, such as coloring and melting salts. The cheddar slices are not delicious as a snack or on bread, but they are ideal for melting on your sandwich or hamburger.

That there can be so much difference in cheddar cheeses is because the name of the cheese has never been protected. Therefore, in addition to the real British cheddar, you also have all kinds of cheddars that are made in other countries. The slices of cheddar are mainly produced in America.

Did you know…

Did you know that cheddar is one of the most widely produced cheeses in the world? Specifically, the American variety consists of meltable slices. With this cheddar variant, very little is left of the original British cheddar cheese

How nutritious is cheddar cheese?

Because there are so many different types of cheddar cheese, it's hard to pinpoint exactly how many nutrients are in a piece. But assuming we are talking about a piece of British-style cheddar, there are 28 grams in a serving:

  • 116 kcal
  • 7.1 grams of protein
  • 0.9 grams of carbohydrates
  • 9.6 grams of fats, of which 6.3 grams are saturated
  • 0.9 grams of fiber

Mineral content

In terms of minerals, a cube of cheddar contains the following percentage of the recommended daily allowance (RDA):

  • Calcium: 20% of the RDA
  • Sodium: 8% of RDA

Also, cheddar provides vitamins D and K.

Cheddar: the benefits to your health

Eating cheddar cheese can have a positive effect on your health due to the presence of essential nutrients. Please note that this is the real variety and not the meltable slices. In addition, we are talking about a modest amount and therefore not a complete cheese board. Here are the benefits:

 

Cheddar may help prevent heart disease

Vitamin K in cheddar cheeses can help counteract arteriosclerosis. When you don't have enough vitamin K in your blood, calcium deposits can form in your veins. This impedes your blood flow, which increases your risk of stroke or heart attack.

Cheddar cheese is good for your bones

Calcium is essential for strong bones. Because cheddar contains a lot of this mineral, it can promote the health of your bones. In addition, vitamin K also plays a role in ensuring stronger bones.

Trademark

Did you know there is a label for real cheddar cheeses? If you want to know for sure that you are buying real cheddar, pay attention to the label of West Country Farmhouse Cheddar. Only cheddar cheeses made authentically in Somerset are allowed to carry this label. In addition, the milk must come from cows that eat the grass of this county's pastures.

The fat content of cheddar

There are no known real health disadvantages of cheddar. Still, you can't eat unlimited amounts of it, because cheddar has a high-fat content, much of which is saturated fat. In middle-aged adults, the fat in Cheddar may lower cholesterol levels as long as you eat it in moderation of course. So be smart and stick to a few small cubes.

Possible intolerances and allergies

Because cheddar is a dairy product, two possible substances can cause symptoms in case of hypersensitivity.

Cheddar cheese contains lactose

Are you intolerant of lactose? Then it is better to leave cheddar cheese alone. If you have lactose intolerance, you may notice cramps in your stomach, flatulence, or diarrhea. These symptoms often occur after consuming dairy products.

Cheddar contains casein

Cheese contains the protein casein. If you are allergic to this, you may experience swollen mouth, tongue, face, or throat, among other symptoms. Furthermore, your skin may react to casein, causing you to experience itching, redness, or a rash.

Cold symptoms, such as sneezing and coughing, may also occur. Wheezing or itchy eyes may also be among the symptoms.

ALSO READ: Feta Cheese and Your Health – Everything You’ve Always Wanted To Know

Want to make a healthy appetizer? Then stick a wedge of fresh tangerine and a piece of cheddar on a cocktail stick. This is a responsible way to snack and adds vitamin C to your snack.

How do you eat cheddar?

Cheddar makes a great snack or sandwich filling, but you can additionally use the cheese in many other ways in the kitchen. For example, grate a piece of cheddar and sprinkle it over your pasta or omelet. You can also use cheddar cheese to bake casseroles. Or give your cooked vegetables a boost with a bit of grated cheddar cheese.

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About the Author: Mebely Connors

Mebely Connors is a retired health care professional. For the past 4 years, she has been working from home, writing for different publications. She specializes in health and nutrition-related articles.